Sharkoon Light² 200 gaming mouse hands-on: Feather-light but full of features
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Sharkoon is a company that was founded back in 2003 and has been developing various "Designed in Germany" products such as PC cases, gaming chairs, keyboards, storage solutions, and more ever since. Today, we will talk about the company's lightest wired gaming mouse so far, namely the Light² 200.
Introduction & Packaging
To start with, I have to thank Sharkoon and technikPR for providing the Light² 200 and an awesome Skiller SGP2 gaming mouse mat to go with it — all my thanks go to Laura Stiemer who sent me the review unit and had answers to all my questions.
While this might not be a particularly expensive mouse — depending on the retailer, it can be acquired for less than US$50, the Sharkoon Light² 200 comes in a box that looks great, provides all the essential information, and it contains more than just the mouse itself. Since Sharkoon does not provide any information about how many miles the feet of this mouse can last, the company simply added a set of replacements. Even better, there are three DPI buttons to choose from, as well as a replacement for the top side — the honeycomb one that comes on the mouse can be easily exchanged for the closed alternative which only weighs 3 grams more.
These being said, we should move on and talk about the specs and features that are easy to spot on all sides of the retail box, as mentioned earlier.
Specs & Features
Until I got to use this Sharkoon device for the first time, I never thought too much about the weight when choosing a new mouse. When I checked the numbers carefully and discovered that my old Logitech G400 is two times heavier than the Light² 200, I finally realized that, in the future, I should always pay attention to this detail. At 62 (honeycomb pattern lid) or 65 (closed lid) grams — without the cable, the Sharkoon Light² 200 definitely lives up to the "ultra lightweight gaming mouse" description found on the retail box.
Without further ado, these are the other technical specs that a potential buyer should be aware of:
- PixArt PMW 3389 optical sensor with a (software-adjustable) resolution between 50 and 16,000 DPI.
- Polling rate — adjustable via a hardware switch — of 125, 500, or 1,000 Hz.
- Omron D2FC-F-7N switches for the main keys with a generous life cycle of up to 20 million clicks.
- Two thumb buttons and one DPI button.
- Measurements — 120 x 66 x 42 mm (4.72 x 2.6 x 1.65 in).
- Five durable feet made of 100 percent PTFE — no life-time guarantee to talk about, but replacements are included in the retail package as well.
- 400 IPS maximum speed and 50 G maximum acceleration.
- Customizable RGB lighting with 16.8 million colors.
- Lift-off distance of 2-3 mm.
- 12 ms default click latency, but a 4 ms firmware update is also available for download.
- 64 kB kb onboard memory for game profiles (can store five different profiles).
- Textile braided cable with a length of 180 cm (70.87 in).
Build quality & Design traits
Since Sharkoon used a honeycomb structure for the entire case of the mouse, except the buttons, some might be inclined to consider it a rather frail piece of hardware. Fortunately, that is not the case. While it might be different from other gaming mice due to this build solution, every part of it feels rock-solid. To conclude this part about the build quality of the Sharkoon Light² 200 ultra lightweight gaming mouse, I must add one detail: The USB connector is gold-plated and is also personalized — with "Sharkoon" stylized text on one side and "sharkoon.com" on the other.
Leaving the build quality aside, I must say that the design has — in my opinion — a minor flaw, at least for those used to working with larger mice that are easier to grip and are often lifted from the pad. The accurate, high-sensitivity sensor and the low weight of the Sharkoon Light² 200 make lifting the mouse something that no longer needs to happen, but old habits die hard and I often found myself trying to pick it up without much success due to its shape (the G400 has a very pronounced bump on the right side that makes this a very easy task).
The Sharkoon Light² 200 is a mouse for right-handers with a raised left side that is curved inwards and a right side with a gentle outwards curve. This is a rather common design that simply works, allowing for comfortable use in all main grip styles — fingertip, palm, and claw. Being a palm grip person, I got to enjoy using this mouse pretty fast, although the previous mouse that I mentioned earlier is completely different, shape-wise.
The scroll wheel works and feels great, and the same can be said about the two buttons on the left side of the mouse. The polling rate switch is placed on the bottom side, near the optical sensor. There are no markings, but the mouse lights will flash each time the switch is used. This is not a switch used too often and if there are no issues, it should be pushed all the way down to the 1,000 Hz setting just once and left untouched after that.
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Daily use and software
When it comes to gaming accessories, being able to enjoy their essential features without the help of a software companion is great, although this is often impossible. In this case, the onboard memory of the Sharkoon Light² 200 can handle five gaming profiles, each including the DPI custom presets, RGB lighting adjustments, macros, button assignment, as well as the advanced settings that can also be found in Windows — at least some of them — sensitivity, scroll speed, double-click speed, and lift-off distance. Even better, the user can switch between the existing lighting effects and profiles without the help of the software — thumb button 1 + right click and thumb button 2 + left click + right click are the combos assigned for these two actions.
The software of many gaming accessories currently on the market, including some that belong to the big names in the industry, is frequently lacking in many areas. I even encountered a few gaming mice that look and feel great, but the apps that should improve them even further are simply atrocious. Fortunately, the Sharkoon software looks and works great.
The aforementioned software has five main areas — Button Assignment, DPI Settings, Illumination, Advanced Settings, and Macro Manager. Its interface is user friendly, intuitive, and uses the same color scheme as the retail box. The app can be used to save and load profiles in the RHC file format.
DPI settings can be adjusted in 50 DPI steps and, if needed, the user can pick different sensitivity values for vertical and horizontal movements. I always considered this setting a "must have" due to the fact that, in most games — and even in daily office tasks — I need my mouse to be more sensitive when performing left-right movements than when looking up and down.
Each button of the mouse can be used for more than just its basic function or a macro command. The Fire key, for example, can be used to issue multiple clicks at once — between 1 and 255, to be accurate. Holding a button pressed after assigning the Aim key function to it allows for accurate aim (or pixel-precise selection in an image, to pick another task that requires low sensitivity) in the 50 - 500 DPI range.
The list of multimedia commands available consists of the usual such shortcuts one would expect — open media player, play/pause, next track, previous track, stop, mute, volume up, volume down, e-mail, calculator, open Explorer, and web home. When using the mouse for office tasks, it might come in handy to assign one of these basic commands: cut, copy, paste, undo, delete, save, and print.
Although I did not say much about the lighting, this mouse really made me change my opinion in regard to RGB illuminated mice — Sharkoon definitely got things right and the Light² 200 looks great no matter the settings used. Obviously, those who do not want lights can simply choose the LED OFF setting and forget about the RGB illumination feature.
I should be honest and say that I have been using the Sharkoon Light² 200 with my old aluminum mouse pad. The Skiller SGP2 gaming mouse mat that I mentioned earlier looks and feels great, but I just can't fit it on my desk due to the space occupied by my speaker stands. No matter if I use the mouse on my metallic pad, on a piece of paper, or directly on the desk, it always works as it should.
My final thoughts
Priced around the €50/US$50 sweet spot — depending on the location and retailer, of course — this mouse provides great value thanks to its very low weight, accurate sensor, very good build quality, and excellent software. The retail package is very generous, providing both flexibility and extended lifetime to this accessory.
When using the honeycomb lid, the inside of the mouse is quite exposed to dust. Even with the closed lid, the sides still allow dust to get inside the mouse. Unfortunately, I can't tell yet if this has a negative impact in the long run or not. Given the excellent software mentioned above, I can only wish for one thing: At least two additional buttons. I've seen complaints about the cable or the dim RGB LEDs, but I don't think there's anything wrong with any of them.
These being said, if I had to describe the Sharkoon Light² 200 in a single word, that word would be "excellent", without any trace of doubt.