If you’re not familiar, Kogan is an online-only retailer dating back to 2006 when it started selling LCD televisions. Kogan is dedicated to proving customers “An unwavering commitment to provide Aussies with better value products and services.” Now in 2020, Kogan is more and more edging their way into the gaming market, so we thought now is the perfect time to take a look at some of their offerings.
When I finally got my hands on the Kogan GM-AIR Ultra Lightweight RGB 6400dpi Gaming Mouse mouse I gotta say it looked and felt better than I was expecting. Kogan manages to pull off the honeycomb finish fairly well without the mouse looking or feeling cheap and flimsy. As expected the packaging is the standard monochromatic affair and contains little other than the mouse and the instruction booklet.
Specs and Dimensions
No surprises here, the GM-AIR Ultra is a lightweight at just 65 grams. That’s only 4 grams heavier than the Razer Viper Mini and 20 grams lighter than a Logitech G102 lightsync. It’s a full-size right-handed mouse measuring 125 x 68.5 x 42.7mm
According to Kogan’s website, the DPI Ranges from 800 to 6000, 6400 with some software assistance. What was interesting is that the GM_AIR driver and software package actually allowed a 200 to 12000 range but ill have more on the software later.
The GM-Air also boasts an adjustable USB polling rate with your choice of 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz. I tested this on the Benq website and it checks out.
Taking design queues from the Thermaltake Ventus and the many clones that followed, the Kogan GM-AIR Ultra has a honeycomb surface that allows you to see through parts of the mouse. The idea behind the holey surface is to shave off those extra few grams to give you a competitive gaming edge. However, in the case of the GM-AIR, I suspect the design choice is more to do with aesthetics than anything. The large asymmetrical mouse comes with a total of 7 buttons, 5 on top and 2 underneath. The mouse also sports an RGB halo around the bottom and internal RGB lighting under the honeycomb exterior.
The plastic is smooth with a matte finish and a softer rubber is used for the scroll wheel.
Performance and gaming
In the hand the mouse feels comfortable, with the right-sized hand you can get away with either a claw or flat-handed grip.
The sensor feels good and with the polling rate cranked up to 1000Hz it certainly passes as a decent gaming option for those on a budget. The ability to switch DPI on the fly makes it easy enough to change from gaming to work mode with the click of a button. The Kogan GM-AIR Ultra will even temporarily change the RGB colour depending on what DPI is selected, making it easy to remember what sensitivity you are on.
There are a couple of interesting design choices that I wasn’t so fond of. Firstly the back and forward buttons are a little finicky, if you don’t hit them on the sweet spot there is a chance you will miss your moment in the heat of battle. These same two buttons are also positioned rather high on the side of the mouse, which for me feels too far out of the way when gaming, forcing me to rotate my grip to ensure I was hitting them reliably.
Secondly, the scroll wheel feels cumbersome, it’s large with divots literally few and far between. While this doesn’t directly affect gaming performance for me it subtracts from the overall look and feel of the mouse.
Now, this is where things get really interesting. The GM_AIR gaming software that comes with the mouse is a bit of a mess, functional, but a mess.
Let me give you an example. To control the RGB lighting for the bottom lights, there is a nicely laid out tab called LIGHTING with all the features and control you’d expect. Now, to control the top RGB lights, well, that’s tucked away in the bottom corner of the ADVANCED tab and is limited to a single drop-down menu. Adding to the confusion of the software there are some areas where the text is simply cut due to poor layout or scaling issues.
With that said, the functionality that is included in the GM_AIR software works well and after spending a few minutes poking around is easy enough to figure out.
Here a quick rundown on some of the functionality you’ll find:
Under the LIGHTING tab, you have the standard RGB settings for the bottom ring of lights. Everything you need to customize the visuals to suit your setup. The wave or rainbow effect on the bottom lights is executed rather well and is a bit of a party piece.
The KEY tab allows you to reprogram any or all of the top 5 buttons to do almost anything you want, including Windows shortcuts, media playback control, along with regular key presses.
Moving onto the MACRO tab and its fairly self-explanatory here, you can create and record macros that can then be assigned to a button under the KEY tab.
Finally, we have the ADVANCED tab which is where most of the real magic happens. Here you will find DPI settings with 7 slots for storing presets which can be cycled through using button 7 on the underside of the mouse.
Also under the Advanced tab, you can find the USB reporting rate or polling rate. From here you have the option to switch between 1000, 500, 250, or 125Hz. The polling rate can also be adjusted on the fly with button 6 on the underside of the mouse.
As I mentioned earlier you can also find the controls for the top RGB lighting labeled Logo Lam(p). What confuses me a little here is there is no colour option or brightness settings, just a drop-down list with preset effects. It’s almost as if some of the features in this section has been cut off or forgotten about.
So in summary the software has all the main features you need however still feels a bit like a beta release.
Pricing and Availability
The Kogan GM-AIR Ultra Lightweight RGB 6400dpi Gaming Mouse is available now from the Kogan website on special for $35.99 AUD.
Kogan GM-AIR Review
- PERFORMANCE - 70%70%
- DESIGN - 67%67%
- QUALITY - 68%68%
- VALUE - 67%67%
Choosing a gaming mouse can be difficult, and if you are looking to stick to a budget then it can be a real nightmare as there are a plethora of cheap gaming mice out there. What I like about the Kogan GM-AIR Ultra Light Gaming Mouse is that the features advertised are truly what’s included in the final product. It does what it says on the tin. More often than not with lower-end products, you end up with some watered down gimmicky knock-off, whereas the Kogan GM-AIR Ultra manages to back up most of its bold claims.
Its eye-catching design is sure to complement any gaming setup while the fast polling rate and adjustable DPI means you’re really left with no excuses for missing that 360 no scope.
The Kogan GM-AIR Ultra is certainly not without its flaws but it makes for a great robust well rounded entry-level gaming mouse.
For more on the Kogan product range check out our previous coverage.