OCZ Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Page: 1
 Introduction
 
Logo
OCZ are a well established and renowned company when it comes to the world of computers. Starting off as a memory manufacturer they bought us some absolute gems such as the PC-3200 Platinum Rev.2 kits. 8 years on and they are still producing top quality memory kits, but have branched out into other areas of the enthusiast market as well. Releasing products such as power supplies, CPU coolers and even DIY notebooks.
 
Today we are going to take a look at part of their gaming peripherals line - the OCZ Dominatrix laser gaming mouse. This is the second mouse produced by the company, the first being the fairly basic Equalizer. Things have been stepped up somewhat for the Dominatrix though, so let's dive in for a look.
 
 
Specification:
 
The specifications were taken from OCZ's product page:
 
Specification

Special Features:

 
 It's an impressive looking specs sheet with the usual gubbins being listed. Also noteworthy is that 64-bit versions of Windows aren't supported, however.
 
 
Packaging
 
The OCZ Dominatrix comes in a familiar looking package. The box/blister combo shows off the mouse well so that it would look good on a retail shelf, plus it keeps it safe from the most rough handed couriers. It would also give you a chance to grip the mouse to see how it fits your hand if you were to come across it in a retail shop.
 
Box_front Box_side1
 
Box_side2 Box_back
 
The front of the box shows off the mouse itself, as well as outlining the main selling points of the mouse with some fancy little symbols. The left hand side of the box sports some blurb about the Dominatrix software and the back gives more details of exactly what the selling points of the mouse are. The right hand side of the box just tells you pretty much what's contained within.
 
Blister_front Blister_back
 
Pulling the blister pack out of the cardboard we can see the mouse is well secured. The only thing not protected by the blister pack is the instruction manual, which isn't the most mission critical item anyway.
 
On the next page we take a closer look at the mouse itself...


OCZ Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Page: 2
 Package
 
The mouse comes bundled with everything that is needed to get it up and running and not much more. The weights supplied with it are kept in a handy little plastic case. Besides that, all you really get is the software on a CD and the instruction manual.
 
Package
 
While this doesn't seem a lot, you really don't need anything else to get the Dominatrix up and running. Some spare feet may have been nice, but couple the OCZ Dominatrix with a nice mouse pad and the supplied ones should last a long time.
 
 
The Mouse
 
Looking at the mouse itself, it's a familiar and ergonomic design that  we've seen numerous variations of. Two large dips in each side mean that the mouse will sit within the hand comfortably, whilst not letting the fingers on each side drag on the surface the mouse it's being used on.
 
Overview 1 Mouse 2
 
As you can see the main body of the Dominatrix is coated in a matt black rubber coating with glossy plastic finish on the edges surrounding the blue rubber thumb and pinky grips.
 
Mouse 3 Mouse 4
 
The central strip is blue plastic; harbouring the four way scroll wheel, the On-the-fly DPI button and the game mode button.
 
 Underside Under_weights
 
The underside of the mouse is dominated by the weights compartment, and the laser is positioned close to the centre of the mouse where it should be. The OCZ Dominatrix has large feet bordering the edges of the base. Due to their size it might be a bit difficult to apply third party gliders of any kind, but hopefully the feet will be slippery enough not to need them.


OCZ Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Page: 3
 Software
 
All of the software required to run the Dominatrix is supplied on the CD, and a simple auto-run menu means even the least computer literate among us can install it with ease. There were two items of software needed to utilise the mouse to its full capacity. These being the four way wheel driver and the program that allowed you to make up and assign macros to the side buttons. The driver was pretty much just that - allowing the four way scroll wheel to work. It added a little extra functionality to the mouse properties box allowing you to configure and test the wheel.
 
Wheel Control
 
The command software is pretty simple. The three sections show what commands are available (pre-fabricated, custom or downloaded) in the bottom right hand corner. The top right allows you to see what macros are already stored on the mouse, in each of its three modes. And finally the panel taking up the majority of the left hand side of the window, displays exactly what the selected command entails.
 
Software1 Software2
 
The user can shift commands around the three windows in any direction using the two little arrows displayed between each box. It's made up to be an extremely user friendly way of writing, assigning and saving away binds that the user would want. The ability to transfer either a new macro for testing; a saved macro for a different mode or saving a bind set to your pc was child's play really.
 
DPI
 
Clicking on the circle labelled 'DPI' brought up the dialogue box shown Above. This allows you to set the four on-the-fly DPI levels that the mouse switches between upon hitting the button on the top. This is an ingenious idea as people who needed an in between on the presets no longer have to compromise between what the factory set. Instead they can just select the levels they require from the software, save it away to the mouse and not have to worry.
 
 
Test Setup
 
Mice are notoriously difficult to test, simply because they are a very personal device. Each user will have a different experience with a mouse due to different hand size, sensitivity settings, surface used etc. In light of this, I can only convey what my experience with the Dominatrix lead me to conclude about it.
 
The mouse was tested on my 'every day' PC which consists of the following hardware:
 
Intel Xeon 3070 @ 3.6Ghz
Abit IP35 Pro
Crucial Ballistix PC-5300 2GB kit @ 900mhz
Sparkle 8800GT 512Mb
WD Raptor 150GB
Dell 2407WFP & V7 L22WD
 
 
To put the Dominatrix though its paces a few programs were called upon. These were:
 
Adobe Photoshop - Photo editing requires a steady hand and demands precision from the mouse
Mozilla Firefox - General web surfing gives an impression of how the mouse feels for casual use
Microsoft Publisher - We all have to do some Office type work at some point
Counterstrike: Source - Testing on both high speed death match situations and lower paced match environments
Painkiller - Mowing down legions of un-dead is just fun
Spore - An RTS style gaming with a twist. Here the mouse needed to be precise enough to select a single unit but fast enough to scroll over to the other side of the world in an instant
 
Flip the page to see how the Dominatrix faired ...


OCZ Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Page: 4
 Results
 
Adobe Photoshop
 
Using Photoshop with the Domixatrix wasn't too hard. The ability to switch DPI comes in handy where extra precision was required. The software feature of being able to bind macros to the two side buttons could also come in handy. For example binding the undo command, then step backwards and short cut the keys to a single button allowing for easier correction of mistakes.
 
Photoshop
 
 
Firefox & General browsing
 
Once again the mouse performed competently for browsing. The shape makes it conformable to use for long periods of time and the the ability to bind buttons proving themselves useful once again. The DPI settings did need a little bit of tweaking in the software before I could comfortably use the mouse across the dual screen set up. However, once configured there were no flaws worthy of a mention.

Firefox
  
 
Microsoft Publisher
 
There isn't really a lot to talk about here. After fiddling around with a few different tools available in Publisher with the Dominatrix, it was clear that the mouse would in no way hinder the task of knocking up professional looking documents, and thus, we move swiftly on. (Lies! You just wanted to play games! - Ed)
 
 
Counterstrike: Source
 
Now this is where the Dominatrix will show its true colours. As it's primarily advertised as a gaming mouse there should be no failings while testing over the next three programs. A fair bit of tweaking with the software again allowed me to find the sweet spot that allowed me to play competently, and before long I was fragging away happily. The mouse performed well under Death Match conditions, where both speed and accuracy are required. It felt a little sluggish at first, but after a bit more practice it wasn't  a concern. The finger dips assist quite well in stopping me from running over my own fingers which is quite a common occurrence with the 'average joe' shaped mouse.
 
CSS
 
Moving on to the slightly slower paced PCW environment the mouse continued to impress. The mouse remained comfortable to rest my hand on while sitting staring at a door awaiting the slightest peak of a terrorist, but it also enabled me to react swiftly and confidently as one bolted through the said door.
 
 
Painkiller
 
Painkiller presented me with a very similar experience as the CS:S Death Match. But with a slightly different set-up involving higher sensitivity. The mouse once again coped with the rapid and often panicked commands with ease - tracking the movement to a 'T'.
 
Painkiller
 
 
Spore
 
Moving onto a different breed of game from the first two used, it was time to see how the mouse felt playing a more relaxed, less reflex intensive game.
 
Spore
 
Whilst playing Spore, the Dominatrix continued to impress. Still comfy to use and, once again after a little tweaking, the sensitivity settled to a level which was both accurate to select specific units and quick enough to scroll across the world in no time. Other mouse reviews have noted at how the on-the-fly DPI settings allow the scrolling to be a lot quicker, this was a  factor present with the Dominatrix, but I prefer a medium between the two.
 
Finally, we will look at the conclusion for the OCZ Dominatrix...


OCZ Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Page: 5
 Conclusion
 
As I stated earlier, it's difficult to evaluate a mouse simply because they are very personal devices and what works for some might be the very thing that others hate. The OCZ Dominatrix handled itself well throughout our tests. The shape isn't really something I prefer, yet I can safely say it was comfortable to use, whether it be for elongated browsing sessions, working in documents or even just blowing off heads. The bind-able buttons could, when put to use, be beneficial. But I can see the potential being overlooked by users that simply plug and play the mouse. Possibly the best feature was the ability to customise the on-the-fly DPI levels using the software. This can allow you to configure, for example, a rife and scoped sensitivity that can be cycled through at the click of a button. That is exactly what a user wants.
 
A quick product search across the interweb shows very few stockists of the Dominatrix at present. The first being listed at play.com at £17.99 but is presented as 'out of stock', and the second located over at Eclipse Computers for £21.09 listed as 'Normally in stock'. If these prices are a good indication of what the OCZ Dominatrix will retail for when it becomes more readily available, then this mouse is a bargain.
 
The Good
+ Comfy
+ Responsive
+ Good feature set
+ Price
 
The Mediocre
* Shape might not suit all
* Weight system
 
The Bad
- Nothing
 
 
 
Thanks to OCZ Technology for supplying the review sample.
 
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