In the world of gaming peripherals, we’ve always focused on the fact that most products are split into two categories: high-end, and their budget counterparts. However, we’ve left out another special category; mainly because there are actually only a sparse amount of these products to begin with. The category we’re talking about is populated by gaming mice with affordable price tags, but that offer features and performance to rival the most expensive gaming peripherals on the market. The Venus by UtechSmart is one of such peripherals and is the mouse we will be reviewing today.
UtechSmart is an online store with almost 10 years experience in the business of providing computer and laptop products and solutions. On their website they only sell the very best items, which are meant to improve the experience of all their clients when using the computer. According to their website, this company believes that attaining both quality and satisfaction with their products is not only possible, but heavily encouraged by the management. I think it’s important to mention that, despite having a decent catalog of products, UtechSmart doesn’t actually manufacture any of their peripherals. Instead, they ally themselves with competent manufacturers from around the world and choose only the best peripherals to feature and sell on their website. And, after the products are sold, they pride themselves on providing the absolute best post-sale support to all their customers.
But I digress; the Venus is UtechSmart’s proposal to the MMORPG gaming market, featuring a plethora of programmable buttons, along with several other great features that are aimed to give the user an edge over the competition. The fact that it also boasts an ergonomic shape, and an aesthetic design to resemble its higher-end cousins such as the Razer Naga, or the Logitech G600, only serve to further boost the Venus’ appeal. All the features mentioned above are complemented by an affordable price tag, which makes this peripheral an excellent choice for any type of gamer who is looking for an excellent mouse, for an even better price.
Gaming mice, as opposed to their generic office counterparts, are expected to provide a certain set of features that, as we mentioned above, are meant to enhance the user’s skills, and allow them to outmatch the competition. In that sense, a good gaming mouse should always offer a decent number of customizable buttons, coupled with a comfortable form factor to prevent the onset of fatigue or repetitive strain injuries due to the long gaming sessions that are commonplace in this medium. Besides these two features, we also include the quality and type of the mouse’s sensor and, last but not least, the general aesthetic design of the peripheral in question; because a gamer should look good while owning their rivals.
With the aspects mentioned above, the Venus performs spectacularly, much like you would expect from a high-end peripheral, with the added benefit of actually sporting an affordable price tag. The shape of this mouse is designed to resemble the Razer Naga and, to a lesser extent, the Logitech G600. This means that, besides being really versatile and useful, mainly thanks to its vast number of buttons, it’s also very comfortable to use, even through the longest gaming sessions. This mouse also has several quality-of-life features in place, such as Omron micro switches, braided wires, Teflon feet, and a weight adjustment system, for those that like to tweak the drag and center of mass of their mouse.
Now that we’ve skimmed over the features of this mouse, let’s properly dive into our UtechSmart Venus review:
In true gaming mouse fashion, the Venus comes packaged in an attractive cardboard box with several pictures of the mouse printed on it. On the front lid of the box, we find a big picture of the Venus with some -admittedly tacky- flames on the foreground. This design almost wants to scream “us gamers are so hardcore” but it comes off as cheesy in our opinion. Sketchy design aside, we can find several bits of information about the mouse littered across the many faces of the container. The front lid can be opened to reveal a sneak preview of the Venus, tucked neatly into a plastic protective mold.
After opening the box, we were treated to quite a few items, including the CD with the mouse’s software, a quick start guide, a plastic case containing the removable weights, a set of backup Teflon feet, and the mouse itself. The backup feet are actually a great addition to this purchase as it can easily prolong the lifespan of your mouse by quite some time. Barring defective products, the Venus is designed to be a mouse you won’t be replacing anytime soon. This point is further driven home by the braided wires, as well as the Omron micro switches, all of which are proven durable for up to 20 million clicks without losing responsiveness or crispiness.
Upon taking a look at the mouse, our gaze is immediately drawn to the button grid installed on the left panel of the peripheral. This feature alone makes the Venus ideal for MMORPGs, so that you can map all your character’s skills and spells to each button and have access to them at a moment’s notice. The mechanical button grid feature is only available on select few gaming mice, such as the aforementioned Razer Naga and Logitech G600, as well as the Redragon Perdition; the latter actually bearing a striking resemblance to the UtechSmart Venus. Besides the mechanical button grid, this mouse also has the usual three-button setup on top (left, middle, and right button), along with 3 additional buttons, 2 of which are used to decrease and increase CPI, and the other one mapped by default to act as a fire key. Regardless, all of these buttons can be easily customized using the software included with the purchase of the Venus, which we’ll get to in a few moments.
For those keeping count at home, the amount of programmable buttons offered by this mouse adds up to 18, just 1 button away from the Naga’s grand total of 19 clickers.
The form of the Venus is designed to fit neatly into the palm of the user and, while the peripheral is fairly large itself, we found that even a person with small hands can comfortably wield it. The only flaw we could find in the ergonomics of the mouse stems from its finger rests; while the thumb can easily rest upon the mechanical button grid, the right side of the mouse features a finger rest for the ring finger exclusively, while the pinky finger will have to be dragged on the tracking surface. This fact isn’t a big issue by itself, but it just makes us wish that we had a bigger area to improve the grip over the mouse. Regardless of this design flaw, we found the Venus to be comfortable enough for hours of use at a time.
The tracking sensor installed on the Venus is definitely suited for competitive gaming: we’re talking about a powerful Avago laser sensor which can track on virtually any surface, including reflective materials such as polished wood, of even glass tables, without the need of a mousepad. Furthermore, this sensor can be adjusted to several sensitivity levels, up to a maximum of 16400 CPI. Now, we seriously doubt that anyone would opt to game at those absurd levels of sensitivity, but the fact that the sensor can easily reach them is a welcome addition regardless. The versatility of the Venus sensor allows it to perform admirably in most gaming genres, from the slower Point n’ Click adventure games to the adrenaline-fueled FPS or competitive MOBAs.
As we mentioned above, the software included with the purchase of this mouse can really help squeeze out the full potential of the Venus. After installing it, we gained access to a plethora of customization options which include, but are not limited to button assignment, macro creation, user profile management, adjusting the sensitivity levels, customizing the illumination options, increasing or decreasing polling rate, and even modifying the behavior of the scroll wheel, as well as the double-click speed.
For the low price tag, the UtechSmart Venus definitely provides top-level performance that is rarely seen in products of this category. The vast amount of buttons, coupled with the powerful adjustable laser sensor, makes it an ideal product for any type of gaming genre. Furthermore, the comfortable and ergonomic shape also make it a good mouse for both working and gaming.
In short, this is one mouse that is well worth the money.
All images sourced from Amazon.com
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