A couple of months with Corsair's Vengeance M60 mouse

It all started with a failing microswitch.

It was the spring of 2011, and I was a perfectly contented MX1100 user. Logitech's latest high-end mouse had treated me well for the previous 12 months, and I was looking forward to many more years of happy use. I loved the shape of the thing. I was enthralled by its soft, punctured rubber grips and the slick, smooth plastic bulge that nestled itself in the crook of my hand. And all those buttons! Oh my. Gleefully, I adjusted DPI levels on the fly, squeezed the free-wheeling toggle to scroll down long Excel documents, and wiggled my thumb to move through my browser history.

Then the left button started registering single clicks as double clicks. The mouse basically became useless.

I e-mailed Logitech support. They told me the MX1100 wasn't in production anymore. Instead, they sent me a Performance Mouse MX, which turned out to be a pretty lousy downgrade. I wrote a whole blog post to moan and whine about it in May of last year, and you can go read it if you're bored. To sum up, the Performance Mouse MX wasn't as comfortable as the MX1100. It didn't have hardware DPI buttons, and it had a shoddy wheel that misinterpreted middle-clicks as attempts to side-scroll half the time. The mouse made up for the missing or botched features with a pointless multitasking thumb button and a "zoom" button I never used. Ugh.

In that old blog post, I pleaded with TR gerbils to recommend a replacement. I badly wanted to ditch Logitech, but I had no idea what else to buy. Reviews for gaming mice from other vendors mentioned nagging little issues, and my desire for a wireless rodent severely limited my options. I spent hours digging through user reviews and message boards. I hummed and hawed and cringed and fretted.

Finally, like anyone who's suffered through a bad relationship, I hung my head and crawled back into the unloving arms of my abuser. I bought a Logitech G700. I told myself that, this time, things would turn out better. This time, I wouldn't find myself regretting my purchase a year down the line. The thing had a five-year warranty, for heaven's sake.

The G700's left button only took eight months to fail. It failed just like the MX1100's left button had failed, by suddenly and irreparably starting to double-click when I only meant to click once. By then, however, a faulty left button was the last of my worries. The G700's small, relatively narrow body had wreaked havoc on my right hand and arm, and long Battlefield 3 sessions exacerbated things to a dangerous extent. I just couldn't go on. I had to find another mouse. My whole right arm, from fingers to shoulder, was a throbbing, tingling mess. I didn't experience actual pain, but the discomfort literally kept me up at night.

So I tried Corsair's Vengeance M60.

The M60 is wired. After almost a decade of wireless mousing, that was a difficult adjustment. I almost gave up. I would have, too, were it not for the M60's shape: wide. Really wide. This mouse is wider than the G700, and it's wider than all the Logitech mice I've used so far. Logitech's G9x is pretty close, but I understand it's slightly narrower. (I've never used it, though.)

After a couple of weeks using the Corsair mouse, that crippling tingling in my arm subsided. It still rears its head when I have to use another mouse on one of my test rigs, but I think the M60's wider shape encouraged a healthier hand posture that untangled trapped nerves and warded off further injury. I don't have particularly large hands or long fingers, but the G700 always felt too narrow, somehow. I find my hand rests more naturally on the M60, with less muscle tension involved.

The M60 doesn't just feel great to hold. It also feels great to use. The buttons have a nice, solid, chunky click to them, and they're positioned just right. The back and forward buttons rest just above my thumb, safely out of the way but not too far out of reach. Corsair has put a red sniper button on the side, too, which you can press and hold to temporarily decrease the tracking speed. You have to stretch your thumb forward a little to reach it—but not too much. And the DPI switch buttons have a gap between them, so you can be sure you'll never hit the wrong one by accident.

I'm also delighted with the middle click. Middle clicking properly on the G700 and Performance Mouse MX involved pushing down at an exact angle. If I strayed too far from that angle, I'd hear the same familiar click, but the mouse would think I was trying to scroll to the side. When I tried to close a tab or load a bookmark, the mouse would essentially ignore my command and do nothing. Pretty frustrating. The M60 gets around that problem by taking side-scrolling out of the picture altogether. It's an unfortunate tradeoff, but I'll take reliable middle-clicking over side-scrolling any day. Logitech's side-scrolling implementation is a little unpredictable, anyhow.

One wheel feature from Logitech mice that I do miss is the free-wheeling toggle. Scrolling down long Excel spreadsheets on the M60 can feel sluggish, and I often end up manually dragging the scroll bar, instead.

The M60 sits atop five Teflon pads that help the mouse glide smoothly, silently, and effortlessly across my desk. Well, they did at first. The feet wore down after a couple of months of heavy use. Now, there's noticeably more friction, and the M60 makes more noise when it's dragged around. The G700 didn't fare any better on my wooden desk, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. I guess I should probably just grab one of those fancy pro gamer mouse pads with an unpronounceable name and a scary price tag. But my desk is cluttered enough as it is.

To make tracking even swifter, Corsair lets you take out three 4-gram weights from the bottom of the mouse. Each weight sits in its own little silo, behind a little manhole cover that can be unscrewed with a coin, screwdriver, or sufficiently overgrown fingernail. I've been using heavy wireless mice weighed down by batteries forever, so I kept the weights in at first. I think I like how light and nimble the M60 feels with the weights out, though.

There's another thing I wish I had done sooner. For some strange reason, Corsair saw fit to install a bright, blue LED light just behind the scroll wheel. The light illuminates the bottom of my monitors and everything else in its path. The only way to disable it is to install the Corsair Vengeance software, which has a little toggle option at the top of the main control panel window. Problem is, I didn't install the software until a few weeks in, because all the buttons worked just fine out of the box, and I have no use for Corsair's fancy macro recording features and DPI tweaks. So, for several weeks, I endured the inexplicably bright blue LED, quietly wishing Corsair had put a switch under the mouse to disable it.

Oh, and the wheel click broke on my unit last week. Since I've never had a wheel actually break on any mouse ever, I assume—hope—that was just a fluke. The mouse does carry a two-year warranty, anyway.

Despite the kinks, I'm happy with the M60. I'm delighted that my right arm doesn't feel like bugs are crawling inside it anymore, and I'm overjoyed that I've finally found such a capable substitute for my old MX1100. I do wish Corsair made a wireless version of the M60, but over these past two months, I've learned to live with the cord. It's a nice cord, too—braided and everything, and there's even a little Velcro tie to bundle it together. Only time will tell if the M60's buttons (the left button, especially) endure my intensive usage regimen. You'll probably see another blog post from me in a year or two addressing that very topic. For now, I'd happily recommend the Vengeance M60 to anyone who wants a solid, comfortable mouse for gaming and general productivity work. At $69.99 before a $10 mail-in rebate, it's quite reasonably priced, too.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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