Tesoro Shrike - Software
As is expected, the Shrike is fully-programmable, and has a large number of general macro/binding options along with advanced macro creation. You can bind any key for basic windows or media functions as well as a program launch key. You can also have any button act as a key, say the "R key" if you want "R" to be for "reload" on the keyboard and the mouse. Some of the shooting options are unique, with a "double click" option for easy single fire burst, as well as other options for toggled firing. If you switch DPI often, the two buttons along the left mouse button would be perfect as DPI or mapping/profile switching.
The software itself is simple, responsive, and overall easy to use, even if it isn't the most aesthetically-polished we've ever seen. The macro creator is much like others we've used, and it's easy to record macros including time delays and push-release triggers. The software recorded the macros accurately and consistently if precise timing is needed. Editing the macro is also very straightforward.
You can store 5 different profiles, which the software refers to as "mappings," and assign an LED color which can be seen around the DPI toggle button and somewhat next to the scroll wheel. The LEDs are relatively faint, so if you're sensitive or picky about lights on your peripherals, your eyes should be spared. We might even desire a bit more brightness for some of the lighter colors, as they can be hard to readily make out when the room is brightly-lit, and Tesoro has considered the desire for dimming as well.
For each mapping, you can have 5 DPI levels, all the way up to 5600 DPI, which should be plenty for most. You can also set the polling rate, with a high-frequency sensor allowing up to 1000 Hz polling rate. We used several polling rate programs to verify that it did indeed poll near 1000 Hz. The liftoff setting can also be set with a simple slider which is a feature we also don't like to see gaming mice without.
Testing - Gaming and More
We've been mousing around with the Shrike for quite some time now, plenty long to find out all the things we like and don't like about it. I mostly play FPS games with the occasional RTS mixed in, so keep that in mind, but I think through my gaming testing and everyday usage that I have full understanding of where the weaknesses are for other types of gamers/ users.
I've already talked about this a bit on the previous page, but since I think it lends heavily to why I've enjoyed the Shrike from day-to-day, I'll put it all down here again. The Shrike is one of the most comfortable mice I've held, with the only possible exception being the Logitech MX Revolution, which only really takes the lines of the Shrike and extends the upper and lower surfaces to create a mouse the envelopes the hand.
I have large hands, and with my hybrid semi-claw grip, I've rarely found a mouse that I'm perfectly happy with. I like the feel of a mouse that fills my palm, but mice I've loved over the years, like the G5/500, were just not quite perfect for me. I have long fingers and a wide palm, so I tend to like mice with inflated bodies. What the Shrike does differently is that the volume extends out farther back on the mouse. Imagine you place your wrist on your mousepad/surface, and then elevate your hand in a comfortable position to hold a mouse. If you look at the side profile, your palm curves up sharply and the rest of your hand probably forms a smooth, nearly-flat curve, and the shape of the Shrike is essentially that. A flatter upper surface for your fingers, and a thick, rounded back end that does a great job of filling your hand.
The side grips and contours make for a firm grasp and the upper and lower edges give you a little extra handle on the mouse when picking it up. The weights also allow you to fine-tune the heft of the mouse to fit your preference, and I found myself preferring the feel and control of the mouse with full weight, something I've missed since I shelved my G5 and began testing many other mice. Overall, the fit and feel of the Shrike is top notch, even if you have big hands, and I can say without a sliver of doubt it's in the top 5 most comfortable mice I've used.
There isn't anything particularly noteworthy about the Shrike when it comes to gaming performance, and I mean that in a very good way. I've used a wide variety of mice from the entry level up to the high end, and the Shrike delivers 95% of the gaming performance as most mice in the ~$100 range, just without the bells and whistles associated with more onboard memory, DPI tuning, an adjustable body, or a crazy amount of buttons. It has all the core features you'd expect in a gaming mouse, and I felt I had what I needed at my disposal.
The feel of the grip and the extra weight lent it a preference for me over most of the mice I have at the office and I didn't feel any loss in performance coming from a high-end mouse. It does what you want and need, and not a ton more. As I mentioned before, I think they only thing that I don't particularly care about is the rear button of the two extra buttons located next to the left mouse button because it was a struggle for me to reach it. Those with shorter hands might have a better time with it.
Otherwise, macros worked just as they should, the LED accents around the scroll wheel and DPI switcher are understated which is easy on the eyes, although some of the colors (yellows and oranges) were almost too faint in brightly-lit rooms. Luckily, most peoples' uber game sessions or competitive settings where people would really care to see which of their many mapping settings they are on will be in dark or dim rooms.
Overall, the mouse seemed to track flawlessly, the 1000 Hz polling rate delivering smooth and low-latency responses, and the liftoff was also fairly precise, although it could be a bit muddy at times when higher liftoff was set. The 5600 DPI sensor gives plenty of sensitivity for the most radical of twitch gamers, so that shouldn't leave many people wanting more in terms of sensitivity. The large teflon feet also track smoothly, and as I've mentioned earlier, doesn't exhibit any "stick" when trying to make precise mouse adjustments. Overall, Tesoro's Shrike gets high marks in gaming performance as well, and I've found myself using it more often then not from my shelf of mice.
The built-in Windows functions as well as full macro customization lends nicely to the productivity potential of the Tesoro Shrike as well. With a little of strategic planning, you can set up the mouse and its few extra buttons to absolutely start flying around Photoshop in no time. CAD and other productivity suites benefit greatly from binding buttons for common shortcuts, and you can have each of the 5 mapping profiles set to a particular program, and away you go. This isn't anything that most other gaming mice can't do, but it still performs nonetheless.