[REVIEW] Genius Deathtaker mouse & Imperator Pro keyboard
During Computex this year we got introduced to Genius’s new line of gaming peripherals, branded as “GX Gaming”. Genius was kind to provide us with a Deathtaker mouse and Imperator Pro keyboard. Both accessories have switchable color LED light “under the bonnet” and turned out to make a proper gaming kit.
Specifications Deathtaker mouse
“The DeathTaker is a highly specialized MMO/RTS professional gaming laser mouse from the GX gaming series by Genius. A built-in over-clocking SG Core II engine permits a user-adjustable dpi range from 100 to 5,700 so you can move about the battlefield with breathtaking grace and deadly precision. Additionally, its weight and macro settings are fully customizable so you can become an unstoppable force ready to conquer any challenge, quest or formidable foe in MMO/RTS games.”
- USB data format: 16 Bits
- On board memory enabled
- Sleeping mode: disabled
- Switch lifecycle: up to 8 million
- Weight of click button: 50-90g
- Noise level of click button: Less then 50dB
- 3u gold-plated 1.8m braided USB cable
The Deathtaker mouse is actually a very pretty thing. It has an illuminated strip inside the scrolling wheel and the GX Gaming logo at the bottom of the left button is illuminated. The LED can be set to about any of the 16 million colors you can think of. Default it comes preset in red; with the software supplied you can switch it, dim it, turn the LED off, …
Next to the left button you’ll find 2 buttons (X and Y) who make better back-and-forth buttons than the 2 on the left side next to the GX Gaming logo. We found these 2 buttons at the side too small and unpractical, even when browsing the web you tend to press both or rather the one you didn’t want to press (obviously that is a personal opinion). Further, you have a 5 step “D” button right below the scrolling wheel; pressing the “D” button will increase/decrease the sensitivity of the mouse (very handy as I may say so). There is one more button left to cover, and that’s the “M” button that switches the mode of the mouse (solid color, flickering LED, LED’s off). Due to the built-in memory chip, this mouse works fantastic on Apple computers too, without requiring special drivers (Something certain big brand mice manufacturers could learn from). Obviously not all keys work, but the sensitivity increase/decrease button and scroll wheel worked flawless under OSX. Note: All tests were performed on a Genius GX-Speed mouse pad.
Lastly, this mouse comes with software/UI called “Scorpion Laser”. This scorpion is depicted on the right side cover, which hides a rubber holder where the 6 <adjustable> weights go (each 4.5Gr). But you can definitely fool your friends and tell them the logo was inspired by Columbian cartel, the hidden department facilitates your smuggling purposes and comes with a rubber canister that can hold up to 6 eX pills… <inside joke>.
Specifications Imperator Pro keyboard
“Meticulously designed and engineered specifically for the professional MMORPG/RTS gamer, the Imperator Pro is the latest backlit gaming keyboard from the GX gaming family. A 16 million RGB backlight color spectrum provides immersive visual ambience, while an incorporated brightness switch with four levels ensures that you will never miss a key while playing in the dark.”
- USB 2.0 interface
- On board memory enabled
- Polling rate up to 1,000Hz
- Travel distance: 3.8 ± 0.2 mm
- Key switch life: 10,000,000 cycles
- 104/105/106/107key enhanced Windows layout
- 3u gold-plated 1.8m braided USB cableM
- 16M RGB backlight system brightness switch: 33%/66%/100%/Pause-break/OFF
- 6 programmable macro key: assign up to 18 macro keys
Note: This keyboard has 2 USB ports on the back side for convenience, the less convenient part however is the fact that the keyboard itself requires 2 quite thick USB headers who both need to be plugged in if you want the backlit features to work. The thick headers fit a neighbour pair of your motherboard’s ports, but it “looks more healthy” if you put them both in different USB ports (for example the one on top another). The question why they chose this type of big USB header remains unclear, definitely not for ease of use if you ask us.
Imagine your average external keyboard, add 6 macro keys to the left side, add the media buttons (play, pause, next, prev,…) on top, next to the media buttons you add 3 color-profile keys and an illumination switch key, and you get a rough imaginative idea on how the Imperator Pro looks. It does feature a built in memory chip to store the preset values, just like the Deathtaker mouse.
To jump out of the mass, this Imperator Pro features a palm support area that’s part of the keyboard (as in: the complete keyboard and support area are 1 mold). Normally I tend to remove palm supports because they always tend to make a sound when leaned on an never seem to feel really pleasant for me to type on. Here I couldn’t remove it but due to the low profile and rough feeling to it, I say it was very comfy to type on.
Key presses are fairly silent, in fact it’s very moderate in “bash sounds”, which is very good for its target niche: the gamers audience. The keys can be custom set (both macro and regular keys) and preset and assigned to the 3 top profile-keys. However the keyboard isn’t limited to three, you can assign additional profiles to about any other key you like. Oh and before I forget to mention, the keyboard CAN NOT be set to the rainbow gradient as depicted on the box, it’s a 1 color limitation.
The illumination control key on top itself doesn’t really feel it serves much purpose. What it does is switch the illumination option that controls the speed you want the keys to flicker (or keep the light steady). The color-profile keys in essence change the keyboards backlit color (which you change in the software), pressing them multiple times changes the “flickering” pattern of the leds. Note: you can turn the illumination off or choose a steady constant light source.
The Deathtaker mouse requires some getting used to at first, the grip and feeling is slightly different than most common mice out there. The slight horizontal slope from right to left key give this mouse a very pleasant feeling to work with. One of the main things we admired about this mouse is that Genius actually says, “It’s an MMORPG/RPG/RTS oriented mouse”, because it really returns an excellent feeling when you use it for drag/drop/click actions. For FPS we’d rather say “It ain’t bad” but strongly advice you to look at Genuis’s Maurus, which is optimized for the more speedy/aim-perfect work.
We should mention the braided cable on this mouse is certainly a very nice feature, braided cables mean your cable wont stick/disrupt your mouse movement during gameplay.
About the Imperator Pro keyboard we weren’t very dazzled. Not for the fact that it doesn’t type right, because this is an excellent comfy keyboard. What bothered us the most were 2 prominent design flaws:
1) The left side profile keys were too close to the Shift and Caps Lock key, during fast paced gameplay they got hit accidentally, most of the time resulting in getting yourself killed in-game.
2) The font used for the keys is abominable. Small stripes in-between letters (imagine the little stripe in the letter ‘A’ or the middle one in ‘E’) are replaced by small 45° turned square cubes. The font used for the other caps is too special and bold to be appreciated for office usage. Yes we know, office usage is not its prime goal, but we imagine you don’t swap keyboards on the fly, do you?
Making either the caps height a bit lower or increase the LED bulbs’ brightness would also not harm the overall usability.
A thing you will probable notice about both the keyboard and mouse is that the “millions of colors” proclaimed by the manufacturer aren’t always so representative, for example: khaki green will return you a golden looking color that doesn’t really reflect the RGB on the screen. Oh and don’t use it with new computers who require a fresh install, chances that the BIOS will not respond to F-keys during boot is very high (actually we had to use a “simple” keyboard to get into the BIOS of 3 boards we tested). And for some reason it didn’t work well when used on Apple computers (but we didn’t particularly spent a huge amount of time on that AND of course this is an All Windows keyboard, so can’t really complain on that behalf).
In short we would say the Deathtaker mouse is an excellent piece of craft and we would certainly recommend anybody (either hardcore gamer, recreational gamer or PC user looking for a good mouse). The Imperator Pro keyboard is a good device if you’re using it for RTS/MMORPG/RPG gaming, the abundance in macro possibilities shines here. However if you are looking for a combo work/play keyboard, the special key font and left macro keys might get stuck up your nose pretty fast.