Left-handed gamers rejoice.
Finding the right gaming mouse sometimes calls to mind the old adage of “needing to kiss a lot of frogs” until you find the perfect one. Human hands just run a gamut of sizes and that’s not even mentioning features worth of consideration like weight, palm support, DPI settings, etc. Acer is hoping to make that search a little easier with the Predator Cestus 500 (See it on Amazon), a wired optical mouse with an impressive level of ergonomic customization for both right- and left-handed users. I spent some time with this versatile mouse to see if it’s worthy of gracing your desktop.
Acer Predator Cestus 500 – Design and Features
I’m going to make an assumption there’s likely two camps on the overall design aesthetic of the Cestus 500: you’re either going to think it looks like a badass, futuristic device or a mess of overdone, angular plastic. The form-factor isn’t quite as extreme as a Mad Catz R.A.T., for example, but there’s still enough sharp lines on this mouse that it resembles the Batmobile in The Dark Knight. Personally, I’m in the former camp on this mouse, as even though I generally prefer a more understated mouse, I can’t help but think the Cestus 500 looks kind of cool.
There’s eight buttons in total on the Cestus 500, including left and right click buttons, a DPI selector, a clickable scroll wheel, and four thumb buttons (two on each side). The left and right buttons are backed up by durable Omron switches, but there’s a wholly unique—to the best of my knowledge—variable to these buttons. Under the mouse, you can switch the sensitivity of each switch independently, with each selector indicating a 50 million or 20 million click durability. Though the switch is supposed to lower or raise “click sensitivity,” I honestly couldn’t discern a pressure sensitivity difference between the two settings, but I like that it’s an option.
All of the buttons on the Cestus 500 feel great, and in a rare occurrence, the thumb buttons are placed perfectly within reach. In my experience testing dozens of mice over the years, far too often thumb buttons are too far forward or way too far back, but these are just right.
As previously mentioned, the Cestus 500 is an ambidextrous mouse, offering symmetrical setups whether you’re a righty or a southpaw. One of the most interesting features on this mouse is its magnetic side pieces. Acer has included two sets of plastic sides: a pair that’s relatively flat and textured; and a pair that flares out at the bottom for thumb or pinky support. I really enjoyed the feel of the latter, and I mostly played with a flared side under my thumb and a flat piece on the other side. The fact that you can customize this to your liking is fairly awesome, even if both sets have a sort of cheap, lightweight plastic feel. A rubberized grip coating would have gone a long way to improving the build quality.
What I didn’t enjoy from a design perspective is the bizarre flanges on the outside of the left and right buttons. There’s two points that sort of jut out from each side and using a palm grip—my normal way of playing—they felt oddly distracting on the sides of my fingers. Adopting a claw grip, I found my ring finger would occasionally cause an errant press on the right button. I have no idea why Acer put these two points on here beyond making the mouse look more pointy, but it was a bad move on an otherwise neat mouse shape.
As is almost universally the case these days, this mouse has custom RGB lighting on its palm-rest logo, in the scroll mouse, and in two lightbars under the front buttons. Rounding things out on the underside of the Cestus 500 are two rather smallish skates and a nice, braided cable to connect to the PC. As of this writing I’m unsure of what sensor Acer packed into this mouse as it’s not readily listed anywhere.
Acer Predator Cestus 500 – Software
The Cestus 500 utilizes Acer’s QuarterMaster software to customize things like lighting, button settings, DPI resolution, and polling rate. The lighting options are somewhat limited, with the normal presets of breathing, rainbow, blinking, etc. Color hues can be fully customized, but the speed of transitions can not, which is kind of annoying because the two light bars have a tendency to be distracting in any mode beyond static color. Oddly, you can select colors per-zone, but turning off the lights entirely in any one zone turns them all off.
Up to five DPI presets can be assigned to the selector button with a range of 400 to 7,200 DPI. That’s not as high a resolution as some gaming mice, but honestly I never use anything above 3,200 anyway. Overall, QuarterMaster is easy to use and mercifully not bloated like a lot of other peripheral software.
Acer Predator Cestus 500 – Gaming
After a number of hours using the Cestus 500 to play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, the Battlefield V beta, and Doom, I was fairly happy with this mouse. While I’m unsure of the origin of the optical sensor, it performed very well in every situation I used for testing. Movement with the cursor was smooth and accelerating or stopping my crosshair felt accurate. As I mentioned above, I did find the the flares on the sides on the front buttons rather aggravating, and the Cestus 500 would certainly be better if they were gone.
The lightweight build makes this a speedy mouse that’s great for twitchy first-person shooters, although I think its lithe feel is somewhat due in part to what feels like the liberal use of cheap plastic. I felt confident using this mouse to game, but it’s still a far cry from higher-end mice like the HyperX Pulsefire FPS Pro or Logitech G305. There just isn’t the same amount of sturdy weight to the Cestus 500, and beyond those admittedly cool customizable Omron switches, the side buttons feel like they’re of lesser quality.
All that said, the symmetry of the Cestus 500 is obviously a real draw for left-handed gamers, and I thoroughly appreciated the removable, magnetic side panels for supporting my thumb while playing longer gaming sessions. It’s not the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used, but at the same time it’s better than average, and it certainly has a “unique” look to it.
The Acer Cestus 500 has an MSRP of $69.99, but can usually get it for a bit less than that on Amazon: