So, what’s the deal with this thing then? I hear you ask.
Well, the key feature of the Headshot is that the aURa gaming surface integrates a cradle that arches over the back of the surface – think new Wembley stadium – that the mouse is then attached to by a coiled wire. The idea is that this prevents the possibility of snagging your mouse cord on something while you’re fragging away. We’ve all been in the situation where you think you’ve got someone in your sights, then, just as you move in for the kill, you suddenly find your mouse cord has got trapped under the edge of your keyboard or monitor and you find you can’t reach the shot. Anything that can prevent these occurrences is worth a look in our book.
Thankfully the system works surprisingly well and, like so many simple ideas, you’ll find yourself saying ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ What would be extra specially brilliant is if the mouse was actually modular and you could use the same sprung cable to attach whatever mouse you like onto the device. Of course, this would require that your favourite mouse used the same modular design and quite frankly it’s not likely to happen. We can but wish though.
The arch isn’t the only innovative aspect of the Headshot though. It also has an integrated USB hub that, if you connect the included power supply, can power hi-power USB devices like external hard drives. One of the three USB ports is taken up by the mouse so it’s effectively only a two port hub but just those two ports are enough to be very useful.
The finish of the pad is a hard rough plastic like that of a Ratpad, though it is a finer grade of roughness. It is quite slick but I’ve certainly used better and, like all hard mouse mats, it is quite noisy in use. The Mouse Blood lubricant helps quite a bit but then using a lubricant would help out any surface. At 6mm thick, the mat is thicker than many but the curved and bevelled front edge makes it quite comfortable to use, even after prolonged periods.
The mouse uses a laser for tracking and features a resolution of up to 4,000dpi, which is adjustable on the fly. The sensor is only actually capable of measuring 2,000dpi so the highest setting is just an artificial sensitivity boost. This is an infuriating example of marketing spin because, not only is it not true, it is also completely pointless. I didn’t find a single application for which this level of sensitivity was useful. Which is a shame because overall the mouse was very accomplished and I was able to be just as competitive, while playing Counter-Strike, as with any other mouse. I found I quickly became used to switching resolutions mid fight depending on what weapon I was using and what situation I was in. However, I found I used only a couple of sensitivity settings at all. Not necessarily because the other settings were too high or low but simply because I found it was too difficult to adjust between too many setting variations at once.
Size is always a factor when purchasing a mouse and particularly with a mouse like this one that is contoured to fit the shape of your hand. With this in mind Fanatec has chosen to allow a degree of adjustability and you can widen the mouse by turning a couple of large screws on the bottom and sliding the left hand side out. I can’t say I found either setting noticeably more comfortable than the other but that’s perhaps because I tend to hold the mouse with the tips of my fingers rather than rest my whole palm on the device. The rubberised grips on the left and right sides ensured my grip was always secure. Finally, this mouse is for right-handers only and there is no word from Fanatec of a left handed version.