A Closer Look
|Inside the packaging we find the mouse, install CD and a users manual. A manual for a mouse you say, why yes. You see this mouse does have a couple of extra features that most mice do not have. I do suggest that you spend a few minutes looking through the book to see what exactly all the buttons can do.
The manual explains the layout of the mouse and the proper way of using each button in a total of 10 different languages.
SilverStone even suggest a few ways to hold the mouse while playing different styles of games. This could be useful if you fill at some point that it does not feel comfortable in your hand or hard to reach buttons.
So lets stat looking at the mouse and we first turn our attention the heart of the beast the Laser. The sensor is a Philips PLN2030 twin-eye laser. Doing a little searching I found “The PLN2030, which is the latest addition to Philips Laser Sensors’ twin-eye laser portfolio, delivers positional resolutions as high as 3200 counts per inch, independently programmable in both the X and Y direction, and can track accelerations up to 50g.” Not to bad at all a 400 to 3200 DPI range. If you look closely you will notice something. The sensor is right in the middle of the mouse. This is one of the features it touts. Four Teflon pads give the mouse its glide and slide on any surface.
Down at the lower end of the mouse in the image above we find a switch that controls the different modes that the mouse can run in. Normal would be for the everyday usage in Windows and the Game mode would be, well for gaming. What this does is set up the button to do different functions in each of the modes. Having the switch on the bottom is a safe place to put and it really is no trouble at all picking up the mouse and selecting the mode you need to use. I mean are you ever going to be in a mad rush to switch to the Game mode? “Dude were getting our a%& kicked in COD4 you got to come in!”.
OK lets flip this thing over and see what we have to look at. The mouse is made from high strength plastic with a real carbon fiber inlay for the palm rest. That might be a good thing as I have pounded on my mouse more than once screaming “NO WAY! YOU HACK! YOU HACKER!” Uh like you have never done that, yeah right. The Raven mouse is a USB 2.0 (16-bit data format) and comes with a cable that is 180cm / 5.9 ft long. More than enough length to connect to a PC. The one thing that you will notice right away about the SilverStone Raven mouse is the amount of buttons it has and at last count there were a total of 11! I can only type with about four fingers and this thing has 11 buttons, WOW! Well we better start looking at them then.
Looking at the right side of the mouse we see that it looks fairly normal, but it has the addition of two buttons that we don’t see on some other mice. These two added buttons, in the “Normal Mode”, are used for the Page Up/Page Down function and in the gaming mode they are programmable, which we will talk about later.
Looking down the front of the mouse we see the left and right click buttons, a scroll wheel and two other buttons. The surface of these two have either been coated with something or are made up of a different material than the rest of the mouse. But it does give you a non slip/grip feel. The scroll wheel has a very soft rubber piece for comfort that is also grooved for traction. The rolling of the wheel is smooth and precise with just enough feed back to let you know that you have moved the wheel in either direction. Moving back on the mouse we see two more buttons that do different things in the two modes. In the Normal mode they are used to scroll left or right, since the scroll does not tilt. In the Game mode you use these two to adjust the DPI of the X and y axis in conjunction with the side scroll wheel. A nice feature to have when you need to do some fine tuning while in a game.
Continuing our travels on the mouse we come to a space behind the two rocker style buttons that houses a mini LCD display. The LCD is an OLED that has a pixel size, 128 x 32. The information that is displayed here is very easy to read and I think it has some great potential further down the road. Now, like any mouse we approach it from the rear. Here we get a nice look at the carbon fiber palm rest section and it highly gloss finish. At this point and time we can see that the mouse is a right hand mouse, with a slight cure to the right. The fell of it gave them the comfort as my old, old Logitech mouse once did. It has been hard to find one that was built like it, but the SilverStone Raven come very close to it.
A few more buttons adorn the mouse and the next two are located on the left side, but not in the normal position as other mice have them. These two levers, like most of the other buttons, have two modes. I the Normal mode they are use to go forward and backwards but when switch over to the Game mode you can program them to do other functions.
Well I know you have seen this in the other images have have probably been asking yourself, “what the heck is that thing?” To be honest I said those same words when I first saw it at CES 2008. What this is is an adjustment wheel for “On the fly” DPI tuning in the Game mode (it does other stuff too but that is later). While pressing either of the two center buttons , that we talked about earlier, above the scroll wheel you can adjust the X or Y axis. Doing this is a bit tricky and will take some practice to use in the heat of a battle while in a game.
I like to affectionately call it the Fish Eye…lol
Another feature that SilverStone talks about is how the mouse is balanced. The weight of the entire mouse is centered perfectly for a great feel when you move the mouse about. I know you have felt in the past that certain mice fell heavier on one side or the other. Or that the front is much harder to push around than the rear. Heck even some manufactures supply you with weights so that you can balance the mouse. That is not needed here with the Raven and you certainly feel the difference.