Ideazon are known widely for their legendary gaming device, the Zboard and its multitiude of gaming keysets. In the past they have also produced gaming pads to give those that wish to stick with their keyboards the Zboard gaming edge. Now though, Ideazon is branching out into the gaming mouse arena, this one is called the Reaper.
A little about Ideazon
It all began back in 1999 as Oren Kramer, an avid gamer, tried his hand – both hands, in fact – at mastering the tricky basic commands of StarCraft™, an extensive real-time strategy game. Oren was also an avid Quake™ player, an intense first person shooter game. Suddenly, the proverbial light came on and in a moment of inspiration Oren asked himself three questions he would soon pursue the answers to . . .
What if a gaming keyboard could be designed to let gamers execute complex maneuvers and a combination of movements with just a single easy keystroke?
Could such a keyboard eliminate the need to memorize key commands and free gamers for the first time to focus all of their attention on action, strategy and ultimate victory?
Would a keyboard dedicated to gaming action not make it easier and faster for gamers of all levels to master any game and maximize playing enjoyment?
So began the Ideazon revolution.
Oren went on to create the first Zboard and the rest is gaming history. The Zboard was the world’s first gaming keyboard, an innovation that forever changed the way gamers connect with their favorite games. It cut down the learning curve to deliver a lethal competitive edge to core gamers, while helping casual players dramatically and immediately improve their play.
NB. Full Ideazon history cna be found at their website.
Ideazon’s Take on the Reaper
The cold stench of death has arrived. If you want the power to choose who lives and who dies; the Reaper is your tool. This gaming mouse comes equipped with a 1600 DPI Optical Sensor for extreme control and accuracy. The Reaper features driverless on-the-fly sensitivity DPI adjustment, so you can modify it to meet your needs instantaneously. It also includes 6 programmable buttons to enhance your killing style. The gold plated USB connecters provide maximum conductivity to give you less latency and more frags. The genuine Teflon mouse feet supply the smoothest possible slashes across mousing surfaces to keep you in control of your enemies. Let the harvest begin!
- Driverless, on the fly sensitivity switching lets you instantly access 3 DPI levels (400 – 800 -1600)
- Sleek Design
- Illuminated red with a black on black finish
- 6 programmable buttons plus a 7th button for ultra fast DPI Switching
- Rubberized Non-slip Buttons for Gaming Grade Control & Precision
- Non-stick Teflon mouse feet and rubberized non-slip left and right mouse buttons
- Gold-plated USB Connector
- USB 2.0, 16-bit data path, 15 g acceleration with 40 ips works through the gold plated connector
Bits and Box
The Reaper comes in quite a fetching box which has an explosion of yellow and red colour from behind a sleek black swirl that dominates the front of the box. You can also see the reaper through some plastic packing and are treated to a short collection of features in several languages.
The back of the box has much more detailed listing of the mouse’s features and specifications, all nicely linked up to a numbered diagram so you can really see where the “7 Programmable buttons” are.
Inside the box you get the typical driver cd and manual however there were no additional extras and documentation like you see with other gaming mice. This is not a big problem though, as most of these are pretty superfluous anyway.
The Ideazon Reaper is built at the front like a generic mouse. It has the standard three button design, left, right and the central scroll button and of course, the whole thing is in typical gamer black. The left and right buttons are both covered in a soft rubbery texture that makes them incredibly comfortable to use.
Moving back from the front buttons we find out first anomaly, the DPI switch button. This is a tiny little button located a centimetre or two behind the scroll wheel. You might think this is an odd place for a button as typically it will be situated underneath your palm during those long gaming sessions. It will be interesting to see if this presents a problem.
Moving back further still we come to the see through “Z” logo that is used on the Zboard products. When plugged in the mouse will shine a red LED through the clear Z and it looks very cool indeed; really setting this mouse apart from others that have a more bland rear end.
On the left hand side of the mouse are the other 3 buttons that are promised with the “7 Programmable buttons” spiel on the front of the packaging. These buttons are situated just above and slightly further back from a thumb groove in the mouse. This groove is designed for you comfortably place your thumb while using the mouse. This presents a problem however, as by placing your thumb in the groove it places the 2 forward most buttons on the side out of reach of your average thumb. The results will reflect a more deeper look into this.
On the underside there is some product information and also a little plug for the Ideazon website. There is also the gaming grade teflon feet which provide the smoothest possible glide for your furry little friend. There is also the usual cool looking white circle around the optical LED in the centre. This circle is common on other gaming mice, and just makes the bottom look that much better.
The Ideazon Reaper also features a gold plated USB2 connetor. This is usually more eye candy than anything else, but it tendsto be a bit more durable and if you use the same mouse for couple of years you will not suffer the connectivity problems of a standard nickel connector.
For a quick size and shape comparison, I placed the Ideazon next to the Razer Krait and the Razer Death Adder.
As the Reaper is more expensive than the Krait, and a little cheaper than the Death Adder, so it will be interesting to see if it sits in the middle ground on performance as well as cost.
To test this mouse I ran through several windows based tests such as browsing, quick file navigation and general usage. I also ran several gaming benchmarks to assertain how good the Reaper was at dealing with the speed and precision needed in gaming.
The games that I tried the mouse on were: BF2142 for a steady FPS, House of the Dead 3 and Starship Troopers for some frantic shooter action and 9Dragons for some slow paced MMO.
Windows based testing: The mouse performed very well here. I had it at maximum sensitivity and found it very easy to navigate around windows – especially during the quick file navigation as I only had to move the mouse a tiny ammount for it to leap across the screen and wrest on exactly what I wanted i to.
Gaming Tests: In Battlefield 2142 the on-the-fly sensitivity switching really shined. I set the mouse to 800dpi and racked up the in game sensitivity. I also used the Ideazon software to set it so that only 800 and 1600 DPI settings were available. This then allowed me to double the sensitivity when it was needed, IE. when using the slow moving railgun turrets and the slow moving gunship missiles. This gave me a real edge as I could turn the turrets and missiles much quicker and more smoothly than my apponents.
In Starship Troopers it really was manic. With the huge sensitivity that this mouse offered I was able to do a 360 spin, constantly firing, mowing down bug by bug only by moving the mouse a small ammount. House of the dead was equally entertaining but the increased sensitivity was not quite as necessary as accuracy is a little more paramount in that game.
9Dragons is a brand new MMO from Acclaim based in ancient China. I set the mouse to 800 DPI and had no problems with the mouse’s performance whatsoever.
Unfortunately the comfort area is where the Reaper fell down slightly. By placing your thumb into the dip designed for it, you are unable to reach the buttons. If you place your thumb where it can reach the buttons then it is forced to rest on the ridge at the edge of the dip, which is quite uncomfortable in long gaming sessions.
The software that comes with the Reaper is for the most part, quite good. It allows you to change what all of the buttons do, even switching the DPI changer to a different button if you so wish. You can also set the DPI switcher to only have two options, so if you have no need for a 400 DPI setting, you can set it so that only 800 and 1600 DPI settings are available. However, where this part of the product fell down is the lack of customisation. You cannot set custom keys or macros to any of the buttons, you have to use their preset commands. Most of these are useful in a windows environment (Eg. Forward and back for browsers and home and end for typing), but when you would use them in a game is beyond me. Not having customisable buttons in 9Dragons was the biggest let down as I was forced to use the preset hoetkeys on the keyboard. Another note, although there was an included “Paste” function, there was no “Copy” or at the very least “Cut”. Hopefully Ideazon will fix these issues in the next release of the software.
The Ideazon Reaper is a great gaming mouse; it perfomed brilliantly in all tests that I performed on it. However, it is severaly let down in several areas. You cannot customise the button commands at all, you have to use preset commands and the side buttons are rendered useless in games because of this. However, even if these buttons had a use in game the placement of the thumb wrest would make them uncomfortable to use.
If you are already using Ideazon’s products such as the Zboard or the Merc, the Reaper will be a welcome addition to your gaming team. However for the £30 price tag there are better performing and much more comfortable mice out there.
|High sensitivity||Limited software|
|On-the-fly sensitivty change options||Side buttons useless in games|
|Looks good, red LED makes it stand out||Uncomfortable thumb placement|
I’d like to thank our sponsors Ideazon for providing us with the cooler.
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