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Testing & Results
Testing MethodologyTo test usability and comfort the Black Ops Mouse was used day to day across multiple platforms, operating systems, and applications. To test the features several scripts and macros were written and tested across the same platforms, systems and applications. To verify the hardware operation, dx_mouse_timer_dialog and Mouse Rate Recorder wre used to verify the reporting rate and accuracy.To test the lift-off distance two stacks of paper were used to suspend the mouse above the mouse-pad. The thickness of the stacks were increased until the sensor stopped responding and the result measured with calipers.
Test System 1
Test System 2
- Motherboard: Foxconn G33M02
- System Memory: 2 x 1GB DDR2-667
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.53 GHz
- Video: ATI Radeon X850XT
- Disk Drive: Western Digital WD400BD-75JMAQ
- Operating System: Windows XP Professional
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Just Cause 2
- Office 2007
- Macromedia Studio 8
- Firefox, Internet Explorer
Cyborg Mouse Test Results
If you take some time and read through user reviews of any product you will always find a small percentage of users who experienced technical difficulties. On rare occasion such problems will occur for Benchmark Reviews. Such was the case for the wireless R.A.T. 7 review. The COD Stealth Mouse didn't have any hardware difficulties in any of the test environments. While testing the macros I got my first blue screen of death in Windows 7. I was recording a macro and went to delete some errant keystrokes from the macro before I had saved the macro. After reboot I was unable reproduce the error.
In general the mouse is comfortable to use. When the palm rest is fully contracted I find that my wrist must twist to put my fingers into palm position. This caused soreness after very little use. When the palm rest is fully extended the problem is mostly eliminated but still exists to some degree. I think it is due to the low height of the mouse in concert with the wide flat top. I personally prefer slightly more curvature from left to right.
One thing I really liked about the Stealth Mouse is the button purity. The button presses are solid and distinct. For example, the DPI rocker is solid enough that I always get exactly the clicks I want. I never had to worry about accidentally rocking forward when I wanted to go backwards and then end up performing three clicks instead of just one. The same was true for the forward and back buttons with my thumb. For gaming this feature is enough for me to prefer the Stealth Mouse over my Diamondback and Inferno despite the minor difference in comfort / fit. The only button that could be improved for me is the mode button. I really have to think hard or stop and look at the mouse to switch modes. For me this renders the modes almost useless.
When it comes to hardware performance, the polling rate and resolution perform flawlessly to spec. In fact the performance has become so high that it is nearly impossible to even evaluate an acceleration of 50 Gs. A resolution of 5600 DPI is more than enough for even the most sensitive gamers.But there is still one aspect of the mouse that does not perform flawlessly. It is a problem that plagues all twin laser mice (to my knowledge).
The R.A.T. series and this CD74371200A1 model all use the Philips Twin Eye Laser sensor. It is becoming common knowledge among gamers that this sensor suffers from the "Z-Axis" problem. But people don't seem to agree on the exact definition and nature of the problem. Some mice with the twin eye suffer from erratic cursor movement when the mouse is lifted and returned to the surface. All twin-eye mice experience a predictable movement down and right when slowly lifted then up and left when slowly returned. Most if not all of them experience hysteresis when lifted and returned quickly. That is, the cursor moves down and right when lifted quickly, but doesn't move at all when returned quickly. So which one of these behaviors is the Z-Axis problem.
I submit to you that all of these behaviors are a problem. These motions are inherent to the current design of the twin-eye sensor. The twin laser system employed by Philips uses Laser Doppler Technology to determine mouse movement. Since the lasers are oriented at an angle to the mouse pad any lifting movement causes both the X and Y lasers to drift across the mouse pad. This drift cannot be avoided and can be perfectly calculated by simple geometry. For more in depth reading on the doppler technology employed see some advanced white papers here.
You can try to make the case that this should be a minor issue, but not everybody shares that opinion. The point is that twin laser mouse sensors have a default behavior that some customers consider a problem. I tried contacting Philips about this behavior to see if they have any future plans for a better sensor, but the answer was stark silence. Personally I never even notice the issue since I'm not a lifter.