Technical Specifications Ergonomics and Build Quality Sensor Performance Drivers Final Thoughts Gallery
Technical Specifications (KTEC 9500+)
Ambidextrous 5 Button Mouse
Avago ADNS-3080 광마우스 (Optical) Sensor
90g (w/ cord)
125/142/166/200/250/333/500/1000Hz Polling Rate
Ergonomics and Build Quality
The main reason that I became very interested in this mouse was not because of the sensor or from positive feedback from users on TL but the overall ergonomic design of the mouse, though the other two pieces of information helped me decide to finally make the purchase (that and it was ~$15). From the ergonomic standpoint I am very impressed with how comfortable this mouse has felt. I almost immediately noticed that I was going to love the ergonomics of this mouse, and at least from a RTS perspective I would stand by my initial assessment two weeks previous. The build quality isn't what you could come to expect from a Logitech, Steelseries, or Razer mouse in 2012, however KTEC as a company is no longer in business (2009-10ish) and thusly puts a slightly different perspective on this whole review.
Returning to the ergonomics, the design aesthetic of having a wider front and inward tapered end (see photos) conceptually seemed a tad odd, however as soon as I put my hand on the mouse I knew exactly why they made this decision as the mouse rests very comfortably in my hand (ideal for fingertip grip). This is somewhat of a contrast to my Azurues mini, where the sides have an inward tapered design on the front end and therefore I never quite felt like I had "perfect" control over the mouse.
One thing about ergonomics can be said, this mouse was designed to be cheap. and at ~$15 USD it does fall in line with that principle. That's not to say that it's poorly constructed, just that the design aesthetic was one of simplicity. This idea carries over into the components used, and their operation. The switches for example are basic switches that don't quite measure up to the tactile niceness of Omron switches, but I could probably switch them out if I so desired (though I won't, more on that later). The switch design on buttons 4+5 are noticeably harder than the main switches, but as they are default CPI switching buttons (left is lower, right is higher) I am ok with it. If I were however inclined to change those buttons to something else I might get a little more perturbed, though the placement of the buttons makes that option a little awkward. The mouse wheel is also somewhat lacking in that the notches are somewhat light and therefore somewhat hard to determine when you have moved one notch only. I occasionally in scrolling would accidentally move twice the amount that I wanted to which has been a little annoying.
The cord is a nice pliable rubber that bends very easily unlike some of the thicker rubber cords on some mice. Because of this I never felt a sense of tugging or that the cord was getting in the way of my mousing experience.
The final think about the build of this mouse is the feet. These feet are thankfully teflon, however either the way they are positioned, or constructed, if weight is placed onto the mouse as with a palm grip, the mouse would on cloth pads start to dig into the mousepad, which was less than desirable.
Originally I was going to be rather scathing of the performance, but as I later found installing the DPI checker (additional program found on iktec website) has proven to be very detrimental to the overall tracking quality of the mouse, I've therefore had to re-evaluate this section entirely.
As happy with the ergonomics/shape of the mouse as I am despite the leanness in design, this area is where the mouse falls a little short of expectations. Being that the Azurues mini and the 9500+ have the same sensor you would think that performance would be relatively the same. While I can say that the overall tracking is somewhat reminiscent, there are a number of things that I should discuss.
The first issue that I ran into was that this mouse advertises 400/800/1600 CPI settings, however you may have noticed that I conspicuously left that out in the specs. This is because in testing the mouse out I clearly found that my CPI steps are 200/400/800 and not as advertised (confirmed with enotus). This isn't so much a problem for me as I only use 800CPI max, but it compounds a number of other problems and also puts this mouse in a much more niche category than I would normally like. I also should note that there was an additional oddness in the tracking like the CPI steps were simply halved from their native values as 800CPI responded similarly to 1600CPI on my mini.
The other issue that I ran into, which was rather severe while the DPI checker was installed was that the sensor seemed to be additionally tracking oddly at first, and upon testing found that there was a noticeable amount of ripple depending on the settings. This generally seemed more pronounced at both higher CPI steps and higher polling rates but sometimes the sensor would produce this arbitrarily as well. I first tested on my Dasher mousepad until my qck was returned (hfcobra had it for a review he's writing up), and then finally on my propus 380 to see how the mouse tracked on a hard surface. The ripple on the propus was still present, though somewhat lessened than when on either cloth pad.
+ Show Spoiler [testing surface: qck] +
Overall partially because of the angle snapping on this sensor I wouldn't notice the ripple as much when tracking at higher speeds, though the slower I would move my mouse the more pronounced the ripple would be.
The other major tracking test for the PCS and MR of the sensor, when using enotus I immediately noticed a major difference in tracking speeds from my mini, in that enotus was registering tracking speeds in the 4m/s range amongst all CPI and Hz settings. While this seems to be an interesting development in that the other 3080's that I know of only reach tracking speeds of 2.4m/s or so, there is a caveat. In registering these speeds I also began to notice the malfunction rate of the sensor was much lower, where once I passed a certain threshold the cursor would begin to bug out. This seemed to happen much sooner on a cloth pad than a hard one, at ~2.55m/s on a qck and ~3.2m/s on the propus. This behavior also was always accompanied by varying degrees of negative acceleration past the PCS, and more pronounced at higher speeds.
The drivers were an interesting endeavor in that I had to first get them from http://www.iktec.co.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_table=pds, and then figure out which driver to install and hope that it wasn't all in Korean. Thankfully this was pretty easy. On the downloads page you would see either of these two files (second one is google translated).
This program when run was pretty easy to deduce and only required a few clicks to install the drivers properly. The main driver panel for the above progam looks as such, and interestingly enough shows the incorrect CPI settings (all settings should be halved to be correct)
By pressing the edit button I was given a secondary panel in which I could assign certain buttons to specific functions should I choose, though I found the default settings adequate enough. The second image is the dropdown menu of options that were accessible through the Select Function.
I should finally note that I did do some initial testing without the software installed which yielded some of the same results in enotus or paint, though I should probably go back and re-evaluate at them again just to be thorough.
Overall I have mixed feelings about the mouse. It is one of the better feeling mice that I've ever owned despite the simplicity of the build, though ultimately the sensor and tracking quality really make this a difficult mouse to live with. The ripple was not nearly as noticeable at higher speeds but at lower speeds tracking became somewhat inconsistent and is one of the reasons along with the lower MR that I would not choose to use it for anything but RTS games, and even then I'm somewhat hesitant. I did notice that the PCB states that it is a 3.0 revision so I do suppose that older versions may not have had the same issues (if someone who has one wants to chime in) though they may have their own as well. All in all for less than $20 this mouse is decent, but is somewhat of a niche offering for RTS claw/fingertip grip gamers only (coincidentally it's a Korean developed mouse, funny that...).
It is after all of this testing that I am now even more so looking forward to bst's upcoming mouse as it, barring any major tracking problems, will be the right shape and have the desired ergonomics/tracking that I am looking for as I get closer to finding what mouse best suits me.
The following gallery of images can be also found on Overclocked.net.
+ Show Spoiler [image gallery] +
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