Rosewill Helix RM-20 Gaming Mouse Review


Introduction

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Rosewill has been making value focused computer hardware for years, but now they are moving into gaming with a series of mice, keyboards, cases, and headphones. Recently at Blizzcon 2013 Rosewill debuted their new PC gaming line and I was present to get my hands on them back in November. I spoke with the rep there and I was impressed by the comfort, feel and features of their gaming line and reached out to Rosewill to perform a full review on a representative of the gaming lineup once the line launched. The Helix RM-20 mouse just arrived and I immediately tore into it to provide the following review.

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Overview and Specifications

The Helix RM-20 mouse is an ergonomically shaped mouse for extended gaming comfort. The mouse features an easy to access on-the-fly DPI adjustment that starts initially at boot at 800 DPI, then to 1200 DPI, 1600 DPI and finally 2400 DPI.

Model RM-20
Interface USB
Hand Orientation Right Handed
Tracking Method Optical
Buttons 5
Scrolling Capability 1 x Wheel
Maximum DPI 800 ~ 2400DPI
Dimension 4.2″ x 2.8″ x 1.6″
Operating System Supported Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/VISTA/7/8/MAC

The Mouse

The mouse has a surprisingly good feel. The surface of the right and left click buttons that extends the back of the mouse resting on the palm feels like rubberized plastic, but is actually a fine matte finished plastic. This plastic feels great to the touch and should help with extended or hot and humid gaming sessions. The other benefit of fine matte plastic is that the surface will not wear down (and rub off) like rubberized plastic can. The left side of the mouse has a large black rubber patch embossed with dots to allow for ventilation when held. The rubber is very soft and has a great grip. The right side of the mouse is a shiny black gloss that looks great, but could become a bit slippery if you hold the right side of the mouse with your fingers.

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The feet on the bottom of the mouse are unusually large, and we welcome this addition. The feet are black and are accurately positioned at the four corners of the underside of the mouse. They glide easily on a gaming mouse pad, and presumably glide just as well on a lower quality mat.

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The scroll wheel has a rubber surface constructed of alternating high and low points that are about a millimeter apart. The feel is excellent and on either side of this rubber band are chromed plastic sides that look great and make it easy to find the wheel when going for the mouse in low light conditions. The clicking response from the scroll wheel is pleasant to the touch and is easy to moderate. I have tested many mice that cost much more that have horrible scroll wheel mechanisms allowing the wheel to speed by pages without a solid ratcheting feedback. The mouse scroll button is perfectly functional and is easy to click without rolling the mouse accidentally. Once the mouse scroll button is engaged, Windows will change your cursor to let you know that you can scroll a webpage or long document by simply moving the mouse up and down.

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The forward and back browser buttons are located on the left side of the mouse in sliver. They have a definite feedback click and function in most web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Rosewill does not provide any software which leaves no official support for re-mapping of the mouse buttons. Without fooling the operating system into believing the RM-20 is a supported 5 button Microsoft mouse, I don’t see an easy way to reassign these two buttons.

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The DPI switching button is located directly behind the scroll wheel. Oddly the button reads CPI, which stands for counts-per-inch. Most gamers are more familiar with the DPI standard and the specifications sheet for the RM-20 list the sensitivity in DPI units. The DPI button has a likeable click and a nice feedback response. It is also not placed so far back on the mouse that you have to remove your hand from holding position to click the button with your index finger. I took two pictures below without flash below to show how the DPI indicator lights would appear under normal lighting conditions.

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Finally there is a small red indicator light in the top center of the mouse just behind the DPI button that indicates when the mouse leaves standby and fires up the light sensor to full strength.

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Impressions

When I first saw the mouse at Blizzcon 2013 a couple months ago I was surprised that such and economically priced mouse would feel so good. My everyday mouse is very fancy, costs well over $125 and has all of the possible bells and whistles you could possible imagine. That being said, I have been using the RM-20 for a week straight and am pleased to say it is just awesome. There is something about all of the attention to detail that Rosewill put into this mouse that pleases me. The size is perfect for my hand, it is comfortable to use for hours on end, the surfaces are pleasing to the touch and the accuracy is seemingly as good as a mouse that sports a much higher DPI range.

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Performance in general computing including word processing, photo manipulation, web browsing was perfect. I didn’t notice any annoyances in performance or functionality. I tested the mouse in various games including the Titanfall Beta, the Elder Scrolls Online Beta, Diablo III, and the Star Wars Attack Squadrons Beta. Gaming performance was accurate and pleasing. I like a fast mouse, so I kept the mouse at 2400 DPI without changing the default windows mouse settings. The black perforated rubber on the left side and the matte finish on the top of the mouse keep it comfortable after a few hours of continuous gaming.

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Of course no mouse is perfect and the RM-20 does have a couple of minor drawbacks. First, I found that sometimes after booting up my gaming PC I found that the DPI reset itself back to 800 DPI. This was a minor annoyance when hopping on the mouse only to be momentarily troubled as to why the mouse cursor was traveling so slowly. I quickly remedied the issue by tapping the DPI button on the mouse four times to light up the red, yellow and green buttons indicating 2400 DPI. The second minor drawback for me was that the mouse is incredibly light. I like a more substantial feel on a mouse because it prevents the cursor from flying across the screen if your desk is bumped or if you are attuned to a heftier mouse and fly the mouse off your pad with your usual vigor. Finally, I would like to see Rosewill provide a small downloadable software package that would allow re-mapping of the mouse scroll button, and the back and forward browser buttons. A couple examples of the value in re-mapping is to assign left strafe to the back button and right strafe to the forward button or cut to one button and paste to another as I have done on my work PC that spends a lot of time locked into the jail cell that is Excel. Overall these drawbacks are very minor as compared to many of the more expensive mice that I have owned and tested.

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Conclusion

The Rosewill Helix RM-20 is an excellent gaming mouse for value. For a suggested retail price of $29.99 and at the time of the writing on sale for only $19.99 on Amazon.com, the RM-20 is a great piece of hardware. The mouse is amazingly comfortable over short and long business or gaming sessions. The quality of the materials is most pleasing to the touch and the on-the-fly DPI adjustment and the corresponding indicator lights are a very nice touch. Rosewill is making great progress in forging into the gaming sector. We would like to see them continue this surge and look forward to reviewing even higher end Rosewill gaming devices in the near future. If you are considering buying a great gaming mouse and only have about $20, go buy the Rosewill Helix RM-20 and thank me later!