Review: Nova Slider X 600

Published: April 7, 2009 11:00 PM
By Vincent Alzieu / Pierre-Jean Alzieu
The Nova X600 is a high-end mouse for gaming. It stands out by its shape, its ergonomics and the materials used. It has loads of surprising features such as 4 thumb buttons, a cable on the right side, 3200 dpi and  super-glide ceramic feet with a life-time warrantee. These can only be scratched by diamond and it must be true because we tried with a nail.. and failed.

The driver allows you to set everything the way you want to, dpi and polling rate (25 to 1000 Hz, from 400 up to 3200 dpi). You can also create three profiles and switch from one to the other on the fly. Each of these profiles has up to three resolutions that you can here too change directly on the mouse, (two front thumb buttons) without using the driver. By default, the mouse offers three levels: 800 / 1600 / 3200 dpi. This is way too fast for us. Even on a 24'' double monitor system, we chose to adjust the levels to 800 / 1200 / 1600 dpi.
In some cases, when great gaming precision is needed or great speed required, you can just switch to one of the other two profiles via the button behind the scroll wheel.
In order to avoid any confusion, each profile has it own colour: profile 1 gets a red light, 2 a green, 3 blue and it shines around the wheel. If you want other colours, you can go for purple for example ...


The driver

The first tab allows you to change the button configuration but the default one is pretty satisfying. You however do not have total freedom. For example, it is impossible to macro a button or an application the way you can do on the SteelSeries. Only 12 functions are on offer, but it seemed enough.




Testing


The Nova slides very easily. If you push it a bit, it will continue its trajectory....The cable on the side is an interesting idea but not a brilliant one. It is slightly difficult to go left with the mouse, especially if you lack space on your right and cannot move freely.

Left hand-users should avoid this mouse, it is not ambidextrous and will not work for them at all. Right hand-users will enjoy its elongated and high shape; it is comfortable and avoids wrist pain.

Those who have sweaty hands won't be happy either. The Nova has a smooth glossy black plastic top. It is pretty but your hand tends to slide on it, though the manufacturer insists that that is not the case. According to Nova, matte and glossy give the same result, so it's all about aesthetic statement here.

When we upped the polling rate from the default of 500 MHz to 1000 MHz, we were surprised to see that the Slider X600 was less greedy CPU-wise than our G5. By half. On our Intel Core 2 E4500, the G5 consumed more than 60% of the CPU for faster movements. In comparison the Nova goes only slightly beyond 30%. How come? Well, on the mouse we tested, the response rate was  good up to 333 Hz. At 500 it is really at 400 Hz. At 1000, the real average is around 500 MHz with some occasional bursts at 1000. No miracle in terms of CPU consumption then. Instead of a 1 ms response rate, you will be more at a 2 ms... One would have to really be difficult to make a fuss about this, but then again there are mice out there who can do a better job.


The best mouse?


Tricky question, that is. If we were to choose between the Razer DeathAdder, the SteelSeries Ikari Laser and the Nova X 600, we would say that:
-the Razer is the fastest one thanks to its LED sensor that can handle accelerations. Laser will more often than not take you beyond 1.5 m/second, whereas you get the double with LED; at least 3 m/s.
-the SteelSeries is the most comfortable one and offers both most precision and the best software utility. 
-the Nova X600 has a lot of things going for it, most of all its indestructible super-glide ceramic feet!
4/5 Nova Slider X 600 DigitalVersus 2009-04-08 00:00:00

Pros

  • indestructible super-glide ceramic feet
  • user-friendly driver
  • laser sensor: no need for a mouse pad
  • on the fly adjustable definition from 400 to 3200 dpi, 3 profiles
  • ergonomics

Cons

  • price
  • 1000 sensitivity was hardly reached on the model we tested
  • laser sensor, the response won't be as good as with LED

Conclusion

If you don't want to clean and change feet regularly, you will be thrilled with the Nova X 600's ceramic feet. The driver is rather fully fledged and the mouse offers great comfort, it is quite a success!

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