Benchmark, Drivers, EVGA’s Perspective, Pricing, and Conclusion
Because this was my first, real mouse review, I did not have any prior methods of benchmarking mice. Also, because the pre-order period is almost over, I gave myself a hard cutoff. In that time, I only came up with one benchmark: "How quick can I double-click each button?" The idea is simple, measure the time between when the mouse fires a "button up" event to when I can make it fire a "button down" event again.
Okay, so I didn't put too much time into how it looks…
Ideally, it would be backed up with other tests, but I did not have time to continue. For instance, the mushy feeling, mentioned in the first page, of the side buttons could be identified here. Or, if the "button up" event is fired when the button is nearly released, it could have a deceptively short time to re-press because all of the "lag time" is ignored by the test, after the mouse reports its button is pressed but before the button bottoms out.
Some ideas for further testing are:
- How many presses can I make in a short period of time?
- How long is the button held when I intend to make a quick press?
- How quickly can I react to an event the screen with each button and each mouse?
Also, this benchmark was performed using the mouse as I would hold it in normal use. This means that thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse will be activated by my ring finger, not my thumb. This might seem like a limitation, but it helps factor in how uncomfortable certain buttons are to press.
Each test was run 12 times, with one high and one low value dropped (as well as any obvious mistakes) to make an average of 10 trials, per button.
EVGA Torq X10 Double-Click Benchmark Results (Lower is Better)
Razer Naga 2014 Left-handed Double-Click Benchmark Results (Lower is Better)
As you can see, the right mouse button (index finger) appears to be slightly slower for me to activate than the left mouse button (middle finger). This could be my skill or it could be an actual difference in the button itself. This is especially confusing as the other test, on my Razer Naga, suggests that I have a slightly faster response with my right mouse button (albeit with a higher variance).
The side buttons actually had a fairly fast response. I expect this is a limitation of the benchmark, however. My theory is that the activation and deactivation point is so early that mouse of the press was uncounted. (Again, the benchmark starts to count when the button is released and finishes counting when the button is pressed again, hence double click.) The left buttons seem very slow, but that is just how slow my ring finger is to press buttons in quick succession.
While this is not a Razer Naga review, thumb buttons 1 through 12 really highlight how easy some buttons are to press for me (particularly 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9) while others are in a place that my thumb just does not want to be (ex: thumb 10).
I might revisit this review in the future and add a few other benchmarks to it, but I ran out of time for this one. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen!
Let me be blunt, I hate peripheral drivers. Ideally, every OS would recognize every button of every device individually, and include options for me to bind it however I like. But of course, OS support for complex chaining of input commands is a pipe dream. (Oh, you didn't expect a command line pun, did you!?) Sometimes, they are a necessary addition, though, and EVGA makes some very nice software suites. You might use EVGA Precision X to overclock your video cards, even if you did not buy it from EVGA, because of how well it works (and that might lead you to buy an EVGA card in the future).
This software is, likewise, very well designed. It allows you to store multiple profiles and macros, and it lets you choose whether to store it on the mouse or on the host computer. It also allows you to change the lighting color and set up macros. For a first attempt at a macro assigner, it is pretty good. It is not perfect, as I have noticed a few glitches and limitations, but no more than I have experienced in Razer Synapse 2.0 — and Razer has been doing this for a lot longer than EVGA.
The part which really interested me was the "OS" tab in its "Advanced Settings" tab, which gathers various OS-specific options in an easy-to-modify place. From this driver, you can disable Mouse Acceleration and adjust other properties in the host system. I believe this is a nicer user experience than requiring for them to know that "Enhance pointer precision" in Windows' mouse properties, pointer options tab means "Annoy gamers with variable pointer speed".
During the review, I had a small discussion with EVGA over a few points.
- I asked about the apparent difference between the left and right mouse button response. At this point, I had not run (or even created) my benchmark to quantify it. EVGA responded that "there should be no difference in the mouse feel" and if there is a difference "the top cover may not be fully seated or damaged".
- I asked about the side buttons "feeling mushy" most likely due to how far they travel. EVGA acknowledged my experience, noting that the buttons are connected to the actual switch at the base of the mouse. They believe it, despite the "mushy" sensation, should still feel responsive. I agree, the buttons do feel responsive.
- I mentioned that I really liked the OS settings panel in the drivers and asked if they will expand it in the future. Their response is that they knew gamers "are not too fond" of angle snapping and mouse acceleration. They might expand it with other options based on user feedback.
- I suggested that EVGA expands their seven color choices (plus a brightness slider) to a full color picker, because it looks like the hardware can physically support it. They acknowledged the feedback and seem interested in exploring the possibility.
- I brought up Linux and Mac OSX support, of course. There are no plans at the moment, but might be added based on user feedback.
- I asked about a future version with a tilt-wheel. They do not have any plans to do so at the moment, believing that Logitech has that technology patented, but did suggest that two new, lower-end Torq models (X3 and X5) will appear later in the year, in Laser and Optical versions.
Pricing and Conclusion
The EVGA Torq X10 is a pretty good mouse, especially considering it is a first revision. I would recommend it to users who want a symmetric, nine-button mouse with a few fine-tuning options for comfort. Also, its drivers are simply done right, minus a few issues here and there (but just as good as even their established competitors). I did find the side buttons mushy and I am also not comfortable with the expandable weight compartment lid being a part of the mouse buttons but, at the moment, they are just noticeable oddities and critiques, not problems.
The price is very notable, though. At $99, the EVGA Torq X10 runs against mice like the Razer Taipan which are priced at about $79. It has some features that the Razer mouse does not, namely its removable weights and its adjustable top arch. On the other hand, at its pre-order price, $50, the Torq X10 is very compelling and begs the question: "How can they get away with selling it at that price?" This arrangement is certainly confusing, especially if you ponder how the upcoming X3 and X5 models will sit in the stack. On the other-other hand, it is at $50 and its obvious competitors are at $79 — why think about the issue any more than that? That is, of course, if you are looking for a symmetric, nine-button mouse.
In my previous reviews, I refused to assign badges to keyboards because they are so personal. I have since changed my mind, because other reviewers have given medals to devices even if they are intended for a niche of a niche. Unfortunately, I do not feel that I have enough data yet. If I assign the EVGA Torq X10 an award, it will be in a revisit. Currently, it feels like a high Silver Award, but I want to leave room for that to go up or down if a new benchmark unearths something.