It appears Mionix isn’t looking to mess with a winning formula, but they’ve certainly looked at tweaking what works as we’ve seen here with the Castor. There is a familiarity about the Castor, but it’s also unique in a way. However, keeping familiar design cues and ergonomics is a smart move, and updating the optical engine should give things a boost for all but the most diehard gamers.
In terms of design, Mionix seems to have mastered the art of minimalist mouse design, relying on clean lines, smart ergonomics, and uncluttered features to appeal to consumers who want something a bit different than your average brash gaming mouse. You unfortunately don’t get the dual buttons for DPI adjustment, as you’re relegated to the one-button cycle here, but it gets the job done reasonably efficiently. After a few days playing around, it should become intuitive for most users.
As for the comfort of the Castor, it feels like the Naos and Avior had a baby, attempting to bring the best of both designs to a wider audience. I’m partial to the Naos and its elegant and slightly audacious curves, but the Castor should bring that sense in a more tame manner to the masses.
The Castor also utilizes onboard memory to store your profiles to take on the road if you need, complete plug-and-play functionality without driver installation, and an ARM processor. Factor in a straightforward software interface that’s easy to use while robust enough to customize most settings, and Mionix has an interface that should work well for gamers and mainstream users alike.
The optical sensor may slightly limit the surfaces upon which this mice can operate, but that’s not really a problem for the vast majority of users who will simply use a typical mouse pad. The optical engines are, of course, more affordable, so consumers may opt for these new series models, getting the best of both worlds in fabulous designs at a cheaper price.
With Mionix products now penetrating into the market more fully, it’s not difficult to get a hold of the Castor, which can be found for about $70 retail. That’s definitely not cheap, but it’s about $10 more than the other well respected and most popular gaming mice out there. That said, it’s priced on the more premium end of the spectrum, and that puts the Castor against some stiff competition from other industry stawarts and classic favourites from Roccat, Razer, and SteelSeries. In that sense, Mionix seems to be targeting an audience who cares about strong design and premium quality. You certainly do get your money’s worth here. A mouse should last for years, and when you consider the small price premium, the added minor expense should be seen as a very wise investment.
With impressive features, a clean and robust software interface, a quality finish, sleek lighting effects, and excellent comfort, Mionix has done a great job here with the Castor.