PC Hardware: Saitek GM3200 - 3200 dpi Laser Gaming Mouse Review

PC Hardware: Saitek GM3200 - 3200 dpi Laser Gaming Mouse Review
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About Saitek

First founded in 1979, the PC gaming peripheral maker Saitek entered the gaming market in 1993 and has since grown to be one of the major brands within the peripherals market.

Among their product range - they also make joysticks, gaming keyboards and steering wheels, amongst other things - is mice. Saitek are responsible for some of the best performing gaming mice on the planet, and in the GM3200 launched the first laser gaming mouse capable of 3200 dpi.

The Saitek GM3200 Laser Gaming Mouse

Features of the GM3200 (4 out of 5)

t’s over one year old now, but the Saitek GM3200 is still a worthy contender for anyone considering trading up their generic PC mouse to a gaming mouse, and offers a host of features for gamers.

The GM3200 is capable of reading at four different resolutions (or dpi) to provide maximum control for every use, whether normal day-to-day browsing or engaging in fast, frenetic fragging action. The resolutions (800/1600/2400/3200) can be adjusted on-the-fly to match the mouse speed to the game environment. A profile button allows users to switch between 2 pre-configured profiles during games instantly.

The mouse also features six programmable buttons as well as the dpi toggle and LED status indicator. Soft-touch buttons, rubberized scroll wheel and an ergonomic design help prolong user comfort and maximise gaming performance. Connection is via a gold plated USB connector for full conductivity between peripheral and PC and the lightweight cable is non-tangle and measures 2.5 metres.

The asymmetrical design of the GM3200 caters to both left and right handed users, although there is a slight bias towards right-handed users. There are a total of six feet on the bottom of the mouse, giving it a sturdy feel while two removable panels on the underside holds a selection of weights which allow you to make the mouse as light or heavy as you like. Five weights are positioned in the rear of the mouse, with two at the head but these can be swapped to suit. The weight compartment covers are also reversible, so you can have either two standard feet, or one large foot on each to further aid stability and the amount of friction that the mouse endures.

The Retail Pack

GM3200 Gaming Mouse Retail Pack

Packaging & Box Contents (4 out of 5)

Saitek’s packaging for the GM3200 has been designed with impact in mind. The blue/red colour combination is ensconced with the mouse blister pack which in turn is surrounded by a shower of sparks, giving the GM3200 the appearance of a meteor hurtling through space. It’s all rather dramatic without looking cheap and tacky. The box proclaims the fact that this is the world’s first 3200 dpi mouse, while the rear of the box lists all the essential statistics of the mouse.

The mouse itself is available in two colours: neon blue or a flame red snakeskin design, and it’s pretty clear from the outset that the GM3200 is no shrinking violet. A wire thin light rail which houses several indicator LEDs showing the current mode and dpi settings snakes around the two main mouse buttons. To the left are back and forward buttons, finished in silver to provide contrast. The dpi toggle and mode switching buttons are located behind the scroll wheel.

Also in the box is the driver and SST software CD and an instruction leaflet.

Software (4 out of 5)

It isn’t necessary to install the driver if you only intend on using the GM3200 as a standard mouse, but what would be the point? It would be much better to install the driver and let your PC know you’ve installed a non-generic mouse so you can take full advantage of the mouse’s features. If you’re using either Windows XP with SP2 or Windows Vista, the GM3200 should be detected automatically.

The Saitek Programming software supplied allows you to customise the third mouse button (press the scroll wheel) and the two side buttons. These can either be their default setting or programmed to a macro of your choice.

The software also allows you to change the USB polling speed, as well as redefining the speeds of the different axis, allowing for full customisation.

Performance (4 out of 5)

While 3200 dpi performance is excellent, it’s not suited to everyday tasks. It’s also not the only consideration when it comes to choosing a gaming mouse. Of comparative importance is the polling rate. Lower polling rate makes for jerkier movement as the cursor only refreshes when Windows polls the USB port.

At 3200 dpi, the potential offered certainly sounds inviting, but I found the GM3200 to be extremely jumpy at such a high setting and was all over the place on screen. What’s more, benchmarks at this resolution give a relatively slow response rate of 1.7milliseconds which may not be enough for extreme gamers.

I found the best performance ratio to be the 1600 dpi setting; sensitive enough for me to move crosshairs quickly, but not so where I’d overshoot my target and pepper the surrounding environment with bullets.

Having tested the mouse on the first-person shooter game F.E.A.R, I was able to play with a greater degree of both accuracy and comfort using the GM3200 than I had previously with a generic Microsoft Optical mouse. I didn’t feel I had to ‘claw’ the Saitek mouse to retain control and afterwards, my hand and fingers didn’t feel cramped.

Overall (4 out of 5)

The Saitek GM3200 is an excellent choice for a first-time game mouse buyer. It’s 3200 dpi resolution will appeal to high-speed gamers, but is balanced by a lacklustre response time which will dissuade accuracy gamers.  Previous gaming mouse users will find it a shade disappointing.

However it looks good, is highly customisable and functional. It’s a solid option for many gamers, but for extreme gamers the Logitech G9 gaming mouse is a better choice.