Genius Gila MMO/RTS Gaming Mouse
It was only a few months that I first learned of Genius and their products and so I took a look at their history upon getting a chance to review one of their mice. Founded in Taiwan of 1983, Genius has been manufacturing computer peripherals mostly as an OEM. Despite Genius’s obscurity in North America, their manufacturing experience has made a splash in an increasingly crowded sea of gaming mice. This past January, the Gila was named an International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree.
An award like that gave me hope that the Gila wouldn’t make my hand feel like a meatball after hours of gaming and office work. Despite that, I don’t entirely trust a company that names its products after venomous animals and Latin scientific names involving scorpions such as Imperator, not unlike a certain other well-known gaming peripheral brand. The Gila (pronounced HEE-la) certainly takes inspiration from the animal it was named after, most notably the red stripes. However, the actual Gila monster is quite sluggish. Venomous? Yes. Dangerous to humans? No. I’m sure Genius’s Gila mouse is swifter than a lazy lizard of the American Southwest.
The Gila has been generously loaded with a number of gaming focused features to justify its high price at $77.94 shipped. Onboard memory that can store up to six profiles, adjustable weights, three multicolor LED lit areas, and an 8200 DPI laser sensor are the big features to be had.
Looking behind the box’s front we see the Gila behind a plastic shell as well as pictures and descriptions of notable features.
Genius Gila Features and Specifications:
- 12-button MMO/RTS gaming mouse
- Over-clocking SGCii: 200 dpi to 8200 dpi
- Scorpion gaming user interface
- 16 million RGB backlight system in 3 areas
- Adjustable metal weights 4.5g x 6 with storage case included
- 32K onboard memory to prevent game block
- 1.8 meter braided cable with gold-plated USB connector
- Rubber finish grip for complete control and handling
- Dimension (W*H*D mm) : 114 x 72 x 44, (4.5 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
- Body weight (g) : 197, (7 oz)
- 1-year Warranty
Inside the box is the Gila mouse, two installation manuals with over 20 pages for over 20 languages, a container with mouse weights, replacement feet for the mouse, and a driver CD.
Looking Closer at the Gila
The Gila is modestly sized for a gaming mouse with dimensions of 4.5 x 2.8 x 1.7 inches (LxWxH) and a weight of 7 ounces. It is by no means a tiny mouse as even large hands can palm the Gila without issue. Strangely, the button placement of the mouse suggests usability for claw grips as palming the Gila leaves the rearmost side button mostly inaccessible. Despite the ambidextrous bilateral symmetry, the side buttons are only located on the left side of the mouse.
The red stripes and defined angles give the Gila a sporty look and even vaguely resembles a car from some angles. The three LED light zones are the “headlights,” “taillights,” and the GX logo with the scroll wheel. The color and pulsation of the lights can each be adjusted with the mouse software which will be discussed on the next page.
The DPI lights are lit by red LEDs and indicate which of the six user-defined DPI levels is being used. If you look closely, there are only five LED levels. The sixth DPI level is represented by the illumination of all five DPI lights.
The Gila’s braided USB cord measures at roughly 6 feet long and includes a reusable Velcro cable tie. The plug is gold-plated and will make you richest person in the world even if it doesn’t actually improve signal quality.
The LED lit scroll wheel is rubber textured and has a tactile, but silent click when rolled.
Four programmable macro buttons are placed in pairs alongside the left and right mouse buttons. In the center on top near the scroll wheels are an additional three programmable macro buttons.
Here’s shot of the Gila’s “headlights.”
This isn’t a car photoshoot.
The arch of the mouse is apparent from this side shot. The top of the mouse is smooth matte plastic and the sides have a rubberized texture.
Flipping the mouse on its back reveals the 8200 DPI laser sensor. The gliding feet are quite small and the resulting friction is quite noticeable. A set of extra mouse footpads are included should there be any need to replace the original set.
Pressing a release level at the very end of the mouse opens the Gila’s weight holder. A triangular piece of rubber firmly holds each 45 gram weight firmly in place.
Mouse Software: Scorpion gaming user interface
The Gila’s settings can be configured with Genius’s Scorpion gaming user interface. Its name is quite wordy, but the software gets the job done. During testing, the latest version of the software as well as a firmware update for the mouse were used and can be found at the Gila’s GX gaming downloads page. The CD included with the Gila can also be used to install the Scorpion gaming user interface, but like any driver program, we recommend using the latest approved versions.
Upon opening the Scorpion gaming user interface, we are greeted with the button assignments tab. Towards the top is a ribbon of tabs that navigate to other settings. Along the bottom are tabs for each of the six profiles. Saving and loading profiles can be done in order to create multiple setting configurations and backups. Otherwise, the Gila’s onboard memory allows user defined settings to persist even on other computers without the Scorpion gaming user interface installed.
There are 14 configurable buttons including the scroll wheel. A large number of preset macro assignments are included in drop down menus.
- Mouse Function: Left Button, Right Button, Middle Button, Windows Button4, Windows Button5
- Office Function: Zoom In, Zoom Out, Tilt Left, Tilt Right
- Windows Function: Copy, Paste, Cut, Undo, Redo, Save
- Media Function: Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down, Next, Previous, Mute
- DPI Function: DPI Switch, DPI X, DPI Y, Sniper
- Fire Key: 3 Times, 5 Times, User Define
- Launch Program
- Profile: Profile 1, Profile 2, Profile 3, Profile 4, Profile 5, Profile 6
Creating macros is a simple matter. Hit the record button and it will register the order of keystrokes you input. Afterwards, the timings in-between the keystrokes can be adjusted and the keystrokes can be rearranged.
The Advanced Settings allows a number of mouse settings to be adjusted for each of the six profiles. The options available for change are mouse (pointer) speed, sensitivity, double click speed, polling rate, scroll speed, DPI settings, the number of DPI stages, X and Y DPIs, and lift up distance.
The colors for each of the three light zones can be changed with a gradient, a swatch, or inputting RGB color codes. There are four light intensity levels and the option for three light pulsation rates. Strangely enough, the option to enable the on-screen display is located in the lights tab. Enabling the check box will display whatever mouse change has occurred on the lower right side of your monitor whether it be a profile change or DPI change.
Using the Gila & Conclusion
After hours and hours of gaming with the Gila, I am honestly impressed. I wasn’t believing of those chiseled edges, the silly car lights, and the laundry list of mundane features on the box. I still don’t care for every wordy marketing statement Genius has attached to the Gila, but I’ve shed whatever skepticism I had towards the usability of this mouse for gaming. Precision gestures were met with responsive and accurate tracking across every game I played and I’m not just saying that about the laser sensor. 8200 DPI is overkill, but the Gila fits naturally in the hand. I didn’t feel fatigue or pain after gaming sessions and after incessantly clicking things for hours on the internet.
The Gila is a good candidate for a claw mouse – it’s medium sized, its weight is adjustable, and the side buttons are placed for the claw grip. However, friction might make the mouse “stick” on surfaces when performing delicate motions. The Gila is also fantastic when griped in the palm, but trying to use the rearmost side button and the three buttons located next to the scroll wheel can be difficult. In any situation, the macro buttons placed adjacent to the right and left buttons are very accessible and proved useful for hotkey bindings. The overall ergonomics was surprisingly well-executed. The angles aren’t intrusive and the dome of the mouse followed my hand’s natural curvature. Even though Genius labeled the Gila as a mouse for massive-multiplayer (MMO) and real-time strategy (RTS) games, this mouse is flexible enough in its design to be used for shooters and office work.
The Gila is pricy with the best price currently at Amazon for $77.94 shipped. That’s especially apparent when compared to the Logitech G300 which shares a few core similarities in its ambidextrous shape and button placement. However, the Gila is feature loaded and that’s ignoring the list of things Genius has tacked on the flapping front panel on the product box. A sturdy construction, braided cable, 1 year warranty, six onboard profiles, slick looks, adjustable weight, and extra buttons make this mouse worth its competition.
With no glaring problem to be found with Genius’s Gila gaming mouse, it is deserving of our Editor’s Choice Award.
Legit Bottom Line: Strikingly slick, feature-packed, and pricy, Genius’s Gila can do more than RTS and MMO games. It’s a comfortable gaming mouse that isn’t held back by its design.