Player 2 was recently sent a complete Alienware home gaming system to test and review (you can see the unboxing video here:) and now that Matt has had a good few weeks with the gear he is ready to take on the task of telling you all about it. But this is a full gaming rig, from monitor to keyboard, so it is going to take more than one article. With that in mind, welcome to Player 2 vs Alienware
Player 2 Vs Alienware Round 2: The Keyboard and Mouse 1-2 Punch.
Every good fighter needs a good one-two combo and the Alienware desktop is no different. The Alienware 510K Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard and the Alienware 610M Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse are this system’s goto combination for control.
Ok, I have probably stretched the fighting metaphor far enough in this article, let’s look at what these two pieces of tech have to offer.
The Alienware 510K Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard
Keyboards, they are becoming the must-have accessory for a killer gaming system. Back in my day, it didn’t matter what keyboard you used, but these days it is all about mechanical switches and response time. Luckily Alienware is more with the times than me because they are pretty on the money with this keyboard. The first thing I noticed is how well-spaced it is. A lot of modern gaming keyboards are a pain to type on, but this just isn’t the case with the 510k. Plenty of room for touch-typists like myself to go nuts without making mistakes every second word. This alone makes the keyboard worth considering as an option for gamers who like to use their keyboard for more mundane activities as well.
The keyboard is mechanical, but you wouldn’t know from listening to it. It is whisper-quiet, with the noticeable absence of the clacky clack of traditional mechanical keyboards. This is really a personal preference thing. I quite like the aural stimuli that typing can bring on my standard mechanical, but I am certainly aware there are many that don’t and many more again that work/play in shared environments so the fact this keyboard exists is wonderful news for those less inclined to listen to a typist at 100wpm.
Gaming wise, the keyboard handles nicely. I gave it a good run through with Doom 2016, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and The Cycle, three FPS games that require quick button presses with a minimum of fuss and the 510K didn’t miss a beat. It also handled the slower pace of Age of Empires 2 and Civilization VI with ease thanks to its large button size and ability to program the lighting to make it easier to see common key presses. This is a great feature if you haven’t used it before and especially useful if you play in a darkish room. Anything that makes it easier for me to do what I am supposed to do is a good thing, right? Once again though, I fell like the keyboard misses some of the tactile response that I am used to, but that is probably just a personal thing. Oh and I almost forgot, it wouldn’t be a modern keyboard without 6 bazillion colour combinations thanks to some fancy lightning and software, which is easy to use I might add.
Finally, we get to price. It is at the higher end of the spectrum for a keyboard of this type, coming in at almost $190. That is some serious money to be laying down for a keyboard, but if it means finding the right fit for you, then I feel like that is worth it. A keyboard is such a personal thing, so try before you buy is highly recommended if you can. Know that if you do go with the 510K it is a high-quality key tapper that will hold up to anything you can throw at it without being a noisy inclusion in your household.
The Alienware 610M Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse
Gaming mice are much easier to judge I feel and to be a good gaming mouse, in my mind, you need the following things. First, you need to be comfortable for a range of hand sizes. Second, you need to have tactile, well-positioned buttons. Finally, and most importantly, you need to have a range of customisable DPI settings for different needs and situations. Thankfully the 610M has all three, which means it is automatically at a good starting position.
The buttons actually feel wonderful to use, they are firm and responsive, showing off some nice engineering. The side buttons are well-positioned to be easy to access but hard to bump, which means I won’t be forever going “back” in Chrome because I accidentally banged the side button. Movement also felt natural with the 610M being well-weighted for my preferences. I was also quite the fan of the flared bottom, sure it makes the mouse look like a car from the Jetsons, but I found it gave me that little bit more purchase on the heel of my hand, making movement just a touch easier.
In-game the mouse performed wonderfully. It didn’t struggle with a fast-paced RTS or FPS, giving me all the control I needed in intense situations and in the quieter more precise moments. What was also nice to feel was that the mouse was shaped in a way that took a bit of pressure off my wrist, which is great considering I have chronic pain in that area. Anything that takes a step forward in ergonomics without alienating users is fantastic. I must also say I found the battery life in wireless mode to be great and charge time short, two great bullet points for the product.
Money time and once again, this bad boy ain’t cheap. At about $180, there are a lot of gaming mice out there that can be purchased for less than that and really, the price is perhaps my only reservation about the 610M because it really is a good mouse, I am just not sure it is $180 good. That will really come down to the purchaser and maybe I am out of touch on prices for high-quality mice. But if money is no option, then this is a really great choice for your gaming rig.