Abhijit DeyApr 11, 2019 12:33:13 IST
Recommending a gaming mouse to someone can be a daunting task. There are just too many factors contributing to a buying decision that is very personal. A mouse that works for me isn't necessarily a mouse that works for you.
At the end of the day, I’ve observed that it all comes down to comfort and price. The Rapoo VPRO V26S becomes an easy recommendation when the latter is the priority.
Entry-level gaming mice usually tend to use basic switches (the buttons that go click) to keep costs down. Whether they use an optical or laser sensor for tracking, they tend to be lower-end sensors. Compromises are also made in the material of the body and other internal parts. Rapoo seems to have found a good balance between build quality and price. But is price the only good feature of the VPRO V26S? No, there’s more.
Comfort and design
When you’re buying a mouse, the first thing you should consider is comfort. If you can’t hold a mouse comfortably for more than a few minutes, that mouse isn’t for you. A disclaimer, since I've been spoiled by the iconic and ergonomic design of a few stunning gaming mice such as the Logitech G502 and the Razer DeathAdder, any new mouse I use will always be at an ergonomic disadvantage.
The VPRO V26S has an ambidextrous design which means that it can be used by both left-handed and right-handed users. While this design is comfortable for regular usage, I personally prefer an ergonomic mouse that perfectly fits my palm.
Speaking of fitting in my palm, your preferred grip style is also an important factor under comfort while looking for a mouse. There are three highly popular grip styles including palm, claw and fingertip. While the palm grip involves placing your entire palm over the mouse, making the most contact, a claw grip is self-descriptive: you hold the mouse like you’re clawing at it. The fingertip style is literally holding the mouse with your fingertips. I found the design of the VPRO V26S to be suited more for a palm grip. A claw grip is also quite comfortable. However, this is completely personal and it might be different for you.
Thanks to the rubber lining on the two sides, I was able to get a firm grip on the mouse. The mouse is slightly heavy and since I prefer lightweight mice only, it wasn’t a pleasant experience while gaming. Weight is an important factor because gamers who tend to lift the mouse a lot while gaming (like me), will find a heavy mouse fatiguing. The size of the mouse is important as well and the VPRO V26S is meant for gamers with medium to large hands.
Superior build quality and features
Not many gaming mice in the lower-price segment can boast of a good build quality. The VPRO V26S has managed to implement a durable mouse that should last for a few more years compared to the other mice in the same price range. And that’s because of the high-quality switches used for the left- and right-click buttons. These two buttons are usually the ones that give away first, starting with random double clicks, and they eventually stop working. I found the switches stiff enough to give satisfying feedback while clicking. The travel distance of the two buttons is average: not too much, not too short.
Good quality cables and USB connectors determine the longevity of the mouse apart from the switches. The VPRO V26S has a braided cable that ends in a gold-plated USB connector. Rapoo is clearly keeping a check on these aspects to distance itself from its competition in the budget segment.
The scroll wheel is an important part of a mouse and I wasn’t satisfied with the quality. It didn’t have noticeable clicks to distinguish every step and it made a screeching noise while scrolling.
Forward and backward buttons have become common nowadays and I’m glad the ones on the VPRO V26S have an appropriate travel distance and force. They aren’t flimsy nor do they feel too stiff.
The VPRO V26S product page states that the maximum DPI level is 7,000. DPI or "dots per inch" is the resolution at which the mouse sensor scans the surface it's tracking. It's like taking a photo, higher resolution is generally better, but not always.
When testing, however, I found that the maximum DPI level reached around 4,000 only using MouseTester. Although this is false advertising, you don’t really need a high DPI mouse to play games. Always remember that as with taking photographs, high DPI doesn’t mean higher performance. In my experience, I’ve never used or played games with a mouse beyond 1,200 DPI. For the majority of my time playing games, 800 DPI has been my preferred level. Pro-gamers also tend to play at lower DPI settings. Think of it this way, a 12 MP iPhone photo is not the same as a 12 MP image from a DSLR.
The mouse has RGB lighting using multiple RGB LEDs inside. It illuminates in a colour cycle lighting mode and the effects cannot be controlled.
Performance: Great for the casual gamer
The VPRO V26S has an optical sensor that tracked all mouse movements accurately. It retains accuracy at low to moderate speeds but things become shaky at high speeds. An easy and effective way to test whether an optical mouse sensor can hold up to serious gaming is by moving the mouse quickly in any first-person shooter game like CS:GO. If the sensor is good enough, the crosshair will rotate properly, otherwise a low-end sensor will just stop tracking after a certain speed and your cursor will dance a little jig on the screen. To be fair, this is something only a pro gamer will care about, and if you're a pro gamer, you're not going to be looking at a Rs 1,600 mouse. For casual gamers, especially those on a budget, you can't really expect better performance than this.
The mouse advertises a polling rate or report rate of 1,000 Hz. Polling rate is the frequency at which the mouse reports positional data to the PC. So, a 1,000 Hz polling rate means that the PC will be checking 1,000 times per second for any signal from the mouse. The VPRO V26S has a polling rate of 500 Hz, as tested on Zowie’s Mouse Rate Checker. While it's half the advertised rate, a polling rate of 500 Hz is more than enough for gaming and your inputs won’t be skipped.
I played a few matches of CS:GO and PUBG using the VPRO V26S and didn’t face any sensor performance issue apart from the spin outs. When I made slow movements with a sniper rifle, the sensor was able to maintain accuracy. It only struggles at higher speeds. I found the second DPI level to be the best for playing first-person shooter games. However, if you don’t play these types of games and mostly play MOBAs, you have absolutely no reason to worry about the sensor spinning out.
The perception about entry-level gaming mice is that one of the buttons will deteriorate after six months or maybe the LED will stop working in a few months. Poor quality control is the main culprit here but these mice are so cheap that people could just buy a new one every year. With a retail price of about Rs 1,600, the VPRO V26S is competitively priced. The build quality is way ahead in this price range and the sensor performance will allow you to casually play first-person shooter games.
This is not a mouse for serious gamers who play competitively, but for everyone else, it hits that sweet spot between price and performance.