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The Savu mouse, a new model from Roccat, is a gaming-grade peripheral with an optical sensor (not a laser) that reaches 4,000 dpi of resolution. With only two lateral buttons, it features the same Easy-Shift[+] technology from the Kone[+] that we’ve already tested here. It increases the number of programmable functions without actually putting more physical buttons on the mouse. We’ll see those features in detail after we describe the product.
The Savu is a right-handed mouse with a small-to-medium chassis, it has a rubberized top, and the laterals are made of rough plastic. On the top, there’s only the notched scroll wheel; there’s no button to change the resolution setting (which, in other models, usually sits below the wheel). It only scrolls vertically.
By the way, the only extra buttons are the two traditional left side buttons above the deep thumb rest. The lower button (button 5) activates the Easy-Shift[+] function, which we’ll talk about later.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
There’s a light bar on the lower end of the Savu that can be permanently lit up or pulse to a rhythm of 16.8 million colors. The user can also choose to keep the mouse unlit through software.
On the underside, the user can find the 4,000 dpi optical sensor and two Teflon feet for precise sliding. There’s no weight adjustment system. The cloth-wrapped cable ends on a USB connector with the typical shape of all Roccat peripherals.
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The Savu is distinctive by being a gaming-grade mouse with only a few programmable buttons. They are essentially four (the two main buttons, plus the left side ones) and three programmable functions on the scroll wheel (it’s possible to reprogram the scroll up, scroll down and the pressing of the wheel itself). To increase the number of configuration options without including more physical buttons, the Easy-Shift[+] technology virtually doubles the number of programmable functions when button 5 (on the left side) is pressed at the same time with another button or the scroll wheel. (It’s just like the Shift key on the keyboard.) There’s also the Easy-Aim feature that automatically changes the resolution in the middle of the game, which we’ll talk about later.
The excellent software from Roccat handles the entire configuration. The interface is elegant and intuitive, well-conceived and easy to use. It’s possible to create five profiles, to control the illumination, and to choose one of the four pre-fixed levels of resolution (400, 800, 1,600 and 4,000 dpi). For those who cringe when faced with the task of creating a macro, the Savu comes with a package of pre-configured macros for popular games like World of Warcraft and Battlefield Bad Company 2, plus assorted applications like Firefox and Photoshop. Starting from those, the user can tweak the macros to better suit other games, like changing the Battlefield Bad Company 2 macro to work on the newer Battlefield 3 (which we used on this review).
The program also has a fun feature called R.A.D. (Roccat Achievements Display), which essentially unlocks achievements (just like a game) related to the use of the Savu (for instance, the number of uses of the Easy-Aim and Easy-Shift[+] features). It doesn’t affect the overall performance from either the user or the peripheral, but it’s fun to know the total distance travelled by the mouse.
[nextpage title=”Playing with the Savu”]
Since it has a small-to-medium body, the Savu favors both palm-grippers and claw-grippers. The deep and rugged thumb rest delivers a firm grip. The light bar has a splendid effect, but unfortunately, it gets hidden by the palm of the user’s hand. It would be better if it were placed around the mouse’s upper body.
The Savu is light and agile, but the lack of a weight adjustment system could bother players who prefer a heavier mouse on the table. We also missed a button to change the resolution that is usually placed below the scroll wheel. The user can only change the dpi setting by using software (the exception being the Easy-Aim feature that allows a quick change in resolution). It’s useful for those moments when the player wants to deliver a precise shot with a sniper rifle during an FPS match. And still speaking about the resolution, we didn’t particularly like the fixed stages of dpi settings offered by the mouse; there is no middle ground between the 1,600 dpi and 4,000 dpi levels (we would like to have seen something like a 2,800 dpi stage; better yet, we’d like to have been able to choose our own resolution levels). It took some change of habits to play with the Savu.
The real gem of the whole package is programming the Savu. With pre-configured macros, it’s easy to set the mouse to face any popular game, from World of Warcraft to Battlefield 3, and even make it ready to work with Firefox and Photoshop. After some getting accustomed to it, the Easy-Shift[+] can increase the firepower of the Savu, allowing some interesting combos to activate certain special ab
ilities during a gaming match, such as calling up a mount or receiving a weapon package from the skies.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Roccat Savu include:
- Gaming-grade optical mouse
- Right-handed design
- Connector: USB
- Assignable buttons: Seven (four buttons plus three on the scroll wheel)
- Tracking Resolution: Up to 4,000 dpi selectable on four pre-configured levels (400, 800, 1,600 and 4,000 dpi)
- Maximum velocity: 60 inches/second (152 centimeters/second)
- Acceleration: 20 G
- Polling rate: 1,000 Hz/500 Hz/250 Hz/125 Hz
- Illumination: 16.8 million colors
- Approximate size: 5.3 x 3 inches (120 x 72 mm)
- Weight: 3.7 oz (90 grams)
- Cable: 6 feet (1.8 meter)
- More information: https://www.roccat.org
- Average price in the U.S.*: USD 69.99
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Savu is a good gaming-grade mouse. It has a firm grip and a body design that is suitable for both palm-grippers and claw-grippers, but the mouse lets the user down with its pre-configured dpi settings and by not having a button to change the resolution. It can also be considered too light; a weight adjustment system may be missed by some players. The application is simple and very user-friendly, and the pre-configured macros are a great feature. The Easy-Shift[+] makes up for the lack of extra buttons.
Rubber coating and rugged plastic surface provide a firm grip
Easy-Shift[+] technology increases the number of programmable function
Easy-Aim feature allows for a quick drop in resolution for precision shooting
Nice color effects
Pre-recorded macros for games and applications
Fixed resolution stages
No button below the wheel to change the resolution
No horizontal scrolling on the scroll wheel
Doesn’t have a weight adjustment system
The beautiful light effect is hidden under the user’s palm