Gigabyte Aivia Krypton Mouse Review
By André Gordirro on August 27, 2012
Who would have thought that Krypton, the home planet of Superman, would be reduced to the tiny size of a gaming-grade mouse? Well, that’s the name of the new model from Gigabyte’s Aivia line. It features an innovation right out of the mind of Jor-El, the scientist father of the Man of Steel: two interchangeable under plates, each one with a different set of feet (Teflon and ceramic) that delivers a different sliding control. We’ll talk about this characteristic and other features after we describe the product.
The peripheral has an ambidextrous body with the same set of buttons on each side. Each rubber-coated lateral comes with three buttons; the one closer to the tip acts as a user profile switch.
On the top, the user finds the illuminated scroll wheel and, right below it, the traditional resolution switch, flanked by two tiny LED bars. On the end of the dorso, there’s the Krypton logo.
On the underside, there’s the product’s greatest innovation: a set of easily switchable under plates. Once removed, they reveal the weight adjustment system with ten holes for tiny weights, from 0.06 oz. (1.8 g) (four silver weights) to 0.18 oz. (5.3 g) (six black weights), for a total increase of 1.37 oz. (39 g) to the Krypton’s final weight.
One of the under plates has the traditional set of Teflon feet that delivers a precise and more controlled sliding. The other extra under plate comes with a set of ceramic feet for high speed over the mousepad. Aside from the under plates, the entire set includes a case for storing the weights and an extraction tool (although it wasn’t impossible to take them out with our fingers).
The Krypton’s two main characteristics are being ambidextrous and having the interchangeable under plates. Actually, even the mouse’s orientation itself can be changed. To switch from a right-hand grip to a left-hand grip, just simultaneously press both profile switches (on the tip of the peripheral) for three seconds, and then it’s done. The peripheral features nine assignable functions on the four side buttons, on the two main buttons and on the scroll wheel (it’s possible to reprogram the scroll up, scroll down and the pressing of the wheel itself). The resolution switch stays locked to that particular function.
The software recognizes other peripherals from the Aivia line and features a visually interesting interface for button configuration and macro recording. However, since the interface itself is small, the application only allows one alteration at a time, which can be confusing for the user, who doesn’t get to see the whole picture of what he or she is doing. At least the macro recording system has a user-friendly iconography and allows the user to record seventy macros that can combine keystrokes on the keyboard with mouse clicks. The user can export the macros to his or her PC and also import them to the Krypton’s 32 KB memory. It’s possible to create up to five user profiles.
The Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor reaches 8,200 dpi. The sensitivity can be set in four stages by the user (it comes in 800 dpi, 1,600 dpi, 3,200 dpi and 5,600 dpi by default). The number of LEDs lit on the little bars flanking the resolution switch indicates the current sensitivity level.
The first impression we got was how the ambidextrous design of the Krypton, with its well-located buttons, served both palm-grippers and claw-grippers. Located on both sides of the tip of the mouse, the profile exchange switch is not that easily accessible, but that’s not a bad thing, since nobody wants to change the user profile by accident. In case the player wants to create two profiles for the same game (one focused on sniping, the other with a set of commands to pilot a tank in Battlefield 3, for instance), the profile switch is still reachable in time.
The great feature here is the interchangeable under plates. The choice of which one to use depends on three factors: if the user has a gaming-grade mousepad or not, what is the material of said mousepad, and the user’s gaming style. Actually, with the sensitivity up high (6,000 dpi and more) and the under plate with the ceramic feet, the Krypton just raced over the mousepad with the barest of touches, which is great for big monitors (or for those who play with the PC connected to a TV) and moments of intense action. On the other hand, with a lower sensitivity setting and the traditional Teflon feet, the mouse just behaved as a high-end precision gaming-grade peripheral should. That’s the right combo when the user wants absolute control for sniping. Since the actual change of under plates is fast, it’s possible to switch them during a quieter moment of a game match or when a new map is being loaded.
The Krypton features an interesting weight distribution system: the niches are disposed in a U-shape that allows the user to insert the weights according to his or her grip. For instance, if the user is right-handed, it might be a good idea to put the weights on the right side of the underside of the mouse; if he or she is a claw-gripper, the weights should go near the middle of the U-shaped compartment. There’s no right configuration, but that’s the good thing about the Krypton: the mouse allows so many combinations between weights and under plates that the user will find the best combo to suit his or her gaming style.
The main specifications for the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Krypton is a very complete mouse. With nine configurable functions, seventy programmable macros, up to 8,200 dpi, an ambidextrous body and switchable under plates, the peripheral caters to the needs of different players. Even the body design is good for both claw-grippers and palm-grippers. It’s a rare product that shoots in every direction and hits the mark in all of them.