Buttons: 9-buttons + wheel
Socket: USB (2.0/3.0) compatible
Cable Length: 1.8M
Resolution: 8,200 CPI, 5 Level adjustable
Image Processing: 10.8 Megapixels/Sec
Frame Rate: 12,000 FPS
Tracking Speed: 150 inches/Sec (IPS)
Report Rate: 125 1,000Hz/Sec [4-Level Adjustable]
Key Response Time: Less than 1ms*
Memory Size: 160K
Button Lifetime: OMRON 20-Million Clicks (Left/Right-buttons)
Mouse Feet Life: 300 km & up
A4Tech’s Bloody Terminator TL7 gaming mouse tries to do a lot of things all at once, and for the most part, it achieves them. It’s an attractive, comfortable and reactive mouse with software that puts a lot of options at your fingertips. While it’s gaming software may be considered unethical by some, it’s certainly powerful, and it’s your choice whether to use it or it not.
Despite options for MMO’s and MOBA games, this is a mouse obviously designed from the ground up primarily for first-person shooters. It features only two thumb buttons on its left side, and its central line of two buttons and a bi-directional switch below the scroll wheel are hard to press precisely during play. This is by design, as while they can be mapped for other keystrokes, achieves the primary purpose of changing the mouse sensitivity or shooting modes on the fly, not to spam your abilities in World of Warcraft. You don’t want to press them accidentally.
The other buttons are gaming standard, with a comfortable central scroll wheel also acting as a middle button. It has a comfortable feel overall, and the ergonomics are strong. The right-and-left buttons are textured for extra grip and their presses are sharp and give a solid tactile response. Bloody advertises a 1ms response time on the right and left mouse button clicks, although it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which such speed is necessary. However, it does seem that the technology is reflective and represented through its general engineering feel. The thumb grip is also textured with a grill pattern, though it could use a rubber pad similar to the top buttons to increase control.
The thumb buttons are well positioned and easy to access, though they feel a bit sharp and unpleasant in their hard plastic and angular design. A softer or smoother finish would be welcome here as well. The mouse also has a tendency to rock side to side slightly when used on hard surfaces, probably a result of the choice to use metal glide footing, which Bloody claims will provide for longevity and accuracy. The problem goes away, however, when placed on a mouse-pad, and the mouse moves smoothly and reliably.
The movement sensitivity can be set quite high, to a maximum setting of 8200 CPI. Up to five CPI settings can be chosen at the same time in order to switch through them in-game. Additionally, the software allows for three different customizable profiles to be saved simultaneously. If you wish to check out the software suite itself, click here.
The LED lighting is visually pleasant, and there are two separate regions here. The first is the scroll wheel, and the second consists of the Bloody logo and the ridge beneath it. Unfortunately, these aren’t separately programmable. They instead change between a handful of present colors (default red, with yellow, blue and green). The scroll wheel color changes to represent the shooting mode, while the logo and ridge changes to show the currently selected profile. Which, if you are looking for brief indicators or playing in mixed company, could provide screen-peekers an opportunity to halt your strategy.
The software, however, is the real star here. Every option is stored within the mouse’s internal memory, allowing you to take it with you and set it up on other PCs. More importantly, however, the software has four different “core” options, each for different purposes. Only two of the four come packaged with the mouse, however, with the more advanced options only available on a limited trial basis. A separate purchase is necessary to fully unlock them.
The first Core is the most basic, useful for most non-FPS gaming. The central line of buttons can be assigned to keyboard keys, and it carries out the basic features of a gaming mouse, including multiple CPI and profile settings. Move to Core 2, however, a new set of options opens up for first-person shooter gamers. The central line of buttons becomes programmed to switch between firing modes (single shot, burst, etc), with a separately programmable CPI setting for sniper rifles.
The third and fourth “ultra” cores, which require a separate purchase, are where the real power of A4Tech’s technology lies. The ability to program complex macros, reduce recoil, and improve ballistics for guns, makes one wonder whether it’s cheating or not to turn on these features. Console users have seen competitive alterations with controllers, utilizing similar modifications done with hardware. Instead, there is a software suite to support these same types of mods.
I’ll leave that judgement for you, but there’s a lot of power here, if you’re willing to shell out extra for it. At least you can try them out for free before you decide to buy them. These features are quite complex, and you’ll almost certainly have to read the manual and go through some trial and error before you find a setting that feels right. Of course, players can also share their settings, allowing you to pick up what works for other top players off the shelf.
The Bottom Line:
I’ve been using the Bloody Terminator TL7 for just over a week now, and I’ve grown quite fond of it. While the more advanced options do little to help me at my skill level, I find it a comfortable, consistent, and responsive mouse that helps reduce the distance between my brain and the game I’m playing without sacrificing performance. Even if you aren’t an elite gamer, you’ll find plenty to like with the TL7.