To summarise this mouse in a couple of sentences, we’d say that it has a simple design with a basic optical sensor that maxes out at 2,000 DPI and it’s only designed for right handed gamers. We could also throw in that there is no manual as such, no software and the additional buttons are not programmable in the traditional sense. Even the RGB lighting pattern is fixed and there are zero macro/extra buttons.
Serious gamers cannot consider this mouse at all, but how many of the challenges we raised would be deal-breakers when it comes to the everyday user? Sure, gamers may struggle to win matches with a 2,000 DPI limit on tracking, but casual gamers may feel more comfortable with speeds closer to 1,200 – so the limited DPI could be less of a draw back than you might imagine.
This is a ‘no thrills’ mouse, make no mistake. So, with that in mind, we set about testing its suitability for both gaming and general use.
The GameMax Tornado is really comfortable to hold and took no time for us to get used to it. It fills the hand quite nicely, whether palm or claw style, and there was decent click-feedback across all areas of the two main buttons.
Once the games began, we immediately noticed an issue. Our standard mat was ‘too hard’ for the GameMax Tornado. It was also awkward to game on a solid table top and required a harder grip than we’re used to using. However, when we switched to a large, soft mouse mat, the experience really improved and our grip-pressure returned to normal.
Having your fingers slip off your weapon when your enemy is trying to blast you into oblivion, is the last thing you want. GameMax appears to have suitable mats from about £4.50, which would certainly be worth looking at if you decide on the Tornado. To create a comfortable gaming experience, therefore, will cost you just over £10. It’s not a lot, but you need to be aware of the additional cost necessary for a comfortable experience.
We also noticed a very slight wobble on a completely smooth surface, as if there’s a fraction of a millimetre difference in the height of the pads under the mouse. We checked online and others seemed to have experienced the same issue. We’re uncertain if this stability issue is at all related to the improved experience on a soft mouse mat, but the softer surface also made the mouse feel 100% stable.
These shots were taken in the dark, specifically to show off the RGB goodness of the Tornado. Remember, you can’t choose a colour, the mouse just endlessly cycles through the possibilities.
.When judging a mouse for extended gaming sessions, I tend to focus on 3 things:-
DPI: Maximum and incremental range
Although the sensor tracking is smooth and functional enough on this model, 2,000 won’t be enough for many gamers and the 4 fixed profiles don’t offer enough customisation.
Buttons: Reaction rates
If great mice are ‘perfectly built mechanical keyboards with blue switches’, then poor mice are the cheap membrane keyboards that ship as standard with office PCs. We were pleasantly surprised with the buttons on the GameMax Tornado. They reacted quickly and reliably. We experienced no issues with the wheel, but this is likely to be a weak point in the long term, especially if you’re used to rapidly cycling through weapons while gaming.
Grip: Specifically, the thumb and finger zones along the side
Probably the single biggest difference in feel between a quality mouse and a cheap one. While the ultra thin rubberised coating works well when you first start to use the mouse, including thicker material or textured patters in key areas along the side can massively improve your in-game experience. This is one area where the Tornado could definitely have done better.
Destiny 2 was the game where we first realised that a hard mouse mat/table surface would suicide with the GameMax Tornado. Once we switched to a soft mat, everything was fine. As an experienced gamer, I found that running the mouse on a soft pad at 2,000 DPI gave a pleasant enough experience. Target acquisition was good and shifting the point of fire between a multitude of enemies was straightforward. Overall, tracking and movement across the pad were accurate and the kill ratio was satisfying. In an open world Sci-Fi game, enemies will come at you from as far left & right as possible, so you need to be extremely agile, cycling through your moves as fast as possible. You’d be limiting your character’s ability to progress if you bought the GameMax Tornado and stuck with it, it will become a limiting factor.
Testing this mouse on one of my point-n-click/hack-n-slash/online favourites, ‘Swordburst 2’, I found that it did the job well. The reason why over 17 million people have hit this free to play game, is because of its focus on action. It’s a positive click-fest. The GameMax Tornado handles the environment well and the lower DPI options aren’t so much of an issue with most F2P games.
If you buy this mouse more for ‘regular navigation’, then you won;t have many complaints. It’s no Logitech G500, but by the same token, it’s not going to set you back tons of cash. If all you want to do is run apps and add a little RGB magic to your PC experience, then the Tornado functions well. Given the ergonomic design, it’s certainly more comfortable to use than the similarly priced Microsoft optical mouse.