In continuation of our growing trend of reviewing peripherals for gamers on a budget, today we want to introduce you to the XM8 Laser Gaming Mouse. Designed and manufactured by XSOUL, a company of gamers that create products for fellow enthusiasts, this peripheral is definitely more than meets the eye. Where most budget products for this specific audience usually cut corners on several aspects, XSOUL tries its hardest so that these cuts don’t actually interfere with the performance of the product. Instead, we’re presented with a mouse that, despite definitely looking like a generic gaming mouse, offers performance to rival the best in the business.
While we don’t know much about XSOUL -the company behind the XM8- a quick look at their catalog on Amazon suggests that this organization specializes in creating propeller blades for radio-controlled drones, with several computer peripherals, such as gaming mice, headsets, and mousepads, on the side. While this group certainly isn’t completely devoted to creating computer equipment and accessories, we can safely say that their products leave little to be desired and, according to user reviews, are often of high quality.
That being said, the XM8 Predator is designed to resemble an amalgamation of several high-end mice: it features a contoured shape that fits neatly into the palm of the hand, favoring a palm grip. For those with bigger or smaller hands, this mouse offers a removable palm rest that can be swapped for smaller or bigger pieces, much like the products from Mad Catz. Furthermore, it features a plethora of customizable buttons (more so than any given mouse in this price range) and added flair in the form of customizable LED lighting in several areas. All of these features are packed into a frame that has several measures in place to improve the user’s quality of life, such as rubberized coating, braided wires, finger rests, and much more.
Before we dive into our XM8 Predator Laser Gaming Mouse review, we feel it’s fair that we elaborate briefly on how we create our content, so that you can rest assured that our reviews are as unbiased and objective as they can be.
In order to properly judge or review a gaming peripheral, we need to break it down into the fundamental parts of its operation. In this sense, we usually judge our products based on the number of buttons they offer, the general ergonomics of the shape, the type, quality, and adjustability of the sensor, and the aesthetic appeal of the product in question.
As we mentioned above, while the XM8 may have several areas in which it could improve, it is designed to look the part of a higher-end peripheral, such as those manufactured by Razer, or Mad Catz. To complement its looks, the Predator is also equipped with several features that are aimed to improve the user’s experience when operating the computer, such as 7 programmable buttons, anti-slip rubberized coating, a contoured shape, coupled with finger rests for improved ergonomics, and a powerful laser sensor for precise tracking on all surfaces.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started with the review.
The XM8 Predator comes packaged inside a soft cardboard black box which features a stylish design of the company’s logo on the front lid. Contrary to other gaming mice, the box, which features colors in mostly black and blue, doesn’t actually feature any sort of relevant information about the mouse contained within on any of its faces. If the user wants to read up on the mouse before making the purchase, they would have to do so either on the internet or from the experiences of other buyers. Upon opening the box we are presented with several items. The mouse itself comes neatly packed in a cloth bag which can be reused to either carry the mouse around or to store other small objects. Besides the mouse, with the purchase of the XM8, the user will also receive another palm rest, a mini-cd with the peripheral’s software, and the product’s instruction booklet.
Upon taking the mouse out of its cloth container and taking a closer look, we were actually surprised by the aesthetic design, as well as the ergonomic form factor of the XM8. As we mentioned above, this mouse was created to resemble a high-end peripheral, so it’s equipped with stylish screws, hinges, and other pieces which, sadly, are purely ornamental. However, the form of the mouse is actually pretty comfortable, which makes operating the Predator an absolute joy, even through those long gaming sessions. The top of the mouse is shaped to fit your index and middle fingers over the left and right button. Similarly, we can find rests on the left and right side of the mouse, for your thumb, and ring and pinky fingers, respectively. The aforementioned finger rests are coated with a rubberized texture to create an improved grip during use.
For a budget mouse, this product is equipped with an actually decent laser sensor, which can track on most surfaces without a hitch, and at a max sensitivity of 4000 CPI. This level of sensitivity, coupled with the additional buttons offered by the XM8, make it ideal for any gaming genre: from the slower grand strategy or puzzle games to the fast-paced MOBAs, shooters, or MMOs which require both speed and precision for every move.
Speaking of buttons, this mouse is equipped with 7 programmable clickers, which can be configured, through the software provided with the purchase of the XM8, to perform any function or action. Without the software, the 2 buttons located on the thumb rest are configured to the “back” and “forward” functions of your browser. Similarly, the one located in front of them (just beside the left mouse button), is set to function as a fire key; executing three left clicks in rapid succession. Last but not least, the final additional button, located behind the scroll wheel, is configured by default to cycle between the different CPI levels built into the mouse (750/1500/2500/3500 CPI).
For the most part, the Predator is Plug N’ Play, which means that you don’t actually need to install the included software to use the mouse. Nevertheless, those that want to squeeze out the full potential of their purchase are encouraged to install the driver, so that they can get access to features such as reprogramming keybindings, adjusting sensitivity levels, increasing or decreasing polling rate, creating and assigning macros to any buttons, and customizing the illumination settings in both its colors and lighting mode.
The world of gaming peripherals is a vast one in which the uninitiated can most definitely get lost if they don’t know what they’re looking. At first glance, it may seem easier and faster to simply invest in products from the big brands. However, not everyone has a lot of money lying around to invest in a gaming peripheral, especially those that are merely looking for a good mouse to use in the office or the workplace. In this case, it’s awesome that products like the XM8 exist, so that all can enjoy the performance of high-end peripherals, without having to break the bank in the process.
That being said, while the XM8 Predator certainly provides good performance, it certainly doesn’t bring anything new to the table, especially when compared to other gaming mice. Nevertheless, we heartily recommend this product for those that are looking for a good peripheral as a backup for when their main mouse eventually dies out.
All images sourced from Amazon.com
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