IOGEAR Symmetre, Retikal, and Fokus gaming mice now available
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Computer and accessory manufacturer IOGEAR has announced three new gaming mice at affordable prices aimed at the casual gamer. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each to see which is the right fit for your gaming needs. It's worth noting that the manufacturer includes a three-year limited warranty as standard for each of these three mice.
IOGEAR Symmetre GME630
The first is the ambidextrous Symmetre GME630 optical gaming mouse with its 8 programmable keys (left and right click, two on the left and right edges, and two more adjacent to the scrolling wheel), Blue LED lighting, and on-the-fly DPI resolution switching. Its report rate can be toggled between 125/500/1000 rps via a switch on the bottom of the unit. It's a relatively small mouse with glossy plastic sides and rubberized top keys for improved grip.
Users can choose between 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 4000 DPI with a click of the two Arrow buttons adjacent to the scroll wheel. The LED color indicator on the arrow buttons will subsequently change in response with the 500 to 4000 DPI range corresponding to Red, Green, Blue, Purple, and Aqua, respectively. For a mouse retailing for about $20 USD, the Symmetre offers more features than initially expected.
While the mouse is excellent for basic tasks, we find its ambidextrous design to be less than ideal when gaming. For example, the two auxiliary buttons on the right hand side of the mouse is difficult to press for right-handed users and vice versa for left-handed users. The arrow buttons to change DPI on the fly is not positioned for quick adjustments during the heat of battle, so hardcore FPS users may want to invest a little more into a mouse with more conveniently placed auxiliary keys.
The left and right mouse clicks have slightly different auditory clicks with the right click feeling softer in comparison. It’s certainly not spongy, but it could have been firmer especially when compared to pricier alternatives like the Logitech G602.
+ Great for browsing, multi-tasking, and basic tasks
+ Plenty of customizable buttons considering the price
+ Blue LED lighting with multi-colored DPI lights
+ Glossy plastic and smooth rubberized surfaces
- No adjustable weight options
- Fixed Blue LED lighting
- Placement of auxiliary buttons is not ideal for fast-paced gaming- Right-click feels slightly softer than the left click
Move one step up and you have the right-handed Retikal GME660 gaming mouse that utilizes 9 programmable buttons across five different profiles for a total of 45 customizable keys. The extra ninth button is a Sniper button on the side for the thumb, so the mouse caters very well to FPS gamers. A slide-out tray is included on the front of the device for weight adjustment, though the model lacks the RGB lighting of the Fokus. Core specifications include a 5000 DPI and an adjustable report rate of 125/500/1000 Hz. Its build shares the same plastic and rubberized surfaces as the Symmetre including a button for toggling between five preset DPI settings (800, 1600, 3200, 4000, and 5000 DPI) and customizable color readings.
When compared to the Symmetre, the Retikal is much more comfortable for gaming as it is wider, slightly heavier, and catered specifically for right-handed users. That means its single right auxiliary key feels natural to click on with the ring finger and ditto for the two left auxiliary keys with the thumb. The dedicated button near the scroll wheel for on-the-fly profile switching is also very useful especially for titles like Overwatch where custom buttons and DPI must match the constantly changing playstyle of the various characters. All buttons take very little force to press to make it easier for gamers to click quickly or repeatedly without fatigue. The two main mouse keys in particular have more satisfactory feedback than on the less expensive Symmetre.
Drawbacks include the maximum weight of the mouse as it can still feel very light depending on the needs of the user. The four adjustable weights themselves total about 20 g compared to the mouse at just 130 g including the cable and without the weights. Furthermore, the dedicated snipe key on the left-hand side is positioned quite far up on the mouse especially when compared to the Corsair M65. Users with shorter thumbs may find the button more difficult to press consistently and reliably. Otherwise, the large and soft rubberized rest for the thumb immediately adjacent to the Snipe button is a nice touch for added comfort.
The Retikal retails for just under $35 USD. Note that none of the three mice include drivers or discs inside their boxes, so users will need to visit iogear.com to download the software for customizing the keys.
+ Wide design for a comfortable right-hand hold
+ Five on-the-fly adjustable profiles and DPI settings with indicators
+ Rubberized thumb rest
- Adjustable weights could be heavier
- Snipe button may be placed too far up for some users
IOGEAR Fokus GME670
The last and most expensive model is the Kaliber Fokus GME670 Pro Laser Gaming Mouse with a similar 8-button programmable configuration and ambidextrous design as the Symmetre, but with RGB LED lighting and a much higher 8200 DPI specification. The software supports five different modes with 8 functions per mode for a total of 40 different keys. Like the Symmetre, its bottom switch allows on-the-fly adjustment between a reporting rate of 125/500/1000 Hz. Unlike the black ABS plastics used on the Symmetre, however, the Fokus utilizes a higher quality white aluminum frame with a color scheme not far off from a Storm Trooper. The center button adjacent to the scroll wheel toggles between preset DPI settings of 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and 8200.
Unlike the Retikal, the Fokus works best as a general mouse for both browsing and gaming despite the higher maximum DPI. This is due to its design and placement of auxiliary keys that aren’t unlike on the Symmetre. In fact, we find the side buttons to be too light and easily pressed by accident. The main two mouse buttons have more satisfactory feedback than the Symmetre, but they require slightly more force to press and this could be a problem for longer gaming sessions. Its sharp edges and corners make for a less comfortable hold compared to most other gaming mice. The appeal of the Fokus is therefore in the design and RGB lighting rather than its gaming functionality.
The lack of any rubberized surfaces gives a more plastic feel to the overall unit. The user’s palm and fingers are less likely to slip or glide as a result.
The Kaliber Fokus Pro retails for just under $50 USD.
+ Customizable RGB lighting
+ High 8400 DPI; adjustable on-the-fly
+ Sleek Star Wars-inspired design
- Auxiliary buttons are easy to press on accident
- No on-the-fly profile switching; fewer gaming features than the Retikal
- “Sticky” feel and grip; no rubberized surfaces
The Fokus is centered more around style than comfort as it contours less snugly around the palm. As a result, it's difficult to recommend especially when it costs more than either the Symmetre and Retikal. For an all-purpose mouse, the Symmetre is the best bang for the buck while the gaming-centric Retikal offers easy profile switching and a more comfortable grip catered to longer play sessions.