Raptor Gaming M3 Platinum Gaming Mouse Review

Posted Nov 13, 2010
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Gaming Mice – the most important tool for a professional gamer. I’d even argue that a good mouse is more important than having the fastest GPU out there. Because at the end of the day, when you’re fighting for that top position in the leaderboard, it comes down to your input system and reflexes and not your graphics subsystem. And a gaming mouse almost certainly means something from the Razer, SteelSeries or Cyborg right? Well that’s another misconception I’d say.

There are a number of other manufacturers that make just as good products as these three, even if they aren’t well known around the world. Raptor Gaming happens to be one of them. Based in Germany, they primarily operate in their region – but that doesn’t mean that their products are in any way inferior from the competition. In fact, I’d say that in some cases, they can be good enough to give the competition a run for their money.

The mouse I’m getting to review today is the Raptor Gaming’s flagship M3 Platinum. It features laser tracking along with a ton of customization options and resolution of up to 3200 DPI. But enough foreplay, lets get into the actual review after a quick look at the specifications table.

Specifications

Technical Specifications

Tracking System

Infrared Laser

Cable Length

2 meters

Weight (w/o cable)

Adjustable (110g to 155g)

Resolution

400 DPI to 3200 DPI

Buttons

6 including wheel

Refresh Rate

Adjustable up to 1000Hz

Packaging and Design

There’s nothing particularly unique about the packaging of the M3 Platinum, and that’s actually a good thing. Fancy packaging only adds to the total cost of the product, and at 100 EUR already, the M3 isn’t really on the economical side of the market. The packing lists all the features of the mouse along with technical specifications in different European languages. The front side also shows all the awards M3 has attained over the time.

The mouse itself has a rather unique molding. It might look a bit awkward at first but actually provides a perfect grip if you are right handed. I would advise all the lefties to stay away though because the ergonomics don’t really favor a left hand here. The soft touch plastic top is comfortable to hold and doesn’t let your palms get sweaty even after excessive use. The downside to this is that it can gather dust and grease marks fairly quickly and might start to look dirty.

The underside of the M3 is rather interesting. It has a built-in cable routing mechanism which allows you to adjust how the cable flows under the mouse so, that it doesn’t interfere with other objects on your table. You can actually reposition the cable to six different locations. The cable itself is 2 meter long, braided and designed to be tangle free, a problem which a lot of users with wired mice face.

The bottom side also features two compartments where you can add or remove steel weights to adjust the drag of the mouse according to your needs. The lids offer dual functionality as well. One side of the lid has regular oval skates while the other side features one giant skate in the middle to offer more glide. Both adjustable weights and skates on the M3 Platinum offer a degree of customization that isn’t available in most competing mice out there, and give the M3 a clear advantage over the competition.

Back on the top side, the left and right buttons are soft and don’t require much effort to press. This means it would be a lot easier to take those split second headshots. The mouse wheel doesn’t have a free flow movement and can only be turned on predefined notches. This might alienate some users but I prefer this over a free while because it gives more predictable results in during gaming. The middle button is a bit stiff to press though, but given that the wheel doesn’t have a tilt function, it is okay.

The M3 features adjustable DPI in four different steps. It can go from 400 DPI to 3200 DPI and anything in between if you have configured the presets through the accompanying software utility. The DPI button is located in the middle of the mouse and is nearly impossible to press without taking your fingers off the trigger and repositioning your hands – something which may have dire consequences in a tight situation. The process of changing the DPI is simple though. Hit the button once, and then use the mouse wheel to adjust the DPI to your desired preset indicated by the blue LEDs on top. Once you’re there, press the DPI button again to lock it.

The side buttons (Forward/Back) were placed a little higher than my usual thumb position, and I had to move my thumb a bit to hit them – that’s exactly the way I like it. Its much more annoying to have the buttons align with your thumbs and hitting them accidentally all the time. It is specially annoying when you’re not gaming, because the buttons control the forward and back functions of the browser. There are LEDs under the buttons to indicate a press, something which only adds to aesthetics of the mouse and not functionality.

Another interesting customization feature of the M3 is the detachable wrist rest which you can attach to the bottom of the mouse to rest your hand on. While it doesn’t really help in gaming performance, it is a value add.

Performance

Since the M3 Platinum uses laser tracking, it can run on almost any surface including glass. I didn’t really have to adjust the weights in the mouse to get a comfortable feel but I did flip the compartment lids to use the larger skate area for a more free glide. I also used the Raptor Gaming configuration utility that ships with the mouse to manually configure the DPI levels.

The utility also allows you to record macros and scripts to program your mouse in case you need deeper levels of customization. The degree of customization is on par with most programmable mice out there and you can map custom scripts to virtually every button of the mouse.

Compared to the Zowie EC1, the Raptor Gaming M3 Platinum performed a lot better in FPS games like Counter Strike: Source, Medal of Honor, and Left 4 Dead 2. It really didn’t take much time to get a comfortable hang of the M3 and I was pulling headshots in almost no time. While I’m no professional gamer, I’m sure most you pros or semi-pros out there would find the M3 just fine for your daily use. When it comes to RTS titles, the programmable features of the M3 really shined, though I had to tune down the DPI a little bit to get more precise control. It comes down to personal preference I guess, because a lot of my friends prefer a faster glide in RTS titles.

For daily desktop use, the mouse worked fine, which was nice considering that most gaming mice prove to be an annoyance when it comes to regular desktop usage. Of course you would probably prefer to lower the DPI to something around 800-1200 so that you don’t overshoot accidentally.

Conclusion

I really don’t have to reiterate the fact that professional gaming market is saturated with thousands and thousands of different products, each struggling to stand out from the crowd and failing at that. The Raptor Gaming M3 Platinum manages to land somewhere in between.

Thanks to extensive features, it is easily one of the most customizable mice out there which you can personalize according to your taste. The software utility which lets you fine tune different hardware settings including DPI, pooling rate, custom macros and scripts etc. is an added bonus which most professional gamers would want to take full advantage of. On top of that, you get extras in the package like a carrying pouch and a detachable wrist rest which add value to the overall product.

Unfortunately that value is also added to the bottom-line of the final price you have to pay for the M3 Platinum. At 100 EUR, it definitely isn’t one of the most economical mice out there. In fact its cost can easily go north of the any mouse by SteelSeries or Razer. This really is my only gripe with the M3 Platinum.

At the end of the day, if you really can afford it, the Raptor Gaming M3 Platinum is easily one of the best gaming mice out there, and fully deserves our Editor’s choice award.

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