May 22, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse – Review 2020

Thermaltake is best known for its cases and cooling products, but the company has also made strides in becoming a major player in the peripherals market. Having owned a Thermaltake gaming mouse before, I approached the Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse ($79.99) with high expectations, and I was not disappointed by the hardware—though I was nonplussed by software that crashed so often I was obliged to use the mouse without it, in plug-and-play mode. As a result, I’d call the Level 20 worth a look, but hardly a standout in a crowded field.

Stylishly Ambidextrous

Like the vast majority of gaming mice today, the Thermaltake Level 20 is predominantly black. A simple TT logo is emblazoned on the mouse’s palm rest, and there’s not much else to catch the eye when the mouse is unplugged. Connected to a USB port, however, the device glows with not only the logo but RGB LEDs on the top and sides, as well as a glowing scroll wheel. Though RGB lights are the norm today, these somehow look even more prominent than usual.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse top

The mouse has a total of eight buttons, including two buttons on either side, as well as the two primary clicks, a clickable scroll wheel, and a DPI switch behind the wheel. Thermaltake says the primary buttons’ Omron switches are rated to last for up to 50 million clicks.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse side view

At the heart of the Level 20 is a PixArt PMW3389 optical sensor that’s capable of resolutions up to 16,000dpi. The mouse also supports an ultrafast 2,000Hz polling rate that results in data being read every half a millisecond.

Firsthand Testing

As the Thermaltake Level 20 is an ambidextrous mouse, I spent some time using it with each hand. To my tastes, it fit equally well in my palm whether I favored my left or right hand. The mouse’s rounded body doesn’t look or feel like anything out of the ordinary, but its simple design feels readily familiar. And thanks to rubber grips on each side, I never felt the mouse slip.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse diagonal

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse lights

What I found most pleasing about the mouse, however, is that it worked without issue as a plug-and-play device. I’ve lost count of how many mice I’ve used over the years, and I frequently switch models as many show subtle, irregular issues. As such, whenever I find a mouse able to go for a week without a glitch, I’m thrilled. The hardware on this model is a keeper.

iTake: Does Not Compute

But then there’s the software.

The mouse is controlled by Thermaltake’s iTake Gaming Engine software. It lets you adjust the lights, set the polling rate, and program buttons with specialized functions like customized macros.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse button settings

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse RGB settings

Unfortunately, the software proved surprisingly unstable, which kept me from being able to fine-tune the performance settings and lights to my liking. It was the same situation that I (and a colleague of mine who tested it before me) encountered with iTake when we tested the Thermaltake Level 20 GT RGB Gaming Keyboard alongside this mouse.

Whenever iTake crashed, and it was often, the mouse returned to its default settings. In essence, using the mouse without the software is a possibility, but being forced to do that curtails the customizability of both the buttons and the lighting. And it bears noting that many other mouse makers ship their mice with stable utilities.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse performance settings

You can still switch among five profiles with settings of 800dpi, 1,000dpi, 1,200dpi, 1,600dpi, and 3,200dpi, but that’s not much.

A Mixed Bag

Prior to this review, I was using a Thermaltake TT eSports Level 10M Advanced mouse as my everyday driver, with its admirable stability causing me to repeatedly return to it after trying other gaming mice. I’ll keep around the Level 20 RGB as a standby, but it didn’t win over my heart or my hand.

Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse yellow lights

Largely, I’m content with a plug-and-play mouse, and the Level 20 suffices as that. But plenty of gamers won’t be. The reason they are paying a premium for a gaming mouse is the customizability that such a mouse and its software together afford. The instability of Thermaltake’s software prevents you from using many of the Level 20’s high-end features, and it prevents the mouse, to our eyes, from earning above a three-star rating.

Source Article