Cooling Performance: Useful Or A Gimmick?
The Level 10 M has a very open design. Even the mouse's aluminum top has holes in it. In concept, this is supposed to keep your hands sweat-free. Of course, that was something we wanted to test out for ourselves.
We used a conventional mouse with a plastic top for comparison. We washed our hands with a neutral soap before each gaming session in a 22-degree Celsius room. Measurements were taken with an infrared thermometer.
The Tt eSports Level 10 M feels cooler to the touch than a well-known competitor's flagship, especially at the beginning of our 35-minute sessions. And we did find less sweat on it after more than half an hour of uninterrupted contact between our hand and the mouse. Yes, there was still some sweat, but the aluminum body effectively took body heat and dissipated it out into the environment.
As shown in the photo, the openings in the top of the mouse are situated in such a way that they're not completely covered by your hand. Air is able to get to the bottom of your hand, which helps keep it drier than it would have been otherwise.
When it's all said and done, the battle still leaves its mark on the Level 10 M, which isn't able to alleviate sweating completely. But we've only talked about our subjective observations so far; let's have a look at some real numbers, too.
The following diagram shows why we settled on 35-minute sessions for testing. Temperatures don’t really change any more after this period of time. The aluminum surface of Thermaltake's Tt eSports Level 10 M warms up more quickly in the beginning. We see that this material conducts heat well, which is why it was chosen.
After about 30 minutes, the measured thermal reading reaches and stays about two degrees Celsius lower than the hand's temperature. At that same point, the plastic mouse top feels like a second skin, its temperature pretty much the same as the hand.
The numbers tell us why the mouse is able to keep the hand cooler and less sweaty. The difference certainly isn't a sensational breakthrough in mouse technology, but it’s still noticeable.
There are two ingredients flavoring Thermaltake's secret sauce. First, encouraging a claw and fingertip grip positions the hand in such a way that it doesn't completely blanket the mouse. Second, holes in the top of the mouse are positioned right under the arch created by the way the mouse is held. The material underneath absorbs the warmth of the hand and transfers it to the rest of the frame, where it can dissipate. Both factors together have a noticeable impact. This mouse does keep your hand cooler than more conventional mice, even if its looks don't appeal to everyone.