Gaming mice are having somewhat of a renaissance. They are faster, lighter, and even the wireless ones can outperform their wired counterparts. They come in fantastic skeletal frames, tons of RGB lighting and incredible precision. In short, there’s no shortage of great options at various price points that will satisfy every gamer. So does Alienware’s new $140 AW510M mouse bring anything to the table to carve itself a spot in the sea of mice?
Alienware ticks all the boxes when it comes to the specs of the 510M. For a sensor, Alienware are using their own custom 16,000 DPI optical sensor with the ability to cycle between five different DPI settings on the fly.
These settings can be adjusted using the Alienware Command Center, (ACC), application and saved to the 510M onboard memory. Which is great if you are someone who uses different computers every time and don’t have the time or opportunity to keep installing ACC just to change your mouse settings.
Alienware 510M Gaming Mouse Review
Changing the DPI is easy thanks to a switch conveniently located behind the scroll wheel. A gentle push forward or backward will cycle through the saved profiles. An LED strip behind the DPI switch briefly changes colour to show you which profile you are using. I found the position to be easy to reach for my index finger.
Now in practice, I’ve never really found a practical use for anything over 1800 DPI but then again, I’m no pro-gamer. That said, I have zero complaints with the performance of this sensor.
Speaking of the scroll wheel, the 510M has a rubber-coated wheel with tiny studs that give it a good solid grip for your finger. It’s quite a rigid scroll wheel that doesn’t endless spin like Logitech’s infinite scroll wheels. However, you can adjust the number of scroll steps with a switch located underneath the mouse.
Only two levels are available; 12 and 24 steps. Neither was particularly smooth or enjoyable and proved quite strenuous on my forearm muscles after very short periods of web browsing. The scroll wheel can also function as a button when depressed but it can’t be pushed left or right like some others.
Lots of buttons to play with
The Alienware 510M has a few more buttons, making a total of 10, all of which are programmable via the Command Center app. The first and more obvious ones are the two Continuous scroll buttons located on the outer edge of the left mouse button. Pressing and holding these down will infinitely scroll content upwards or downward.
While they work as advertised, they are just too awkwardly placed to use comfortably. I have long fingers and it was a noticeable stretch that led to even more muscle strain.
The design is certainly not for left-handed users.
Another set of three buttons sit on the right where your thumb naturally rests. These are hexagonal in shape with a fourth, slightly larger flat hexagon that acts as a sort of position guide to let you naturally feel your way to the right button.
Two buttons are for forward and back functions while the third is a DPI Clutch. Pressing and holding this button allows you to temporarily activate a preset DPI without having to switch the overall DPI of the mouse. This is especially handy for games where you might want a lower sensitivity when Sniping and then back to normal for hip firing.
Each of these buttons can be reassigned in the Command Center, pretty much any way you like.
Certainly looks like a mouse
In terms of the overall design, the Alienware 510M takes a slightly different approach that makes it look like a standard droid tank from the Star Wars prequel movies. Its got a wide bottom, which flares out into sort of wings that your provide a very comfortable rest for your thumb and little finger. Each wing has an LED strip that matches the glowing Alien head logo.
The body is mostly smooth plastic that feels decidedly not premium despite looking pretty good. The design fits in with Alienware’s new Legend Design language and it shows, especially when paired with the Alienware 510K keyboard.
It’s a large mouse though, measuring almost 2 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. And thanks to that plastic, it weighs 91g which makes it feel substantial without being a gym weight.
Ours came in the Dark Side of the Moon colour which is a two-tone, ash grey and black colour scheme. The mouse also features 16.8 million colours of AlienFX lighting which are customizable via a tab in the Command Center.
Verdict: Should you buy?
The Alienware 510M retails for $140 putting it in direct competition with the likes of the excellent wireless Logitech G903, G502 and Razer Viper.
Does the Alienware do enough to stand against these? Well, yes and no.
It’s certainly got a great feel in the hand, slick design with tasteful RGB lighting, plenty of programmable buttons, and a great sensor. And while it does feel good in the hand, I can’t get over how plasticky it feels. Add on the lacklustre scroll wheel and odd placement of some of the buttons and you can easily get some hand fatigue using this mouse.
While these aren’t necessarily deal breakers, they don’t work in the 510M’s favour when compared to the competition. The 510M follows a similar trend with the other new Legend Designed hardware by being priced higher than their competition without offering anything substantially better.
Ultimately, most gamers will be happy with a one of the cheaper mice but if you already have some legend designed Alienware pieces like the gorgeous Aurora R9 and matching 34-inch monitor, then sure.
The Alienware 510M Gaming mouse was loaned to PowerUp! by Alienware Australia for the purpose of this review.
Alienware 510M Gaming Mouse Review
Product Name: Alienware 510M Gaming Mouse
Product Description: Gaming mouse
Offer price: 140
- Legend design is beautiful and makes this mouse stand-out
- Plasticky feel isn't representative of its premium price
- Performance is as expected for this price point
- Scroll wheel and odd placement of side buttons will give you muscle cramps
- Alienware command center is finicky