The pricing of AOC’s new GK500 keyboard is remarkable, but the price of its new GM500 mouse is absurd. There are no other mice from reputed gaming mouse brands that come close to this pricing, which is only $25 at the time of writing. Unfortunately, it appears that there is a reason why such companies don’t go as low as they do.
The GM500 has a lot going for it on paper. It uses the tried-and trusted PixArt PMW3325 sensor, which provides impressive maximum performance figures of 5000 DPI, 20G acceleration, and 100 inches per second movement speed. Underneath the left and right click buttons are Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks. The specifications are on par with plenty of lower-end gaming mouse.
The mouse’s ambidextrous design is further enhanced by the availability of buttons on both sides. However, we found these buttons to be problematic. When using a palm or fingertip grip, the unused side buttons that sit under your ring or little finger are simply too easy to press accidentally – they’re not as much of a problem with a claw grip.
The buttons under your thumb are also indistinguishable from one another. There’s no spacing between them, and there’s no contouring to help you figure out which button is which. Furthermore, they have a mushy feel to them, and the default layout has some of the side buttons set to ‘DPI shift’ and ‘browser homepage’ functions rather than Forward and Back, which makes for a frustrating experience.
The buttons can be re-assigned using AOC’s G-Menu software, but installing it just to gain this basic level of standard operation is a headache. You can’t simply turn off the unused side buttons; instead, you’ll have to set a null shortcut to make them do nothing when they’re pressed.
The design and build of the mouse is largely in line with its price, with a very basic shape that’s surprisingly heavy at 104g. The contours of the mouse lack the little details that make for an easy grip too. AOC says the mouse is for claw and palm grip, and we’d agree – it’s not suitable for fingertip grip. It’s not really ideal for the other two grips styles either, but it’s at least passable.
Extra features are non-existent on this mouse, other than the RGB lighting that illuminates the sides of the scroll wheel, the AOC logo on the rear and a strip that runs around the back of the mouse. The cable is also thick and stiff, and arrives very kinked, but it does flatten out reasonably well — a mouse bungee will be essential though.
In use, the performance of the main two buttons and sensor can’t be faulted, but the shape, side button layout and heavy cable really held us back when gaming. It gets the job done, which is commendable at this price, but quite a bit of work is required to make the GM500 a truly comfortable gaming mouse.
With its decent sensor and button switches, plus an incredibly low price, the AOC GM500 delivers the basics for a gaming mouse if you can cope with its shape and weight However, the latter two factors, as well as the side buttons that are too easy to hit accidentally, show what you gain by spending a bit more money on a well designed gaming mouse.