We’ve seen our fair share of gaming peripherals during our time here; we have seen wide mice, as well as flat ones. We have witnessed mini keyboards as well a huge, mechanical abominations. And finally, we have also seen a not-at-all-small amount of headsets, both open and closed back, and with differing driver sizes and form factors. In short, we have seen enough to be able to make objective and precise assessments on the gear that lands in our offices. However, the boys at E-Blue have dazzled us once again today with a product that is designed to be used in a professional gaming environment, while keeping a price tag that is low enough to be regarded as a budget peripheral. We’re talking about the Cobra Advance, and in the next few paragraphs, we’ll be telling all about what makes this peripheral so great and why it made our list of the best gaming mice.
But first, a little trivia: E-Blue is a company that was founded by a group of committed and passionate gamers whose sole purpose is to create products to improve the experience of their fellow users, and give them the edge they may require to outmatch the competition. Based in both Japan and China, this company has taken it upon themselves to produce some of the best and most widespread peripherals in the East, most of which are used exclusively in professional-level tournaments, as well as most internet cafes in these countries. The combination of low-cost and reliable performance make these products ideal for a wide variety of gaming environments. Hence the reason why they are in such demand in these countries. Granted, the competition here in the West is much more fierce, with companies such as Razer, Logitech, Corsair, and even SteelSeries constantly battling it out to prove who’s the best manufacturer, while leaving little space for companies such as E-Blue to shine amidst the others. Nevertheless, despite the adversity, E-Blue has constantly been producing peripherals that can definitely help you improve your game without breaking the bank.
Case in point, the Cobra Advance is, for being manufactured by a company that creates mostly budget peripherals, one of the most expensive mice in E-Blue’s repertoire. This mouse was created to combine the reliability of most gaming mice created by this company with the comfort of wireless gaming technology to provide an unparalleled experience to the user. One that would hopefully allow them to eventually improve their skills and allow them to rack up victories.
But before we get into our E-Blue Cobra Advance review, let’s briefly go over the criteria we use to create our content, so that you understand how we draw our conclusions.
As you may have gleaned from our opening paragraph, there are quite a few specimens of gaming mice currently available for purchase on the market. Most of these products come with their own set of strengths and weaknesses, while others simply feature mostly shortcomings and must be avoided. The latter group is easy to identify, either by their form factor, general build quality, or their too-good-to-be-true price tag. The former, however, is much harder to find, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for in a gaming mouse. In order to acquire a product that is fit to your needs, you might need to develop a keen eye for these peripherals or, if you prefer, read all about the best and worst gaming mice through our reviews and then make your decisions.
That being said, we expect all the gaming mice that come into our hands to provide a certain set of features, most of which are designed to, either directly or indirectly, enhance the performance of the user in most games. In this sense, we judge these peripherals by the number of additional buttons they offer, by the quality of the tracking devices they use to detect movement, by the form factor, whether it’s comfortable to use, and if it has an aesthetically pleasing design. If mouse scores at least moderately in all these categories, then we could say that we’re in the presence of a decent peripheral that definitely deserves looking into.
Case in point, the Cobra Advance is a wireless mouse whose main drive comes from its low price tag in relation to the comfort it provides due to being cable-free and only requiring a very small USB receiver in order to function. While the aesthetic design is really not much to look at, the overall form factor provides a comfortable fit in most hands, while providing plenty of space for the user to get a decent grip, even after hours of gaming. The fact that it comes with a couple additional buttons is a welcome (but by no means impressive) addition. However, what this mouse gets right in terms of comfort, it quickly throws it out the window by requiring 2 AAA batteries in order to operate, which means that the user will have to either constantly buy replacements, or invest in a set of rechargeable batteries along with their charging dock, which would render irrelevant the savings from investing in a budget peripheral in the first place.
But enough treading on the sidelines; let’s open up this E-Blue Cobra Advance review and see what this mouse really has to offer.
As expected from a gaming peripheral in this price range, the box this mouse comes in is really nothing to write home about. The fact that the container is made out of plastic, and that the lid is kept shut by 4 sturdy clasps, makes it ideal to be reused as a storage container for small items, such as replacement batteries, flash drives, external hard drives, or even the mouse itself during trips. The box features a big sticker on the lid on which we can view a big picture of the Cobra Advance, as well as read paragraphs of information detailing the product’s strongest features. Upon opening the box, we can find the mouse firmly tucked into its plastic mold and, in other slots, we can also find the nano USB receiver, and a pair of alkaline AAA batteries that can last for up to 2 years of use, according to the manufacturer. Now, we haven’t actually tried the mouse for all that time, so we can’t actually tell if the boys at E-Blue are being honest with this statement; but in all the time we’ve been using it (a week or so), we haven’t had to replace the batteries even once.
As far as performance goes, we really can’t complain about the Cobra Advance. The mouse uses an optical sensor, which means that it will be able to track movement with great precision on most surfaces, excluding reflective materials such as glass or polished surfaces. Optical sensors are arguably more consistent in terms of performance than their laser counterparts, so you can rest assured that you will receive a precise tracking experience with no jittering or interference. The sensor in question can be adjusted to a maximum sensitivity of 1800 CPI, which is not really impressive, especially in a gaming environment, but is more than enough to get the job done in most gaming genres.
Regarding the number of additional buttons, this mouse only has 2, which adds up to a grand total of 6 buttons. Unfortunately, unlike other gaming mice, the side buttons of the Cobra Advance can’t be remapped to perform specific functions. Instead, they are configured by default to the “back” and “forward” functions of your browser. Nevertheless, most games will allow you to map actions and abilities to these two buttons, so you can still use them in-game with no problems at all. Besides the 3 regular clickers (left, middle, and right click),there is an additional button just behind the scroll wheel. Said button can be used to cycle between CPI levels on the go so that the player can easily adjust to faster or slower gameplay as the situation demands it. The Cobra Advance allows you to set the sensitivity on 3 levels: 500, 1000, and 1800 CPI.
In terms of durability, this mouse is built like a rock. Besides being lightweight (which makes it fairly shock-resistant), the Omron microswitches installed beneath each button ensure a reliable lifespan of up to 5 million clicks without a fault. Furthermore, the mouse is configured to turn off after 5 seconds of inactivity in order to prolong battery life and prevent damage from being on standby for long periods of time. The USB receiver of the Cobra Advance pays homage to its name with its tiny yet very sturdy build which makes it more possible for you to lose it than to actually cause any damage to it for any reason. In short; unless the product was defective in the first place, this is one mouse you won’t be replacing anytime soon. That is unless you want to upgrade to something better.
The Cobra Advance by E-Blue is by no means the holy grail of gaming mice. It has many strengths but is also marred by several shortcomings, which we’re willing to overlook, given the inexpensive price tag. However, the performance it provides is still solid enough for us to recommend it for entry-level gamers who are looking for a decent peripheral to improve their game. Just don’t go buying this product thinking that you are equipped with the best gear available on the market; you’d just be kidding yourself, and your opponents will be more than happy to let you know.
All images sourced from Amazon.com
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