Software and Setup
The software is relatively basic and intuitive. Clicking a lighting zone brings up the options to change the color of the lights. Likewise, selecting a button allows you to bring up a an easy-to-use macro recording screen to set custom macros to your buttons, or to have the button launch the program. While the right side of the mouse has two additional buttons, I wasn't able to use them effectively as a right-hander. Although the mouse isn't exactly symmetrical, it's close enough where the two buttons on the right side of the mouse allows southpaws (lefties) to use the Level 10 M too. I also find that I accidentally hit the buttons on the right side when I pick the mouse up, so if you do bind something, there's a good chance you'll be inadvertently activating a macro you've set. A profile management screen allows you to select a profile to modify, and the performance tab allows you to fine-tune the sensor options like DPI, polling rate, and liftoff distance. The liftoff distance noticeably precise, and allows you to fine tune how you want your mouse to respond to being picked up. If you use a large mousing surface and frequently pick up the mouse, the minimum liftoff works great and kills registration of the mouse's movements with even the slightest elevation above the surface.
When using programs on the desktop (i.e. when an application is not full-screened) an overlay is seen along the bottom of the screen. The overlays will show you the sensitivity levels when you change the sensitivity left, or show the forward/back arrows when using the thumb buttons. These overlays don't show up when something is full screen, so no worries about this distracting your games.
We've been using the Level 10 M gaming mouse for a few weeks now, and I really haven't been as fond of a mouse as I am of the Level 10 M since I first made the move to a gaming mouse, which was at the time the Logitech G5 which I got for Christmas. I loved that mouse, and it's seen its wear and tear, but I can't get rid of it. It hasn't been used for years, but I still have a strange attachment to it. I feel the same thing happening with the Level 10 M. It's so different, so functionally-unique, so precise and it has a heft that I absolutely love. The aluminum, while keeping my hands feeling cool, gives it a premium feel, like that first jump to the G5 from a crappy generic mouse made me feel. The G5's weight cartridge allowed me to put all of the heaviest weights, and since I've stopped using it, I forgot how much I loved its heft. I feel more in control of a mouse with a little inertia to "fight" against, like it smooths my actions.
The ability to fine-tune the height and angle also, as I mentioned earlier, lends greatly to the enjoyment of this mouse. Even tiny increments allowed me to feel a small ergonomic difference, until I adjusted the height to a sweet spot that is somewhere between a full-palm fit and a claw grip that I haven't found in any other mouse. The tilt allows my fingers and hands to rest evenly on the mouse no matter if the mouse is above or below my elbows. It feels great.
The strange thing about the Level 10 M's feel is that it really felt different. It felt like I needed to "learn" it for the first hour or so. I was actually conscious of it. The heft, the cool aluminum, the spaced thumb buttons, the atypical gripping surface above the buttons, and the way it glided all combined the make it feel like something very new. I've used dozens of different mice in the past couple years, and this was the first one to make me feel like something different was happening in my hands. After an hour I began to grow comfortable with it, and I've loved it ever since. Macros are simple, and they work how you'd want and expect. The scroll wheel is smooth and precise, so scrolling through inventories will be a breeze.
The sensor is very precise and tracks very smoothly. The liftoff is also reliable and consistent, and allows for a fairly large liftoff distance if that is preferred. The switches are also very nice, and have a satisfying and reassuring click like we're used to in high-end micron switches. The thumb buttons are also placed so that you don't actually have to move your button. The bigger button can be pressed by squeezing your whole thumb, while the front button can be used by pressing with the tip of your thumb. It's an interesting ergonomic design, and one that was part of the initial learning curve. I don't know if it was intentional (with the attention to detail, I'd have to think it was) but either way, it works. I personally don't get sweaty hands when I game, so I can't attest much to the "ventilation" of the mouse, but it surely can't help, and the aluminum feels cool to the touch.