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HyperX's Pulsefire Surge RGB gaming mouse reviewed

Function with flash

It's the middle of June, and with Computex wrapping, we're now smack in the middle of the Electronics Entertainment Expo. Microsoft announced Halo Infinite, 4A Games announced Metro Exodus, and Bethesda teased the next Elder Scrolls game. All of the above are coming to the PC, too, along with a ton of other tantalizing titles.

You'll want the appropriate gear if you intend to pick up and play any of these games. A fancy keyboard is a good start, but that's a lot more important for a typist. I'd argue that for a gamer, a nice mouse is critical. You need a solid sensor, responsive buttons, and preferably, programmable functions. The HyperX Pulsefire Surge has all that and some RGB LED lighting to top it off. Check out the full specs of HyperX Gaming's new flagship mouse:

HyperX Pulsefire Surge
Interface USB 2.0
Polling rate 1 KHz
Programmable buttons 6
Sensor Pixart PMW3389
Maximum resolution 16,000 DPI
Maximum tracking
450 ips/50 G
Built-in lighting 33-zone RGB LED
Weight (without cable) 100 g
Cable length ≈6 ft (1.8 m)

This isn't HyperX's first rodent. The original Pulsefire FPS mouse was a similar design with six buttons and textured side grips. Its LED lighting accents were red-only, though, and it used a capable-but-still-inferior PMW3310 sensor. Furthermore, it didn't have the programmability of the Pulsefire Surge. It made (and still makes) a fair entry-level gaming mouse, but HyperX's new offering is aimed directly at serious competitors.

As I noted above, the sensor on this mouse is the Pixart PMW3389. People who pay attention to this sort of thing will probably have already deduced that this sensor is an evolution of the PMW3360. It's the next in Pixart's high-end gaming series. The PMW3360 and its variants have graced many great mice, like Logitech's G502 Proteus Core, Corsair's M65 Pro, most of the recent Steelseries Rival mice, and Epicgear's Morpha X. I was really eager to find out if the PMW3389 carried on it predecessor's legacy.

The shape of pointing

As soon as the Pulsefire Surge came in, I plugged it in and proceeded to fool around. Out of the box, it came with three DPI presets: 800, 1600, and 3200. The 1600-DPI preset felt immediately familiar, which wasn't really surprising. That's the DPI setting I use on my Steelseries Rival 500. The close relation between the sensors no doubt played a major part in the similar feel of the pointer propellers.

If you're comfortable with the feel of one of Pixart's recent IR LED mouse sensors, you'll feel right at home with this mouse. Just like mice based on the PMW3360, it tracks flawlessly no matter how rapidly you move your hands. I could present a page of Mousetester charts proving it, but I don't really feel like this sensor has anything to prove, even though this is the first mouse we've tested with it. It's flawless, and HyperX's engineers didn't try to fix what wasn't broken, so kudos to them for that.

A mouse is more than a sensor, though. The body of the Pulsefire Surge is a simple symmetrical design that recalls basic OEM mice. While this sort of shape isn't likely to rustle any feathers, it also isn't especially interesting or ergonomic. I like a more sculpted form, but some people—including many competitive gamers—prefer this kind of shape. If you've held a mouse in the last 10 years, you know what this thing feels like. It fits in my hand well enough, and glides freely on its oversized PTFE-coated feet.

I've brought this up before, but I have small hands for a guy my size. I found the Pulsefire Surge to be just a smidgen too large for my hands. That means for most that are reading this, it will probably be perfect or even a bit small. The buttons are placed in exactly the spots you expect when holding it, and they're all extremely easy to press. That can be an upside or a downside depending on how heavily you like to rest your fingers on the mouse. I didn't have many accidental clicks, but certainly more than with my Rival 500.

I'd usually take this moment to call special attention to some aspect of the mouse's performance or shape that stuck out to me, but there's really nothing to say. This is a decidedly basic mouse with a top-tier sensor. Its 100-gram weight is on the lighter side, which again caters to competitive gamers. For folks who don't want a lot of fuss and simply want to plug in and play, this mouse has an extremely flat learning curve and highly compatible shape. Let's check out the HyperX NGenuity software real fast.