Speedlink aren’t the most well known maker of mice, but they’re still a solid budget option. We’ve been pretty happy with their mice in the past, thanks to their low price points and decent build quality, and now we’re looking at one more: the Fortus. This is the first wireless mouse that we’re testing from Speedlink, so let’s see how it compares to its wired brethren!
Features & specifications
- Precise optical sensor with adjustable resolution from 600 to 2,400dpi
- LED illumination with 4 breathtaking colours
- Ergonomically designed with thumb indent for right-handed use
- 2.4GHz wireless technology with a range of up to 6m
- Compact nano receiver stowable in the mouse
- Practical dpi switch for rapid sensor sensitivity switching
- Easy-access thumb buttons
- Rubberised finish
- Requires 2x AAA batteries (included)
- 126 x 79 x 41.5mm
- 125 grams
There are two common design philosophies when it comes to mice: symmetric designs that will suit left- or right-handers equally, and ergonomic designs that are tailored to one of the two (almost always right-handers). The Fortus falls in the latter camp, with an asymmetric design well suited for 90% of the population. The left side is thin with a groove for your thumb to rest, while the right side is wider to give your extra fingers room to sit.
As with most Speedlink gaming mice, the Fortus comes in a brilliant red colour, with a vaguely metallic sheen to it, with black accents on the left and right sides, and in between the two primary buttons.
Combined with the LEDs embedded on the back and sides, you have a pretty distinctive look. The LEDs can technically be tuned to one of four ‘breathtaking’ colours, but practically speaking you’ll find that only the red option looks any good combined with the exuberant scarlet paint job.
The left side has two thumb buttons, bound to back and forward in browsers by default, and several grooves which provide some extra grip.
The right side misses out the buttons, but has its own grooves as well. This includes a long channel for your ring finger, making the mouse quite suitable for palm grips.
The front of the mouse has two generously sized primary buttons, as you’d expect, with a scroll wheel and DPI adjust button tucked in between.
The bottom of the mouse is a little more interesting, with the 2400 DPI optical sensor in the centre, a tiny on/off switch and a compartment for the two AAA batteries — which are thankfully provided.
As well as the batteries and the mouse itself, you’ll get two info guides (covering about a dozen languages between them) and a quick install guide.
Thankfully, the quick install guide only needs to say “open the back cover, take out the wireless USB dongle, put in the batteries and turn the on/off switch to on” rather than anything more complicated.
That’s about it for the design, so let’s move directly onto testing.
We used the Fortus mouse in two situations: to control a media machine in front of our TV and for gaming on our usual workhorse. Media PCs are certainly one area where a wireless mouse makes sense, as you don’t want to have cables running all the way over your living room. Here the Fortus did well, working just fine on the coffee table or the couch, and allowing us to easily find video files to stream, pause when necessary and so forth.
Of course, gaming is the intended use case, so we couldn’t just leave it at that. Many PC gamers have historically poo-pooed wireless mice over reliability concerns, but we didn’t find any major problems in our testing. The wireless signal remained strong throughout, and we didn’t have any lag or interruptions. You do of course have to remember to change the batteries every once in a while, but in two weeks of on/off testing we haven’t yet reached that marker. Just keep a backup mouse nearby or test your batteries charge levels from time to time, and you’ll be just fine.
Going wireless for PC gaming also brings some advantages. You no longer have to worry about your mouse cable dragging on the floor, so you can ditch the mouse bungee we told you to buy last month. You also don’t have to worry about routing the cable itself; just find a space for the USB dongle, even on the back of your machine, and you’re all set.
Of course, there are also some downsides to any wireless mouse for gaming, and the Fortus doesn’t avoid these. The inclusion of batteries makes the mouse quite heavy, at 125 grams. That’s almost 50% heavier than the comparably-sized Finalmouse Scream One, and you can certainly feel the difference. This is most noticeable when using low DPI settings, as you’ll have to expend a lot more force to flick the mouse from side to side with that extra mass. That in turn lowers your precision, making it difficult to hit enemies that appear some distance from your crosshair. That makes this mouse a poor choice for CS:GO, although you can certainly raise your DPI to obviate the issue.
Apart from its mass, the Fortus is a reasonable choice. The wide design feels comfortable, and I had no problems sinking many hours into slower-paced games like Civilization VI. The side mouse buttons were a bit spongey, but still worked well enough for browsing the web or activating voice comms. I would have preferred to feel more tactile feedback when clicking, but this is a matter of personal preference rather than an out-and-out failing.
Altogether, the Fortus feels like a reasonable mouse. It has good performance thanks to its optical sensor and comfortable shape, its wireless capabilities make it particularly convenient for use with media PCs and laptops, and it’s a fair price too. The only users I wouldn’t recommend trying the Fortus are low-DPI shooter players, as the weight of the mouse precludes it from accurate use. For everyone else, give it a go – you may be as pleasantly surprised by this little-known brand as I was.
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