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Thermaltake Challenger Pro Gaming Keyboard & Black Gaming Mouse review

The design of the Black Gaming mouse matches the futuristic theme of the Challenger keyboards perfectly. As the name suggests, this Thermaltake product is entirely black but not the entire surface is finished with the same tone. The sides of the mouse are darker than the center and a glossy plastic surrounds the mouse wheel. The textured matte “rubberized” paint improves grip and comfort. It also makes it impossible for fingerprints to form. This mouse is asymmetrical and designed for right-handed people, so it will be at the very least uncomfortable to use if you are used to handling a mouse with your left hand.

Another noteworthy part is the braided USB cable with the gold-plated connector. We are certain that the gold plating is more of a marketing trick than anything else but the braided USB cable does a great job by reducing the cable’s friction and increasing its hardness, allowing the cable to follow the movements of the mouse more freely. Finally, it also significantly improves the durability of the cable.

In an effort to improve the grip of the mouse even further, Thermaltake added a rubberized area with small bumps on the left side of the mouse, right over where the gamer’s thumb will be. They also installed a single browser forward/back button. By using either the top or the middle of your thumb, you can either move forward or backwards while browsing.

The center section mouse wheel is notched in order to improve precision and grip, while its sides are clear to allow for the lighting effect to manifest. Right below the mouse wheel Thermaltake installed two buttons, intended to be used to control the DPI level of the mouse “on the fly”. If you are the kind of person who does not ever change the sensitivity of the mouse while gaming, you can also re-program these keys to perform other functions through the included software. At the left top side of the mouse Thermaltake placed four LEDs which indicate the current DPI setting of the mouse. While we were using the mouse, we realized why Thermaltake made the area around the wheel glossy and not rubberized like the rest of the mouse; it actually allows your finger to skid better while using the wheel by limiting friction down to an absolute minimum.

The underside of the mouse is plastic, with the exception of the large Teflon feet. According to its specifications, this mouse is using the Philips 4000 laser engine which is capable of delivering a sensitivity of up to 4000 DPI. This sensor specifications include a response time of 1ms and a polling rate of 1MHz, meaning that it sends tracking data to the computer up to 1000 times per second.

A door at the underside of the mouse hides the extra five 4.5gr weights which Thermaltake installed for some limited weight tuning, all of which are pre-installed inside the mouse. Unfortunately the five 4.5gr weights can only reduce the weight of the mouse by 22.5gr total, which is a small fraction compared to the total weight of the mouse.

Much like the Challenger Pro keyboard, the Black Gaming mouse glows red in the dark. Not the entire mouse, only the company logo at the top front side of the body and the sides of the mouse wheel. Some illumination beneath the mouse would look amazing but we suspect that it could reduce or hinder the accuracy of the sensor. 

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