Xanova Mensa Pro review: Rough edges
One of the best things about the gaming accessory market is that it's easy to enter. Anyone can show up and try to make a good impression. And if you’ve got the goods, it doesn’t take long for word to spread.
And while there’s no shortage of products from the usual suspects to review, there's plenty of value to be had in looking at gaming peripherals from less well-known brands - things like the new Xanova Mensa Pro.
Dimensions: 115 mm x 168 mm x 39 mm
Weight: 126 g
Sensor: Pixart PMW3389DM
DPI: Up to 16,000 DPI
RGB Software: 5-Zone RGB lighting via XANOVA Control Panel
Polling Rate: 125/250/500/1000 Hz
What’s good about the Mensa Pro?
The Xanova Mensa Pro ticks plenty of boxes to begin with. It sports 16,000 DPI, 400IPS tracking and 50G acceleration and Omron Switches. It’s also quite small and compact in ways that run against where most gaming mice are these days. That said, in my case, this wasn't ideal.
I can see some value here for those with smaller hands. However, personally, I wasn’t all that convinced the Mensa Pro is a better option than any of the alternatives out there.
The final aspect that works in its favour here is the price. Chances are, you’ll be able to find the Mensa Pro for a price-tag that undercuts even HyperX’s Pulsefire. If you’re looking for a cheap fix to your gaming mouse situation, it’s undeniably compelling.
What’s not so good about the Mensa Pro?
Of course, that inexpensiveness doesn’t always work in its favour. The Xanova Mensa Pro never really lets you forget its heritage as a budget mouse.
Every part of the material design here feels cheap and low-quality. The cable, the buttons, even the chassis and unconventional RGB lighting design. These qualities don’t just affect the look of the Mensa Pro, but also how it feels.
Compared to something like a Razer DeathAdder or one of its many imitators, the Mensa Pro just doesn’t hold its own. The gold-plated USB connector is a nice touch, but in terms of how it actually feels to use, the Mensa Pro falls short in ergonomics at every turn.
It doesn’t help that the RGB lighting side of the equation is also frustratingly limited. There’s not much to it. There’s a dedicated control panel application you can download, but I couldn’t seem to find an English-language option. In any case, stumbling through this app did give me the ability to map a specific color to each of the five DPI settings, or configure macros for the mouse. However, as far as usability goes, it’s a clear step down for more well-known options and alternatives. There’s no dynamic lighting settings nor can you configure things like per-game profiles.
The Bottom Line
It’ll do the trick in a pinch, but otherwise, I’m more than a little reluctant to recommend the Mensa Pro.
There’s nothing particularly egregiously wrong with it, but it falls short on almost everything beyond the basics. There are mice out there with better-looking designs, more complex RGB customization and superior physical feel.
Even if we’re exclusively talking about cheap or small mice, the Xanova Mensa Pro doesn't excel.
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