REVIEW – As a semi-competitive gamer, I’m always on the lookout for a good gaming mouse.  Normally I’m not that excited about wireless gaming mice, because there’s always the risk that my battery dies in the middle of a game, leaving me stranded for 30 seconds or so while I fumble for a new pair of double A’s.  HyperX has an idea on how to solve that problem, which is why I’m excited to be testing their new Pulsefire Dart and its associated ChargePlay Base.

What is it?

The Pulsefire Dart is a new wireless gaming mouse from HyperX that includes a rechargeable battery and supports the Qi wireless charging standard.  The HyperX ChargePlay Base is a charging station that can wirelessly charge two devices at once.

What’s in the box?

In the Pulsefire Dart box:

  • The mouse
  • A USB wireless receiver dongle
  • A USB cable adapter
  • A USB-A to USB-C cable
  • A quick-start guide with 5 pages of English instructions
  • A tech support card and a congratulations card

In the ChargePlay Base box:

  • The charging station
  • An AC wall adapter
  • A USB-A to USB-C cable
  • A quick-start guide with 2.5 pages of English instructions
  • A tech support card

Hardware specs

For the mouse:

  • Polling Rate:  1000 Hz
  • DPI Presets:  800/1600/3200
  • Lighting:  RGB
  • Wireless:  2.4 GHz
  • Battery Life:  50 hours with lighting, 90 without
  • Charging:  Qi Compatible

For the base:

  • Output:  Up to 15 watts
  • Size: 8.5 x 3.5 inches

Design and features

The Pulsefire Dart has a fairly standard design.  It’s a medium-sized, ergonomic, right-handed mouse.  It has the typical left and right mouse buttons, a scroll wheel that doubles as the middle mouse, a DPI button, and two programmable side buttons on the left.  There’s an LED in the scroll wheel and another in the logo in the palm rest.  The left and right of the mouse have rubbery grips.  The base has three sliders, the sensor, and an on/off button.  It’s a tried-and-true design that works well.

The ChargePlay is actually a pair of charging bases that are back-to-back with a pair of LED indicators between them.  It can simultaneously charge two wireless devices, such as my iPhone and the Dart.

Installation and setup

As this mouse has a rechargeable battery, the first step was to charge it.  I plugged the wall adapter for the base into an outlet, then connected it to the base with the provided USB cable.  Both red LEDs flashed twice to let me know they are ready to charge.  I put the Dart on the charger, keeping in mind that it has to be positioned just so, with the palm rest over the center of one of the chargers.  The red LED on the base lit, and the LEDs in the mouse turned white and began to fade in and out; together these indicated that it was charging.  When the LEDs in the mouse changed from white to color, the mouse was fully charged and ready to go.

I plugged USB cable into the back of my gaming rig, attached the dongle, and plugged the wireless receiver into it.

The manual recommends keeping this receiver within 8 inches of the mousepad.  To me, this seems like a rather odd requirement.  If it’s a wireless mouse, why does it require a wire that has to stay so close to the mouse?  This is a genuine technical need, however, because when I removed the cable and plugged the receiver into the back of my computer, I often found that my mouse pointer jumped and skipped around, making it unusable for both gaming and everyday tasks.  When the receiver was in the dongle and kept close to the mousepad, it worked perfectly.

The Dart does work as a wired mouse as well.  All I had to do was remove the dongle and plug the USB-C port directly into the top of the mouse.  That worked without any problems.  The DPI button has 3 preset values, and the middle one (1600 DPI) worked fairly well for me.  At this point, I had a fully functional gaming mouse!

The manual says I can customize the lighting, DPI, and macro settings with the HyperX NGenuity 2 software, so I went to their download page and grabbed a copy to install.  The web page notes that this is beta software, which unfortunately foreshadowed how well it would work.  I installed the software for my PC—it only runs on Windows, not macOS—and it easily recognized my Dart.  The first thing that I noticed was that my mouse needed a firmware update, so I let NGenuity do the update.  Unfortunately, the update failed.

When the update failed, my computer no longer recognized the mouse.  I couldn’t go forward or back.

This was nothing less than an epic failure.  HyperX’s software had bricked the mouse.  My computer no longer recognized it, and it no longer worked.  The only way to fix this problem was to plug in another mouse, uninstall NGenuity, and reboot the computer.  This means I’ve lost my ability to customize the lighting, which is probably not that big of a deal, but also the DPI, which is a bigger deal.  For video games, it’s important to be able to select just the right DPI, and the 3 presets are an insufficient number of choices.

Performance

The PulseFire Dart plays perfectly.  I find it very easy to grip and control.  The left and right mouse buttons click accurately without any fuss.  The scroll wheel rotates smoothly as I would expect.  The programmable buttons on the left worked perfectly; in Dota 2, one buttons works as my quick-buy and the other to the courier.  Even after many hours of gaming, there’s nothing to complain about.  I really like how it plays.

The base of the Dart has 3 mouse skates, the slippery areas where the mouse comes into contact with my mouse pad.  These provided just the right amount of traction for me; I never felt like it was too slippery or too grabby.

The all-black surface tends to collect dust and fingerprints, as many mice do, so keeping a microfiber cloth handy and wiping it down before playing is a good idea.

I have nothing but praise for HyperX’s support of the Qi charging spec.  The Dart not only charges on the ChargePlay, but it also works on my Soundcore Wakey and my trusty Anker PowerWave charger.  Additionally, the ChargePlay supported my iPhone, and because of its dual chargers, it’s become my wireless charging station of choice.  Because it’s so easy to keep the rechargeable battery fully charged, I don’t worry about running out of batteries during a critical moment in a game.  Even so, it’s nice to know that can simply plug in the cable to the mouse, should something go wrong.  This is a great solution.

What I like

  • Standard design
  • Smooth game play
  • Effortless charging

What I’d change

  • Fix NGenuity and get it out of beta

Final thoughts

I like the PulseFire Dart.  I like the way it’s designed, and I like the way it games.  I really like being able to pick it up after a gaming session and set it on the ChargePlay, knowing that it will be fully charged when I’m ready to game again.  Unfortunately, I just can’t recommend it to you at this time.  The fact that HyperX’s own software bricked their hardware is a spectacularly horrible fail.  Once it gets out of beta, I’ll test it again, and hopefully it will work as expected.  If it does, I’ll be able to update this review and recommend it to you.

Price: $99.99 for the mouse and $59.99 for the charger
Where to buy:  HyperX’s store (mouse, charger) and Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by HyperX.

Filed in categories: Reviews

Tagged: Gaming Gear, Wireless mouse

HyperX Pulsefire Dart Wireless Gaming Mouse review originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on November 12, 2019 at 10:00 am.

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Original source: https://the-gadgeteer.com/2019/11/12/hyperx-pulsefire-dart-wireless-gaming-mouse-review/