(Pocket-lint) – The wireless version of the TUF Gaming M4 is a lightweight mouse with several tricks up its sleeve, principal of which is that it’s powered by replaceable batteries and doesn’t even have a wire or charging cable included in the box. Indeed, there’s not even a hole to plug it in.
We’ve been playing with the TUF Gaming M4 Wireless to see how it holds up against the competition. Is battery power the way forward.
The Asus TUF Gaming M4 Wireless is a great mouse for the money. Don’t be put off by no wires and use of traditional batteries, if anything this is the mouse’s key selling point. Spec-wise it’s not the highest-end out there, and there’s no RGB lighting or the like, but it’s still a very capable gaming mouse.
It was when unboxing the TUF Gaming M4 Wireless that we saw the spare AA battery nestled in the cardboard and the AAA battery stored inside its shell. It’s certainly unusual to find a gaming mouse with removable and replaceable batteries. This is interesting (and useful) for several different reasons.
With most wireless mice you’re stuck with an internal battery that will slowly degrade over time, eventually rendering the mouse useless at some point. That’s not the case here, as you can keep swapping batteries until you wear it out completely or decide you fancy something new. With the TUF Gaming M4 Wireless that’ll likely be when the buttons wear out – after 60 million clicks.
The TUF Gaming M4 Wireless is also designed to take either an AAA battery or AA battery, each having its own benefit. Using the AAA battery, for example, makes the mouse lighter at around 77 grams compared to 86 grams with the AA battery. You’ll get more battery life out of the AA battery of course, if you’re happy to pay for that with the added mass. There’s a housing for the AAA battery that converts to fit in the AA slot, which is clever stuff.
It’s worth noting that Asus claims the mouse weighs just 62 grams, but that’s without the battery or the dongle that’s stored within when not used. Meaning that, yes, you can technically make it lighter that way, but then it won’t work.
The second point of interest is that the TUF Gaming M4 Wireless doesn’t have a wire of any sort. At the front where you’d normally find a hole for a USB-C or Micro-USB port, there’s nothing but plastic. This is beneficial as that means there are no extra wires to worry about and no mess on your desk. The downside is when the battery is running low you can’t just grab a cable and put it into wired mode. Instead, you’ll need to run about the house trying to find a spare AA or AAA battery.
On top of the TUF Gaming M4 Wireless there’s a DPI button, next to which is an LED indicator that changes colour to tell you what DPI level you’ve set the mouse to. Press the button and it changes colours between red, purple, blue and green, to represent the four customisable stages of DPI accessible in the Armoury Crate software.
That same indicator will also turn red when the battery is dropping low. By default when it hits 30 per cent power, the light will glow and flash to warn you. You can adjust when this happens in the software and you can also tweak the sleep mode settings to increase longevity. So if you’re paying attention, you shouldn’t ever be caught out.