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A user's choice of mouse is probably the one most influenced by personal taste. Pretty much any mouse can move the cursor around, but gamers and others who use their computer day in and day out can become very particular about the shape, button placement, and other aspects of their pointing device. In that light, it's difficult for me to evaluate the $50 HyperX Pulsefire without including my Logitech G302 in the picture.

The Pulsefire has a fine Pixart optical sensor with specifications that look better on paper than in HyperX's four-DPI-level implementation. The overall build quality of the two mice is nearly identical: both offer a mousing experience free from any creaking plastic joints, sharp edges, or unpleasant-feeling materials. Both manufacturers tout 20-million-click primary switches. The HyperX's scroll wheel has tighter detents and less side-to-side play than my old Logitech, which is a reassuing feeling under the finger.

However, Logitech offers an unobtrusive software package that allows the type of tuning and tweaking that I think gamers and power users expect from an enthusiast peripheral these days. I normally appreciate the no-software approach, but I've come to expect some way to control basic things like integrated lighting through pre-defined button combinations or sequences.

By omitting any kind of utility software, HyperX provides no way to make fine adjustments to sensitivity or lighting effect or intensity. That's a tradeoff that can work for a relatively straightforward peripheral like a keyboard, but it doesn't translate as well to a more multi-purpose and multi-function device like a mouse.

Those complaints are mostly born from my personal preferences, however. For those who are fine with full-intensity red illumination and one of HyperX's four pre-set sensitivity settings anyway, or who simply don't care about that stuff enough to adjust it, the Pulsefire has a lot to like at a reasonable price point. It's a solid first entry into the highly competitive world of gaming peripherals, and perhaps a more tweakable version that's more to my liking will come along in the future.

As an aside, the Fury Pro Gaming mouse pad HyperX sent with the Pulsefire is a total winner. The base material HyperX chose is three to four millimeters thick, and it provides a good cushion when resting one's wrists on a mousing surface. A keyboard can rest on the left side of the mouse pad, and one can move the mouse over this surface uninterrupted until it is touching the keyboard. The bottom of the pad is covered in a high-friction textured rubber that makes it almost impossible to move the pad laterally.

The Fury Pro's $30 price tag seems high for something as simple as a mouse pad, but the materials seem to be high quality with a slick cloth top and embroidered edges. The original unit has earned a permanent place at my primary desktop system, and I will be buying a second unit for use with the laptop I use for writing away from my basement-bound main rig.

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