Hardware, Reviews

Review: ROCCAT Savu Optical Mouse

Today we are taking a look at the ROCCAT Savu optical mouse. The Savu is touted as the ?King of Optical Mice?. It boasts a 4000 DPI optical sensor, rugged design, and the keystone of all ROCCAT products: the ROCCAT Settings Software.

The technical specifications are as follows:

  • 4000dpi optical gaming sensor
  • Incl. Omron® switches
  • 60 inches per second maximum speed
  • 20G acceleration
  • 125, 250, 500, 1000Hz polling rate
  • 544kB on-board memory
  • Zero angle snapping
  • 1.8m braided USB cable
  • Dimensions – Max. width 7.2cm x approx. 12cm max. length
  • Weight – Approx. 90g (excl. cable)

The Savu comes in standard packaging, and includes the manual and the ROCCAT ID Card. The Savu has a light bar on the back of the mouse that can be programmed to display 16.8 million different colors (not at the same time). It also comes with a braided USB cable, which gives it a much better feel than the Kone+?s normal cable. The manual recommends going to ROCCAT?s website to download the drivers and latest firmware for the mouse, so we did just that.

The software was very familiar to us, as we had already seen it in our review of the ROCCAT Kone+ (for more details about the software, please check out our review of the ROCCAT Kone+). However, the Savu is the first mouse to include the R.A.D. (ROCCAT Achievement Display) application with its software. The best description is provided by ROCCAT themselves: ?[R.A.D.] tracks and rewards a wide range of gaming feats, such as mouse movement, button clicks, scroll steps, etc. The driver-based software compiles mouse use data, provides a range of statistics for analysis, and hands out trophies when exceptional milestones have been reached. It?s a useful and entertaining way for gamers to keep track of their mouse skills ? and it even lets players share their accomplishments with others.?

The Savu is touted as a mid-sized hybrid mouse, while we are not sure what is meant by ?hybrid?, we assume it refers to its portability. The Savu is significantly smaller than the Kone+, and has fewer programmable buttons. It is comparable in size to the Logitech G9x. The texture of the mouse also differs from the Kone+, as it is much more rough and provides a better overall grip than the very smooth Kone+, though not by much, as the Kone+ has a slightly rubberized surface to improve grip.

Whereas the Kone+ has left click, right click, a multi directional scroll wheel (including middle click), two left side programmable buttons, and three top programmable buttons; the Savu has the left click, right click, multi directional scroll wheel and the two left side programmable buttons. While many may see this as a negative trait, the majority of FPS gamers should be fine with two extra programmable buttons along with the scroll wheel click directions (right, left, and, down) especially when considering that when using EasyShift, the number of programmable buttons almost doubles (EasyShift works like a shift key, allowing for different functions to occur while the EasyShift button is pressed). Another thing to consider for FPS gamers that may be more tempted to buy the Savu?s ?big brother? is the shape of the mouse and the placement of the extra buttons. Some may prefer the larger palm swell of the Kone+ or a Logitech G500, this reviewer prefers the smaller size and shape of the Savu as it provides more control while allowing the wrist to completely rest on the desk. Also, one complaint we had about the Kone+ was that to EasyShift to limit DPI for precision shooting in FPS games we had to program it to one of the buttons closest to the thumb. However, the closest programmable button to the thumb required a change of grip in order to press and hold, making it less than useful for sniping situations. This issue is completely nonexistent on the Savu, as the closest programmable button is much closer to the normal rest position of the thumb (it should be noted that the reviewer has a hand size of length 8? (~20cm) from base to top of middle finger).

We were unsure of what to expect from the mouse in terms of responsiveness. This reviewer runs all his mice at the highest DPI setting possible, allowing for flick of the wrist movements. This ends up being between 5700-6000 DPI. However, the Savu only offers up to 4000 DPI. While this makes it the king of optical mice, it pales in comparison to mice that use laser sensors instead. We were unsure of the reasoning behind choosing an optical mouse over a laser until we started using the Savu. The Savu provides a vastly smoother feel than its laser counterparts. We had never taken issue with the smoothness of our other mice, but once we started using the Savu, the Kone+ felt jittery in comparison. We believed this might have been due to a discrepancy in DPI, but when lowering the Kone+ down to 4000 DPI, the jitteriness was still there. Keep in mind, however that this by no means implies the Kone+ or any laser mouse for that matter has a jittery feel. What we are trying to convey is just how smooth the Savu is, so much so that it makes much more expensive laser mice seem jittery in comparison.

In conclusion, the Savu provides an excellent overall experience, with the ideal purchaser being an FPS gamer that prefers a more portable mouse and desires the smooth mouse responsiveness that only a high quality optical mouse can provide. However, for people that prefer larger mice, require more programmable buttons, or insist on the high DPI a laser mouse can provide, it may not be the optimal choice. It is currently available at Newegg for the reasonable price of $54.99 USD.