QPAD 5K Mouse Review
Following on from my previous FUNC MS-3 review I have been given the opportunity to take a look at another mouse. This one comes from a company that I am well aware of, QPAD; as I use a QPAD QH-90 as my Gaming headset of choice, and as you can see from the review it’s a damn fine piece of kit. Therefore I am looking forward to putting this mouse through its paces.
The mouse in question is a QPAD 5K and it’s a right handed ergonomic (hand friendly) mouse, much in the same vein as the aforementioned FUNC MS-3. It features amongst other things a Laser sensor offering 90-5040 CPI (Counts per inch!?), maximum speed of 3.8 m/s, 30×30 sensing pixels and a 2 year warranty.
The 5K comes in a mostly black box, with pictorial images and textual notes of the features on offer. The box does not open (as is sometimes the case), but instead has a cut-out at the front showing the mouse itself.
The box back provides a full list of the specifications in various languages. There are also a couple of paragraphs, one explaining the design of the 5K and the other providing background on QPAD and their roots.
Inside the box there isn’t a lot. There is the mouse, and some addition glide pads or as QPAD state on the front of the box “GLIDZ INCLUDED!”. There is also a label stating that the mouse is Plug and Play, but for further functionality to download software from www.qpad.com, other than that, nothing, no drivers disk and no manual!
At time of review the QPAD 5K Mouse is retailing for approximately £54, and is provided with a 2 year warranty period.
courtesy of QPAD
|Sensor||Laser Gaming Grade|
|Resolution||90 – 5040 CPI (Counts per inch)|
|Max Acceleration||30 G|
|Max Speed||150 inches per second | 3,8m/sec|
|Image processing||10.8 MPS (Mega Pixels per second)|
|USB polling rate||1000 HZ (reports per second)|
|USB Data path||16 bits / axis|
|Buttons||7 (Programmable 5)|
|Sensing pixels||30×30 pixels|
|Sampling rate||12.000 FPS (Frames per second)|
|Cable||Braided cable 2 meter|
|USB plug||Gold plated|
|USB Response time||1ms|
|Width left wing to right wing||90mm|
|Left wing-to other side||82mm|
|Right wing to other side||82mm|
|Front side to side||60mm|
First impressions of the 5K is that it seems well made, if a little sparse on buttons compared to some other gaming mice. The covering is a nice soft feel matt black, and ergonomically it fits the hand well. I guess had I not reviewed the Func MS-3 recently the shape would have been more of an eye opener.
The top of the 5K very clearly shows the hand shaped design, with recesses for your ring and little fingers. The mouse is wide and supportive in the palm area. Standard left and right click mouse buttons are in evidence, both of which have a lovely tactile smooth action. There is a rubber covered scrollwheel, with a click activation along with two DPI setting switches behind the scrollwheel that cycle up and down through the 2 DPI settings available. Also on top of the mouse are the two DPI setting LEDs that indicate what DPI value is currently in use.
- Front / Back
From the front the distinctive shape of the 5K can be seen, along with the 2 meter long braided cable.
The back view shows a rather attractive QPAD logo. The ergonomic hand friendly shape can be seen from this angle, including the large base plate area, and the wide palm area.
- Sides (left & right)
Two buttons are located on the left side of the 5K, placed just above where your thumb would normally rest. Following the general theme of this mouse the lower left side has a recess that your thumb can rest in.
The Right side provides recesses for your ring and little fingers.
On the underside of the 5K there are 4 reasonably sized glides (or Glidz if you follow the naming on the box front!), along with the “Gaming Grade Laser”. There are some branding messages here also from QPAD with one of the key messages being that “We love Gaming” (the love being denoted by a heart shaped Q).
The shape of this mouse is designed to suit a very specific hand position, one that I am used to being a Palm Grip type Gamer. Given that QPAD gear is usually pretty good stuff, I’m looking forward to trying this mouse out…
Installing the 5K is as simple as plugging in the single gold-plated USB plug, it was connected into a USB 2 port on the back-plate of the Test MSI Z87-G45 GAMING motherboard that forms part of our dedicated Intel Test Rig.
Although the mouse will operate perfectly well in a plug and play form, software is required to get access to the full functionality of the 5K. It should be noted that this software is not provided on disk in the packaging and needs to be downloaded from the QPAD website. This process is further complicated in the fact that QPAD offer two versions of said software dependant on the firmware version of your mouse.
The 5K was tested using our Intel Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software.
The software download page at QPAD was visited and here it became apparent that there were two choices of software to download, one for Mice with firmware version 5.0 or higher and one for mice with firmware version 1.0-4.0. So which do I have? Well on the download page there is also ANOTHER software download link that provides you with a mouse Firmware Info utility. This was downloaded first and run providing details of the Mouse Firmware Version.
This process was made a little more complicated in that when the Firmware Info software is run for the first time the firmware number box defaults to showing “1”, this could be mis-construed by some to be showing the actual firmware version, but on pressing the “Read” button the true firmware version for our mouse is shown and that is “17”, looks like we will be downloading and using version 1.06 of the QPAD software!
Along with the QPAD 5K, I also received a two QPAD mouse mats, the QPAD UC-29 and the QPAD FX-29. These mats were used during my time testing the 5K along with my normal gaming mat which is a ROCCAT Alumic.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the QPAD 5K:
- Battlefield 4
- Survarium (BETA)
- Skyrim (DLC)
Having recently reviewed the Func MS-3 I knew what to expect from the 5K in the way of hand position and support and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint. My hand position on the mouse felt natural and comfortable from the moment I held it right the way through to the end of my time testing it. I suffered no issues with any aches or pains during play and always felt like I was in full control in Game.
The buttons were right where you needed them and easily to hand, all the button actuations were light, smooth and positive and I had no issues at all with the use of any of them in game.
Tracking wise the 5K always seemed to be spot on, matching my inputs on the mouse perfectly to my movements. The sensor although not defined by name in any of the specifications seems to be well up to the task.
I found that the 2 DPI settings were not really enough for my gaming style as I am more used to having more DPI options available, and I do tend to switch between them in game quite frequently, generally when sniping.
All in all as a basic Gaming mouse the 5K performed admirably, and saw me getting some nice kills in both Survarium and BF4.
No software CD is provided with the 5K, and it will function quite happily as a mouse simply plug and play. To get the extra functionality available though, QPAD software needs to be installed and it can be downloaded from the QPAD 5K support area of the qpad.com website. The software is pretty basic and features five screens containing settings for Button Assignment, Wheel control, Movement Speed, DPI and Macro editing.
- SOFTWARE – Button Assignment & Wheel Control
The Button page allows you to assign commands or keys to each of the five programmable buttons. These commands can be selected from a common set provided in a drop down list, they can be set to press a single key, a macro of up to 5 keys (more on that later) or activate some “editing commands” (like Cut, Copy, Paste, etc.). On the face of it this looks pretty comprehensive, but in reality all is not as it seems.
There are some issues with the Macro programming for a start along with some issue in the Software interface itself. I found that on closing and opening the software the key that you had mapped (that was displayed against the programmed button) would disappear, and worse than that, if the software is closed with a click of the “OK” button without resetting the key against that button, the button would revert to emulating no key press at all!
The Wheel page, allows you define how far a one click roll of the scroll wheel will scroll. This page also controls the only configurable light on this mouse (which is the scroll wheel light) and allows the user to turn it on or off (no fancy colour choices for lights on this mouse!). Also available on this page (although nothing to do with the wheel so to speak) is the setting for the USB polling rate.
- SOFTWARE – Move & DPI
The Move page allows setting for cursor movement speed and cursor acceleration, along with the option to have the cursor snap to default button in a dialog box. Forgive me for saying this, but I think that these features are also available in the standard Windows 7 Mouse control panel utility, but hey…
The DPI page, is where some real gaming features can be configured. Here the DPI values for each of the two settings can be configured, along with the lift distance, when lifting the mouse off the mat during Gaming. Also the X and Y values for each axis can be set independently of each other, if you say wanted more movement in the Y axis than in the X axis.
- SOFTWARE – Macro & About
The Macro page, offers the opportunity to record a 5 key macro that can then be allocated to a button. It offers this option but in my experience doesn’t deliver it, in that I just could not get this functionality to work. It looks like each key press should be shown in the white band as you press each button, and once finished pressing the “Confirm Key Sequence” button you would confirm the macro. In practice I could get nothing to display in this area no matter what I pressed and this I tried on my Test Rig and also on my main Windows (non-gaming) build. I noticed also that the descriptive text on this page referred to button text that actually didn’t match what was on the button. The example being that to start recording the macro you are asked to press the “Begin Key Sequence” button, whereas the button itself has “Begin Input Key Sequence” labelled on it!? Overall the software seems to be lacking in quality (to say the least!), and considering the 5K is not a necessarily new product, it’s poor that the software is still in this state.
The About page, provides information about QPAD and their Grassroots commitment.
I was expecting a lot from the QPAD 5K as I have been very impressed by my QPAD QH-90. As a basic Gaming mouse, the 5K works, but lack of some features and the software really lets it down.
The build quality itself is good and feels solid to the touch, the shape fitted my hand well and I found the mouse relaxing to use. The control offered by the mouse is also very good, and the mouse felt very secure in my hand even during the most hectic of fire fights. It suits my Palm Grip hand position, but might not be so good for those of you that are Claw Grip users. I was disappointed in the lack of some of the newer gadgets provided on similar (or cheaper) mice such as additional buttons (including DPI switch buttons) and having no lights so to speak (other than that mouse wheel light). Although this lack of lights is not imperative to performance, it is something to be missed in this day and age of lit gaming gear.
The software provided is only really good for setting the DPI values for each of the two settings (yes only two settings!), the button assignment functionality seemed semi-flawed and the macro features page seems to not work at all. There seems to be a real lack of focus in the software and it almost feels like it has been put together very quickly and without much thought and care.
Performance wise the 5K worked very well, I had no issues with tracking in game and all my inputs translated well to in game movement.
To sum up, this mouse performs well at the hardware level, but offers nothing out of the ordinary over a standard Laser Gaming mouse, other than the shape. At this price point I would expect a polished set of software and some bells and whistles, but in fact what I reviewed was, well, basic. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. As I have already stated I love my QH-90 and was expecting QPAD to have stepped up to the mark with a Gaming mouse, but in my opinion they have fallen short with the 5K when you compare it to other similarly priced mice on the market.
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Many thanks to QPAD for providing this sample for review