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ces 2009

Forgotten CES: Silverstone Raven mouse quickie hands-on

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CES is over, but I’m still finding things on my camera that I never got to report. For instance, I saw the Silverstone booth and thought they might be showing their Raven mouse. Its most obvious feature is that enormous scrolling thumb-wheel, which few if any mice have something comparable to. I gave it a quick spin while on the lookout for booth babes.

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The size of the mouse is good, but there are so many pieces and materials to the thing that it’s difficult to call it solid. It didn’t creak under the pressure of my hand or anything, but it didn’t reassure me either. The luminous thumb wheel also sports a big round button on it, which was easy to press. The wheel itself was not very intuitive, but if you’re used to having on on your MX Revolution or even your cell phone, it won’t come as quite as much of a surprise. The buttons in front of the thumb-wheel were difficult to hit, even though they stick out a quarter of an inch from the body of the mouse. The wheel really dominates that side of the thing and I don’t think I could get much use out of the little buttons. I can just imagine reaching my thumb forward to hit that front button and accidentally rolling the wheel, which as you can imagine may have a million different consequences.

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To my hand, it felt like a prototype — an untested design that needs real change as well as minor refinements like button shape. Silverstone and NZXT are in the same boat, then: there’s nothing wrong with their stuff fundamentally, but they lack the constant criticism and advice of the gamers that helped design the G9, the Mamba, and the Ikari. One of these days they’ll catch up, but in the meantime I’d stick with the big guys.

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