Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 1
Introduction

The gaming mouse market is a very competitive place, filled with big names that always seem to come out with mice that are gamers favorites. When a newcomer comes into the fray there's a big pressure to have a standout product.

Hades Gaming are one such brave company. Their H1 Optical Gaming Mouse has entered the market aimed squarely at gamers. I've been (literally) playing with the mouse for a couple of weeks now, so let's get into it.

Packaging

The packaging came as a bit of a nice surprise when I received the package. I was expecting a box aimed at "gamers", meaning a horrible bright box with some garish colours and cheesy logo's but I was pleasantly surprised.

hades mouse box

hades mouse box 2

The box has a nice amount of information on it and is in a colour that's fairly pleasing on the eyes. Inside the mouse is packed up nicely so you shouldn't have any trouble with damages.
 
hades mouse inside


All in all a nice box to come through your door.

Package

The package with the mouse is more than you usually get with normal mice and about on par with the other gaming mice in the market. You've got:

* Soft LAN mouse case
* 2 x Spare sets teflon mouse feet
* Manual and Driver CD
 
hades mouse package

hades mouse manual


The manual and driver CD come in a rather nice little package as before presented very well. The addition of the spare feet are awesome and sure to come in handy for those who wear out the feet of their mice a lot. Combined with the small mouse pouch, useful for LANs and the manual, these little touches are great to make you think you've got a little bit extra with your mouse.

Specification

The specs of the hades gaming mouse look pretty decent. Taken from Hades Gaming website:
 
H1 Main Features

Professional Gaming Mouse
Best performance optical engine
Special design for FPS/ SLG/ SIM/ SPT/ RPG/ RTS games
Tracking speed up to 40 IPS (inches/sec)
Pixel: 4.8 mega pixels/ second
Frame rate: up to 12,000 FPS (frames/ sec)
Toggle resolution selector
4 levels adjustable rsolution with indicator (Up to 8 levels)
Default resolution: 400/ 800/ 1,200/ 1,600 DPI,4 levels
Resolution: 100~3,200 DPI
2 modifiedable mouse modes (profiles)
Independently programmable 8 buttons (Saving up to 16 different commands)
Up to 16 commands keyboard saving
Adjustablr USB report rate: up to 1,000 reports/second (MIN 4Hz)
Modifiedable surface optimized
Hardeard parameter saving technology
Weight adjustable
Non-slip gaming scrolling wheel
Non-slip and soft rubber coated mouse buttons
USB full speed
2M (6.56 ft) USB 2.0 cable
Gold plated USB connector for wonderful conductivity
Gaming PTFE (Teflon) mouse feet
Dimension: 120 × 77 × 41 mm; 4.74 × 3.04 × 1.62 inch (L × W × H)
Weight: 128g (with cable)
Color: Red/ Grey, Black

3200DPI seems rather high for a gaming mouse and I assume this must be interpolated.


Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 2
Hades H1 Optical Mouse Close up

The Hades Mouse is a rather attractive little rodent. I received the red/grey version. First glances show that the mouse is a little wider than my other mice and fairly short. The grey is matt and the red is a shiny red metallic plastic.

hades gaming mouse out


Closer in we see that the mouse has quite a contrastive finish resulting in a quite aggressive look, certainly suiting it's "Gaming" title.
 
hades gaming mouse closer

hades gaming mouse side
 

The top buttons are made of rubber for the sake of grip and the side of the mouse has a textured feel to it, again to help grip.
 
hades gaming mouse bottom

hades gaming mouse weights


Inside the bottom of the mouse we see a set of weights that you can take out and arrange to your own tastes. Personally I found the mouse to be weighted well with them all in, so I left them as they were. This is a great feature of any mouse and I really like having the option, as on my Logitech G5. The feet on the Hades Gaming Mouse are Teflon and work smoothly on every surface I've tested the mouse with. More of that later on...
 
hades gaming mouse

hades gaming mouse lead

The lead is so often overlooked in a mouse, but I think Hades have got it spot on here with a rubberised covering. The lead is long enough to reach even the furthest away desk so no fault there either. The actual USB plug is gold plated for maximum connectivity, though I have my doubts how much this will actually help.

Buttons

The buttons on the mouse are positioned very well, despite there being quite a few. Below is a small diagram of what does what by default when plugged in to Windows Vista and Windows XP.
 
hades h1 button config

The DPI adjust is a very useful button that flicks up or down to adjust DPI on the fly. Mode change changes the mouses mode, which can be configured in the software. The click-wheel is positive when flicked up or down and the actual click works well even though it was a little stiff to use at first.

The left and right click buttons are well made and are very grippy.

The only slight problem with the buttons is that the forward/back button is a little loose. Testing showed this not to be much of a problem, however, and it certainly isn't about to come off.

Lights

The lights on the mouse are pretty useful. Below is a diagram demonstrating what the left light set actually indicate.
 
hades h1 light config


The DPI level light usefully and clearly indicated what DPI you are set to from a choice of 4 levels. The mode button shows which mouse mode you are in.

Build Quality

The build quality of the mouse is generally excellent, apart from two problems I spotted:

* Back/forwards button is slightly loose
* Side grey finger grips push in slightly under more than average pressure

As I said: this is a shame as these two niggles let down what is otherwise a well-made mouse.


Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 3
Hades Gaming Mouse Mat

As I wasn't given the mouse mat in retail packaging, I thought I'd briefly mention it in this review.

The mat is a hard coated plastic mouse mat with a rubberised base for grip. It's quite large at 350 x 260mm and again looks good in red with black highlights, as shown below against an Icemat V1.

hades gaming pad

hades mouse mat

The base of the pad is grippy and doesn't slip on the surface of my desk.
 
hades gaming pad bottom
 
Hades have done a great job with the pad and it's good quality and attractive.
 
hades gaming pad
 
The pad is responsive and smooth and particularly good with the mouse which gives a very positive experience combined. My Logitech G5 also was very smooth on the Hades gaming pad.

All in all, a nice bit of kit. Now onto testing the mouse.


Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 4
Test Setup

hades gaming mouse in use

To give you an idea of what the mouse is like I have set up the Hades Gaming H1 Optical gaming mouse on my main PC and used it for about two weeks.

Specs:

Intel Xeon 3070 @ 3.6GHz
Abit IP35 Pro
2gb Cellshock DDR800 @ DDR1100 5-5-5-15
MSI 8800 GTX
2 x Hitachi Deskstar 7K160
Tagan 1100w PSU
Custom Lian Li PC71b
Custom Watercooling
Dell 2405 FPW Monitor
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard

I used a variety of mousemats to test:

Hades gaming Mouse Pad
Icemat V1
Free hard mousemat
Office-style cloth mousemat

For a comparison I am using the Logitech G5 mouse, the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical and the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3 (Rev 2)
The Hades Gaming Mouse is first and foremost a gaming mouse so I have used it for gaming

* Adobe Photoshop detailed photo-editing

* Macromedia Fireworks banner making

* Microsoft Office work (general including Outlook, Excel, Access, Word and Powerpoint)

* General web browsing/article writing

* Gaming: FPS - Unreal Tournament 3 beta, Crysis, Bioshock & F.E.A.R.

* Gaming: RTS - Command and Conquer 3

This should cover a good range of situations that you would use the mouse in.

Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 5
Does it fit? Comfort

Before I go into things like test results and how the Hades H1 does there, let's just see how comfortable it is to use.

comfort

Ignoring my pudgy fingers and focusing on finger position, the Hades H1 Optical mouse is very comfortable in my hand. The extra width over normal mice means the almost the entire width of my hand rests on the mouse and only the back of the palm of my hand rests on the mousepad. In comparison, the Logitech G5 means my little finger tends to trail along a little bit but my palm is raised.

Mice are very personal things, but in general if you have fairly wide hands this mouse will be a nice fit.

Software

The software for the Hades H1 is fairly complicated but pretty clever. Instead of using a driver (bloated driver), like a lot of companies do with their mice, Hades have designed the mouse to have it's features changed in the hardware. You start up a program and get some fairly complicated screens:

hades h1 software

Here you can assign different functions to different buttons.

hades software dpi

DPI can be changed here, along with windows polling rate and a few other pretty cool bits and pieces.

hades software scripts
 
The "Script Programming" function can store keyboard commands (single or compound command), mouse wheel, mouse button and cursor motions as a batch in the mouses memory. Delay time can also be adjusted between commands. This means that you have no need to store any of this information in a driver, simply flick the correct button in-game and you have it there.

This page allows you to assign scripts and button configs for different games. for games like WoW this is a pretty handy feature, but you have to be aware that gaming leagues like Enemy Down frown upon and even ban you for some types of scripts.

The software is a great compliment to the mouse, especially for those who like to fiddle to get everything perfect. In the other direction, if you don't want to use it...you don't have to.

Testing - Results

Adobe Photoshop detailed photo-editing

photoshop


The Hades H1 gaming Mouse does very well in photoshop. The high DPI is useful for the detailed parts where you really want to be accurate, but a little too high at the highest DPI. On-the-fly DPI switching means you can adjust to every situation in photoshop.

Macromedia Fireworks banner making

fireworks

Much like photoshop, the Hades was proficient using Fireworks. Here I found that the G5 and the Hades mouse did very well. The added comfort of the H1 perhaps edging it, but not by very much.

Microsoft Office work (general including Outlook, Excel, Access, Word and Powerpoint)

office

As expected, the Hades Gaming did fine in Office work. The mouse was accurate, precise and comfortable.

General web browsing/article writing

web browsing

Web browsing was again a pleasure with the forward and back defaults on the side button coming in very handy. Here the Hades Mouse edged it as the Logitech G5 does not have a back and forward button.

Gaming: FPS

hades h1 ut3

Here's the important bit. Being modelled as a Gaming Mouse, the Hades H1 had better do well here, or we certainly won't be recommending it!

In brief: the good news is that the H1 does very well.

Testing UT3 (you might have noticed, it's rather a favourite of ours here at OC3D!!), the Hades gaming mouse was smooth and accurate. I was glad at this point of the highest resolution that the mouse outputs. UT3 is all about twitch gaming and the extra speed means a split second less to aim at someone. Comparing the mice in UT3: the Logitech and the Hades were step by step as good as each other throughout testing. That is certainly an impressive performance by the Hades H1 as the Logitech G5 is one of the best mice I have every used.

Other games followed this general trend, with Counter Strike: Source and UT3 being the most noticible difference between the mice tested.

Top marks to the Hades H1 Optical Gaming Mouse here.

Gaming RTS: Command and Conquer 3

RTS gaming is about being able to both swish across a map quickly, as well as making precise and detailed selections . The on-the-fly DPI switching comes in handy here as it doesn't tend to so much in FPS. The G5 and the Hades mouse were again side-by-side during testing with very little to choose between them.

Surface testing

Hades Gaming Mouse Pad

The Hades pad is a very smooth surface to game on and the Hades mouse did very well here: it's obvious the pad is designed for the surface. Again the G5 glides along nicely here, but not quite as well as the Hades mouse.

Icemat v1

The Icemat v1 is a harsher surface than the Hades Gaming surface and I found that the Logitech mouse coped a little better on the glass. Having said that, the Hades mouse was still highly proficient.

Free hard surface mousemat

The hard surface mouse mat was a middle ground and most of the mice performed the same here, although again the Hades mouse and the Logitech showed why they are top-line mice.

Office type cloth mousemat

Here is a surface that the top-line mice didn't feel at home as much on. In fact the nicest to use on this was the basic Microsoft Intellimouse. Moral of the story: if you're going to buy an expensive mouse, buy a decent surface for it too!

Testing Summary

The Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse and the Logitech G5 traded blows throughout testing but in the end came out about even in useability and functionality. During gaming I was hard pressed to make a decision between the two, so I am not going to.

The lack of drivers needed for the Hades mouse certainly stands it in good stead and the software should do about everything you need (even the ironing?? - Ed). The slightly wobbly forward/back side button didn't affect use, although it did shake my confidence in build quality which was excellent apart from the slight niggles mentioned.


Hades Gaming H1 Optical Gaming Mouse & Mat Page: 6
Conclusion

Mice are such personal and important objects in the PC Gaming experience that it's always a tough job reviewing one: some people may well love a mouse that others simply hate.

That the Hades H1 is an excellent gaming mouse is beyond doubt to me; the performance and experience I have had in-game is equal to, or perhaps better than the superb Logitech G5.

Having said that the minor build niggles I listed on page 2 did make me think twice as to whether I'd buy one. The RRP for the H1 is £39.99 with stock due in the UK before the christmas period. This is a decent price, falling in line with the other gaming mice out there, though perhaps a little on the expensive side for a newcomer.

Based solely on performance, application and looks I can recommend the Hades H1 Optical Gaming Mouse, however without a price it's hard to do any more. I know gamers will love this mouse, if the price is right.

recommended gamers choice

The Good

+ Excellent smooth tracking
+ Awesome for gaming
+ Lots of well placed buttons
+ Comfortable
+ Good looking without being OTT

The Mediocre

* Excellent build quality let down by minor niggles
* Yet another gaming mouse
* Price a little high

The Bad

- Not available to buy as of yet

Thanks to Hades Gaming for the review sample

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