Many PC enthusiasts should be familiar with Cougar and their products. For those who haven't heard of them yet, the company was founded during 2007 in Germany making computer peripherals. They have since branched into computer cases, power supplies, and computer fans under their parent corporation CompuCase and Cougar products are sold worldwide. Given the amount of time Cougar has been in business, it is our expectation that the 550M gaming mouse we are reviewing won't disappoint.
The Cougar 550M is a high-end gaming mouse featuring a 6400 DPI SDNS-3988 optical sensor, DPI switching, onboard memory, six fully programmable buttons, and two RGB lighting zones. It can be found at Newegg for $39.99 and has a warranty of one year. Though the mouse may look a bit like the Razer DeathAdder when viewed from above as shown on the front of the box, the two mice actually have very different shapes.
Cougar 550M Gaming Mouse Features:
Model Number MOC550M (Blue) & CGR-WOMI-550 (Iron Grey)
Sensor: SDNS-3988 Optical gaming sensor
Resolution: 50-6400 DPI
Game type: FPS/MMORG/MOBA/RTS
Polling rate: 1000Hz/1ms
On-board memory: 512kb
Software: COUGAR UIX SYSTEM
Programmable buttons: 6
Switching: OMRON gaming switches
Profile LED backlight: 2 ZONE 16.8 million colors
Frame rate: 12500 FPS
Maximum tracking speed: 200 IPS
Maximum acceleration: 50 G
Interface: Golden-plated USB plug
Cable length: 1.8m Braided
Dimension: 135(L) X 70(W) x 45(H) mm
The Cougar 550M comes with a user manual and a set of stickers. The mouse software is not included and instead must be downloaded over the internet. Next we're taking a closer look at the mouse.
Looking Around the Cougar 550M
The Cougar 550M is a surprisingly large gaming mouse. It measures 5.31(L) X 2.76(W) x 1.77(H) / 135 X 70 x 45 mm and weighs 120 g making the 550M both longer and heavier than the Razer DeathAdder to which it seemingly bears a resemblance.
The Cougar 550M comes in two colors: Iron-Grey (part number CGR-WOMI-550) which is what we have for review and Metallic-Blue (part number MOC550M).
The metallic orange accents along the tail end and around the scroll wheel, the silver thumb buttons, black DPI cycle button, and black rubber textured scroll wheel and side grips are shared between the two editions of the 550M.
On the right side are two silver thumb buttons and the DPI level indicator lights. These RGB LED lights are one of two lighting zones on this mouse and each of these zones can be set to glow a different color in the Cougar UIX System software.
When viewed from the side, we see that the contours of the mouse are shaped more of a circle which is more typical of palm mice. Claw mice such as the Razer DeathAdder do not usually have this shape.
Even looking down the length we see a more rounded shape. Near the tail end is the other RGB lighting zone.
Looking under the 550M we see the SDNS-3988 optical sensor which can track between 50 to 6400 DPI. Three large mouse feet are placed around the edges for a very smooth glide. The 6 foot long USB cable is attached to the mouse off-center from the scroll wheel.
Software: Cougar UIX System
The Cougar UIX System is the software used to customize 550M mouse settings including onboard profile management, tracking sensitivity, macro assignments, and RGB lights. The latest version of the software can be downloaded from Cougar's download website which may include a bundled firmware update.
On the left of the Cougar UIX System interface is the menu element for switching between the three profile modes and the mouse settings. Mode 1 is currently being customized and the Performance submenu is open. From the Performance menu, changes can be made to each of the three main DPI settings, the sniper DPI setting, polling rate, angle snapping, lift height, mouse acceleration, and Windows mouse settings including double click speed, scroll speed, and pointer speed.The Key Assignment menu has a graphic of the mouse on the left with boxes above and below. Dragging an icon from the sets on the right to the boxes assigns a new button assignment.Besides "Basic" mouse commands, "Advanced" preset commands can be assigned ranging from mode switching to media controls to even launching programs.
Macro strings can be recorded and edited in a macro editor window. In addition to keyboard keystrokes, mouse movements and button presses can be recorded.Lighting Control allows changes to each of the two lighting zones. An RGB color can be individual assigned and given either a steady or breathing effect.Game Profile Management opens a window for the unsurprising purpose of managing profiles for executable programs. Profiles can be created, edited, deleted, imported, exported, and duplicated.
When editing a profile, the user can change the profile name, its icon image, and the .EXE file path.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Using the 550M mouse was a bit interesting. After looking at pictures, including that on the front of the box, the mouse bears semblance to the Razer Deathadder, a claw grip mouse. Yet, the 550M is longer, heavier, and more rounded along its cross section. Users may find it preferable to hold this mouse with much of the palm for control. Though not the most comfortable mouse to use due to the size, we didn't experience any pain or injuries after even hours of continuous gaming.
We also have to mention about how this mouse looks. The edginess is within control and used tastefully. Even with the sporty color scheme, the 550M still looks like a computer mouse and not like a car or spaceship. The two light zones shine bright enough and add more flavor to the aesthetic. Another lighting zone could make this mouse more exciting such as the Cougar logo.
The UIX System software is easy enough to use right away. It has all the mouse settings expected for a gaming mouse plus exposed access to the Windows settings for convenience. We also appreciate the small file size which means the download is quick. On-board memory is also neat since stored profiles eliminate the need to install UIX System on other computers.
The Cougar 550M is worth buying for $39.99 at Newegg. It's not uncomfortable to use, it has high end gaming mouse features, and it has a striking appearance. Yet it might not be for everyone considering its bulkier size and weight. The 1-year warranty period is also not very long which puts the 550M at odds against those who want more guaranteed longevity out of their computer mouse. At the very least, this gaming mouse has our recommendation for its many redeeming qualities.Legit Bottom Line: The Cougar 550M gaming mouse packs high-end features in a sporty looking design with an affordable price that's worth checking out.