When I first heard about GravaStar I fell in love with the concept. Plenty of companies make a better product, or at least cater to a specific niche, whereas GravaStar is centered around making a statement. Be it speaker, or even a wall plug, their designs are radically different from the standard look/feel. This is why we featured them in our holiday gift guide, and were excited to see their latest, a gaming mouse affectionately called Mercury, their take on a gaming mouse. With so many other options in the space, can Mercury stand out, or is it form over function?
GravaStar Mercury M2 Gaming Mouse Review Overview
For a company that is all about unique designs, I am happy the same care was put into their packaging. Mercury M2 was shipped in a GravaStar unique cardboard box that contained the mouse in its own flashy packaging.
Instead of focusing on what Mercury does, the packaging simply makes a statement. No features are listed on the front, besides confirmation this is a gaming mouse, nor do any of the sides offer insight into what it offers. On the back is all the details presented in a simple chart.
What I like about this is the general lack of jargon. Some of it does appear, like TURBOSPEED/GLOWSYNC RGB lighting, though neither is given much attention. Instead, Gravastar opted for actual metrics instead of vague comments. It makes things a lot easier when you know what things are, instead of what they might do. Or in the case of cheap mice, that they simply exist.
With Mercury M2, Gravastar includes a 2m/6’6″~ “Paracord” (braided) cable, A-to-C Adapter, physical manual, cleaning cloth, anti-slip stickers, foot pads, and a 1K receiver. It’s important to note M1 Pro Gunmetal comes with the same items, though those who step up to the Battle Worn version get both a 1K and 4K dongle.
Unfortunately, my package did not include the foot pads with Mercury M2. This is something GravaStar’s official Instagram shows, and a spokesperson for the company confirmed should be in every box. For this reason I can’t show them, nor can I comment on them being any different in regard to mouse performance.
What the 4K Dongle Looks Like
All this being said, I genuinely appreciate how far GravaStar went with this product. Everything, besides the A-to-C adapter for some reason, retains the same aesthetic found on the mouse itself. This is especially true for the 4K dongle, which pairs perfectly with the design itself. It really helps sell the idea of this being a full experience over a uniquely designed mouse.
For the most part Mercury M2 is well built. The skeletal hollow-out design is surprisingly sturdy. I attempted to break Mercury M2 by putting pressure on one of the smaller gaps and could not break it with my thumb. This suggests it will withstand reasonable abuse, such as being tossed in a bag, dropping a couple feet to the floor, or the angry clench when faced with an impossible foe. Those still concerned can opt for Mercury M1 Pro, which replaces the plastic body with magnesium alloy.
Example of What this Looks Like
What leaves me unsatisfied is the plastic housing where the LEDs are. Out of the box it came with several notable imperfections. These include six lines on the upper part of the casing, and an unfortunate black dot on the bottom that is always visible. Thankfully, it seems to just be my luck, as a few other reviews I checked out had units with no visible imperfections. Still, this is a small sample size, and something I still feel I should note given it would bother me as a consumer.
While Mercury M1 Pro/M2 are held back by having to be a functional mouse, I actually quite like GravaStar’s design. It’s very reminiscent of a symbiote from Spider-Man, which is a great way to capture current gaming mouse conventions in a unique package.
One small element I love is the included dongle holder below the mouse. Practically every mouse with a dongle includes some variation of this design, but after struggling with removing the dongle from several mice I’ve grown to appreciate designs where removal is effortless like it is on Mercury M2.
What I also like is how GravaStar doesn’t seem content with just a mouse. Those who preorder any Mercury mouse will receive a unique mousepad for free. Several images of Mercury also seemingly tease a corresponding keyboard.
Just to be clear, we do not have inside information on literally anything GravaStar is currently working on. It’s entirely possible it’s a notable keyboard I’m not familiar with, though regardless of the answer I love that a matching keyboard does, or at least will, exist.
Before moving onto feel, I want to touch briefly on Trypophobia. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, it’s a fear of small holes, or bumps in a cluster. It’s something my girlfriend has, and can occasionally make certain products problematic. For example, the Xbox Series X triggers it, but the Xbox Series S does not.
Different Hole Arrangement
When I got my first lightweight mouse this was an immediate concern. I am happy to say none of the five or so I’ve reviewed caused an issue, hence why other reviews don’t mention it, though I could absolutely see it happening to someone else. The reason I bring this up is Mercury’s design shouldn’t trigger it. I look at this as a massive, probably unintended, bonus to the unique design that I felt was worth touching on.
As much as I like the design, I don’t care for how Mercury feels. It might be hard to tell from photos/videos, but the skeletal hollow-out design is not a flat surface like other mice. Instead, it features both high and low points as part of the design.
I assume this choice was made to further enhance the visual component of Mercury. If you really examine some of the photos, such as those pictured below, it should be clear based off how light hits the mouse. It doesn’t illuminate the whole surface, instead highlighting sections based off how it’s positioned in relation to the light. This small change gives the product so much more personality.
Despite increasing the visual appeal, you’ll always feel the topmost parts. I do believe some of this forces players into a different position to achieve the “ergonomic design,” but there is always an unusual sensation.
A similar sensation also happens when using the scroll wheel. The surface creates little diamonds that cradle my digit. In doing so I can feel all the edges slowly moving and touching different areas of my finger. On other mice I have I can feel the surface if I focus on it, though most of the time it just feels like any similar looking mouse.
Anti-Slip stickers, or grip tape, are included with purchase of Mercury M1 Pro/M2. For better or worse each mouse comes with a different predetermined design.
Unfortunately, these designs will not appeal to everyone. Speaking for myself, I can’t say I am a fan of any of the three sets. I followed up by asking our entire staff, plus a few associates, and my girlfriend, none of which loved the options. Obviously this is entirely subjective, though I do wish a neutral option was included as well.
In my opinion the colorful designs also negatively impact performance. Each design changes the surface from grippy, to slick where the designs are. These two negatives are a shame, since I think the tape itself works, and feels, better than my Pulsefire Haste. It would just perform even better without the designs.
For anyone in a similar boat it does help to note there are third-party solutions. With them you can easily get the right amount without compromising. You can also forego using either if you prefer that look/feel.
As mentioned in Accessories, our review unit of Mercury M2 did not come with the additional foot pads. When I mentioned it to my rep it was not stated to be detrimental to performance, so we will work off the assumption it’s an additional set to increase longevity like a number of other companies do.
Overall, I would say the movement on Mercury M2 is okay, but not great. On my faux leather deskmat Mercury M2 moved with only slight hesitation. It’s marginally slower than my Apple Mouse, and nowhere near my Pulsefire Haste that glides across the surface. When using Mercury M2 on a variety of mousepads it either worked at the same level, or slightly worse than before.
Less commonly used surfaces, such as metal, offered poor performance. The only highlight is both of my HyperX mice had less of an edge over Mercury M2. Finally, on glass surfaces Mercury M2 outright failed. It felt like trying to move a mouse through molasses, complete with several unsatisfying stops. Pulsefire Haste was not significantly better, though it never outright stopped.
Like anti-slip, this is another category with plenty of third-party solutions. I can’t speak for which will fit Mercury M2, nor can I comment on how well they perform, but the option exists if you prefer this aesthetic.
When I first used Mercury M2 I was underwhelmed by the performance. I experienced frequent disconnects, something no gamer wants to happen in the middle of combat. Thankfully, there is an initial patch that seemingly corrected these issues. The only downside is the application, which we will touch on later, does not work on Mac.
For normal browsing I noticed little to no difference. Even though Mercury M2 was slower than my Apple Mouse, the higher DPI more than made up for its shortcomings. In fact, going back to my old mouse felt sluggish for a day or so before feeling “right.”
When gaming Mercury M2 performed good to okay depending on what I was doing. Due to how Mercury M2 glided across my various pads it wasn’t as natural as Pulsefire Haste. The only way to bridge the gap was to increase the DPI. Despite taking a hit in movement, I found the button presses far more satisfying.
A lot of this has to do with positioning. Both the left and right buttons are high, with a rather quick click. The additional two side buttons are designed with a gentle slope that caresses your thumb. It feels very natural to use, with the added bonus of both inputs being incredibly easy to hit. This is a massive plus for anyone playing anything that makes use of those additional inputs.
One of the biggest differences between Mercury M1 Pro, and Mercury M2 is battery life. According to GravaStar, Mercury M2 features 82 hours via Bluetooth, or 63 hours with the wireless dongle. This increases to 200 hours when using Bluetooth, or 146 hours by using the wireless dongle.
Despite sounding like a lot, I wanted to see how many days of use I could get out of Mercury M2. For this informal test I fully charged Mercury M2, followed by exclusively using it with the dongle, original firmware, and settings (besides DPI), without turning it off until the battery ran out.
The estimated 63 hours translated into 13 days and a couple hours. Given I was sick at the time of testing, and unfortunately also posting, it’s probably more fair to say 12 days instead. For this reason we will consider the average 5 hours a day for all calculations.
Estimated Battery Life
|M1 Pro (Bluetooth)
|M1 Pro (Dongle)
Overall, this translated into more days than I was expecting. Not enough where it makes Mercury M1 Pro the obvious choice, but enough where it’s absolutely worth considering. Given the bottom has a simple dongle/power/Bluetooth toggle, swapping between the two modes as needed should make two weeks of use possible if you’re not looking to spend the extra money.
To fully utilize Mercury M2 you’ll want to take advantage of the PC software. As previously mentioned, this is currently only available for PC, and is required to update the mouse/dongle firmware.
The program itself is actually pretty good. Everything is presented well, there are a good number of options, not to mention the ability to add things like macros with ease. I would like to see more in regard to lighting, as that is limited to time, speed, duration, and a small handful of styles, but the important stuff is present.
GravaStar Mercury M2 Gaming Mouse Review Verdict
When it comes to Mercury M2 it helps to have perspective. HyperX’s Pulsefire Haste, and Glorious Gaming’s Model D come in at the same $80 asking price. SteelSeries starts at $100 for a similar mouse, with Razer starting at $60, but nothing in stock with the same lightweight design. There are also other magnesium mice like Pwnage’s StormBreaker, though that will run you another $40+ compared to Mercury M1 Pro.
Anyway, the point I’m getting at is Mercury’s value comes down to how much you like the design itself. You’re not paying a premium for the design, and a quick Google search shows it’s the cheapest magnesium alloy option without getting into the more questionable side of things.
All this being said, I would spend the extra money for Mercury M1 Pro. Not only is it more durable, the extra battery life, and 4K option are well worth the couple bucks. But if you disagree, I really don’t think Mercury M2 is a bad option. It might take a slight investment to get it there, but that is a small price to pay for the eye catching design.
Editor’s Note: Mercury M2 was provided to us for review purposes.