Cougar 450M Gaming Mouse Review

Written by Antony Leather

March 10, 2016 // 9:36 a.m.

Tags: #ambidextrous #ambidextrous-mouse #best-gaming-mouse #cougar #cougar-450m-gaming-mouse-review #gaming-mouse

Cougar 450M Gaming Mouse Review

Manufacturer: Cougar
UK price (as reviewed): £41.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A

Occasionally, we do feel sorry for the lefties out there. You'll be using a great mouse and then you'll realise how awkward it would be to use if you were left-handed. Ambidextrous mice are rare and left-handed only mice are even more scarce, so it's always good to see a manufacturer at least opting for the former and making a mouse to suit both crowds.

The Cougar 450M is one of the company's latest mice and rather than ditch thumb buttons to cater for both left and right-handed users, it has them on both sides. However, the implementation may not be ideal depending on your grip type. Fingertip and palm grip type users will likely find the forward button protrudes and digs into your ring finger a little. This is a shame as that part of the button could easily have been rounded off and made a little shallower to prevent this.

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On the plus side, this does mean that you get an additional button to program, but the rear button here is tad redundant as it's pretty tricky to find and depress. Thankfully, we have no such complaints with the primary thumb buttons. Whether you're left or right-handed, these are well placed and require a fair amount of force so there should be no issues with accidental presses.

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The scroll wheel can also be depressed, making up one of the 450M's eight programmable buttons. It is rubber-coated and has a fairly stiff rotation that's relatively quiet, although it has a tendency to rattle when scrolling quickly. There's a single DPI toggle button so you'll need to cycle through sensitivities instead of being able to rise up or down through them, which you could do with two buttons. However, with only three different levels to choose from, this isn't a massive hardship.

The primary buttons feature Omron gaming switches and have a surprisingly even activation force all the way up the buttons so whether you use a palm grip or claw grip, have small or large hands, this remains relatively constant. What might not be to everyone's taste though, is the highly reflective, glossy coating on top of the mouse. While it doesn't seem to pick up fingerprints too readily, or at least make them too obvious, it does make long gaming sessions a little clammy compared to the soft-touch feel of most other gaming mice.

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The underside sports three large Teflon feet that, combined with the relatively light weight of 105g, means the 450M has no problem gliding over material or hard surfaces. That said, if you're a fan of weighty mice, it's probably not for you. It's relatively compact at 135mm long, which is middle of the road in the overall scheme of things. For example, Corsair's Sabre RGB is 10mm or so shorter, while Logitech's G402 is a little longer. However, it's large enough to be best-suited to palm and fingertip grip types - it's possibly a little too large for claw grippers except if you have especially large hands.

The 450M uses a PMW3310DH optical sensor, which is a popular choice from the likes of Corsair, Mionix, Roccat and Zowie and we found no issues with jitter or acceleration using the mouse in fast-paced games and the sensor performs much the same as most other 3310 mice we've seen, plus you get the addition of Cougar's software, which adds to the prowess of the sensor with plenty of tweaking.

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You can reassign any of the buttons as well as create other functions or shortcuts for them such as sniper mode (with a configurable DPI setting), mode switch for flitting between the three possible profiles or simply launching programs or controlling media. The performance tab allows you to adjust the sensitivity between 50 and 5,000 DPI in 50 DPI steps, except it makes an initial jump from 50 to 150 DPI. You can control X and Y axes independently, with three DPI settings to allocate in addition to sniper mode.

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You can also change the USB polling rate, angle snapping, lift height and configure the usual Windows-based settings such as pointer speed and acceleration. Macro functions are also here and you can both record, import and execute them by reassigning one of the buttons. There are two lights in total and both can be tweaked according to the full RGB spectrum. The Cougar logo can be set to off, breathing, fixed or colour cycle, while you can do the same for the DPI button, with the addition of fixed colours according to the DPI setting, which is certainly useful.

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Conclusion

The Cougar 450M includes a useful, fully-featured software suite and the overall design of the mouse itself is good too. However, there are one or two issues. The alternative side thumb buttons that cater for its ambidextrous design can be uncomfortable and there's also the issue of the glossy finish, which as well as looking unsightly after prolonged use may turn out to be unpleasant during extended gaming sessions on hot days or at LAN parties.

As a result, the design does add a few flies to the ointment of an otherwise well-featured, comfortable and reasonably-priced mouse. As it stands, it's potentially an option for left-handed users, but for most of us, the MSI Interceptor DS300 is a better bet for £40

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