EVGA is best known for its graphics cards and motherboards, but earlier this year they announced that they’d be producing a high-performance gaming mouse: the TORQ X10. Here’s what they had to say in their initial announcement:
Built with the highest quality materials including a real carbon fiber surface, this mouse was designed from the ground up to satisfy the needs of the hardcore gamer with a high quality laser sensor that provides up to 8200 DPI, an adjustable weight system, nine programmable buttons and a unique sizing system that allows you to adjust the height and the length of the body.
I’ve had a chance to use a review sample of the TORQ for the past few weeks. I used it for office tasks, web surfing, and playing games — primarily Age of Wonders III and Wolfenstein: The New Order. I’ve used the mouse both seated and at a standing desk, and I have tried out the adjustable weight system, the software, and the feature which gives the mouse its name: the torque-wrench-adjustable height (and yes, the torque wrench is included).
When I first got my hands on the mouse I was skeptical, since its main selling point, adjustable height, seemed like it could just be a gimmick. After running the TORQ through its paces, however, I can say with confidence that it’s a great overall package — and adjustable height is something I expect to see much more of in the gaming mouse market very soon.
Look and Feel
The TORQ is predominantly black, with red accents in the form of small labels on the buttons beneath the wheel (which by defeault adjust the DPI) and the buttons on either side of the body, which are a subtle metallic red. Overall the aesthetics are nice and classic, without presenting anything too exciting or revolutionary.
The TORQ comes in two varieties, one with carbon fiber all over the body and one with a regular smooth plastic. I only had a chance to try out the plastic one myself, so I can’t comment on the texture of the carbon fiber model — you can check them both out in detail on EVGA’s website. On my version, the plastic on the sides of the mouse was fine, and never really noticeable under my hand. The top panels of the mouse are textured just as they are in the pictures in this review regardless of which model you have, and provide a great balance of comfort and grip. The overall size of the mouse was also good, and comparable to other popular models on the market. Compared to other mice I have recently reviewed, it’s slightly longer and wider than the Corsair Raptor M45, but just about the same as the length and width as Logitech G502 Proteus Core.
Light it Up!
The LED features on the TORQ are fantastic, and were one of my favorite aspects of the mouse. By default, you can press a button on the mouse’s underside to switch between different profiles, and each profile can have a different LED scheme associated with it. That means that it’s quick and easy to swap between colors on the fly without needing to mess with the software, which is something I always appreciate. Of course, once you DO install the TORQ software, you’ll find it easy to use — and it will open up more LED customization options, including the ability to adjust the color and brightness of the light in the base and the light in the wheel separately. Want a bright blue scroll wheel and a dim pink “EVGA” logo? Yeah, you can do that.
To New Heights (and Weights)
Adjusting the height of the TORQ is so shockingly easy it’s a wonder more gaming mice don’t include it as a feature. All you need to do is insert the included torque wrench into the base and turn it one direction or the other. When you do that, the separate panels on the front and rear portions of the mouse will either rise or sink, depending on the direction you ‘re turning. In practice the range of adjustment isn’t huge, but it doesn’t need to be in order to have a tremendous impact on the way the mouse feels in your hand.
For me, the best way to use the adjustable height on the TORQ was to use the mouse for a bit on the lowest setting, then to dial the height up more and more until the panels began to provide support for my hand in my usual grip. Interestingly, I found that the most comfortable height for the TORQ changed depending on whether I was using the mouse at a regular desk or a standing desk. With every other mouse I’ve ever used I’ve just had to adjust the way I held it when I used it on my standing desk…but with the TORQ I could finally actually adjust the mouse instead of my hand.
The TORQ also includes an adjustable weight system, so for those who like to customize their mouse down to the gram, you’re covered. I found that opening the panel of the mouse to insert the weights was a bit tricky, but once I figured it out it was simple enough. The weights provided are just what you’d expect for a gaming mouse, and can make the mouse notably heavier if all of them are added. Mouse weights have never really been something that I have personally been very interested in, but it’s a nice feature to have in a mouse that also offers adjustable height. The TORQ is a mouse for people who want as much control and customization over their mouse as possible.
Performance and Structure
Wolfenstein: The New Order can be a demanding shooter, but the TORQ did the job just fine for me as I made my way through waves of Nazis and robots. The clicks feel solid, and the ability to adjust the DPI on the fly is always appreciated. While there are other mice on the market that have higher DPI capabilities, the max of 8200 provided by the TORQ was more than enough for me, and most gamers are likely to feel the same.
The TORQ is symmetrical — aside from the cord, which is attached to the left side of the front of the mouse, rather than the center — and ambidextrous. This ambidextrous feature is sure to be appreciated by left-handed gamers, but it also produces a few of the mouse’s weakest points. The mouse obviously isn’t specially contoured for right or left-handed use, which will likely require a bit of adjustment for new users. In addition, I personally found the buttons on the right-side of the body to be too easy to accidentally click while moving the mouse. This wasn’t a big issue, since I didn’t have the buttons programmed to actually DO anything when I clicked them, but it could be a drawback for users who like to take advantage of every programmable button in sight.
I enjoyed the size and feel of the wheel, and the rubber surface seemed to be of good quality. For my personal grip, I found the wheel to be placed just a bit too far towards the front of the mouse, but I stopped noticing that after a few hours of use.
Here are the criteria I consider most important for judging the EVGA TORQ X10.
#1 Appearance: 8/10
EVGA didn’t do anything too radical with the TORQ’s appearance, but black and red are a classic combo for a reason. The LED options are great too.
#2 Performance: 8/10
Aside from some button-placement issues — which is likely necessary to support the ambidextrous nature of the the TORQ — I didn’t have any problems gaming with the TORQ.
#3 Comfort: 8/10
The ability to adjust the height of the body is a great feature. The lack of right-handed contour required some adjustment for me.
#4 Customization: 10/10
Weight and color customization are fairly standard on high-end gaming mice, and the TORQ does those both very well. The height customization is a game-changer, and it’s far more useful than I thought it would be going into my review.
Overall score: 8.5/10
EVGA’s first entry into the world of gaming mice is a quality product with an innovative and effective height-adjustment system. It’s a mouse that makes a statement, and it’ll be interesting to see how the market leaders in the gaming mouse world respond.