Mionix Naos 5000 Mouse Review
By André Gordirro on March 16, 2010
Let’s get right to the point: what a fantastic mouse this Mionix Naos 5000 is. Aside for some minor gripes that you’ll see in our review, the mouse has gone far above and beyond the call of duty and, after a series of models we’ve tested so far here in Hardware Secrets, it became our number one choice of gaming peripheral. Let us see its physical characteristics before going to the testing. By the way, the name Naos comes from the brightest star in the Milky Way, Naos Zeta Puppis, which is about one thousand light-years away from us – and the competing mice as well.
The Naos 5000 is a right-handed mouse with excellent ergonomic design. It has niches for the thumb, the ring finger and the pinkie so the hand completely rests over the mouse’s body in a comfortable and precise way. Above the thumb rest are the well-known back/forward buttons and three LEDs to indicate the current dpi setting. Below the backlit scroll wheel there are up/down sensitivity buttons. The backlit Mionix symbol stands by the palm rest.
There are four Teflon feet on the bottom of the mouse plus the weight adjustment system. The weight compartments are located on either side of the mouse, which makes up for a better balancing system. Eight small weights (5 g each, i.e., 0.18 oz.) come inside a nice metal case. In the middle of the underside part is the 5040 dpi laser cannon surrounded by the Mionix logo.
As a final touch, the cable is cloth-wrapped and the USB plug is gold-coated.
The user has to download the Naos software and manual from Mionix’s website. The mouse is plug-and-play but you have to have the configuration application up and running to tune it to your liking. Contrary to other gaming-grade mice from big name companies, Mionix just hit the right chord with its simple and quick software – and it has a big breakthrough called S.Q.A.T - Surface Quality Analyzer Tool, which, as the name says, verifies the surface the mouse will slide upon. We’ll talk about this feature soon.
Configuring the mouse is very simple affair. The new functions of the seven reprogrammable buttons can be saved into five different profiles (work, games, as you wish) and stored in the 128 KB built-in memory. The user preferences stay the same no matter which PC you plug the Naos into. However, the mouse doesn’t feature a profile selection button that most models keep on the underside –– the user has to assign one of the seven reprogrammable buttons to do that particular function. Since we didn’t do this, it was necessary to load the application every time we wanted to change profiles.
Programming the buttons is rather easy and intuitive: with a few clicks we had, for instance, the button 4 near the thumb be the equivalent to the E key, which unleashed the knife stab in Modern Warfare 2. We customized the Naos to our liking and chose one of the 24 available colors to lit the mouse representing each of the five different profiles. It’s also possible to leave it without any illumination if you so prefer.
The user can set three different sensitivity levels per profile to the maximum of 5040 dpi. That way, you can have several options for working-related applications and games. As usual, we like to lower the sensitivity for precise action as sniping and an upper value for intense firefights. The user can also set the speed of the pointer and scroll wheel and even the lift distance to improve the tracking quality.
But the star of the software is the S.Q.A.T tool that analyzes the quality of the sliding surface. Just hit the button on the menu and drag the mouse for ten seconds so the application can judge the surface as either “poor,” “acceptable,” “good” or “excellent.” Our wooden table got a “poor” rating and, as expected, our Razer Destrutor mousemat (tested here) rated as “excellent.”
The Naos 5000 has a fantastic grip and it’s very comfortable. We usually go for lighter, leaner and finger-controlled mice, and never put too much trust in fancy ergonomic designs, but the Mionix peripheral just changed our minds. It’s very good to be able to play with the hand fully rested over the mouse.
Thanks to the easiness of use, we readily tuned the mouse to play Modern Warfare 2, World of Warcraft and work with texts and photo editing. But we missed having a single button to change the profiles instead of having to waste a programmable button to that particular function. Sometimes we forgot to change the profile and had to Alt+Tab to Windows to open the Mionix software and then make the change. That was a drag. Another minor gripe is that the wheel doesn’t do horizontal scrolling. Of course that’s not a high priority for most users, but still makes it easier to navigate through large PDF files, for instance.
As for the performance, this is a subjective experience. The first matches felt awkward by the full hand rest over the mouse, but as soon as we got the hang of it, we achieved our usually (great) gaming performance (the headshots just kept on coming). The Naos responded well to the sensitivity changes and it’s unbeatable in the comfort issue. As we said in the intro, it’s already our official mouse. Highly recommended.
The Mionix Naos 5000 mouse main specifications are:
Below you can see a summary of our impressions about Mionix Naos 5000 mouse.