SteelSeries Call of Duty Black Ops II Mouse Review
By André Gordirro on May 1, 2013


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

SteelSeries has a history of releasing thematic peripherals, such as the World of Warcraft and Diablo line of products (both games from Blizzard Entertainment). Now the company releases a set of mouse and mouse pad for the best-selling FPS title, Call of Duty Black Ops II. The basis of the peripheral is the celebrated Sensei mouse, but with some differences that we will see throughout this review.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 1: Call of Duty Black Ops II Mouse

The Call of Duty Black Ops II (from now on we will call it CoDBO II) is an ambidextrous mouse with a minimalistic design. It features two extra buttons on each side, plus a triangular-shaped button below the scrollwheel for changing the resolution. A small LED between this button and the scrollwheel indicates which sensitivity level is active.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 2: Left side

The mouse is very light, weighing only 0.2 lbs (90 grams), the body is rubberized, and features some details in orange, like chips on a circuit board. On the lower side we can see the illuminated “II” that alludes to the game, and the “Call of Duty Black Ops II” name and logo are found on the main left button.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 3: Right side

Introduction (Cont’d)

Turning the mouse over, we find three Teflon feet (one above, two on the base) and the Avago 9500 sensor that reaches 5,670 dpi of resolution. The cable is cloth-wrapped, but it ends in a regular USB connector (and not a gold-plated one, which is the market’s norm).

Mouse COD II
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Figure 4: Underside

Along with the mouse, SteelSeries also sent us the Call of Duty Black Ops II thematic mouse pad. On the shelves, there are three models with different illustrations. We received the one with the soldier and a pistol near his face, like he was praying. It is a big mouse pad (12.6 X 10.6 inches /320 X 270 mm), with a high quality cloth over a rubber base 0.08 inch (2 mm) thick. It is not rigid, so the mouse pad can be rolled.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 5: Call of Duty Black Ops II mouse pad

Mouse COD II
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Figure 6: Mouse and mouse pad set

Main Characteristics

The CoDBO II works right out of the box, but to fully appreciate all its features, the user has to download and install the configuration software from the SteelSeries’ website (the mouse doesn’t come with a CD). The application is the same used by all peripherals from the company and it has garnered some compliments from us in the last reviews. The interface is elegant and simple, but it requires a bit of exploring to uncover some functions. As we already know the software, the operation was quick, but for first-time users, it is better to click on everything.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 7: Button configuration

The mouse has seven programmable buttons, and it is possible to choose a right hand or left hand orientation. The user can also associate simple game commands and macros to each button. The commands can be a mix of mouse clicks and keystrokes on the keyboard, associating both peripherals in a single macro. It is possible to link all configurations to an executable program; for instance, once the user clicks on the Call of Duty Black Ops II icon, the mouse immediately implements that particular game profile while the computer loads the game. Of course, the CoDBO II already comes a pre-configured profile for that game (but the user can also edit this configuration).

Mouse COD II
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Figure 8: Configuration association

There are only two levels of adjustable sensitivity (both ranging from 90 dpi to 5,670 dpi of resolution), indicated by the LED below the scrollwheel. The user can also adjust the intensity and pulsation of the orange light of the CoDBO II; there are no other options, because orange is the color of the game logo.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 9: Sensitivity configuration

Playing with the Call of Duty Black Ops II

The CoDBO II is extremely agile and light. The clicking is excellent, and since the body is symmetrical, that means the buttons for the ring finger and pinkie are also very precise. We just considered one button, the ring finger button (number “7” on the configuration software), a bit difficult to be pressed. We followed the tip from the application and assigned a less urgent function for that particular ring finger button, like using special items on Call of Duty and other FPS titles, such as Battlefield 3.

Mouse COD II
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Figure 10: Illuminated mouse

Despite the body favoring a palm grip, the CoDBO II is so light it can be controlled by users with a claw grip as well. Those who prefer a heavier peripheral or a weight adjustment system, will not find the CoDBO II adequate for their tastes.

Most gaming-grade mice offer three (or even four) levels of sensitivity, but the fact is it is rare, during a match, that the user will switch between more than two options of resolution. So we really didn’t miss a third level of sensitivity available; as usual, we set a lower dpi value for precise sniping, and a higher value for more action-packed moments.

About the mouse pad, at first we were concerned that the illustration would make the surface less smooth, but in fact it doesn’t hinder the mouse’s movements in any way. If the user finds the mouse pad a little too big, he or she can roll the mouse pad and keep it down with some weight on top of it. The CoDBO II glided smoothly over it and was very precise on tiny movements.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the SteelSeries Call of Duty Black Ops II mouse include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

The main specifications for the SteelSeries Call of Duty Black Ops II mouse pad include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The CoDBO II is surprisingly agile, but it is not suited for users who prefer heavier mice with weight adjustment systems. The possibility of associating clicks with keystrokes on the same macro makes the peripheral very versatile, especially when combined with a SteelSeries keyboard being managed by the same software. The CoDBO II acts like a raw version of the Sensei mouse, but on the other hand, it has the stylish design of the game for fans of the Call of Duty series. The rubber grip is comfortable and makes the mouse very firm under the hand. The fact that it only offers two options of resolution didn’t compromise the performance – on the contrary, it made the switch between them very quick in an emergency.

Strong Points

Weak Point

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/SteelSeries-Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-II-Mouse-Review/1767


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