Genius Gila Gaming Mouse Hands-On: Comfortable Grip, Customizable Lights

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Genius's new Gila mouse, appropriately named after a gila monster, promises the ultimate in gaming comfort and excitement, complete with 12 customizable buttons, 4 customizable lights and a slew of special features. We had a chance to go hands-on with this attractive input device and were simply blown away both by how good it felt in our hand and how many useful features it offers.

The first thing we noticed about the Gila is its attractive stealth-bomber like shape and raven black body that's accented by metallic red strips on the top, a pair of headlights on the front, a light in the scroll wheel, a light-up "GX" logo (for Genius's GX gaming series) and two lights on the back. Using the "Scorpion" Gila control panel, we were able to customize the colors of each set of lights (the scroll wheel and logo count as one set). Like the  customizable keyboard backlights and logos on Alienware notebooks, the Gila's lights support up to 16 million colors.

But the Gila mouse is more than just another pretty face. With its injected rubber sides, this is one of the most grippable mice we've held as it felt extremely comfortable when we used it with our right hand. A set of removable weights sits in the base so you can decide whether you'd like the Gila to be heavier or lighter. We prefer the heavy feel, but if you don't, Genius even provides a storage case for the weights.

We were particularly impressed with some of the options available in the Scorpion software. In addition to controlling the lights, the software lets you store macros with up to 72 key strokes each and assign them to the buttons. It also allows you to adjust the mouse resolution from 1,200 up to 8,200.

As higher DPI means faster mouse movement, users may want to speed up and slow down their movements at different times during a game, like when you're trying to hit a distant target in a first-person shooter. Fortunately, the Gila has you covered as a special Sniper mode slows down your mouse movements as long as you hold down the button you assign it to.

Another feature called Angle Snap keeps you from moving up or down too much as you strafe let and right. To demonstrate this feature, a Genius rep opened Windows Paint and moved left and right while drawing a line to show how the line remained relatively straight even as his hand quivered up and down a bit. However, when we tried doing the same stroke, we moved up and down a bit too much and our line did not come out straight.

The Genius Gila should arrive in the U.S. later this month and sell for $99. IWhether you like to play MMOs, first-person shooters or something else, we strongly suggest you check it out.