The Black Element is a nice mouse to hold and handle. It has a soft-touch finish that doesn't pick up marks or smears from contact with your hands. The mouse's feet ensure a light and quiet glide.
Out of the box, the Black Element weighs 106 grammes, but this can be upped to 128 grammes by using the five 4.5 g weights supplied. At 12.3 cm, this mouse isn't long enough to support your wrist, which instead rests on the table or desk. The scroll wheel is notched and can't be set to spin freely. Similarly, it can't be used for horizontal scrolling.
Thermaltake (see inset) seems to have taken on board much of the criticism of the original Black gaming mouse when designing the Black Element, as there are now three thumb buttons rather than just one.
Plus, seeing as the mouse's shape makes it suitable for left- and right-handed users, Thermaltake has also placed a thumb button on the right-hand side of the Black Element. Left-handed users therefore have a thumb button too. Two extra buttons are on hand on the top of the mouse, just next to the scroll wheel. These can be used to adjust the dpi on the fly.
There's a button on the underside of the mouse for switching between up to five custom control profiles. However, the button's position clearly means you won't be able to switch profiles quickly and easily while gaming.
A driver can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website and can be used to assign a command or a series of commands (a macro) to the button/buttons of your choice.
To remember which profile you're using, you can assign each one a different backlighting colour for the scroll wheel, logo and/or go-faster stripes on the sides of the mouse (five colours available). The sensitivity of the mouse can also be easily adjusted. Plus, you don't have to reset all your custom settings each time you change computers, as they can be saved directly to the mouse itself.
With its 1000 Hz polling rate, the Black Element is speedy enough for standard tasks like office computing and web browsing, as well as jobs that require greater precision (games, graphic design, etc.).
At 1000 Hz, the mouse reports its position to the computer once every millisecond, on average. However, you'll need a powerful computer to cope with the extra processing power that requires (between 45% and 60% depending on what kind of movements you make). When using a computer with limited processing power (netbook, power-saving CPU, etc.), you're better off switching down to 500 Hz to keep things more comfortable (between 10% and 25% CPU use).
A gaming mouse needs a sensor that can track movements
of at least 3 metres per second.