The Weapons Locker: TeckNet Alpha M006 2.4G Wireless Optical Mobile Gaming Mouse [Final Review]
I've owned the TeckNet Alpha Ergonomic 2.4G Wireless Optical Mobile Mouse for about five months now. I originally bought it as a review unit, but it's yet another piece of hardware that I brought into the lab and failed to complete the review in time to send it back as an RMA. No worries. Because I've actually been really happy with the ownership experience of this mouse. It's great for some things, good for some others, and not so hot for a third category. Let's get started so that we can get all of those things covered.
First of all, if you have not viewed my initial impressions video or read the initial impressions post for this device, please understand that this is a continuation from there, so I may not go back and cover some of those elements again. I'll give you a few minutes if you want to take a break and go take a gander at the first part. All done? OK. Let's go.
First and foremost, the things that I said I liked in the first video and post, maintained true over the past five months. I really like the rubber material on the interior thumb laydown area. The lightly roughed in-sole like material does a good job of wicking away any moisture and allows for a firm grip on the mouse. The slick material on the rest of the mouse did not pan out to be as much of a problem as I thought it might be. I conducted the final test of the mouse under two gaming scenarios. I ran both on the Lenovo Y70, so that the mouse got a good shakedown at gaming performance, but on a screen-size that was fair. Trying to use a mobile-oriented mouse like this on a 27" 4K monitor would hardly allow for a reasonable comparison.
On the Y70, I played Max Payne, the original, because that game, while it does not mandate as many twitch responses, does often force you to move in one direction while firing in another. This forces a usability test that is oriented around comfort and grip as it requires me to often tilt my thumb and palm towards one side of the mouse or other, depending on which way I am bullet-time diving. The other game I played was Quake 4, which absolutely does exercise the mouse through heavy twitch-style shooter mechanics. Especially because the pistol in Quake 4 does not auto-fire, so if you have to unload on a Strogg with the pistol, you are spamming the left-button a hell of a lot to pump rounds down-range. The good news is that the Tecknet Alpha mouse-buttons have enough gaming spring in them to allow for good travel, bounce, and immediate re-press, so it worked almost perfectly in the Quake 4 scenario. With five DPI sensitivity level settings, it is easy to pick the one that is right for you. As a mouse for multi-media editing, the Alpha works really well, particularly in scenarios when I have a laptop on the go and disconnected from a full-screen monitor. The sensitivity really lets me hone in on the precise line where I need to split a clip or drop in an auto-duck.
So the TeckNet Alpha is a pretty solid multi-media editing mouse. It's also a pretty decent gaming mouse….for about the first 30 minutes. After that, the ergonomics of the mouse started causing hand-cramp and wrist fatigue. In fact, had it not been for the Fellowes gel-based wrist rest that I was using, I doubt I would have been able to game on it for much beyond that 30 minute mark. The mouse is really very short, but has a pretty high hump height through the center. That forced me to use the spider-hold, which is what I call the grip I have to use when a mouse is too small for me to rest my palm on, but so high that I have to grip it with my palm held up floating in the air, with the tips of my fingers gripping the lower edges of the mouse body. This is one of the most uncomfortable grips to game with and my wrist and hand are still sore to show for it. I also dislike the DPI indicator; it blips when you hit the DPI change button, but there is no persistent indicator that tells you what DPI setting you are currently on.
So you might say, "What do you expect from a mobile mouse? Obviously it is going to be small". But my problem is that TeckNet advertises this as a gaming mouse. And despite the budget pricing, I would just as soon take a larger, wired mouse with me for gaming. The Alpha just isn't that much smaller and doesn't yield that much of a space-savings when packing a digital go-bag. And while it is cheap, as a PC gamer, I have to buy full-sized gaming mice anyway. So it's really not like I would be paying more for a more capable mouse with better ergos. I already have those. The real use-case is that buying the Tecknet Alpha is extra. So would I spend the extra $10, or just use a mouse I already own and is already a sunk cost?
The answer is in-between. $10 isn't a lot, and for the (minor) convenience of adding this mouse to my arsenal, sure, I would still buy it and recommend that others do so as well. But it's a get-by gaming solution, not the best. The best solution would just be to spend the extra money and buy a full-sized gaming mouse that you can comfortably use both at home and on-the-go. That's if you don’t already have one, which you probably do. The mouse is a great deal for its price, just note that your length of gaming session might be limited, especially for those gamers with larger hands. Outside of that, this is a pretty sharp wireless mouse, and ranks right up there with anything I have seen, used, or tested from more noticeable name brands in the mobile mouse space. .