The hype around gaming mice makes it difficult to see the reality for the hyperbole. You can spend $60 or more for industry-standard pointing devices, such as the Razer DeathAdder Elite, or choose less costly alternatives like Logitech’s G602. Yet there’s an even less expensive, highly customizable, lesser-known alternative — $36 Aukey KM-C4 Gaming Mouse, which regularly retails for as little as $20.
The Aukey gaming mouse might seem a little too humble if you’re into impressive specifications like 16,000 DPI sensors and tracking speeds of 450 inches per second. However, most gamers don’t need incredible hardware in a gaming mouse. Aukey’s not the only company that knows this. It faces competition from Logitech’s G300 and Corsair’s Harpoon, a pair of well-known mice from major brands.
Built for speed and comfort
The KM-C4 measures 5.1 inches long by 2.4 inches wide by 1.6 inches high, and weighs 5.8 ounces. Aside from the scroll wheel, which is made of textured aluminum, the top of the mouse is encased in hard gray plastic, with a black strip separating the right and left buttons. In the black strip resides two plastic silver DPI buttons and the AUKEY logo, that by default rotates through illuminated red, green, blue, and purple. Users can also program it to display colors corresponding with the current DPI setting.
On both sides of the mouse are two comfortably textured finger grooves. On the right side, at the top of the thumb groove, are the usual Front and Back buttons, and between them is a disk-shaped double-click button. The underside is also made up of aluminum, and embedded in the metal are four plastic pads that provide smooth movement. Also on the underside is a button for turning off the mouse’s lighting, as well as a small compartment that holds up to four small cylindrical metal weights that allow customization of the KM-C4’s heft, for greater comfort.
The KM-C4 connects with a USB cable encased in nylon braiding, which is not only quite sturdy, but also tangle resistant. Our initial impression that the Aukey KM-C4 is a sturdy, well-constructed device, held up to scrutiny.
Everything is customizable
The KM-C4 can be used simply by plugging it in. However, to use all its functions and change options, such as individual button functions, polling rates, and DPI, Windows software must be installed from an included optical disc. (Unfortunately, at time of this writing, Aukey did not provide a downloadable version).
We found it just adequate for most of the games we play.
As with most mice, the KM-C4 allows you to change or reassign the functions of all its eight buttons, including the left and right ones, as well as when you depress the scrolling wheel. You can also configure the buttons to allow you to change polling rates and DPI on the fly, or as you play, to provide the appropriate accuracy in specific gaming scenarios. The KM-C4’s DPI resolutions include: 800, 1,000, 3,200, and 4,000. It also has four polling rates of 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1,000Hz. The gaming sensor inside is an ADNS 3050, which can detect up to 60 IPS (Inches per Second) and up to 2,000 CPI (Counts per Inch).
Compared to the DeathAdder Elite and its DPI of up to 16,000, with 450 IPS, the above specs may not seem so spectacular. But the average gamer really doesn’t need all this horsepower. Besides, many experts agree that at a certain point, added sensitivity becomes overkill.
Overall, we were impressed with the Aukey gaming mouse, as well as how easy it is to install and use. But we did encounter a snafu when installing the software. At completion, the installation program put three icons on the PC, one on the desktop, one on the Start menu, and one in the Windows hidden icons tray.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t launch the software from the two more obvious shortcuts, the icons on the desktop and the start menu. When we clicked either of them, a Windows prompt asked to allow the software to make changes to your PC. Clicking either yes or no did nothing readily perceptible, though we did find an instance of “Gaming Mouse” running in the Windows’ Services control panel. We made Aukey aware of this, and they assured us that a software update is in the works. However, the software issue was not resolved in time for this review’s publication.
Aukey’s warranty provides what the company calls “worry-free ownership” for two years. In other words, if it stops working under normal use within the first two years, Aukey will replace it.Our Take
While the Aukey gaming mouse’s DPI and polling rate specs are not off-the-chart, they’re plenty high enough for the everyday gamer. The KM-C4 is well-built, highly configurable, and quite comfortable to use. It’s just a shame about the software.
The DT Accessory Pack
Is there a better alternative?
The number of mice available at the Aukey’s price point is incredible, but we do know of a few favorites. Redragon’s M601, priced at $14, is a reasonably comfortable choice that works well out-of-the-box, and has a racier look. We also like the simple, sensible Logitech G300, and the Corsair Harpoon.
How long will it last?
Aukey guarantees the mouse for two years, and says that it has a tested lifespan of 10 million clicks. It certainly feels durable and long-lasting to us.
Should you buy it?
No. We like it for the average gamer and as a comfortable solution for somebody who spends a lot of time on his or her computer. However, the software problems were troublesome, and never resolved to our satisfaction. There are a lot of gaming mice currently on the market near the $20 price point, and many do not share these issues.