Kingston’s gaming peripheral brand HyperX has been knocking it out of the park, and their flagship mouse is no exception. The HyperX Pulsefire Dart wireless gaming mouse is the only wireless option within HyperX’s lineup but doesn’t sacrifice a single feature compared to their other options. Coming in at an MSRP of $99.99, the Pulsefire Dart is in direct competition with the Razer Mamba and the Logitech G703. I’ve put in about 150 hours with this mouse over the past two weeks, between both working from home and gaming in my free time. Here’s what we think.
- MSRP: $99.99 USD
- Sensor: Pixart PMW3389
- Resolution: Up to 16,000 DPI
- DPI Presets: 800 / 1600 / 3200 DPI
- Speed: 450ips
- Acceleration: 50G
- Buttons: 6
- Left / Right buttons switches: Omron
- Left / Right buttons durability: 50 million clicks
- Light effects: Per-LED RGB Lighting
- Onboard memory: 1 profile
- Connection type: 2.4GHz wireless / wired
- Battery life: 90 hours – LED off / 50 hours – Default LED Lighting
- Charging type: Wireless Qi charging/wired
- Polling rate: 1000Hz
- Cable type: Detachable charging/data cable
- Weight (without cable): 110g
- Weight (with cable): 150g
- Dimensions: Length 124.8mm x Height 43.6mm x Width 73.9mm
- Cable Length: 1.8m
BUILD QUALITY AND FEATURES
Right out of the box, the HyperX Pulsefire Dart just feels like a high-quality mouse. There's a satisfying heft to the mouse without being overly heavy, which is no surprise seeing as how the mouse by itself weights 110g. Out of all of HyperX's offerings, the Pulsefire Dart is the heaviest. It's also the most expensive out of the lineup at $99.99, which is still nowhere near the price of some other high-end mice out there, like Logitech's G903 for $149.
The Pulsefire Dart still feels high-end without being quite in the same price bracket thanks in part to the premium leatherette grips on the side. These textured grips are soft and spongy; they have a lot of give, as if they were plush. Gripping the leatherette sides during intense gaming sessions never made my hands sore afterward, unlike some of my other mice with entirely plastic casings.
The ergonomic design of the Pulsefire Dart also helped alleviate any strain or fatigue from use, although it is unfortunately only tailored for right-handed use. It's suitable for any hand position though since the Omron switches for the left and right buttons are responsive no matter where the button is pressed. This means that having a claw grip is just as doable on the Pulsefire Dart as a palm grip.
There are two RGB locations on the Pulsefire Dart. One is underneath the scroll wheel, which lights up the sides through white plastic that diffuses the color. The other is on the backside of the mouse, where the palm rests, which lights up a cutout of the HyperX logo. It's not as flashy as the HyperX Pulsefire Surge with 360° RGB lighting, but it's nice to have some form of RGB lighting all the same.
The Pulsefire Dart comes with a small USB dongle to relay the 2.4 GHz wireless signal. The instructions said that keeping the dongle within 20cm of the mouse provides the best connection, but I never had any connectivity issues with the dongle plugged into my PC from nearly triple that distance. There is an included 1.8m long cable that connects an adapter for the USB dongle for PCs that may be further away, however. I didn't have any noticeable differences between using the cable/adapter combo or having the dongle plugged in directly to my PC.
The Pulsefire Dart houses a Pixart 3389 sensor with a native DPI up to 16,000. Out of the box, there are three DPI presets on the onboard memory: 800, 1600, and 3200. But the Dart is able to store up to five DPI settings, customizable via HyperX's Ngenuity software. The polling rate is set to 1000 Hz by default as well, but can also be set to 500, 250, or 125 depending on your needs. These options make the Pulsefire Dart pretty versatile and a jack-of-all-trades between genres and playstyles.
There are six buttons in total on the Pulsefire Dart and are pretty much what you would expect. There are the left and right clickers, the scroll wheel, two buttons just above the thumb, and a small button in the middle behind the scroll wheel that can cycle between the different DPI settings. It's a bit basic in this regard, but there's elegance in its simplicity. If you don't need a dozen extra buttons on your mouse, then the Pulsefire Dart has just the right amount for just a little extra customization. However, if you play MMORPGs or want to utilize a ton of macros, then the Dart is not ideal.
MY USAGE THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS
When I first started using the Pulsefire Dart, it instantly became my new favorite mouse. The premium feel to the mouse in combination with the lack of wiring gave the Dart a sense of quality that my other mice just couldn't compete with. I was initially worried that the weight of the Dart might become too straining, but the difference in not having to drag along a cable across my desk made up for the variance between the Dart and my old mouse.
The biggest feature that I like about the Pulsefire Dart is that it doesn't use a proprietary wireless charging feature like other mice. Instead, HyperX opted for the universal Qi wireless charging system, which their Cloud Flight S Wireless Gaming headset (LINK TO REVIEW) also uses. This means that you can charge the Pulsefire Dart with any Qi wireless charging station, and you won't have to buy into some other kind of single-use charging system. If you don't have a Qi wireless charger, then there is a USB-C cable included in order to charge the mouse (and even use it while wired, if you needed to).
As an option, HyperX even has a ChargePlay Base Qi Wireless Charger available in their product lineup specifically for these wireless peripherals. The ChargePlay base can charge two devices simultaneously, which is perfect in today's age where seemingly every new phone or gadget supports Qi wireless charging. Between charging the mouse on the ChargePlay Base or via a USB cable, I wasn't able to tell much of a difference between the speed of charging. I usually set the Pulsefire Dart on the ChargePlay base to charge overnight anyway, so I rarely had an occasion where I need to plug it in to charge.
The Pulsefire Dart has a battery life of up to 90 hours, without using any RGB lighting effects (which, let's face it, I'm always going to use RGB lights when available), or 50 hours with the default lighting setting enabled. So even on days where I forgot to place it on the charger, the Dart was ready and raring to go. The Dart also utilizes a sleep mode feature which will turn off the RGB lighting to preserve the battery life when not in use.
I didn't have any connection issues with the Pulsefire Dart while gaming or working, except on one occasion. When the new Ubisoft battle-royale game Hyper Scrape came out, I had several issues with the mouse getting frozen and clicks not registering. I only experienced these problems with this particular game, and even then it was only for that first day after Hyper Scrape launched. I'm not sure what caused it, but I didn't experience any issues while playing my mainstay games, like Destiny 2 and Final Fantasy XIV.
I used to use the HyperX FPS Pro for my shooters, like Destiny 2 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but the Pulsefire Dart has now taken that spot. The two mice are extremely similar in both form and function, but the Dart feels much more comfortable to use and with the added benefit of being wireless. The extra weight was a bit noticeable when it came to precision aiming, and I noticed that I tended to under-shoot more because of it. It was a subtle difference, but I eventually adjusted to the new weight and my aim improved. If you're upgrading to the Pulsefire Dart from a lighter mouse, then be prepared for this same kind of adjustment period.
Playing Final Fantasy XIV, as well as other MMOs, with the Pulsefire Dart proved to be a much easier transition for me. Clicking through menus and organizing my inventory was almost relaxing, thanks to the Dart's comfortable grips. Since precision targeting isn't a thing in most MMOs, I never felt out-of-sorts using the Dart as opposed to other mice. If you are used to extra mouse buttons for macros or hotbar shortcuts, however, then you are not going to like the Dart's lack of customizable buttons. The two side buttons above the thumb can be customized in order to use extended hotbars, but it's much more awkward than just utilizing standard shortcut keys like Ctrl or Alt.
During work at my day-job, the Pulsefire Dart performed admirably as well. This is the kind of mouse that you could even use in an office environment without it appearing out of place. The RGBs are subtle enough to be inconspicuous, but if you do get sidelong glances from co-workers then you can always turn the lighting effects off - and get a better battery life too!
The only lackluster aspect of the Pulsefire Dart is the Ngenuity software that's required in order to customize it. There is only a very limited and basic selection of lighting effects available through Ngenuity, which are solid, breathing, cycle, and fade. I wish there were more options, but with only two RGB lights it doesn't seem like it's a priority to extend these options. Since I rarely look down at my mouse, I chose 'fade' as my lighting effect, which will glow whenever I press a button on the mouse but otherwise keeps the RGBs off.
Ngenuity is also where the DPI can be adjusted, and where up to five settings can be saved to the Dart's onboard memory. I really appreciate that you can customize each different DPI setting with a unique color. When you change presets, the RGBs in the mouse will flash in order to show you which DPI you've just selected. Being able to select which color flashes helps me to remember the specific DPI settings and for what purpose that I originally set them up for.
The Ngenuity software isn't very intuitive when it comes to navigating around it, unfortunately. It took me forever to find how to create Macros with the software. It's not the best macro-recording around, but it's decent enough to where you should be able to set up almost any macro that you would need. For fun, I set up a macro to type out the entire lyrics to 'Do You Know The Muffin Man' but there was too much editing required to make it truly useable.
The biggest issue with the Ngenuity software was the inconsistency I had with the Battery power display. It never showed the correct amount, almost as if it was guessing. For example, it once showed 40% battery remaining, until I plugged the mouse in with the wire, and then all of a sudden the battery went down to 2%. I wish that the software could provide more accurate information in this regard as well.
Overall, the Ngenuity software is sorely lacking which doesn't make the Pulsefire Dart any less of a quality mouse but definitely prevents it from being within the top echelon of gaming peripherals. Hopefully, HyperX can make some improvements to Ngenuity over time in order to make it more comparable to other competitors' software.
Whether you're gaming on the couch, at a desk, or working in the office the HyperX Pulsefire Dart is truly a jack-of-all-trades mouse. It's comfortable to use despite being a tad on the heavier side, which I never found to bother me or cause any strain while using. Although the Ngenuity software might need a few update1s, the Pulsefire Dart itself is a truly impressive piece of tech. If you're looking for a great wireless mouse that's good for gaming in almost any genre without having to pay extra for proprietary wireless charging features, then the Pulsefire Dart is a perfect choice.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.