Input Peripherals are more than just keyboards and mice. For decades, companies have produced controllers, foot pedals, and all manner of different attachments for gamers to experience their games focusing on everything from performance to realism. Enter, the redesigned Lexip 3D mouse, which introduces two joysticks on a single mouse that fundamentally change the mouse as we know it. Does the Lexip 3D mouse have what it takes to be your all-in-one peripheral? I spent some time with the Lexip 3D Pro to see for myself.
The Lexip 3D mouse has had an interesting history, but more recently Lexip and Hugo Loi Kickstarted a project that envisioned a twin joystick mouse designed specifically for gamers. The mouse packs a lot of new options to play your games in a small ergonomic package. However, that mouse isn’t yet available, so Lexip sent over the 3D Pro to get a feel for its function.
- Lexip 3DM-Pro Mouse
- KickStarter Cost: £89.00 ($124.54)
- Two-Axis Joystick Shell (entire mouse has its own joystick axis)
- Two-Axis Thumb Joystick
- 3200 DPI Laser Sensor
- 7 Programmable Buttons
- Mapping Software included (and required for gaming)
- Non-slip rubber clicking scroll-wheel
- Non-slip rubber sides for comfort and grip
- 6 ceramic feet
- 6ft long USB Cable
While the Lexip 3DM-Pro appears to be discontinued, the style and function between the Pro version and the Gaming version are similar enough that it’s not at all hard to grasp the foundation that the gaming mouse will be built on. There are differences like the laser used, with the professional version having only 3200 DPI and the gaming version having 9800 DPI. That may be the biggest alteration in terms of functionality aside from the software and game support that wasn’t originally available for the professional version. The new version will also come with a Lexip logo that allows for adjustable RGB via the aforementioned software.
Now that we’ve looked at the differences between the mice, let’s get to the most important factor: functionality. For decades, I have utilized controllers of all kinds and joysticks still give me pause. The main difference between controllers and the Lexip mouse, though, is that most of them that utilize twin sticks do so separately, requiring both hands. My initial impression of holding the 3D mouse was that it was bulkier than others I’ve used, but I learned quickly that the reason for this is due to the shell of the mouse almost floating on its base so that you can pivot it back and forth. This in essence is the first joystick, which I eventually programmed to strafe my character in games like Guild Wars 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5.
“The second joystick, I lovingly refer to as the nipple due to its stubby length and supple springiness.” This stick lays perpendicular to the left mouse button and is predominantly used to select your view angles at the flick of a thumb. Each situation, regardless of the games I happened to test, required me to utilize the Lexip software. The software itself is pretty straight forward, you can click preset configurations for popular games like Counter Strike Go and World of Warcraft, of you can add a specialized composition and creating your own desired layout. After hours of usage, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the most intended functionality for the Lexip twin joystick design would be flight simulators such as Elite Dangerous, but alas, I don’t have any flight simulators in my repertoire unless you count the planes I stole in Grand Theft Auto.
In all honesty, the mouse has some very interesting strengths coupled with some glaring weaknesses. My main conflict with the 3D mouse was in its everyday usage. During gaming sessions, I found that a little practice could get my characters to perform adequately. Being able to strafe by angling my hand eventually felt natural, and being able to keep my views targeted on the action through a flick of the nipple joystick was a nice departure from my usual right click and drag to change my view angle. Once out of game, however, all hell broke loose. Clicking around webpages often became a hassle. While normally I could just click tiny links or complete tasks requiring fine motor skills, the pivot of the mouse shell when trying to move my cursor into position would, for lack of a better idiom, piss me off.
That’s not to say everything about the daily functions of this mouse aggravated me. I found myself using the nipple-stick more than the scroll wheel to navigate web pages and make my way around Photoshop. In Google Chrome it’s very easy using the joystick to switch through tabs effortlessly and slowly creep through articles like the stealthy snail you are. Maybe in time, with enough usage, I can get used to the peculiar styling for all of my daily deeds, but for now, I’ll have to pick my battles when it comes to 3D mousing.
With Lexip’s new gaming mouse on the way, the 3DM-Pro allowed me to try a new kind of hybrid controller-mouse the likes of which I’ve never experienced. For gamers that are looking for that balance between a flight stick, an everyday mouse, and a one handed twin stick controller, this could be the all-in-one peripheral you need. The software is very comprehensive for programming the mouse for both games and everyday programs, giving it an appeal beyond gaming. Like with any new peripheral though, expect this mouse to require some practice if you ever hope to achieve peripheral nirvana.