A Modular Mouse: Is The Ninox Astrum The Future?
When it comes to gaming, one of the most important (and most discussed) pieces of equipment is without a doubt the mouse. Gaming mice come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and weights, and finding the right mouse for you can be quite a journey to say the least. If you don’t have a physical store near you and you don’t have a bunch of disposable income laying around it can be an expensive journey as well, as it can take time to figure out what characteristics suit you the most. Ninox, a smaller mouse company based in the UK, is now planning to shorten that journey and give you an all-in-one package mouse which you can customize to your needs and wants. Enter the Ninox Astrum, a fully modular gaming mouse which is currently in the process of being crowdfunded.
Choosing a gaming mouse is a very personal thing on many levels. Things such as shape, size, buttons, and all of that are very much down to personal preferences. There are certain expectations that a top tier gaming mouse needs to meet, though. The weight should be manageable, the cable can’t be too stiff, and the sensor needs to be up to par, to name a few. Ninox is now planning to combine all of the good stuff (top sensor, flexible cable, low weight) in one package which you can customize to your heart’s content.
The Astrum is Ninox’s third mouse and is set to be the lightest fully modular computer mouse in the world, coming in at under 80 grams. There’ll be 13 different ways to configure the shape of the mouse; all of the shell pieces you see in the picture above will be in the base package of the mouse, with 3D CAD templates being provided so that users can create their own attachments via 3D printing.
In addition to that the Astrum will have split buttons (with infrared optical microswitches), a top of the line Pixart 3360 sensor (update: this has now been changed to the 3389, read more on why on the bottom of this article) which is capable of up to 12000 DPI (if you somehow feel the need to set your DPI that high) and a polling rate of 1000Hz. You’ll be able to change the basic settings of the mouse without the need for any type of external software, though Ninox will offer a fully featured program where you can fine tune your settings and tinker with macros, keybinds, and the likes.
All of the above should be enough to get the attention of most gamers who know their mice, but by far the most intriguing aspect of the Astrum are the customization options that come with it. You’ll be able to choose from three different base configurations when it comes to the shape, or mix and match between different shapes if you so choose. Ninox is promising that the weight will stay under 80 grams regardless of which setup you choose.
In addition to that you can also change the position of the sensor and choose where you want your side buttons; left, right, both, or none at all. There’ll also be three coating options available for purchase: rubber, matte, or glossy. Add all that up and the Astrum sounds like the closest we’re going to get to a custom made mouse at this point.
A lot of exciting things have been happening (and are still about to happen) in the world of gaming mice, and a lot of people feel like a project such as the Astrum deserves to have a spot in the mouse market, myself included. If you feel the same way you can pledge your support on their indiegogo page, which (if fully funded, obviously) guarantees that you’ll get a mouse come the end of this year. There’s no ‘donate X money to receive a Ninox sticker’ or any of that. You support the indiegogo, you get a mouse.
There’s lots more info to be found on that indiegogo page, as well as on the official product page on their website.
Around the time this article went live Ninox announced that you can also support the Astrum by buying it on their store page if you somehow can’t support them on indiegogo. On there you can back the Ninox Astrum project with a bank transfer, or cryptocurrency. They’re currently accepting USD, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
The founder of Ninox decided to go with the 3389 over the 3360, his reasoning is below.
“After discovering that the Pixart PMW-3389 sensor is available, I’ve decided to change to this sensor. It has a few advantages over the current PMW-3360 sensor, which are as follows:
The maximum sensitivity is increased from 12,000 DPI to 16,000 DPI.
The sensitivity can be adjusted in increments of 50 DPI, vs the 3360’s 100 DPI.
The maximum tracking speed is increased to 400 IPS (10m/s) (150 IPS faster than the 3360 sensor).”
Seems like the Astrum has been fully funded!