Lightweight gaming mice are in vogue, and Speedlink has also recently introduced a corresponding model. The Skell mouse, which weighs only 73 g and has a perforated back, was launched in October. The product is currently only priced at € 23.99 * [test time: 20 €], which means that the mouse is particularly aimed at the entry-level segment. In return, Speedlink promises, besides the aforementioned light weight, an RGB illumination, the usual additional buttons as well as an unspecified sensor with a maximum of 4,200 DPI.
Whether the Speedlink Skell is worth it for this price, and where the strengths and weaknesses of the mouse lie, we will clarify in the following review. In parallel, we also give an assessment of Speedlink’s Levas LED mouse pad, which is sold for a price of € 13.59 * [review time: €30] and is advertised for this with a fabric surface as well as all-round RGB lighting.
|Dimensions:||130 x 66 x 38 mm|
|Weight:||73 g (Without cable)|
|Sensor:||Optical, no further specification|
|Polling rate:||1,000 Hz|
|Design:||Symmetrical, buttons for right-handed users|
|Number of keys:||7 (2x main, 1x mouse wheel, 4x additional)|
|Cable length:||1.5 m|
|Price:||€ 23.99 *|
Scope of delivery
Speedlink relies on color-printed boxes for both the Skell and the Levas LED, which contain the respective product and accessories. As you would expect in this price range, the accessories are manageable. The Skell only comes with a manual. The 1.5 meter long, sleeved connection cable is firmly attached to the mouse.
On the Levas LED mouse pad, however, the USB cable is detachable: there is a micro USB port on the RGB controller. Fittingly, Speedlink includes a 1.8 meter long and equally sleeved connection cable with the mouse pad in addition to the instructions.
Design & workmanship – Skell
The Speedlink Skell relies on a typical symmetrical design without any major features such as lateral protrusions. In operation, the index and middle fingers therefore rest on the main keys, and the other fingers nestle against the sides of the case. For the thumb, there are the two usual additional keys for forward and backward on the left side. In addition, the Skell also has a DPI button behind the mouse wheel as well as a switch for the illumination next to the sensor.
Speedlink uses matte black plastic throughout the Skell’s case material, which has hexagonal openings all over the mouse’s back and bottom. The cutouts serve to reduce the weight, but they also allow a view of the mouse’s inner workings. Among other things, the black PCB can be glimpsed. Speedlink also uses the cutouts for an optical extra: In addition to the illuminated, transparent plastic strip at the bottom edge of the mouse, the Skell also has an illuminated logo under the back of the mouse, which is visible through the hexagon pattern.
In terms of looks, the hexagon pattern makes for an exciting design in our eyes, and it’s the illumination visible from the inside that makes the Skell exciting. In addition, the mouse’s build quality is also largely successful: The case is very torsion-resistant despite the openings, and the plastic used is pleasant. However, the left mouse button on our model has a tiny amount of play at the top. Fortunately, this doesn’t interfere with the mouse’s function in the slightest, but it can cause a slight noise when lifting the fingers due to the key cover’s resonance in sweaty hands. In addition, the transitions between the case shells are not perfectly clean when you look closely. In view of the Skell’s price, however, this is really complaining on a high level, and if you don’t notice it explicitly, then the aforementioned noise shouldn’t bother anyone.
Design & workmanship – Levas LED
The Speedlink Levas LED relies on a typical cloth mouse pad design with an RGB controller on the upper left side and an all-around light. The controller houses the electronics, the micro USB port, and the button that controls the RGB lighting. There is also a small cable guide on the controller, through which the included USB cable can be routed to the right – if desired.
The controller casing of the Levas LED is once again made of black plastic. The top of the RGB controller is matte, while the other sides of the controller are glossy.
The mouse pad itself is made of a comfortable and tightly woven fabric surface surrounded by a light guide. This is held stably to the fabric hem by several transparent threads. The illumination is provided by LEDs in the controller, whose light is directed around the edge via the light guide. The resulting brightness distribution is not quite even, but still visually appealing. If you want an illuminated mouse pad, you’ll get your money’s worth here. Among other things, various static colors as well as rainbow and breathing effects are available as color effects.
The build quality of the pad and controller is again largely successful: The lateral gaps of the controller are not quite perfect when looking closely, but this should not be noticed by anyone during operation. Apart from that, the mouse pad makes a very high-quality impression, and the fabric surface in particular is very pleasant to the touch. In addition, mice glide very smoothly on the pad.
Practice, ergonomics & configuration
Due to its flat back, the Speedlink Skell is particularly suitable for fingertip grip in our eyes, and due to its light weight, we were able to use it with this for a long time without tiring. Players with smaller hands might also be able to use the Palm or Claw Grip. The cut-outs in the back of the mouse don’t get in the way: the back of the mouse still nestles comfortably in the palm of the hand.
We noticed the click feeling of the built-in buttons positively: The main and additional keys all offer a pleasant pressure point. The two thumb keys are slightly spongy, but that is often the case even with more expensive mice – so the Skell is convincing here. We also liked the comfortable, rubberized mouse wheel.
On the other hand, the Skell’s electronics are somewhat weaker, which is probably due to the low price. The unspecified, four-stage (800 / 1,600 / 2,400 / 4,200 DPI) adjustable sensor records in usable quality for the average gamer, but a finer (software) adjustment of the DPI levels would have been nice, of course. Instead, Speedlink has concentrated on the RGB LEDs on the Skell: 16 of them are located at the bottom edge of the case as well as under the logo and the mouse wheel.
Thus, lighting fans get a lot of visuals with the Skell, especially considering its price. Unfortunately, an exact (software) configuration is not possible – the lighting can only be operated in six predefined modes, which are selected via the button on the bottom. Among other effects, there are multi-colored breathing or ribbon effects, and if desired, only the LED at the logo can be operated and not the strip at the lower edge of the Skell.
In principle, the Skell’s illumination is thus well implemented for the price range, but there is unfortunately one drawback: Our sample beeps at a high frequency when many LEDs are active at the same time. This is only noticeable when you are within 30 cm of the mouse with your ears, but it is still annoying. Whether this is an isolated case in our sample, or whether the Skell is generally affected by this problem, we can’t say for sure.
With its price of € 23.99 * [test time: €20], the Speedlink Skell is a very affordable mouse that is advertised with generous RGB lighting despite its low price. In practice, this is also the highlight of the mouse, although other features such as the buttons with their solid pressure points and the 4,200 DPI sensor also do their job well.
In terms of ergonomics, the lightweight Skell is more suited to fingertip grip than palm or claw grip due to its flat design. However, due to the mouse’s low weight, this is fatigue-free – so everything is alright here.
In principle, the Skell can be recommended as an entry-level device, but it must be clear that you won’t get a high-end product for this price. In principle, the mouse is well implemented, although there is one point of criticism in the form of the quietly beeping illumination, which should be considered before buying. However, a mouse with (extensive) RGB lighting is on many people’s wish list – and if that is explicitly desired and a higher budget is not an option, then you can definitely take the Skell into the closer selection.
On the other hand, the target group of Speedlink’s RGB mouse pad Levas LED, which is offered for € 13.59 * [test time: 30 €], is somewhat broader. This is well implemented and definitely suitable for the intended use. On the other hand, the mouse pad doesn’t really have a unique selling point. In the end, it’s probably the design that decides whether you should buy the Levas LED or another mouse pad.