[Review] Form Over Function: The ROG Strix Impact II Electro Punk Mouse
This is the last of three reviews covering all the peripherals in the Electro Punk series.
ROG Strix Impact II Electro Punk
Finally, we've come to the last piece of the Electro Punk puzzle: The ROG Strix Impact II gaming mouse (there's also the Sheath mouse pad, but we'll only be touching that briefly).
The Strix Impact II is by far the most affordable peripheral from the Electro Punk series; unfortunately it seems that the quality is also the cheapest of the three. Unlike the clearly premium feel of the Strix Scope TKL keyboard and Strix Go 2.4 headset, the Strix Impact II looks and feels far cheaper than its brethren.
First things first, the ROG website markets the Strix Impact II as having a "lightweight build and ambidextrous ergonomics". While I can attest that the lightweight build is true, the latter is extremely misleading in that it isn't actually ambidextrous; it has thumb buttons on the left side, which means only right-handed users can benefit from them.
This means that the only perk of ambidextrous design - being able to be wielded by lefties - is effectively nulled, so you get none of the perks and all of the downsides.
But looking past its misleading marketing, let's take a look at the exterior and build quality of this mouse. While it carries the signature pink hue of the Electro Punk series, the rest of it isn't black like its counterparts - instead, it's a translucent grey reminiscent of old-school gameboy cases, except more murky.
To put it simply, the look isn't very flattering, especially since it causes the lighting on the logo to be unattractively diffused.
The opacity is also neither here nor there - it's neither transparent enough to take a good look at the innards, nor opaque enough to look classy. Instead, all you'll get is a vague view of the switches and plastic joints.
Overall, it makes the mouse look rather cheap, and this is not helped at all by the uneven lighting on the scroll wheel - you can't really tell from this picture (sorry la, I'm a cheap handphone photographer) but the lighting on the front part of the wheel is much dimmer than the rest of it.
Push-fit switch socket design
One thing I really like about this mouse, however, is its unique "push-fit switch socket design." If you flip the mouse over, you'll notice 4 rubber stoppers that can be easily removed by digging your nail in gently (almost like picking your nose). Removing them will reveal 4 screws, which hold the top shell and base of the mouse together.
Unscrewing them will allow you to take the mouse apart, revealing its innards in its full, naked glory.
Now, why would I want to dissect this lab rat? Well, ROG's special push-fit switch socket design allows you to pop out the Omron switches and swap them for other switches in the Omron D2F or D2FC series.
Apart from allowing you to customise the feel of your mouse, this also means that you can easily replace / repair the switches should they be damaged, thus prolonging the life of your mouse.
Apart from its underwhelming exterior and novel ability to swap switches, let's take a look at how the mouse actually performs.
The Strix Impact II features a 6,200 dpi sensor and a pivoted button mechanism for fast response and accurate performance. At just 79g, it should please fans of lightweight mice.
After taking it for a spin, I found no issues with tracking or spin-out, which is great. The buttons are quite soft with a short travel and return distance; while this is the intended effect of the aforementioned pivoted button mechanism design, I prefer a firmer click with clearer feedback. This is really up to your preference though, and thanks to the push-fit switch socket design, you can easily replace them with softer or stiffer switches to your liking.
The rubber cable didn't snag or drag much in practice, but I would have preferred a Paracord-style cable for the barely-there feeling. The side buttons are springy and easily accessible (unless you're a southpaw) - no complaints about them.
Underneath the mouse is a DPI switch that allows you to switch between 400, 800, 1,600, and 3,200DPI on the fly. You can also customise the sensitivity via Armoury Crate. While the location of the switch means you can't easily switch it while in the midst of gaming, some may prefer this arrangement as it prevents any accidental misclicks.
Buy or no buy?
All in all, the Strix Impact II is a pretty unremarkable mouse. It functions well enough, but the execution of the Electro Punk aesthetic is a little bit questionable with its murky, translucent shell and uneven lighting. However, the ability to swap out the switches is a huge plus, and should be taken into account when considering its overall value.
Overall, I'd say that there are better mice out there at this price point, and you'd be merely paying for the perk of completing the entire Electro Punk gaming peripheral collection.
Speaking of owning the full collection, that brings us to...
Bonus: The ROG Sheath Electro Punk Mouse Pad
Although I didn't see a need for a standalone review for the Sheath mouse pad, it's definitely worth a mention as the final member in the Electro Punk peripheral collection.
First off, the aesthetic for the Sheath is on point and really helps tie your entire desk setup together should you choose to purchase the entire Electro Punk collection. On the left is a huge swath of pink cutting diagonally across the mouse pad; on it you'll find calls to 'Join the Republic' printed in various languages, which looks really cool.
The classic ROG logo is printed in pink on the bottom right of the mouse pad, which is surrounded by neon pink stitching that looks super durable. On the bottom you'll find super grippy non-slip rubber coating, which makes it virtually impossible for your mouse pad to slip while gaming.
The Sheath Electro Punk costs the same as the mouse - RM209, which seems pretty pricey, but considering the fact that it's huge (900 x 440 x 3mm) and pretty well made, it might be worth forking out the cash to unify your entire desk's aesthetic.
Oh, and it comes with stickers too.
So, should I get the mouse pad too?
If you're buying the rest of the set, this is a must-have. Even if you're just looking for a nice mouse pad to jazz up your desk, the Sheath Electro Punk also works well as a standalone - if you really like shocking pink, that is.