Element Gaming Iridium 820 gaming mouse review: bargain basement

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Earlier this week we covered the Element Gaming Beryllium gaming keyboard, and now it’s time to turn our attention to its mousing counterpart, the Iridium 820. This mouse offers a pretty wide range of features, yet costs just £23. It sounds too good to be true, but is it? Let’s find out!

 

Features

  • Ergonomic design for comfort
  • Adjustable return rate
  • 8 custom buttons to over 40 functions
  • 6 different lighting settings
  • Firepower key
  • Adjustable DPI settings
 

Specifications

  • Sensor: Super Laser (Ed: I’m not sure if this is a technical term…)
  • Connection: Wired USB (Ed: Wireless USB is somewhat less common)
  • Resolution: 8200 DPI
  • Number of keys: 8
  • Key travel: 0.8mm
  • Key pressure: 70 grams
  • Key lifetime: 500 million
  • Rated voltage: DC 5V <100mA
 

Unboxing

The Iridium 820 comes in a fancy cardboard box, which opens along a diagonal slice. The front of the box shows the mouse itself and the Element Gaming logo.

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On the back, we’ve got some specifications, which you can see repeated above if you like.

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Finally, we have a tiny driver CD and a technical brief.

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Now, let’s move onto the design of the mouse itself.

 

Design

The Element Gaming Iridium 820 is an interesting rodent, with a design that skews more towards highly customisable mice like the Cougar 700M or R.A.T. The mouse has love handles on either side to grip onto, but remains fairly slim elsewhere. The colour scheme is black and blue, with a few silver and gold elements too.

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The mouse’s cable is fairly long, with a gold-plated plug, and nicely reinforced to ensure it has a long and happy life.

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The top of the mouse is quite busy, with two buttons for adjusting the DPI, a scroll wheel, a small button near the scroll wheel helpfully labelled ‘attack’ and of course the standard left and right mouse buttons. The attack button is a triple click by default, which is fairly useful for doing three-round bursts in shooters… or selecting paragraphs in Microsoft Word, your choice.

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The right hand side of the mouse is home to no buttons, but it is shaped to fit your hand nicely without being too wide.

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The left side of the mouse has two buttons (mapped to back and forward, by default) and a contoured grip for your thumb.

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The underside of the mouse is interesting; it has a thumbscrew that can be unwound to lengthen the mouse – which seems a good idea for those with larger hands.

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The screw also controls access to the removable weights; once the screw is entirely out then these weights can drop out. This is a fairly inefficient arrangement, as it takes about 20 seconds of hard twiddling to get the screw completely out, but at least it ensures that the weights don’t come out accidentally.

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Software

The drivers for the Iridium 820 come on the mini disc we saw earlier… and for some reason aren’t available online anywhere that I could find. To save you some time, I’ve mirrored the drivers here:

With that out of the way – how is the software? Well, it’s a mess, unfortunately.

Poor spelling and grammar is rife, and it’s very difficult to figure out where each bit of functionality lies. There are five major panels, of which three appear on the right and the two on the left; I’m not sure why the developers didn’t choose to just have all of the panels appear in the same place, for simplicity’s sake.

There are some obvious errors too; the font used is hard to read, and the default DPI values don’t fit in the text boxes. The lighting effect settings are particularly bad, with labels like “close a single colour” (choose a single colour) and “full lightened” (fully lit). A little care from a native English speaker would do wonders here.

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Once you’ve gotten to grips with the poor layout and questionable English, the software is at least functional. You’re able to choose various lighting effects for the Element Gaming LED, switch between profiles, remap buttons and adjust the DPI settings.

 

Testing

We used the Iridium 820 as our go-to mouse for a period of one week, for gaming and work alike. Games played included Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Pillars of Eternity, Civilization V and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Here’s how we got on.

Gaming

So – gaming. The big test. I didn’t expect much from the Iridium, but I was pleasantly surprised. The fairly unusual shape of the mouse isn’t ideal, but it worked well enough when clicking on heads in Counter-Strike, or ordering around troops in Civilization. As with the QPAD 8K, I found that the wider shape made picking up the mouse difficult, which in turn made rapid 180s a concern at lower DPI settings.

The fairly awful software doesn’t help matters, but if you set up your DPI settings and preferred LED colour, at least you won’t have to go in there again.

The final point against the Iridium 820 is its scroll wheel, which just doesn’t feel high quality. There’s no great tactile feedback while using it, and it feels almost spongy beneath your hand.

None of these things are game breakers, but they’re all small indications that this is a budget mouse, not a top of the line option.

Working

Most great gaming mice are great for getting work done too, and the Iridium 820 is no different. The accurate sensor works as well for surfing the web as it does for commanding troops into battle, and the wide design is reasonably comfortable for long browsing sessions. The adjustable DPI buttons are also useful for Photoshop work, where it can be nice to dial down the sensitivity for doing intricate painting. All in all, no complaints here!

 

Conclusion

The Iridium 820 has some obvious flaws, but for £23 it’s hard to be too disappointed. If you’re gaming on a budget, then this is a good shout. For everyone else, I’d recommend saving up a little longer for a higher-end option from a better-known manufacturer.

Pros

  • Fairly comfortable to use for long periods
  • Excellent performance for its price

Cons

  • Weird shape is hard to pick up at times
  • Software in dire need of refinement
  • Scroll wheel feels flimsy and unreliable

Score

  • 6 / 10

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About William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @Expert_Will or on G+.

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