Today we’re taking a look at Cougar’s premiere gaming mouse, the aluminum framed, laser-driven 700M. With a replaceable palm rest an adjustable ergonomic design, it’s made fit the hand of any gamer. There’s only eight buttons including left and right clicks, so it’s not exactly what we would consider an MMO mouse. But if recent MMO releases have shown us anything, it’s that lengthy skill bars and the necessity for a full number pad on your thumb are on the way out. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at this high quality, budget-conscious mouse.
The Cougar 700M is a fully featured gaming mouse that comes with everything you would expect, sans the RGB on its topside. Now, there is a single RGB LED underneath the mouse wheel; however, it’s completely invisible to the actual user and can be turned off. It’s ironic that with the sheer volume of RGB peripherals coming through our doors, it feels novel not to have a big LED strip or logo. If you want it, though, it’s there and can be set to either breathe or static presets. Every button can be remapped, used for windows shortcuts, or trigger macros using Cougar’s UIX software. Its 50-12000 DPI is also sufficiently sensitive to easily sweep across massive multi-screen resolutions.
The 700M features a total of eight buttons. If we remove left, right, middle-mouse, and the DPI button, we’re left with only four for use in games, pictured below. The “sniper” button rests under your thumb at a 45-degree angle. Two more are placed in along the bottom left corner of the left click button. Another, the “Fire” button, sits at a slight incline to the left of your index finger. Don’t let the names fool you, they can be mapped to anything. These buttons are all very well placed and designed to avoid accidental presses. The click action on each has a satisfying depth and responsiveness, particularly with left and right mouse buttons which are genuine Omron, 5-million click switches.
One of the most striking aspects of this mouse is the exposed aluminum frame. The unit we were sent is black with silver buttons and an orange powder coat on the aluminum frame. Together it combines for a striking, unique aesthetic. You can get the mouse in different colors, of course, if they Cougar-orange theme doesn’t fit your desktop. The plastic portions of the body are a matte black, whereas the sides and mouse wheel are rubberized and textured to promote a solid grip. The plastic does tend to show the oils from your skin, but a quick wipe eliminates this problem. It also comes with a nice braided cable that attaches to the body through a nice metal cylinder to protect the connection point.
The Cougar 700M also features several customization options to tailor it for each user. The mouse ships with four 4.5 gram weights that can be inserted into a center chamber to achieve the perfect weight up to 130g. The palm rest can also be swapped out with a smaller version for users who prefer a claw grip or a slighter mouse in general. A thumb screw on the heel of the mouse can also raise or lower the rest to taste. The mouse is fairly wide, however, so a palm grip seems like the most natural fit.
A sticker included on the packaging - which is just stellar, by the way. Other manufacturers take note: this is how you showcase a peripheral - notes that the mouse won the International Forum Product Design Award in 2014. It’s easy to see why. The adjustability is just fantastic, but it’s clear that a lot of time went into making sure button placement was just right.
To be frank, it would be hard to miss-click any button on this mouse. Take the buttons above the thumb rest and how they can’t be pressed down, but swiped up or directly in. You simply won’t hit those unless you mean to or have thumbs hit by an ACME hammer. The Sniper button is tilted at a 45-degree angle, which seems inconsequential until you actually try it next to a 90-degree thumb button. Simply put, low profile sniper buttons at a right angle have a tendency to move the cursor when you push them in. Having this button at an angle nearly eliminates this unwanted movement.
The only odd element is the Fire button, to the left of your index finger. Yes, it’s angle also means that you won’t be hitting it on accident, but I never actually used it to “fire” anything. It’s simply much easier to stick to left clicking and bind something else there. I could see use cases where putting a macro or other ability on left-click might make sense, but I didn’t encounter any that justified changing my control scheme that drastically.
I do miss having more buttons though, and this is another case where left-handed users are left out in the cold. It would have been nice to see an extra button or two along the right side. Four extra buttons outside of core clicks is about the minimum you can get away with, at least in complicated genres like MOBAs and MMOs.
The Cougar 700M an exceptionally well designed mouse. The aluminum frame makes the mouse feel durable and more unique, especially if you opt for the black and orange finish. Small touches, like button positioning or the cylinder connecting the braided USB, make it feel well considered. I wish there were a few extra buttons, but considering that the 700M currently retails for $54.99, it’s hard to nitpick. This is a premium gaming mouse being sold at a very reasonable budget price. If you don’t need a full numpad at your thumb, it should absolutely be a consideration for your next gaming mouse.
The product described in this article was provided by the company for purposes of review.