The design of the eSPORTS Black reminds us of mice we've seen in the past from Roccat. It incorporates a number of design cues that we would expect to see on a gaming mouse such as LED lighting effects and glossy plastic but does so in a subtle and inoffensive way. We think this is a great approach and are consequently quite fond of Thermaltake's aesthetic design.
As we have come to expect, the majority of the mouse's surface is finished in a rubberised paint. This might not look quite as snazzy as an expanse of black gloss but brings significant practical advantages. Aside from the extra grip we can expect when gaming, the surface remains free of scratches over time and free of fingerprints, even after a few hours use. Thermaltake has chosen to use a thin strip of gloss-black plastic to house the mouse-wheel to add a little flare but thankfully this is small enough for any marks to avoid attention.
On the back of the mouse there is a ‘Tt' logo which is back-lit with a red breathing effect, not dissimilar to that we have seen on Razer's mice in blue in the past. The edges of the mouse-wheel are also illuminated red, as are the DPI indicators on the left edge of the mouse.
For improved grip when gaming, Thermaltake have added some small notches into the thumb alcove on the left-hand side of the mouse. Above these we find the browser forward and back buttons which are amalgamated into a single plastic strip. While this is visually effective, we would have preferred separate buttons as it isn't abundantly clear where the forward button stops and the back button starts. But the action of the buttons is perfect; they require a reasonable amount of pressure to activate, meaning they're unlikely to be depressed accidentally.
The left and right mouse buttons are slightly curved with a lip at the edge to prevent your fingers from encroaching on to the edge of the mouse. They both have a comfortable and responsive action but do make a rather loud clicking noise when activated. The shape of the mouse is sculpted ergonomically and makes it comfortable to use for all three gripping styles.
The illuminated mouse-wheel has a notched rubber section around the middle which lets us grip it effectively and move it precisely. The action feels very refined and, in contrast to the left and right mouse buttons, the clicking noise emitted sounds much more muted. Behind the wheel there are two buttons which switch the sensitivity of the mouse between the four predefined DPI levels.
The plastics used in construction are high-quality and Thermaltake have obviously designed this mouse with quality in mind as they have braided the cable and gold-plated the USB connector. Like many gaming mice, the eSPORTS Black features a weight-tuning system, consisting of five 4.5g weights which can be added or removed through a door in the base of the mouse. I personally prefer the lightest possible mouse so removed all five weights when testing.