Gigabyte Aivia Krypton Mouse and Mousepad Review
Blimey. If we can borrow a baseball metaphor then the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton has just come off the bench to have a pinch-hit, bases-clearing triple.
The original Aivia had some excellent features at a decent price for a high-end wireless rodent, let down by some hard plastics and a rather angular design for something expected to sit in a human hand instead of looking good in pictures.
The Krypton starts from a more obvious platform, wired ambidextrous gaming mouse with rapid sensor, and fixes all the faults of its predecessor. It's seriously comfortable, especially for those who haven't got tiny hands. The combination of comfortable soft-plastic top with deep cushioned rubber sides keeps it under control at all times. Because the sides are so grippy you relax when using it more than you do on a mouse with harder sides. It might be imperceptible but over a marathon session it can make the difference.
The scroll wheel is smooth and has a reassuring weight to it. The notches are tactile without sounding like a card in some bicycle spokes. The placement of the back/forward buttons is good too. Sometimes you find mice that have them too far forwards or back to be able to hit comfortably without having to adjust your hand position, and with the Krypton Gigabyte have got it spot on. Even the profile buttons are within reach without you accidentally bumping them. The fact you can switch between left and right handed operation just by holding both of the profile buttons for a couple of seconds is a nice touch, especially if you're in a clan or hotseating. The sensor is superb, and as good as almost anything around and certainly anything at this price-point.
The software is probably the best we've come across. The layout is crisp and clean, with everything being obvious and leading where you expect, without any sub menus and similar irritants. Many UI designers could learn a lot from the Ghost utility. Customising the Krypton is simplicity, and even the macro editor didn't give us any headaches or resort to consulting the documentation. The only thing the software doesn't record is a relative screen x and y of the pointer, but we've only ever found one that did so we certainly wont down mark the Krypton for that. It would just be nice to open the customisation up a little further.
Also whilst we're pointing out the couple of tiny niggles we have, we'd like to see the colour of the scroll wheel and DPI LEDs change with the profile LEDs. We can't be the only people who prefer to have a uniform colour scheme and that does limit you to using a couple of the blue profile indicators? Or perhaps obsessive enough to find a mixture of colours uncomfortable. Otherwise you're left with bright blue LEDs and whatever profile colour you've chosen. Yes it's a small thing but on a modern mouse that offers so much else, why can't we customise it fully?
However, all in all there is loads to love about the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton. All the design decisions are ones that are obviously the right thing to do. It might sound simple but the amount of products we've tested where a company has done something different just because it's different rather than better is too numerous to count. From the placement of the weights, the simplicity of switching the entire underside to change feet, to the lovely feel of the buttons and the comfort of the mouse itself, it's a joy to use. The gaming surface is equally wonderful, providing the best of both the hard and cloth worlds without compromising either, although you'll need a lot of desk space to make the most of it.
High end gaming mice come with a high-end price tag, but the Aivia Krypton is retailing for around the £50 mark, which in a world of £80 mice is great to see, especially for one with this feature set. We could niggle about a little extra customisation in the LEDs or more choice of colours, which is why it's a triple rather than a home run. A great mouse at a great price, and you should definitely seek one out. Unquestionably Gold.
Phew, made it through the whole review without mentioning Superman. Oh damn...