Now that we have taken a good look at the design of the Avatar S it’s time to install the driver package and see what type of enhancements are made available.
The install routine is basically the same as most software, just follow the instructions, select your language, choose the install location and after a few mouse clicks the drivers are installed and ready to use.
Once the drivers are installed we can access the advanced features of the Avatar S by clicking on the NZXT icon now present in the system tray.
When focusing on the advanced functions tab we can assign specific functions to each of the five programmable buttons and the scroll wheel. We can manually select a DPI setting of 400, 800 or 1600 and choose between three different USB port polling rates. The available rates are 125Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz. By default Windows sets the polling rate to 125Hz, increasing the polling rate from 125Hz to 1000Hz will reduce the cursor refresh time from 8ms to 1ms. This will give us the best responsiveness available and should prevent any potential mouse lag.
The Sensitivity tab allows us to adjust the sensitivity level of the X Axis and Y Axis and we can also adjust the level of mouse acceleration and mouse pointer speeds.
The Advanced Settings tab is where adjustments are made to the scrolling speed as well as Double Click Speed. The area sporting the NZXT logo is used to test Double Click speed.
In order to change the DPI setting we have to press the left side button and move the scroll wheel up or down depending on whether we want a higher or lower DPI setting. To be honest we found this a bit awkward when you are gaming and trying to make adjustments on the fly. When we change the DPI setting of the Avatar S, the LED that illuminates the NZXT logo changes color.
When the DPI is set to 400 the logo is Red, at 800 DPI it is Purple, and when the DPI is set to the maximum of 1600 DPI the logo turns blue. The DPI switching also works in the same manner, without any drivers installed.
There is also supposed to be a blue led that illuminates around the black trim as shown in the image above. Unfortunately our review sample is a pre production sample and the led is not functioning. We have been advised that this issue will be resolved in retail units.
Image editing is something that many of us enjoy as a hobby but working on large detailed photographs can be frustrating if the mouse is not highly accurate. The Avatar S is sensitive enough to zoom in and clean up the smallest flaws or scroll over a huge image with ease. Our only issue here is the fact the body is very light weight.
Our game testing consists of some quality first person shooter action. Unreal Tournament 2004 is one game from the past that requires fast reflexes and quick mouse movements. The sniper rifle is our weapon of choice and needs a steady hand and precision, focused oriented movements. The Avatar S provided accuracy when using the sniper rifle and enough responsiveness to fire the rocket launcher at will, leaving nothing but a trail of corpses.