IR sensors, Xbox-style buttons infiltrate Thermaltake mice

Among other products, Thermaltake is showing a bunch of new mouse designs at CES this year. One of the most intriguing is the Volos, which looks a little like a console crossover. The left side of the mouse features four colored buttons similar to those one might find on an Xbox controller.

Our own Scott Wasson got his hands on the Volos, and he says the buttons don't interfere with gripping the mouse. He also likes the shape and overall feel, including the button action. There are more buttons than the multi-colored cluster, of course. The left side has three more thumb buttons, and the right adds another three within range of your pinkie. An additional two buttons sit under the scroll wheel, presumably to provide on-the-fly DPI adjustment.

Most modern mice rely on lasers and to track movement. However, a new version of Thermaltake's Theron mouse takes a different path. An infrared sensor sits inside this particular rodent, and Thermaltake says the IR guts provide "smoother" movement than laser mice. Surprisingly, though, the sensor's 4,000-DPI resolution is a little on the low side for a "pro-gaming mouse." We may have to get one of these in-house for testing to see whether the IR sensor really offers smoother tracking than a good laser-based mouse.

A trade show can't go by without Thermaltake rolling out a fresh take on its Level 10 M gaming mouse. For CES this year, there are new colors: red, yellow, and pink to complement the black, white, and green designs we've seen before. If only the pink version were more magenta and less bubble gum.

Pink has also infiltrated a special Prime edition of Thermaltake's Meka G1 mechanical keyboard. This particular product was designed in collaboration with a professional Starcraft 2 team, which chose the Cherry MX Brown switches and gaudy unique color combination. If you prefer something a little more subdued, Meka models are also available in black, white, and green. And yes, even the white versions look more sedate than the red-and-pink Prime variant.

The Meka line now includes models with LED backlighting and different switch types. Interestingly, Thermaltake is considering offering a keyboard featuring Cherry MX Green switches. As far as I can tell, these switches are stiffer than the Cherry MX Blues but have a similar tactile bump and clicky sound. Sounds like a good option for heavy-handed folks who don't mind a little keyboard chatter.

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