|Manufacturer: Cyber Snipa|
|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: USB Port|
Before we move on to the performance of Cyber Snipa's optical sensor, we must address the Stinger's adjustable weight system. As it currently stands, every mouse that Inside Mac Games has reviewed with this ability has been slightly heavier than average without the weights installed. Therefore, the ability to pile extra weights on top of an already-hefty mouse seem to be something of a gimmick. However, we also recognize the fact that a small number of users prefer this state of affairs, citing the need to "smoothen out" their movements. Therefore, our thoughts on the Stinger's weight system are twofold: first, the seven 20 gram weights work as advertised--they make the Stinger considerably heavier, and they come in a separate box that should help you keep track of them. Second, we like the rubberized weight cartridge. Foam is the most common material used in these cartridges, and we appreciate the fact that Cyber Snipa was concerned enough with the long-term reliability of the Stinger to provide customers with a more durable replacement.
Optical PerformanceWe've said it before, and we'll say it again: there is an advantage to be gained by having a mouse with an extremely high resolution. If today's mice, with their skyrocketing dots-per-inch (DPI) figures, seem like a marketing ploy to you, it's probably because you are unaware of the difference between hardware and software sensitivity settings. The theory is fairly simple: total mouse speed is determined by a combination of hardware resolution and a multiplication factor set by the user (implemented by software). Software is only as good as the data that it is given; when a mouse's optical sensor skips a beat due to a surface aberration or insufficient resolution, the computer has no way of realizing this and merrily goes about its business, multiplying that error. Unfortunately, this process happens many times each second and leads to a small, but omnipresent sense of uncertainty about cursor movement. Therefore, by setting hardware resolution as high as possible and software multipliers as low as can be, gamers with 3000-4000 DPI mice are currently enjoying a minor, but significant uptick in accuracy and consistency compared to their less-fortunate peers. While this effect shouldn't be used a reason to rush out and buy new hardware in and of itself, it does represent an exciting trend toward a time when software sensitivity settings are a thing of the past.
With a true 3200 dpi resolution sensor, 1000 Hz polling rate, and maximum velocity of 45 inches per second, the Cyber Snipa Stinger has the potential to be a very accurate gaming mouse. In our testing, that proved to be the case. Real world tests utilizing Call of Duty 4, Team Fortress 2, and Company of Heroes were immensely successful due to the fact that the Stinger's tracking performance was clean and consistent. We tested the sensor on a variety of traditional and improvised surfaces, and while most passed with flying colors, we did run into some minor sensor jitter on two, top-of-the-line cloth mouse pads. That was to be expected, however: late last year, Razer sent a minor tremor through the industry when it reported that its new, 4000 DPI sensor (used in the Lachesis) was picking up minor fluctuations in soft cloth surfaces, rendering them unsuitable for gameplay. On the other hand, desks and relatively hard mouse pads were reported to work well, and as we discovered, the Stinger's behavior is consistent with Razer's findings. Lastly, in our polling rate tests, designed to determine whether or not the manufacturer fudged their performance figures, the Stinger did better than Cyber Snipa's claims, displaying polling rates that were 5-10% higher than advertised at both 500 Hz and 1000 Hz settings.
Final Notes and Buying AdviceWith that said, we conclude that the Cyber Snipa gaming mouse is an excellent product, fully deserving to be ranked among the best mice from Razer, Microsoft, and Logitech. With its ergonomic design, incredibly flexible (albeit clunky and Windows-only) software, and great optical performance, the Stinger is a relative bargain for $45. To be frank, we feel that the only significant hurdle between this mouse and wide market acceptance is the red detailing. With a scroll wheel that can be red, green, or blue at any moment, the mouse looks a bit odd at times. Stylistic nitpicking aside, we'd like to give the folks at Cyber Snipa a virtual pat on the back for a job well done, and hope that they stay the course for a long time to come.
Pros• Sleek and tough construction
• Ergonomically-sound design
• Incredibly flexible software
• Great optical sensor performance
Cons• Color scheme clashes with lighting scheme
• Control panel is needs some work