Arctic Mouse M551 & M571 Review

Posted Oct 17, 2010
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Arcitc Cooling, the first time I heard their name it was new to me, until a bit of google showed me that they are a swedish based company which specialize in computer equipment, among GPU and CPU coolers they also diversified themselves by making gaming mice currently they only have two models out and both are very impressive considering that these were their flagship models entering the computer peripheral field. Although the mice may not be as famous as Logitech or Razer they certainly do have great features which can’t go unnoticed by the casual gamer although the prices are amazing there are certain drawbacks to the mice for those of you looking for looks. The mice at first are very big but once you get the hang of them they certainly pay off. Both of them were very helpful to me in all my games. Enough talk lets move on to the review.

Packaging & Design

The Mice came in standard plastic covering and boxes and the boxes were like your typical mouse purchases, features mentioned on the back of the box while certain features are mentioned on the back side too along with both mice there was an instruction manual and a Arctic Cooling sticker which you can paste on your chassis or any of part of your PC, removing the mice was very easy and the packing was done very nicely to ensure that even if you pulled the mice out of the box in a hurry there would be little or no chance of them falling to the ground.

The mice have don’t have a unique build quality they have a smooth plastic surface and don’t have any thing that add’s to the looks to them, they don’t come in different colors, neither do they have any sort of grip for your palm such as that offered by the Logitech MX 518. the mouse body is completely smooth although the LED light display was very unique for me on the 551 I have to say it did kind of make up for the lack of looks, normally in mice like the sentinel I would have to lift my hand up to see the DPI but with this mouse’s DPI indicator placement at the left side of the mouse made it a lot easier for me to see what DPI im playing on right now.

Arctic Cooling M551

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As I said earlier there is nothing special about the packaging it looks like your standard mouse and doesn’t come with anything to add additional looks to it.

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With the package you just get; The mouse, An Arctic Cooling Sticker which you can paste on your system (chassis, keyboard etc) and a manual.

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side by side views of the mice, as you can see there are only two buttons on the side of it which are for scrolling between pages and these buttons serve no purpose in game, and the there is also a thumb rest which makes holding to the mouse a much better experience.

Arctic Cooling M571

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The 571, again has the same packaging as the 551 with nothing speical thrown in to the box both of them have nearly the same looks and features but there are differences here and there.

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As you can see the mouse again comes with the same stuff as the 551; Mouse, sticker and manual.

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Another side by side shot of the mouse as you can see the thumb mat is missing on this mouse but the two next page/previous page buttons are still there. Although the thumb mat really made the mouse more comfortable to hold this mouse was just as good as well.

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The Weights of the mice, although unlike the sentinel these weights don’t have their weight written on them so I couldn’t figure out how much each one weighs and had to take turns removing one weight at a time to find my ideal weight so that I can move the mouse without it being too heavy or too light.

Specifications

Here are the Specifications of both mice along with features taken from Arctic Cooling’s website.

Arctic Cooling M551

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A mouse works like a computer user’s fingertips, so it should be quick, precise, comfortable and high-quality to help them slide freely on screen. ARCTIC M551 that incorporates all these attributes along with highly functional features.

  • Laser engine for absolute accuracy – even on glass
  • Ultra-high sensitivity – 800 / 1600 / 2400 dpi
  • Ergonomic design maximizes comfort for a long game play
  • Smooth, low resistance movements by slick gliding feet
  • Back and forth thumb buttons for easy navigation
  • Coated cord eliminates line clustering

The ARCTIC M551 has a resistant surface coating to protect the mouse from wearing out. This helps to maintain the mouse at top-notch quality from day-to-day use. This mouse operates with laser optical sensor; thus, it has ultra-high sensitivity levels that offers ideal precision and speed. The sensitivity levels can be adjusted from 800, 1,600 to 2,400 dpi by simply pressing the ‘dpi’ button. The current sensitivity level is displayed by a LED light on the mouse as well.

The ARCTIC M551 also has the basic features that any computer user is looking for – backward and forward button on the side and the scrolling key on the mouse. All these features are targeted to serve users to surf and play online more conveniently. The quiet scrolling wheel gives highest comfort to users when they need to view slides, zoom in and out, and navigate content on computer screen.

Arctic Cooling M571

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A mouse works like a computer user’s fingertips, so it should be quick, precise, comfortable and high-quality to help them slide freely on screen. The ARCTIC M571 incorporates all these attributes along with highly functional features.

Main features

  • Laser engine for absolute accuracy – even on glass
  • Ultra-high sensitivity – 800 / 1600 / 2400 dpi
  • Double-bullet and continuous shooting button
  • Ergonomic design maximizes comfort for a long game play
  • Personalize control and feel by the additional weights (up to 26 grams)
  • Smooth, low resistance movements by slick gliding feet
  • Back and forth thumb buttons for easy navigation
  • Coated cord eliminates line clustering

The ARCTIC M571 has a resistant surface coating to protect the mouse from wearing out. This helps to maintain the mouse at top-notch quality from day-to-day use. This mouse operates with laser optical sensor; thus, it has ultra-high sensitivity levels that offer ideal precision and speed. The sensitivity levels can be adjusted from 800, 1,600 to 2,400 dpi by simply pressing the ‘dpi’ button. The current sensitivity level is displayed by a LED light on the mouse as well.

The ARCTIC M551 also has the basic features that any computer user is looking for – backward and forward button on the side and the scrolling key on the mouse. All these features are targeted to serve users to surf and play online more conveniently. The quiet scrolling wheel gives highest comfort to users when they need to view slides, zoom in and out, and navigate content on computer screen. Additionally, the ARCTIC M571offers a third mouse button, which allows multi-fire setting in games or other functions.

To further improve the ergonomic design of the mouse, users can personalize the weight of their mouse according to their preferences and practices. The weight of the mouse can be adjusted by up to four weights of 6.5 grams each. These various aspects would give users greatest comfort and allow them to personalize the weight of their mouse.

All in all, ARCTIC M571 is made for professional users that put high-emphasis in functionality, quality and comfort when choosing a mouse.

Testing

I tested these mice with a VARIETY of games, i practically threw games of every genre at it, I played Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Online and Campaign with these mice, Dead Space, World of Warcraft, The Godfather (the first game) and I even tried my hand at Starcraft II. In all games both mice played very well and smoothly but there were times when one was better than the other.

One thing which of particular annoyance to me was the DPI limit, for years i have been used to 3600DPI, both mice sport a maximum of  2400DPI and getting used to 2400DPI after such a long time was quite a pain but after finally getting used to the low DPI setting I finally got the hang of the mice and it was well worth it. Although I am used to making 180 degree turns really fast 2400DPI was a huge slow down for me but again after messing with the mouse setting in each of my games that problem was quickly resolved.

CoD MW2 is without a doubt one of my favorite FPS games this generation, no game can beat the story and the awesome gameplay of this game till now (not until black ops atleast) I first gave the campaign mode a shot and used that to get my hand used to lesser DPI by the 2nd mission I was able to completely master the mouse, although I had to re run the pit at least 2-3 times to do so.

Arctic Cooling M551

The Build quality feels very good and is not too cheap and not too expensive, its just the right blend of looks with price, although one complaint I had was the color, I prefer a black mouse because of personal preference the white color stood out from my Black mouse pad, casing, keyboard and LCD. While a black mouse would have fit in perfectly fine the white mouse stood out and didn’t look like a good match with the rest of my equipment.

The mouse was very light weight and easy to get the hang of, during sniping it gave me a nice
comfortable feel although my hand was not used to the side cushion where the thumbs are supposed to rest it was rather comforting and made my experience with the mouse even better increasing my grip on the mouse and even when my palm got a little sweaty from playing in the heat the mouse was still on my hand, there have one or two occasions where my usual mouse slips out of my hands because of my sweaty palms, the mouse was very light and didn’t need adjustable weights, but for some people who prefer a little meat in their mice can go for the 571, but the downside of the 571 is you lose the side

LED display which shows your current DPI level.
Here is a picture of what the mouse looks like with different DPI Settings

Green = 800DPI

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Blue = 1600DPI

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Red = 2400DPI

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With this mouse’s Ergonomic design you can play with this mouse for hours on end without having to deal with wrist cramps the shape is in a perfect pose for you to wrap your hand around on albeit in the beginning its hard to put your hand on but once you get the hang of it you are set for life.

Aside from Modern Warfare 2 I had to adjust to my remaining games and once again go into the games setting and increase the mouse’s speed to a specific level. Although the game which gave me the least problems was WoW where I always use the mouse to control my characters movement and use WASD as little as possible, but rather I use Q and E to strafe left and right, the smoothest operation I got was in World of Warcraft, the game was finely tuned so that I didn’t even need to change the mouse settings in the menu even though I engaged in a few PvP’s while in battlegrounds.

Over all the 551 gave me a good experience aside from the color and giving me a nostalgia of a once used DPI my experience with the mouse was very pleasant.

Arctic Cooling M571

Now we move on the follow up of the 551, while offering same looks and design as the 551 there are certain new features for this mouse, such as weight adjustment, there are 4 weights in the bottom of the mouse which can be added or removed according to the users preference some like it light while others like it heavy, so someone can put 1 weight inside or even 2 while some will leave all 4 inside, I did this review with 2 inside the mouse, I wanted to try it for the heck of it, with 1 weight it wasn’t heavy enough and with all 4 inside it was too uncomfortable for me to move. With 2 weights inside I felt the perfect balance of weight and since I got used to the 551 it took me no time at all to adjust to the DPI of the 571,

Now while the 551 shows us an LED display on the left side of the mouse that beautiful feature was removed and instead the DPI indicator was moved to right below the scroll wheel and right below the indicator is the DPI shift button where once again

Here is how the 571 looked like on different DPI settings, although I prefer the lights on the 551 these were also suitable for my needs.

Green = 800DPI

Red = 2400DPI

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Once again, the ergonomic design was really helpful and helped me adjust to the mouse very quickly with very huge similarities to the 551 it took me no time to adjust my hand to this thing, I joined a couple of Modern Warfare 2 game lobbies and started using various weapons, the difference between this and the 551 weren’t very noticeable, if I hadn’t noticed the different LED indicator placement I could have sworn I was using the 551. While I always welcome the option of weight adjustment there are some places where I regretted using 2 weights over 1, while sniping 2 was the perfect number but while using my rusher class the mouse felt slightly heavy and hence I couldn’t make fast turns unless I downed my self to 1 weight. And when I switched back to sniping the controls felt so loose that I had to shift back to 2 weights.

For the remaining games I continued to use 2 weights without any problems and over all the weights really helped me forget about the DPI problem. While the 551 comes without weights there were certain times where it felt too fast because it was too light and that’s what caused me a lot of problems. But the 571 with the weight options helped me decide how heavy I wanna make my mouse and that way the mouse felt more firm and in control.

The Judgement

Now it was a tough choice to choose between the 551 and 571 both were equally close but considering the 571 offered more features such as weight adjustment and a slightly better ergonomic design, I would have to say that the 571 would be a good buy, although I prefer the LED monitor position on the 551, the 571 just looks like an A4Tech mouse with the DPI shift indicator at that location, the 551’s location for DPI shift was really better looking on the 551 than it did on the 571.

While the 551 is light and offers a good ergonomic design the 571 offers weight adjustment for the serious gamer  for the casual gamer the 551 is a good choice too, otherwise if your a gamer who likes to personalize his gear than the 571 is a great choice for you. If you can stand the unique color of the mice and the fact that they both bear a measly 2400DPI while current generation mice are offering 3000+ DPI and some even offer customizable DPI like the Cooler Master Sentinel one must really consider if there needs are met by 2400DPI or not, if like me the need is for mouse with 3000 – 3600 DPI than look elsewhere.

The 551 is priced at 17,90 € / US$ 24.95, while the 571 is priced at 20,65 € / US$ 29.95, you must also consider that the mice are divided by a $5 gap and for some gamers they might spend $5 more or $5 less when buying an Arctic Cooling Mouse.

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