lThe crowded market of the PC peripherals is getting a new contender. Velocilinx is a US-based tech company that recently released two collections of products aimed specifically at gamers. Their branding takes inspiration from historical myths to signify their desire to establish themselves as a competitive and driven company that creates weapons for the gaming warrior. We had a chance to test one of those collections named “Boudica” consisting of a mouse, headset and a keyboard. So, as the 300 apartans did with the Immortals, we put the Boudica name to the test.
Let’s pop things off with the Boudica mouse first. As you can tell, the mouse features a highly aggressive and striking design. It achieves this through a combination of highly angular lines and different materials used in its construction. The upper portion of the mouse is made out of plastic, while the protruding sides are fully metal. While you might think that the metal would make it weigh a ton, the hollow back end of the mouse somewhat mitigates that issue.
With that being said, the Boudica mouse still leans on the big, heavy side, being 125mm long, 81 mm wide and 39mm tall with a fixed weight of 141 grams. The upside to its build and weight is that the mouse feels robust and durable, and you probably won’t have to worry about pieces breaking or the color peeling for a long time. The downside is that the overall mouse design seems to veer toward users with larger hands and those who use a palm grip. If you fall into that category -- great, Boudica mouse will probably serve you well. If you are like me, however, and have smaller hands and use a claw grip -- you could find it somewhat uncomfortable to use.
In that regard, Boudica mouse often feels like it was more about the striking design that it was about the ergonomics. The metal sides aren’t big enough to serve as resting points for your thumb and pinky, the back end curve is too aggressive, and the front end is too flat and wide. This can result in an awkward grip that can get highly uncomfortable after long use. This isn’t helped by the fact that the front side button isn’t accessible during normal hand position and requires adjusting in order to be pressed.
If you can get past these issues or have larger hands -- the mouse ticks all the boxes when it comes to performance. It’s fast, precise and customizable. We tested it in multiple games, from fast-paced shooters to slower-paced RPG’s and it performed admirably. This is mostly thanks to its optical sensor with an up to 10 000 DPI and 1000 Hz pooling rate.
The DPI can be adjusted on the fly with the button featured on the top of the mouse and there’s even a convenient LED behind the mouse wheel that lights up in different colors depending on the DPI setting. The pretty lights don’t end there and the previously mentioned hollow segment of the mouse features a small RGB orb which can also be customized to your liking.
You can change most of these options in the small software that’s downloadable from the Velocilinx website. It’s here that you can customize the function of every button on the mouse, fine-tune your DPI and pooling rate, adjust the mouse sensitivity and change the colors of the RGB. Here you have a choice of 4 simple effects with the only issue being that they can only be applied to the orb. The DPI light behind the mouse wheel only features a single static color option. The software also allows you to assign profiles to quickly switch between different sets of options depending on your needs.
Being a part of a collection, the Boudica headset follows the same design philosophy as the rest of the items. Like the mouse, it’s built to be durable, but unlike the mouse, it’s very light, despite its fairly large size. The speakers are encased in a plastic housing with the cushions being made out of memory foam filled leather. The automatically adjustable lower headband is also made out of leather while the upper one is made out of a very light and thin metal.
All of this combines to create one very comfortable headset that won’t cause any kind of discomfort during long play sessions. An added bonus of the firm but soft cushions is that the headset is good at reducing external sounds for that added bit of game immersion.
As far as the pure gaming design features go, here you have the flexible, omnidirectional microphone with really solid recording quality. This makes it viable for numerous purposes, from pure multiplayer gaming to streaming, as it reproduces a very clear sound almost without any distortions. Sure, the advertised noise cancellation is not so great, but this is the case with most omnidirectional headset microphones.
Then there’s the 7 color cycling LED’s on the outer side of the speakers. They shine through a grille-like mesh material to create a truly standout visual feature that drives home the whole gamer aesthetic. You even have a convenient controller on the cable with which you can change the volume, mute the microphone and even turn off the LED’s should you wish to.
The good design would all be for naught if the sound of the Boudica headset was lacking and luckily, that isn’t the case. This is thanks to the 50 mm neodymium drivers and a 7.1 virtual surround sound. While neodymium drivers are known for producing distortions on higher volume levels, this wasn’t noticeable on this headset, which can get really loud. Seriously, this headset should come with a “handle volume knob with care” disclaimer as I had to significantly reduce the volume level so the in-game shooting sound doesn’t blow my head off. Unfortunately, all is not without problems since the headset isn’t sound leakproof at all and you can almost count that the people in the same room will be able to hear what you hear -- even at lower volume levels.
When it comes to 7.1. virtual surround sound -- it significantly improves the sound experience, whether you’re gaming or just listening to music or watching a movie. The in-game sounds are especially immersive and this can even improve your performance in competitive games. You’ll be able to pinpoint the direction of the sound with a high degree of accuracy to anticipate threats or go in for the kills.
You can enable this and change a bunch of other options via the simple, yet effective VX audio software also found on the Velocilinx website. The software features the sound equalizer, presets, a couple of basic surround settings as well as the option to adjust the microphone gain.
We saved the best for last in the form of the Boudica mechanical keyboard. The first, immediately noticeable thing about it is its excellent design. Same as with the mouse and the headset, the Boudica keyboard combines different materials to achieve its aesthetic and a sturdy, durable build. Here, the top plate is made out of aluminum while the rest of the keyboard is plastic.
The entire thing is slightly tilted for a better wrist angle which you can further extend with the two plastic legs featured on its bottom. What’s greatly appreciated is the fact that the keyboard comes with an easy to attach plastic wrist rest. While it won’t win any awards for a huge boost to wrist comfort, it will further contribute to a better wrist position for longer playtimes.
As far as the keys go, you have the Outemu blue switches which are essentially the same as the Cherry blues. These are probably the noisiest switches on the market as they produce a very loud clicky sound when pressed. (sound test). While this isn’t a con in of itself, it’s something to be mindful of if you don’t like loud keyboards and if you primarily use them for typing.
While the blue switches aren’t the fastest on the market, this is definitely a keyboard built primarily for gaming. They have a key life of 50 million keystrokes, come with up to 1000Hz pooling rate and their actuation occurs after 2mm. This translates to great response times in games with only the most hardcore competitors truly needing something faster. As is the standard in gaming keyboards, this one also features the built-in anti-ghosting tech so you don’t need to worry about multiple presses not registering.
The fact that this is a gaming keyboard is further reflected in the font of choice which features large, stylized letters through which the RGB can brightly shine through. The keycaps themselves are made out of a lower quality ABS plastic but are luckily double shot so there’s no fear of the font wearing off any time soon. When it comes to the RGB, its the absolute star of the show.
Aside from the standard RGB LED’s, you also have a beautiful LED stip present on the front and sides of the keyboard. This is something we’ve been seeing in more keyboards in recent years as a way of capitalizing on the RGB craze with gamers looking to add it to every corner of their setup. The RGB of every key can be customized individually using the Velocilinx keyboard software and you also have a number of RGB effects like the wave, pulse, splash, and a few others which you can change either using the software or a keyboard shortcut.
The strip itself is thick and in your face, going away from a more subtle approach of keyboards like the Razer Huntsman Elite or the Drevo BladeMaster. Its default setting is a bright wave effect which you can change to either cycle between colors or set it to a static one. It’s only a shame that you can’t control it from the software and that the key effects don’t apply to the strip, making its RGB system feel disconnected and not as coherent as in some of the competitors.
Additional features you have here are the windows key lockout, media controls using the function key as well as the ability to create macro key combinations and assign them to profiles. All in all, it’s got most of the functionalities you’d expect from a mechanical gaming keyboard under a really stunning design that will appeal to you even more if you are an RGB enthusiast.
As a collection, Boudica is as strong as its weakest link and that is definitely the mouse. While it’s visually attractive and in line with the rest of the collection, its design prevents it from being a highly functional peripheral that it’s meant to be. The headset and the keyboard are, on the other hand, both highly visually attractive and functional. While they aren’t without their issues, I found them easy and enjoyable to use for gaming and other purposes.
Finally, a big issue I had with the collection is that each product has a separate software that you need to install in order to take full advantage of their functions. Since gamers are already sensitive enough to bloatware and multiple game launchers, Velocilinx will hopefully create one software to fit them all in the near future to improve the user experience.