Earlier this week we looked at the Predator Aethon 500 mechanical keyboard, and now it’s time to look at its counterpart: the Cestus 500 optical mouse. This mouse has some clever ideas, including dual Omron switches, a fully ambidextrous design and magnetically attached wings, so I’m keen to give it a try. Here’s the review!
The Cestus 500 is something of a contradiction, visually offering a lot of harsh lines that reflect the Predator branding, while being relatively smooth and safe on the places that you’ll actually hold it. There are some exceptions – the left and right mouse buttons are flanked by ear-like protrusions that you can definitely feel – but the mouse feels much more comfortable than it looks in photos. A lot of this is down to the texture, which includes a rubberised triangular pattern on both sides to aid grip.
Interestingly, Acer include two magnetic wings in the box, one for each side of the mouse, which can be installed to add a little ledge for your outside fingers and reduce drag. I found that I preferred the increased grip and lower weight afforded by the wingless variant, but it’s great that you can swap this out yourself to try both options.
The Cestus 500 weighs 96 grams with its standard ‘grip’ side panels, which is a little heavy for a mouse – I generally think around 90 grams is ideal. If you swap the ‘grip’ side panels for the ‘wings’, the weight climbs to 105 grams. You can also technically use the mouse without any side panels at all, which brings it down to 86 grams, but this does make for a very narrow shape – not the most comfortable.
The buttons are clicky across the board, with a nice snap to them. On this review unit, the left mouse button has a deeper tone than the right mouse button. The side buttons, mapped to back and forward by default, appear on both sides, making this an entirely ambidextrous design. These buttons are incredibly loud and clicky when pressed – maybe even too loud. The DPI adjust button sits above the LED-lit scroll wheel and is nicely recessed to prevent accidental presses. Speaking of the scroll wheel, it’s silent rather than clicky in normal usage but still includes noticeable notches for each step.
The standout feature here is called ‘Dual Omron Switches’ by Acer, and basically means that you can toggle between two different Omron-made switches that offer different levels of resistance for the left and right buttons. Having both options available also boosts the working lifetime of the mouse, with one switch rated for 20 million clicks and the other 50 million clicks. You can change between switches by flipping a toggle on the underside of the mouse; it’s possible to change each of the mouse buttons separately if you wish. I couldn’t detect a massive difference between the two options, but it’s nice to have the ability to customise your mouse in this way.
The Cestus 500 uses a Pixart 3330 optical sensor. This sensor doesn’t quite compare to the best optical sensors on the market in terms of its rated acceleration or maximum DPI setting, but it tracks well without any kind of unwanted acceleration. This is the same sensor found in the Rival 110, and it’s a common choice for mid-range mice made in 2018.
In game, I found it offered excellent performance without ever skipping or bugging out, even while performing tilt-slam testing. It’s accurate enough for sniping and fast enough for quick flicks, so all-around it’s a good choice.
The software provided with the Cestus 500 is called Predator QuarterMaster. Like the mouse itself, it looks a bit too stylised with its stubborn refusal to use ordinary shapes, but the actual features are sensibly arranged and easy to adjust. You can reassign each of the eight buttons, adjust the LED lighting effects in each of the three zones, set up six different DPI levels (each with their own colour) and change the lift-off distance. It’s a nice software package, not quite as comprehensive as Razer or Corsair’s offerings but it feels very polished – the polar opposite of the ‘Predator gaming device integration’ software we used for the Aethon 500 keyboard.
The Cestus 500 is a surprisingly competent gaming mouse from a brand that isn’t known for its peripherals. While the harsh angles and big Predator branding may throw off some would-be customers, that’s a real shame – underneath that angular armour, there’s a comfortable gaming mouse with a strong sensor and some unique ideas. If you’re after an ambidextrous gaming mouse, it’s actually well worth considering.