Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sharkoon Drakonia Black Review

I have known Sharkoon for a few years now, apparently they've been around since 2003, producing various types of computer products including gaming solutions like this Drakonia Black, a successor to the original Drakonia that achieved a nice level of popularity among the gaming community thanks to a solid design and a precise laser sensor (Avago 9500).

This new entry from Sharkoon into the gaming market plays it relatively safe by introducing a few improvements and keeping most of the original design intact.
The first change is obviously in terms of color scheme, gone are the green dragon scales, replaced by darker tones of black and gray, the scales are still there though and give this mouse a unique look, something that is always useful particularly in a very crowded market such as this.
There was also a change in terms of LED colors, the DPI indicators next to your left-mouse button are now constantly blue, while the LED located under the Drakonia logo in the middle can be altered depending on the user preference.
The eleven programmable buttons also make a return  (including the DPI selector), giving players a lot of solutions when it comes to assigning the most important functions in their favorite games, particularly for MMORPG's this is super helpful as it drastically reduces the amount of macros and skills allocated in the keyboard, your left hand will thank you later.

The biggest improvement made though is definitely the laser sensor, gone is the Avago 9500 from the original Drakonia, replaced by a much more powerful Avago 9800 that allows the mouse to go up to 8200 DPI instead of the 5000 from the original, this means that particularly for snipers the Drakonia Black is more precise than ever, pulling off those impossible shots has never been easier.
Sharkoon also added some Teflon feet (4+4 replacements) to the Drakonia Black, this definitely is a way better solution when compared to the plastic ones from the original, during our testing period we used several surfaces, including soft and hard ones and the mouse performed great on all, both in terms of movements and laser precision.

In terms of comfort it does not disappoint, the weight tuning system (6x5g) for starters is well done and gives the user a much bigger control over the weight and feel of their mouse, super easy to adjust through a small "door" under the Drakonia itself, removing or adding weights is done in a swift manner.
On the top and sides of the Drakonia Black you will find three rubberized surfaces, they can be helpful especially in prolonged gaming sessions where sweat can become a problem.
Fortunately they're not there just for the extra grip, these surfaces are also very comfortable to hold and according to Sharkoon the "softskin" material that they are made of prevents the accumulation of perspiration, also important when it comes to keeping your mouse clean.

Final Thoughts
At the time of this review we found the Drakonia Black priced somewhere around $30 (Amazon), within that price range there's a lot of competition, still, and with the improvements made on this Black edition, the Drakonia is easily one of the best options out there.
It's very good to see that Sharkoon didn't forget to include a few small features that always add a bit more value and overall quality to a gaming product, the high-quality braided cable with a gold connector at the end, the very intuitive software and the internal memory, they all contribute to give the Drakonia Black Gaming Laser Mouse a distinct advantage over its rivals.

The Good
-Original visual design
-Very comfortable
-Amazing quality/price ratio
-High-quality braided cable
-Easy to use software and internal memory

The Bad
-Very similar to the original Drakonia
-Can't change the color of the DPI indicators

Thanks to Sharkoon for providing the review sample