HyperX Pulsefire FPS Pro
High-end mousing hidden in plain sight.
MICE DON'T GENERALLY vary a huge amount from one to the other. There are buttons, there’s probably a wheel, and a sensor underneath. Maybe there’ll be some slightly advanced electronics controlling the sensor; perhaps there’ll be some pretty lights. So, what do we, certified by our mothers as the world’s pre-eminent mouse critics, do when a mouse comes along that checks all the boxes well enough—and even double-checks some of them—but elicits little more than a shrug under close examination?
That’s what we have here, in the form of the overtitled HyperX Pulsefire FPS Pro. Nine syllables. There’s no doubt its foundation comes from a good place: Kingston’s gaming sub-brand rarely lets us down, and however dull it may be, plenty of effort has been put into the design and hardware of this mouse. It’s a right-hander, but not to any sort of extreme, with a fairly narrow body that sees your pinkie and ring fingers sloughing off the right-hand side and touching the desk, and a shallow leftedge curve that doesn’t make any assumptions about where you’d like to put your thumb. There are side buttons, kinda medium sized and bland—they each click with a very slightly different tone, and neither gets in the way or hides itself so well that it’s impossible to find when you need it. Beneath those buttons, and on the opposite edge, is a slightly unpleasant-feeling diamond plate pattern molded into silicon, which is grippy enough without being sticky.Up top, some RGB lights
in all the usual places, one giving a glow to the HyperX logo on the heel, one highlighting the rim of the serviceable mouse wheel. There’s a good amount of tension in the plain slate-gray one-piece top shell, enough to prevent the majority of accidental clicks, and it’s shaped in such a way that it fits in your palm and fingers well, as mice so often are. Behind the wheel sits a single DPI switch, toggling between three resolution settings, which you can customize (along with the lighting) using Kingston’s NGenuity software.
Underneath is even less exciting. We can appreciate not putting a huge amount of design effort into an area nobody’s going to see, but there’s not even the pretense of fanciness around the tiny sensor hole, although the slippery skates on either end are creditably large. Looking here does lead us to the Pulsefire FPS Pro’s most remarkable feature: a Pixart 3389 sensor, which can be dialed all the way up to an unusably sensitive 16,000 dpi, and which predictably passed our mousing tests with flying colors. Probably the best sensor on the market today, and it’s basically been hidden.
So, as we said, we struggled to find anything exciting about this mouse. It looks and feels like an amalgamation of every other mouse we’ve ever looked at, only slightly less remarkable than all of them. But perhaps that’s what’s so good about it. To answer that question posed at the beginning, to properly assess the FPS Pro, we need to look at what this is, rather than what it is not. All the drudgery of its standard features and plain outward design don’t mean it’s boring, as such, they mean this is a mouse made for mousing. There’s nothing about it that’s explicitly bad, and certainly nothing so wacky as to be distracting when you’re in the middle of a firefight. It’s comfortable enough, light enough, and every function is easily accessible; it’s completely forgettable, in just the right way.
In fact, it’s so dull we might even be tempted to recommend this over its hyperactive cousin, the Pulsefire Surge, which shares the same sensor, but adds a gaudy light ring and Omron switches certified for 50 million clicks, rather than the FPS Pro’s 20 million. Considering that this is some $10 cheaper, and might just save you with its blandness, it must be pretty good after all.
Sensitivity: 16,000 cpi
Sensor Model: Pixart 3389
Polling Rate: 1,000Hz
Programmable Buttons: 6
LEDs: Two-zone RGB
Cable Length: 5.9 feet
No-frills design; superb sensor at the price.Minus:
Rough grips; thin braided cable.Price: