Tesoro Shrike - Design
I'm sure many of you, having a very keen eye (or even a pair of them if you're particularly talented), may have noticed this looks rather familiar. This indeed looks very familiar to one of my favorite mice in terms of holding comfort, Logitech's VX Revolution. The overall shape has a very natural feel along with enough volume to fill my large hands, which is something of a rarity for me. I tend to hold my mice with a "hybrid" grip, which is somewhere in-between a claw grip and a full-palm. I tend to grip the mouse then rest my wrist on the desk surface, and usually part of my palm will be raised above the mouse.
Now that you have a little background about how I hold my mouse, I'll say that the Shrike fits better in my hand for my grip than any other mouse I've held. It fills my palm while still allowing a firm "claw" grip on the buttons, and then my wrist resting lightly on the mousepad or desk I'm working on. It's not just the volume, but it's where Tesoro has placed the volume. Usually larger mice like the G500 are large, but the depth is usually inflated more towards the front of the mouse which does a good job of filling my hand, but it just doesn't feel as natural as the Shrike does.
The left and right buttons are gently sculpted so your fingers have a little place to settle in. The rubber thumb grips give plenty of traction, and the slight flare at the bottom gives your ring finger somewhere to site on the back side of the mouse. The slight overhang on the upper edge of the mouse gives the mouse grip so the mouse doesn't get away from you when you pick it up. Overall, there isn't really anything I can nit about the shape of Tesoro's Shrike; it simply fits my large hands perfectly.
Next we'll go around the mouse and talk about the buttons. The thumb buttons are well-placed, and the length of each button means I didn't find myself accidentally hitting the wrong button. The buttons don't really have much of a tactile differentiation, though, which only really affects the back thumb button. I have to reach back a bit by curling my thumb, and while I didn't find myself accidentally still hitting the front one, there's little way to feel where one ends and the other begins.
The two extra buttons next to the left mouse button are a nice touch, although I've never found the back one of the pair to be useful because it requires a distinct effort for me to find it quickly and accurately. The front one of the two is very useful, however, and those with smaller hands can probably find utility in the one located farther back. These buttons do a good job with a small bevel on each key, of having a tactile "divider" between the buttons.
The DPI button is located beneath the scroll wheel, and is located in a place where it will be hard to hit accidentally, which may be prohibitive for those who are frequent DPI-switchers. I personally don't touch the DPI much, so this was a good thing for me. Additionally, I really like the scroll wheel on the Shrike. It's very smooth with very gentle clicks as you scroll with essentially no audible scroll clicking. The middle click is super easy to do without accidentally scrolling, something many mice get horribly wrong. The entire scroll wheel has a very premium feel to it and we're glad to see it wasn't skimped on, as this alone can be a maker-or-break detail for many gamers.
The Shrike glides on 3 large teflon feet which give the mouse tracking a very smooth feel. There isn't any "stick" that mice with smaller feet will sometimes have, where you have to get over that good ol' static friction before it starts moving, in which case small adjustments of your pointer are thrown off considerably. The additional weights, which are released by the small button on the bottom of the mouse, contribute up to 35g of extra heft to the mouse (3x10g and 1x5g). I've personally always liked a heavy mouse as the extra inertia gives me better feel and control, whereas a fast-paced FPS gamer with low DPI who uses large expanses of mousing area and frequent pick-ups may like a light, nimble mouse. The weights click in snugly to the weight tray, and the whole assembly then snaps into the back of the mouse. A nice touch and a great differentiator for Tesoro, who is undoubtedly trying to stand out from the ever-growing crowd in the gaming peripheral market.
Braided cables used to only be included on premium gaming accessories, and again, due to competition and many new companies emerging, it's become a necessity these days. The cable is shielded and is also very soft and flexible. This is also great, as many braided cables, which are more durable and tangle-free, also exhibit a bothersome stiffness. For instance, when you move your mouse, large amounts of the cable will slide with it, instead of the cable just flexing freely, and we've seen no cable interference with the Shrike so far. Again, a near-requirement for anything titled a "gaming mouse" these days is the gold-plated USB connector.