It's tough to stand out when it comes to mice for gaming, but the wireless Alienware 610M manages it. For one thing, it looks more like a Ghost hovercraft from Halo with its spearhead shape and flared rubber back. I wasn't sure I'd like it as a result; it's an unusual design that seems as if it'd be bulky underhand. Thankfully, I was wrong. The 610M is comfy, responsive, and memorable precisely because it's so different (much like the eye-catching Alienware Aurora R9). Yes, there's room for improvement. But I walked away impressed nonetheless.
One of the selling points of the Alienware 610M is its longevity: the company claims it'll last 350 hours on one full charge of its lithium ion battery. That's pretty exceptional, as is the 1000hz polling rate in both wired and wireless modes.
The 610M also offers 16,000 DPI and seven programmable buttons (two of which are on the mouse's left-hand side), an adjustable scroll wheel that offers 12 or 24 steps per revolution, and a DPI button which adjusts sensitivity by being pushed up or down rather than pressed. All in, a mouse with these features feels like good value for $100 / £80.
You'll either love or hate the 610M's design. Either way, it's a bold departure from the norm. While most of its shell is a smooth, shiny plastic (including side buttons that sit above a series of grooves down both flanks), the rear-end is a grippy matte rubber with distinctive 'wings' jutting out to either side. Meanwhile, the scrollwheel reminded me of a Land Rover tyre or something similarly rugged.
In short, the whole thing gives off a distinct sci-fi vibe. It shares a lot of DNA with pop-culture spacecraft, a similarity highlighted by strips of RGB lighting at the end of each wing. It's definitely, unashamedly an Alienware gaming peripheral.
Even though I had reservations about the design at first blush, I've got absolutely no criticisms of the 610M's performance. It's a slick, accurate, and responsive tool with crisp and satisfying clicks. In The Division 2, it allowed me to rapidly twitch from headshot to headshot with little more than a flick of my wrist. Scrolling over a chaotic battlefield at ground-level in Total War: Warhammer 2 or getting a better view of the map in DOTA 2 was also a smooth experience thanks to that 1000hz polling rate.
The DPI button is one of the mouse's more useful assets, too. Rather than pressing to cycle between settings (and not knowing which one you're on without giving the pointer a shake), this one makes you push up and down to increase or decrease sensitivity. It's intuitive, logical, and a design choice I'd love to see more of from other manufacturers. It's a train of thought also present in the scrollwheel, which you can adjust with a switch on the bottom of the mouse.
I didn't appreciate the 610M's side buttons as much, however. The action on them is a little spongy, and the surface is just too slippy for my taste. Equally, the side grips aren't all that effective. They feel somewhat underwhelming despite adding to the slick design.
The rubber tail is a different story, though. It offers a satisfying, comfortable grip while providing support for your thumb and pinky finger during use. The flourish of RGB lighting on the sides only add to the mouse's sci-fi appearance.
Sadly, they don't do much to help the 610M's battery life. You can get 350 hours of use only under certain conditions, like turning off all the already-minimal RGB lighting or adjusting your settings. Keep everything on and you'll get much less. I averaged five or so days of constant use in the office before needing to recharge. Which is a lot better than many other entries on our best wireless gaming mouse guide, granted, but that's not the performance I'd hoped for considering how the 610M has been advertised.
Overall - should you buy it?
If you're hunting down a good wireless mouse and/or want to complete your Alienware setup, I can happily recommend the 610M. It doesn't always hit the right notes and isn't the best gaming mouse by any means, but those misses are the exception rather than the rule.