Computer mice are such odd peripherals. So many variations to suit different personal preferences, resulting in such a difficult time trying to guess which one is best for you. Having seen a great many mice in my day, suffice it to say I’ve seen both good and bad, and plenty in between. Choosing one among many can be confusing, so this article may help you to learn about Mionix Naos 7000 and Avior 7000 Mouse and compare their performance.
Particular models become popular amongst users, making a name for themselves, and often taking on the established industry heavyweights in the fight to impress consumers. One of those companies which seem to have a good understanding of what makes a good mouse, and is becoming increasingly popular as a result, is Mionix.
I’ve seen several mice from the Swedish company Mionix, with the Naos 8200 and Avior 8200 being standouts in a crowded marketplace. The Naos is a right-handed mouse, while the Avior is ambidextrous, though each shares the same design essentials of comfort, elegance, and simplicity. Can’t really argue with that.
I’m a certain fan of getting good value, so let’s take a closer look at the Mionix Naos 7000 and Avior 7000 and find out if they’re worth your money.
The feature and specifications are nearly identical for both the Naos 7000 and Avior 7000, which the one significant exception being that the Avior is an ambidextrous design. Beyond that, the internals, sensors, and hardware/software capabilities are identical.
Both Mionix mice are contained in sleek black boxes that each have a large photo of the mouse on the front and general product information and some detailed specifications on the rear of the box. The understated presentation here is appreciated, and Mionix appears to have mastered minimalist design on several fronts.
The rear continues the visual cues from the front, providing a bit more detailed information.
Once inside the box, there is only the mouse and a paper insert that directs you to the Mionix website for drivers. It’s worth mentioning both the Naos 7000 and Avior 7000 are entirely plug-and-play; you don’t actually need any drivers, so no worries about a useless mouse without an install disk. However, more customization is available if you download and install the drivers. I’ll look at this more closely in the Software section of this review.
Naos 7000 – Closer Look
First off, let’s look at the Naos 7000.
The Naos 7000 is a palm-grip, highly contoured, and somewhat large right-handed mouse. The Naos is probably accurately described as “very sculpted”, and has some curvacious lines. Not as curvaceous as Scarlett Johansson, but you get the idea. In its visual design and presentation, the Naos 7000 is nearly identical to the Naos 8200 version.
Seeing as Mionix already had a very strong design and ergonomics with the Naos 8200, there’s not much point in messing with a winning formula here on the 7000. In fact, with the new mouse priced lower than the flagship 8200, it’s reasonable to assume more consumers might opt for this new 7000 version.
Most mice I’ve seen on the market have “dead space” along the right side where your ring finger and pinky rest, but the Naos has a dual swooping zone (yes, these are highly technical terms) that cups your whole hand and offers better support. It is not a slim (think Cooler Master Sentinel) or claw-type (think Razer DeathAdder) mouse.
The result is a larger mouse that nestles into your whole hand, and the ergonomics of the Naos are excellent and follow the natural lines of your hand. In fact, the Naos is easily the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever grasped.
Despite its size, even those of you with smaller hands should find the Naos comfortable, as I had my slender-handed wife test it out. Her response? She really enjoyed the Naos and found it fit her hand very well. She can keep the DeathAdder though; the Naos is staying with me, even if it means a night spent on the couch as a result.
The Naos 7000 has a beautiful satin finish that doesn’t get slippery. Near the lower area, the Mionix logo on the palm area does illuminate, and while it’s attractive, it’s also rather superfluous since it will be covered by your hand anyways.
Between the end of your thumb and the tip of your forefinger lies the DPI indicator, with three bars that identify which sensitivity you’re using (low-med-high). The indicator is not obtrusive but easily viewed with a quick glance. The DPI adjustment buttons are located just below the wheel, though it is a bit of a stretch to move your index finger to tap them. The buttons are flattish and correspond to the lighting of the wheel, DPI indicator, and Mionix logo.
The scroll wheel is well constructed and comes with a rubberized finish to help avoid slippage during sweaty fragging sessions. The wheel tracks very smoothly without any noise; it does, however, have a “notched” effect, that gives some feedback so you know the wheel is moving. Along with the rubberized skin on the wheel, it is also illuminated (and turn different colours depending on the profile you’re using).
The bottom of the Naos 7000 is where the new model differs from the 8200. The 7000 now uses an ADNS 3310 optical sensor rather than a laser. Other than the obvious drop in sensitivity (very minor in my estimation, and both still very high to remain suitable for gaming), the optical sensor is also more cost-effective to produce, which means a more affordable mouse for consumers. I’ll discuss the differences and pros/cons of optical and laser engines after I finish our look at the mice next.
The braided cable is sufficiently long at 2m (6.5′), but it’s rather stiff, and the rough texture could conceivably get snagged on the edge of a desk keyboard tray. A smoother, more supple cable may have been a better choice.
Beyond that, are there any downsides to the design of the Naos? Just one that I could note: the thumb buttons could also be slightly taller in size; they’re not overly thin but could benefit from just a couple of millimeters of additional height.
Avior 7000 – Closer Look
The Avior 7000 is first and foremost, an ambidextrous mouse. Unlike the right-handed Naos, concessions must be made to accommodate lefties and righties with the Avior. The Avior retains some of the curvaceousness of the Naos, though it’s far more subtle in its execution here.
There is no finger rests since it’s not a dedicated-hand design, though the Avior is still “sculpted”. The top end of the mouse starts fairly broad, with a long and gradual taper toward the palm, identical on each side for use with left- or right-handed folks, coming to a rounded and flattened palm area which is highlighted by the lit Mionix logo.
There simply aren’t many ambidextrous mice on the market and even fewer “gaming” models that focus on quality and features. Far too often there are critical compromises in trying to be all things to both lefties and righties. It appears Mionix has kept the design very simple and straightforward, no extraneous gimmicks to be found; just a simple and solid design. I do love the sleek look.
Overall, it’s a rather slim and somewhat smallish mouse, not terribly well suited to those who have bear paws for hands. You can use the Avior 7000 in a traditional palm-style grip, with your whole hand covering the entire length of the mouse, or you can opt for a claw-style and “choke up” on the front fingers, though you might find the forefront of the mouse a bit flat for serious gaming like that.
The Avior 7000 has the same luxurious satin finish as the Naos, avoiding sweaty palm slipping. Near the lower area, the Mionix logo is also present, the same as the Naos. And like the Naos, it’ll be blocked when you’re using the mouse.
There is no DPI indicator on the Avior like I saw on the Naos, though the DPI adjustment buttons are nearly identical in design and positioning. They’re equally spaced regardless of which hand you’re using, though it is a bit of a stretch to move your index finger to tap them.
The scroll wheel setup is identical to the Naos.
The thumb buttons are similar to the Naos but do have a couple of differences (I’ll compare shortly), resulting in just the right balance of size, profile, and contour to be easily reached and unobtrusive. Again, each side is styled the same, so you’ll have the same experience regardless of whether you go left or right. The buttons here on the Avior are slightly taller and angled just a bit differently, presumably to offset the flatter outer profile compared to the Naos.
The bottom of the Avior 7000 is where it differs from the Naos, as the Avior has huge PTFE feet across the top and bottom, rather than smaller feet along each side. No weight adjustments here to be found.
The Avior 7000 also uses the ADNS3310 optical sensor, the same as the Naos. I use triple large screen monitors, and 7000 DPI is plenty of sensitivity for just about any amount of fine control. I doubt you’ll need it in Windows or typical applications, but you can certainly bump up the sensitivity more successfully in games, which is what the Avior 7000 is primarily designed for.
Let’s take a look at the software next.
Both of these mice are entirely plug-and-play, but if you want to take full advantage of the customizable features, then you’ll need to visit the Mionix website to download the latest drivers and software package.
The control panel software for both are essentially the same, with the one main difference being that the Avior has the ability to customize the buttons for each side of the mouse. Other than that obvious fact, the features and GUI remain essentially the same as what we’ve previously seen from Mionix, and that’s a very good thing. Mionix has done an excellent job keeping things robust but simple. The install package was very streamlined and light, and won’t be a resource hog on your system.
As you can see below, the buttons are fully customizable, double click, and scroll speed, as well as a polling rate up to 1000 Hz.
Pointer speed, acceleration, and lighting on/off are also adjustable.
One very unique feature to note is S.Q.A.T, or Surface Quality Analyzer Tool, whereby you can test the quality of the gaming surface or mousepad that you’re using. You simply need to drag the Avior across the surface for about 5 seconds and it will provide a qualitative analysis/result ranging from Poor, Acceptable, Good, and Excellent. I tested a few different mousepads and they did indeed provide differing results.
Lighting effects get a dedicated tab as well, with extensive options for customization. Color combinations aren’t as extensive as some others I’ve seen to individually control each LED, but you can achieve just about any color in the spectrum with a quick manual input. Needless to say, you can easily match the backlighting on your mechanical keyboard (you do have one, right?).
The lights can be turned off if desired. With the LED lights on, there are four settings: solid, blinking, pulsating, and breathing. You can also selectively cycle through various lighting color schemes as well. Needless to say, there’s something to suit everyone’s personal tastes.
An entire tab is also devoted to macro settings, allowing gestures and combinations to be associated with different functions or shortcuts.
Lastly is a Support tab where you can find direct links to FAQ content, as well as software or firmware updates.
Should you have a reason not to install the drivers, both the Naos and Avior are still entirely usable with a completely plug-and-play setup due to the onboard ARM processor and 128K memory. This means that you can simply plug in the mouse and it will retain its onboard profiles, allowing you to plug into another computer.
If you wish and avoid all the usual hassles associated with driver installation, setup, and customization. In this sense, the Naos and Avior will keep your settings regardless of the system being used; so, you can pack it up and plug it in elsewhere and never have to worry about losing your settings.
Optical vs Laser Sensor
There are a few differences between optical and laser sensors. There isn’t necessarily a “right” or “wrong” choice, but rather limitations for each technology that may better suit your needs and preferences. So, a quick discussion is in order.
The Naos 8200 and Avior 8200 versions both use the Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor which is known for having a bit of positive acceleration when used at faster movement speeds. The Naos 7000 and Avior 7000, by contrast, use the ADNS-3310 sensor, which exhibits zero acceleration. The Avago laser sensor also has exhibited occasional jittering (jumping), and while this is uncommon, the problem is documented and does exist. The optical sensor has no such issues that I’m aware of.
The other difference is you’ll see a red light emitting from the optical sensor, whereas it’ll be invisible on the laser mouse. This will cause a minor bit of “light bleed” underneath the mouse when in use on a mouse pad, but it’s negligible; besides, who sits there looking at their mouse rather than the screen anyways?
Below is a closeup of the optical engine on the Naos 7000:
Now compare that with the laser sensor on the Naos 8200 below. Note the subtle but distinct difference:
Lastly, optical mice have more limited compatibility with mousepads, as they require solid/opaque surfaces to properly register movement. Laser sensors, however, can be used on nearly any surface, including reflective and transparent. So unless you’re using a very weird mousepad or gaming surface, the optical sensor should be sufficient for most users.
Naos vs Avior
What’s particularly interesting, other than the ambidextrous vs single-handed design, is that while these mice share a common lineage and approach, the individual designs are quite different, despite the nearly identical similarities in features. The Naos is certainly wider to accommodate the far extremities of your right hand, whereas the Avior must stay streamlined on both sides.
The Naos is also a bit larger overall in terms of length, as well as feeling a bit more weighty in use.
Lastly, the most distinct difference is in the overall contour of the mice; the Naos is far more sculpted and taller, while the Avior is a bit flatter and less pronounced in its lines. In the photo below, the Avior is at the top and the Naos at the bottom. Note, too, the “angle of attack” in the thumb buttons and their placement relative to the hand position; the Naos is more aggressive in design.
The performance of a mouse is a rather subjective thing, as there is no definitive, quantitative way to “measure” its success. Specifications toss out a bunch of numbers, but those don’t mean much about how a mouse handles and feels. Rather, it’s the qualitative thing, how well it can perform in a variety of settings and applications in everyday use. That being said, the best way to evaluate a mouse is to just use it in a variety of applications and see how it feels after a while.
I do quite a bit of Photoshop and MS Office work, as well as some AutoCAD, not to mention a fair share of gaming as well. The precision in working with technical drawings and models was very good, zooming in for detailed adjustments in Photoshop and AutoCAD, and moving around is smooth and efficient.
The DPI adjustment was very useful to change quickly when moving around at very fine tolerances when zoomed in. There were also no difficulties with the sensor when working on various surfaces. I also tried both a flat black surface and a flat white surface and the optical mice tracked very well on both.
Gaming with both of these mice was similarly an enjoyable experience. Jumping into Battlefield 3, I played as a sniper which requires very fine adjustments when pixel-hunting for enemies at long range. Quickly tapping the DPI button to its lowest setting allowed me to tweak my aim on the long shots.
Battlefield is great for testing because jumping into a tank shows how slow the turret rotates compared to movements such as infantry. Rather than continually moving the Avior across the entire mouse pad to swing the turret, simply tapping the DPI adjustment to the highest setting allowed the turret to move far quicker, and I was able to acquire and destroy targets much more quickly.
I also use triple widescreen LCD monitors on a daily basis, and I even found movement across the displays and into applications was easy and natural. I always use “no acceleration” in my settings, and I found the sensitivity changing on-the-fly settings could accommodate the movement needed to move across the huge space in widescreen real estate. After a few days, it became second nature. Precision in Windows and Photoshop was excellent across three large monitors.
And while I am not a left-handed mouse user, because of the symmetrical design, I know the Avior 7000 will behave identically regardless. So I should assume a left-handed user will have similar experiences as those who are right-handed.
That said, if you’re a right-handed user, you will find the Naos more comfortable, which isn’t to say the Avior is uncomfortable; rather, the Naos’ design is just so good in terms of comfort and ergonomics, it’ll outshine the Avior.
It appears Mionix isn’t looking to mess with a winning formula, and that’s a very good thing. Having used both the Naos 8200 and Avior 8200, these new optical variations are essentially the same housing with different internals. Most people likely won’t be able to tell the difference; after all, 7000 vs 8200 DPI isn’t much of a change at such high sensitivity levels. All but the most hardcore users or gamers will be satisfied with these new models.
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.
As for the comfort of the Naos 7000, it’s the best design I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding, slinking right into the cup of your hand without an afterthought. The Avior, while similar to the Naos in principle, lacks the uniqueness of the Naos and its “finger rest” on the right side because of its ambidextrous design.
The Avior doesn’t “cup” your hand nearly as wonderfully as the Naos, but it can’t because it needs to be symmetrical on each side. That said, the Avior is very comfortable for an ambidextrous mouse, though it’s just a slightly on the smallish size. It’s also a rather lightweight mouse, which is neither good nor bad, but simply a matter of personal preference.
Both mice also utilize 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 refreshingly easy to use while robust enough to customize almost any setting, and Mionix has developed an interface that works extremely well.
The obvious move here to the optical sensors may slightly limit the surfaces upon which these new 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 7000 series models, getting the best of both worlds in fabulous designs at a cheaper price.
In fact, it could be argued the Naos and Avior 7000 models are actually better than the 8200 siblings because you’re getting nearly the same product for less money. I’m certainly big fans of bang for your buck, and Mionix has made a smart move here by making their stellar mice more affordable to the masses.
With Mionix products now penetrating into the market more fully, it’s not difficult to get a hold of either the Naos 7000 or Avior 7000, which can be found for about $80 retail. That’s definitely not cheap, but they’re only $10 more than the other well-respected and most popular gaming mice out there.
It seems Mionix is not racing to the bottom; they’re targeting an audience that 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 an outstanding job here with both the Naos 7000 and Avior 7000. They are two of the very best mice you’ll come across.