July 5, 2014

Review: Mionix Avior 7000

Mionix, a Swedish gaming peripheral manufacturer founded in 2007, has released the Avior series of mice. The Avior 7000 is an ambidextrous optical sensor gaming mouse. Its sister mouse, the Avior 8200, is identical on the exterior but boasts a laser sensor system. The Avior’s ambidextrous design features 9 buttons programmable through the Avior 7000 software. This mouse offers left-handed gamers a full featured gaming mouse. Left-handed gamers either have to learn to game with their right hands or cope with the poor selection of ambidextrous products on the market. It is nice to see that right and left handed gamers can have the same experience. The mouse comes with a 1-year warranty and the following disclaimer, “If you should "accidently" throw the mouse into a brick wall after losing a game - warranty will not cover damages to neither mouse nor wall.”

The mouse comes in the traditional Mionix packaging, with only a slip cover like out shell and a plstic cover over the mouse. It comes with a piece of paper which is the instruction manual, and the reason why you bought the mouse, the Mionix sticker. Which unfortunately was missing from our review sample.

The mouse is very good looking and minimalistic. With a 4-layer rubber coating, it not only provides great grip, it also allows for a very aesthetically pleasing matte black exterior. While it is matte black, the mouse is not a fingerprint magnet and is quite the opposite. It also boasts a 16.8 million colour LED lighting system also controlled by the Avior 7000 software. The logo and the scroll wheel light up to any colour that is desired and can match any colour scheme. For example, to match the Razer Tartarus I was using, I selected the preset green colour in the software and they matched perfectly. The software provides a few preset colours but any RGB colour can be selected. The mouse also supports a colour shift function that cycles through the colours. The software provides the option to have different colours for the scroll wheel and the logo. Interestingly, at the time of writing, only the preset colours can be chosen if different colours are desired but this seems like it can be fixed in a future software update. There are also a few lighting effects to choose from including solid, blinking, pulsating, and breathing. I find myself admiring the mouse at times because it does look very nice.

The long and slim design of the mouse is quite comfortable. It does not fill the palm of the hand (I do have large hands) so for palm-grip gamers that play for long lengths at a time, sweaty-ness is not a problem and it is also great for claw-grip gamers. It does however provide full support to my entire hand unlike some shorter and wider mice which is nice.

On the bottom of the mouse, there are two large PTFE mouse feet for easy gliding on flat surfaces. There are also two stickers on the bottom, one with the product information and the other is their logo with the sensor in the middle. This is also a light mouse at 146 g with the braided cable and 100 g without.

The cable also includes a ferrite choke near the gold plated USB connector. The combination of the exterior shape, the large feet, and the weight make for a comfortable mouse to game hours on end with. The build quality seems quite good, much better than some of its competitors, but only time will truly tell. It also makes this a great candidate for travel as it is light, slim, and comfortable which would be perfect for LAN tournaments.

 The 9 programmable buttons are placed on the mouse symmetrically because it is ambidextrous but this basically makes the two side buttons on the right side (if you are right handed and vice versa if you are left handed) useless as it is very difficult to articulate the ring and pinky fingers to actuate those buttons. This also explains why those two buttons are disabled by default. This means you basically have 7 programmable buttons. Also by default, the left side buttons are set to forward and back, respectively, and the two buttons behind the scroll wheel are the DPI controls. The left and right click buttons are slightly concave to improve grip and control. Every button is programmable so it can be changed to almost any preference. Unfortunately, unlike other manufacturers like Razer and Logitech, Mionix did not include media controls in the software for people who will use this mouse other than solely for gaming. Volume up and down would be perfect for the buttons near the ring and pinky fingers as they would not need to be accessed often.

The Avior 7000 can reach 7000 DPI, as the name suggests. This is because it features the gaming-grade ADNS 3310 infrared LED-based optical sensor. It allows for a maximum speed of 5.45m/s or 215 IPS at 7000 DPI. The sensor also has no positive or negative hardware acceleration and it allows for an adjustable lift off distance for optimal tracking. The software provides fine tuning of the DPI allowing the adjustment of the X and Y axis independently as well as an adjustable polling rate and angle tuning to counter the natural sweep angle when the mouse is moved to further improve accuracy. This is the pinnacle for optical sensor fans that would like the higher DPIs of laser-based mice. Inside, the Avior uses a 32-bit ARM processor at 32 MHz to handle the features of the mouse without any lag. The mouse also has 128 kb of built-in memory to keep up to 5 different profiles of settings and recorded macros so the software is only needed for initial configuration. This is a nice option for the gamers who do not fancy systems like Razer Synapse 2.0 where all your settings are stored in the cloud but the software must be used to get to those settings. This is great if you will use the mouse on multiple computers The combination of the sensor and the processing backbone, the mouse offers a smooth and accurate experience. Giveaway bonus code: ZOMBIE. Click here for more details.

The software offers some nice features. As well as features mentioned above, the software, downloadable on the Mionix website, features a lift off distance calibration tool as well as a surface quality analyzer tool to optimize accuracy with the gaming environment. A cheap cloth mouse pad got a 60% while my IKEA Malm desk received a 70%.

Overall, this mouse exceeded my expectations. While this mouse may look lackluster compared to the likes of the Razer Ouroborous, it is only due to the minimalistic design. The comfort level is great with the rubber coating and the shape of the mouse. The performance is great with the high-end gaming components inside of the mouse. The software is very useful and provides a great deal of customization. Finally, the design and weight of the mouse makes it great for traveling with and since the settings are stored on-board, it is truly plug and play. This mouse is not sold by many retailers so it may be difficult to find. At one retailer, NCIX, it is $79.99. This price is high for this mouse if you are a right handed gamer. Right handed gamers may like the Mionix Naos series (also available with optical or laser sensors) which is available at the same price. For left handed gamers, this mouse is worth way more than the retail price. With the poor selection of mice for left handed gamers, this feature rich mouse is amazing and provides a great mouse for a small market. The Avior 7000 receives an Editor's Choice for its ambidextrous design, ease of use, and flexibility. It is nice to see smaller companies coming into the market with great designs and I am excited to see Mionix products in the future.