Author: Pier-Luc Gendreau
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/ocz_behemoth/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
When it comes to gaming peripherals, two names first come to mind: Logitech and Razer. However, you can’t ignore the other competitors playing on the same field. OCZ for example is well known for its memory products, but they also actively design and manufacture gaming peripherals. Even though they offer some very interesting products tailored specifically for gamers, OCZ is also one of the the brands we tend to forget about when seeking the perfect gaming keyboard or mouse.
OCZ’s latest mouse is dubbed the Behemoth, and rightly so. I will spoil the surprise early: this is easily the largest mouse I ever handled. Well endowed mice usually fare pretty well in ergonomics though, which is great. The Behemoth also features solid specifications expected from any decent gaming mouse, including a 3200 DPI sensor and a software suite to load custom profiles.
The Behemoth’s predecessor, the Dominatrix, has been my daily mouse ever since I got it nearly a year ago. Let’s see if OCZ has what it takes to conquer me once again.
The packaging goes straight to point by displaying the Behemoth front and center and OCZ offers an excellent view of the mouse through the clear plastic mold. The most important features all displayed on either side, such as the double laser sensor with adjustable DPI up to 3200.
On the back side of the box, there is a more detailed description of some of the features including the customizable profiles, weight adjustment and superb ergonomics, so they claim at least.
Aside from the usual left and right buttons and clickable scroll wheel, the Behemoth possesses four more buttons. By default, the one on top is used to navigate between four different DPI settings on the fly. The three other buttons are sitting on the left side and their utility can be customized through OCZ's provided software. Out of the box, they work as back and forward buttons in your favorite browser.
Beside the OCZ logo, there isn't much happening on the Behemoth's back. However, it's pretty clear there is some serious ergonomic work going on as it seems like the mouse boasts grooves for every single finger.
Under the hood hides five weights, each coming in at 4.5 grams, as well as the dual laser sensors; each one controls it's own axis which is supposed to provide a more accurate motion. There also is a profile button to let you switch between profiles without having to even install software, provided you have already loaded some on the onboard memory of course. At the top is a clever system that allows you to route the USB cable in six different directions.
OCZ bundles a small disc which includes the Behemoth's supporting software suite. The nine language and 90 page thick manual explains some key functions offered by their software. Interestingly, the cable's housing is actually made out of some sort of cloth instead of being covered by a standard rubbery housing.
Testing mice is a very subjective matter; some may think a certain model is totally sweet while others are left with a sour taste. Nevertheless, I will evaluate OCZ's Behemoth based on three elements : comfort, performance and customizability.
There is no doubt the Behemoth was engineered to optimize ergonomics. In fact, not only both left and right buttons are carved, but the right side is also shaped to allow your two other fingers to rest snugly. The carvings help in keeping fingers where they should be, while retaining a slick and comfortable surface. Put basically, all five fingers have a place to rest.
However, more doesn't always translate into better. I prefer keeping a more relaxed position with a finger in contact with the mousepad and the Behemoth doesn't comfortably let you do that. As much as the mouse fits your hand as if it was custom molded, it just doesn't feel natural to me. I like having a finger dedicated to the scroll wheel, but the Behemoth's shape apparently wasn't designed with that in mind.
The side buttons are well located, although they are a tad hard to press which happens to have a positive side effect: you can't accidently click them. The button to change the DPI setting easily accessed while remaining pretty far back and low profile enough that it's impossible for your palm to press it at the wrong time.
Now, of course, if a mouse doesn't feel comfortable, it's hard to get it to perform optimally. That aside, the 3200 DPI laser sensors were up to the task, offering quick and precise movements. You might be wondering if the second laser sensor provides a noticeable improvement. Honestly, I couldn't feel the difference. Many companies, including OCZ, already allowed users to independently adjust the resolution of their sensor, which seems to negate the need to have a sensor for each axis.
Even though the Behemoth is noticeably larger than its competitors, at 118 grams without the custom weights, it's about as light as the rest, give or take a few grams.
Like most gaming oriented peripherals, a gaming mouse is not quite complete without proper software to further enhance and customize their functionality. OCZ does bundle a compelling application with the Behemoth. I like the fact it is portable so you don't have to actually install it -- simply run it directly from the disk or any other storage medium.
The included program allows you to load up to three different profiles on the Behemoth's onboard memory. On each of those profiles, it is possible to change the function assigned to each and every button. OCZ gives even more flexibility by letting the user choose the exact DPI setting to use for each level in 100 DPI steps; you can also choose to have less than four DPI levels so you don't find yourself accidently modifying the speed of the sensor while gaming.
The really neat part of OCZ's application is the ability to create custom key sequences and save them as scripts onto the mouse's memory, so they follow you wherever you go. After you start recording, the software catches every keys, mouse clicks and even scrolling. Once you're done, you can perform modifications to your script. If timing is crucial, you can also change delays. These scripts can then be bound to the Behemoth's button.
Additionally, the Behemoth's weight system allows further usability customization. The USB cord can also be routed in six different directions from left to right in order to accomodate even the oddest desk configurations.
Before I got my hands onto the Behemoth, OCZ's Dominatrix had been my mouse of choice for the last year or so. Therefore, I had high hopes for its successor. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown. Initially it feels like their newest mouse is stronger on ergonomics, which it really is, but it just didn't work out too well in day-to-day usage. I found myself constantly seeking a good grip and it felt like the carvings and slippery finish prevented me from ever getting a solid hold of the mouse.
Of course, this is all very subjective -- some may like the enhanced ergonomics, but personally I did not. For this very reason, I wasn't too fond of the general performance the Behemoth brought me. Fortunately, the 3200 DPI laser sensors offer an excellent mix of speed and accuracy while its light weight makes it easy to move around even after several hours of constant use.
There are other positive aspects the Behemoth has to offer. Build quality on the Dominatrix really felt like it could use some improvement and OCZ stepped up and made the latest iteration look and feel a lot sturdier. Speaking of looks, OCZ went away from the colorful paint job to a sobre black finish with a touch of silver while adding a even more shiny LED's. Unless its predecessor, the custom weights are trapped in foam and have no room to wiggle, a welcome improvement.
The buttons have a good "click" to them and although the ones on the side are too resistant, they all are well located. The scroll wheel's feedback is great, but you have to move a finger off either the left or right button to use it, which I found very annoying. It's possible to go against the mouse's ergonomics and have three fingers on top, but then the carvings get in the way and you lose all sort of contact with the surface. The button to cycle between profiles is located under the mouse, which is fine by me since it's one less button that gets in the way and you don't use it all that often.
When it comes to customization, the Behemoth offers a great deal of options to please even the most demanding users. Not only can buttons be assigned a wide variety of functions, but it's also possible to create your own custom scripts which is definitely neat. The sensor's sensivity is also adjustable from an extremely slow 100 DPI to a fast 3200 DPI, in 100 DPI increments; up to four levels can be defined and changed on the fly, straight from one of the mouse buttons. The great part is that all those custom settings are saved directly onto the Behemoth's onboard memory. This way, your settings follow you wherever you go without needing to install the software.
Overall, I think it's pretty clear I'm not a fan of OCZ's oversized and overly ergonomic Behemoth. Its shape just killed it for me, but the ideal scenario is to get your hands on different models to see what fits you best. Outside of this very important, but also very subjective aspect, the Behemoth fared well. Feature-wise, it's right up there with the competition and at under $30, it's basically impossible to beat its price. The OCZ Behemoth is affordable, large, sleek and feature-rich. Provided you think you can get used to the ergonomic shape, go for it!
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