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Love at first site? Sort of. I have to admit, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on the Alienware AW510M gaming mouse for a while.
Its biggest draw for me being its sexy, sloping design and matte black finish seductively named Dark Side of the Moon, along with its impressive, native 16,000 DPI sensor and nine programmable buttons.
But would that ergodynamic, V-shaped tail fit comfortably in my claw-hand after 10+ hours of gaming? The short answer… maybe. As a casual PC gamer, I was looking for a new mouse that could keep up with my gameplay, but nothing too expensive or decked out because I just don’t need it.
Up until I made the switch, I was using a Logitech G602 which has definitely run its course, but served me well over the years. Would Alienware live up to my expectations and keep my hand happy?
From the get go, the mouse has a sturdy heft to it. At about 90 grams, the weight is decent, but has some room to be heavier for even better control. It performs with a 40 G maximum acceleration at 400 inches per second which standard for gaming mice.
Almost all of the buttons are within reach, without being easy to hit accidentally while playing. I cannot tell you the amount of times my trigger fingers have slipped and hit the wrong button… Unfortunately, the two buttons at the very top left are a bit too out of the way to hit quickly, but that’s a forgivable offence. The feel of the click is great – very crisp, great tension with very little post travel. The kind of clicks that make you want to play longer because it just feels good and sounds good.
Altogether, there are 10 programmable buttons which I’ll get into more later. The rubber scroll wheel is nicely textured with the option to change it from 12 to 24 steps by hitting the switch underneath the mouse. Right below the scroll wheel is a small switch for changing the DPI sensor setting. The mouse has 5 sensor setting options that can be programmed to your preferred DPI and can be toggled through mid-gameplay using that middle switch.
The sensor options range from 800 to a max of 16,000 DPI. The location of the toggle button itself neatly prevents an accidental click, along with the fact that it is a pullback button rather than push down, so you shouldn’t be bumping it and suddenly finding yourself at a different DPI. That’s pretty convenient for fans of first-person-shooters like me, who need to keep their gameplay precise and fast.
Alongside the AW510M are the 310M and 610M options. The 310M being the cheapest of the three, while the 610M is the most expensive at $100. Both the 310M and 610M are wireless options but with the 310M you do lack the maximum DPI sensor that the 510M and 610M allow you, capping at just 12,000 DPI.
The 610M is wireless, comes with a 16,000 DPI sensor and has the same comfortable design as the 510M. It also allows for 350 hours of gameplay per charge, versus the 300 hours you would get with the 310M.
However, for a lower price and higher DPI, you could look to both the Logitech G502 HERO or the Razer DeathAdder v2 Gaming Mouse with its 20K DPI and fairly similar but more tame overall design, where the AW510M has a more aggressive and, in my opinion, cooler shape.
The AW510M also has one more button to customize than the Razer’s nine. The Logitech G502 comes in strong, also at a lower price point with 11 customizable buttons, and a similar 16,000 DPI. Of course, if you’re a longtime brand follower, does the AW510M stand up to Alienware’s product quality?
This brings me to the not so great aspects of the gaming mouse. Yes, while it is technically made for gaming, it did not seem to want me to game all that much.
The 2mm nylon braided cord does not work for me. It’s too stiff and thick and you might be better off just getting the AW310M, if you don’t mind the lower DPI. As a gamer, you have to be able to move quickly and comfortably, so being held back by a cord that isn’t as flexible as you is a pretty significant setback.
Whether you prefer being tethered with a higher DPI sensor is all down to preferences, and of course you can splurge for the AW610M if you can’t stand the cord and still demand a higher DPI sensor.
Additionally, the glide is not nearly as smooth as it should be on my mouse pad. The edges of the mouse aren’t as polished as they could be and the added friction is a big shame for the expectations I had based on its design. Even the slightest bit of resistance while playing hurts the overall performance quality of this mouse.
Related Reading: Alienware AW510H Gaming Headset Review
Design & Lighting
Moving away from the negatives, let’s talk design.
Alienware has a knack for spicing up designs and making their tech sexy, sleek and fun to unbox. Right off the bat, the packaging is great. I always like a good introduction to any product I purchase, and seeing care in the packaging tends to give me hope for what’s inside. It’s a good looking mouse.
With a color called “Dark Side of the Moon,” you really can’t go wrong, can you my Pink Floyd fans? That strange V-shape design is fantastic. I have slightly larger hands and yes, I’m one of the few that fell deeply in love with those original brick Xbox controllers (I know, I know, you think they were awful, but that’s a debate for another time).
This design fit ever so nicely and held onto the palm of my hand throughout gameplay. Aside from the lackluster glide, the comfort was there.
The AlienFX RGB lights are fully customizable with 16.8M color control, which is a fun feature to make your mouse feel like your mouse. Customizing the lights also brings me to one major drawback of the AW510M.
While customizing the light is very straightforward – just hit the FX tab in the Alienware Command Center (ACC), the software itself does need to be installed for you to begin programming the buttons, setting the DPI to your taste and changing that light according to your fancy.
ACC does automatically install onto your computer once you plug the mouse in, so at the very least you’re not manually installing it yourself. The command center interface is in no way user friendly. For whatever reason, Alienware still hasn’t figured out a UI that’s intuitive and easy to use.
Programming the 10 buttons is tediously complicated and with no internal memory, get ready to do it all over again if you decide to use your mouse with a different console.
The other drawback is being unable to assign any mouse clicks to the additional buttons – only keystrokes. If you’re a fan of complicated user interfaces, then this is definitely the mouse for you…
You may also like: Alienware AW510K Gaming Keyboard Review
Overall, the design, texture, and feel of the mouse makes me believe it’s built to last. At least for my personal, casual usage. While the weighty nylon braided cord is a pretty big setback, the overall ergonomic design of the mouse with its sleek finish gives me the sense that it’ll last me a healthy amount of time.
Would it last a hardcore gamer? I would not bet on it. Comfortable, yes. But not heavy enough or sleek enough at the feet of the controller for a nice glide that would really last long hours of intense gaming.
I have yet to see many unboxing or overall review videos on the AW510M, but a great one to watch to get a good look at the product would have to be Packed Review’s. He gives a detailed look at the dimensions of the mouse and a demonstration of how the buttons feel and sound. I’d recommend giving that a quick watch before making your final verdict:
My favorite aspects of this mouse have to be the comfort of that V-shape design and the feel of the buttons themselves. It also looks a lot better than my old mouse (rest in peace, Logitech g602), but that’s to be expected with any Alienware product.
They just have a look to them that screams for you to show them off. It just looks cool sitting on your desk. I also have to say I love the customizable light. It’s a clever additional feature that’s a nice consolation prize after you’ve toiled over figuring out how to set up the buttons.
The price point is pretty reasonable. To be completely honest, the price is worth the positive features especially if you’re a casual gamer just looking to make an upgrade or replace a mouse. The size and shape works for most hand sizes.
Does a sexy design and comfortable hold make up for the difficult-to-program buttons, clunky cord and less than smooth glide? Am I eager to jump back into gaming with this light-up mouse? Is it worth it for the brand name?
Honestly, I’m lukewarm about the AW510M. Yes, it’s under $100, but I still expected a better overall feel from Alienware. Especially since you’re catering to gamers, the ACC should be much more straightforward to program for gaming and get you right into the action.
This really hinders my excitement to scream its praises and tell you to run to your nearest Best Buy to grab. With a competitor in the Logitech G502 Hero, that is also cheaper, I would say shoot for Logitech.
But of course, if you are and always will be a fan of Alienware, then this mouse is just good enough to stick with. The drawbacks aren’t so extreme to push me away from the brand, so if you’ve got an itch to keep that Alienware collection going, the AW510M is a decent addition.
However, if you have the extra wallet-space, I would recommend shooting for the AW610M just to be free of that cable and game away.