Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sharkoon FireGlider Optical Review


A few weeks ago and after some contacts with Sharkoon I had the chance to test out one of their products, the Drakonia Black (Link), it definitely performed well actually winning our Best Value recommendation in the process.
This time around though, we will be taking a look at the FireGlider Optical, a mouse that is more affordable than the Drakonia Black.
For those of you who don't know Sharkoon, they've been around since 2003, producing various types of computer products including gaming solutions like the Drakonia Black and now this FireGlider Optical.


The product under the microscope today is the latest in a long family of gaming mice, all of the FireGliders share pretty similar shapes and features, including the number of buttons, weight and so on. The FireGlider Optical though, has one big difference when compared to its predecessors, an optical sensor.
While the replacement of the laser sensor for the optical one might sound like a downgrade, the truth is that the change is barely noticeable while gaming, even when using the mouse for other daily tasks it performs flawlessly.
There are obviously some compromises while using an optical sensor, for example, the number of DPI's achieved with it is lower, but unless you require extreme precision when gaming, the 3000 DPI/CPI are more than enough. The maximum FPS and the acceleration also take a hit, but like I mentioned before, it's nothing that I personally noticed while gaming.


The FireGlider Optical comes well packed, a nicely designed and attractive box will certainly draw the attention of any possible buyers, most importantly it displays a lot of information regarding the mouse capabilities, what is packed inside and it even has a little door on the front that when opened allows the consumer to take a better look at the actual product.
Open the package and you will find several "extras" besides the mouse itself, Sharkoon crammed into the box a sleek looking transport bag, two additional sets of mouse-feet, a CD with some software and seven weights that allow you to fine-tune the overall feel of the FireGlider. It's all pretty standard stuff, when you take the low price point into consideration though, the contents of the package are more than enough to get your gaming adventures started and going for a long period of time.


Taking a closer look at the actual mouse now, we quickly discover that the 5 programmable buttons return once again. While the Drakonia Black has a ton more, I find the FireGlider a lot more "streamlined", keeping the more useful buttons and dropping the other ones.
While I'm not exactly a professional gamer, I would consider the Drakonia Black more adequate for MMO's and the FireGlider Optical more competent at First Person Shooters. This idea is bolstered by the extremely easy to reach double-click button, placed right next to the left-click button.
The forward and back buttons placed on the side of the mouse have different textures, this is a great feature as it allows the user to quickly feel which button is currently being pressed.
Sharkoon also keeps the tradition of including in their gaming solutions some on-board memory for saving macros, this is useful when you want the mouse to be used on several computers without having to install any sort of software.


After using the Sharkoon FireGlider Optical for about a week now, I can safely say that it's extremely comfortable thanks to a very smooth rubberized finish and well designed shape. The weight tuning system also helps when you want a bit more customization.
The mouse also feels very well built, the mix of plastic, rubber and fabric(cable) never feels cheap. The buttons are also extremely responsive and feel great when they "click".


Final Thoughts
All in all the Sharkoon FireGlider Optical is a great gaming solution for users on a tight budget, the construction quality is great and the amount of attention to detail is something that Sharkoon didn't neglect.
The optical sensor performed great and while it might be a drawback for some users who are looking for something a bit more precise, for general gamers and day to day users the 3000 DPI are more than enough.

The Good
-Extremely comfortable
-Great price-quality ratio
-Weight tuning system
-On-Board memory

The Bad
-Less precise than laser predecessors


Thanks to Sharkoon for providing the review sample