A World's First 

The last time I looked at Saitek kit it involved speakers but this time it is a different type of beastie.

What is red or blue; has its own set of weights; six buttons; and has on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment?  As an additional clue, I will also throw in that it is a world first.  If you are still puzzled then perhaps I should reveal that the item in question is the new GM3200 Laser Mouse developed by Saitek.


This is not a shrinking violet of a mouse.  For a start this USB connected mouse is of the bulky variety.  The USB plug is gold plated while the mouse itself is quite distinctive with regards to its colour scheme and accoutrements.  The red version of this mouse, which I have been using recently, has a mottled effect that gradually moved from red to orange as it gets nearer to the rear.  The rear is also where you will discover a light that pulsates through various colours as it displays the Saitek name.  There is also a red glow emanating from the top of the device and a smaller blue light indicating the chosen resolution setting.


The standard left and right mouse buttons are constructed of soft-touch, non-slip rubber, as are the side panels on this mouse to help with the grip.  A rubberised wheel and two task specific buttons complete the top mounted controls while two further buttons are located on the left side of the mouse.  The positioning of these side mounted buttons, which are programmable as is the wheel click control, emphasise that this mouse is more suited to a right handed user rather than those who prefer the left hand.


Not only is the GM3200 model the first mouse to offer 3200 dpi capability but it also allows the user to switch between settings of 800/1600/2400/3200 dpi.  This switching task is achieved by using one of the two extra buttons on top of the mouse.  As the dpi changes, and the speed of the mouse adjusts according, so the blue light mentioned previously will move up and down a row to indicate the selected setting. 


The second top-mounted button is used to switch between two modes that can be created for particular games using the supplied software.  Programmable buttons can have different assigned tasks for each mode.  Switching between the two modes can be carried out at any time even mid game.


Earlier I mentioned that this mouse comes with its own set of weights.  In total there are seven weights concealed in two compartments found on the base of the mouse.  At the front of the mouse is a compartment with two weights while the rear compartment contains five weights.  By removing individual weights you can make slight adjustments to the speed of the mouse as it moves across various surfaces.  You can also reverse the compartment covers that have Teflon feet on one side.  The result of this reversal is meant to adjust any friction between the mouse and the chosen surface. While I was unable to detect any difference with regards to the adjustable friction, there was a difference in the on-screen movement of the mouse cursor.


The mouse's various illumination effects are little more than window dressing but these do not detract from its overall performance.  This mouse is more suited to the game player who will appreciate the increased dpi and ability to switch between user-defined modes at the touch of a button.  Saitek has priced the GM3200, which requires Windows 2000/XP to get the full functionality, at £29.99.


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