Design|A Precise Gaming Mouse for Precision Gaming
Although taking the same basic profile of a computer mouse, the similarities to most others end there. The hexagonal "air-through ventilation" gives the impression of something very machine-like, and the overall design scheme is what I'd describe as "industrial." Our version is silver and black, but Thermaltake also offers an Olive Drag (OD) and white variations for those who have a particular color preference, perhaps to match the rest of your build. A unique features is the "bumper" that extends from the front of the mouse, providing the firm mount for the cable, which then runs underneath the "floating" body. The cable is braided, and the USB connector is gold-plated, and has a cap to protect it when you're taking it to your next LAN. The left mouse button has a semi-opaque square which glows when the mouse is used, and the right mouse button houses red LEDs that highlight which of the four onboard profiles is selected.
In my mind, one of the defining features of the Level 10 M, designed in cooperation with BMW DesignworksUSA, is the aluminum chassis that makes up the foundation for the mouse. The metal bottom and sides can't help but make me think of a car chassis, and lends greatly to the industrial aesthetic, and also the premium feel of the mouse. The metal base is about an eighth of an inch thick, which is significantly thicker than the skin of a small airplane (at 0.032" thick). The thick aluminum running the full length and width, and making up the sides, means that this thing is solid, and it lends it a heft that I've long desired in a mouse. It's weighty, and the Level 10 M is the only mouse to eclipse the Logitech G5's weight which I had long loved, and it gives me a greater sense of control. For those who prefer a light, zippy mouse, the Level 10 M won't fit the bill.
The thumb buttons are placed along the sides of the metal chassis. The left side has two thumb buttons and a rocking profile switcher. The thumb buttons are well separated, and their different size also helps you pick out the button you're looking for. The button switches have a definitive and satisfying feel when clicked, and the rocking DPI / profile switcher button has a soft feel with subtle tactile feedback. The weight does have one disadvantage though, if you need to pick the mouse up, not only can it become cumbersome, but you need to squeeze the mouse fairly tight to pick it up, which at times makes me inadvertently press the thumb buttons, although there is plenty of area above the buttons to grab the mouse without hitting the buttons, but it comes with a bit of a learning curve. The bottom has four large feet which glide smoothly and distributes the weight onto your mousing surface nicely.
The other defining feature of the Level 10 M to accompany its aesthetics and premium aluminum body is the "3D Steering" adjustment. The included allen key can be used in a hex nut on the top of the mouse, which allows you to adjust the height exactly where you want it. The bottom left image shows the adjustment all the way down, which makes for a very slim profile, similar to many Razer mice, and the bottom right image shows it all the way up, which comes very close to filling out my palm like other fat-bodied mice like the Logitech G5 do. My sweet spot was a few turns below full-height, and I love how it feels in my hand, and it's the only one that fits me how I'd like it to. A hex key on the side allows you to adjust the tilt 5 degrees each way. I though this was a little strange at first, until you feel how big of a difference it can make. One of my desks doesn't have a tray, so my arm is up and a bit more to the side than normal. This causes my hands to be slightly rotated relative to the desk. The 5 degree inward tilt allows my hand to lay on the mouse far more ergonomically, and makes all the difference in long-term comfort. When using the mouse on a lowered tray, my hands are a bit more balanced, and a quick adjustment perfects the fit. It's simply awesome and it was really obvious to me how big of a difference the subtle adjustments could make.
The laser sensor will produce an optical resolution which will allow for a crazy-high DPI level of 8200, which even on a 2560x1440 pixel monitor zips across in the blink of an eye. The highest I've ever been able to use effectively has been around 3200 DPI, and I'd imagine it would take some sort of super human to be precise with 8200 DPI sensitivity. Not surprisingly, we see a remarkable attention to detail in the design, with the internal wires having a semi-transparent red sleeving, again breathing an industrial appearance of "cooling" lines or even something appearing to be alien altogether. We can also see the tilt adjustment on the right side protruding from the mechanical "hub" which allows the base of the mouse to be adjusted. Even the rubber grips on the scroll wheel, which itself is clear to glow when used, have their own details. The rubber scroll wheel has many small "Cs" which tracks very smoothly with definitive scroll increments, and gives the feeling of a treaded tire.
Each of the three lighted zones, the left mouse button, the Tt eSports logo under the palm, and the scroll wheel, can be set to one of 7 colors and each profile can have a unique color scheme. The lights on the right mouse button show which profile is selected, one light four profile one and four lights for profile 4, for quick recognition. The Thermaltake logo underneath the palm gives a very cool effect, and is a nice touch on part of the design team.