Cougar is a German PC component and peripheral company, and the 700M mouse is one of their most popular current offerings. It's a gaming-focused mouse notable for its aluminum frame, customizability, and competitive price -- currently $59.99 on Newegg. It also comes in silver for a slightly higher price.
I've been using the 700M for two weeks as my primary gaming mouse, for a variety of games including The Witcher III, Poly Bridge, and Unreal Tournament 2004. Here are my thoughts on the 700M.
No one could ever fairly accuse the 700M of lacking features and options. In fact, if I had to identify a single thing as the greatest strength of this mouse, its suite of useful features would be it. For 60 bucks, you're getting a mouse with useful buttons and customization options that can make it a solid option for a wide variety of gaming experiences.
Let's start with the buttons. Aside from the basic three, the 700M offers two slim buttons along the left hand side, a sniper button on the thumb rest, a button beneath the mouse wheel (typically used for DPI cycling) and an interesting "fire button" on the top left corner of the mouse. Though the mouse might not sport enough usable buttons for an average MMO gamer, anyone else will probably be satisfied with what it offers.
Beyond the buttons, the 700M becomes even more interesting. It comes packed with four optional additional weights if you like your mouse a bit heavier, and unlike most other adjustable weight gaming mice, the weights are actually added from the top of the mouse, as you can see in the above picture. In theory this could be a great touch, as it centers the weight of the mouse very well, but in practice it was hard to notice much of a difference. The important thing is that adding the weights this way felt really cool, even though it was kind of tricky to get the weight panel to actually open, and took a few tries.
After you've adjusted the weight to your liking, the 700M offers you even more choices in the form of a palm rest that can be raised, lowered, or even replaced with a slightly smaller panel (called the "Sport" option"). With these options, the 700M makes a strong play as a mouse that can actually serve any gamer regardless of grip style.
The features keep coming with the 700M, though the rest aren't quite as exciting as what we've already covered. The mouse includes an onboard processor and memory, so that's a little less work for you and your PC. It also has a flashy "muzzle break" wire protector to prevent fraying, which is a wonderful example of how to combine functionality and the cool factor.
Oh, and the downloadable software is easy to use and functional too. No complaints there at all.
The 700M doesn't try anything too crazy with its visual design, going with a generally black/dark grey color scheme. It has a smooth top and slightly textured sides for grip.
The best thing about the look of the 700M are the gold accents, which are something you don't see a lot on gaming mice. The most disappointing thing is the single color-shifting light, which is placed beneath the mouse wheel facing forward, headlight-style. You can change the color of this light using the mouse software, but it doesn't end up mattering much, because it's basically impossible to see while you're using the mouse in a room with any sort of light. In the dark it will light up a small patch of your desk or mousepad, but it's hardly worth it.
If you want something with the same suite of features and a flashier look, the 700M also comes in a silver and orange color scheme.
The adjustable height (and even size) of the palm rest on the 700M means that the mouse can be comfortable for a wider variety of hands and grip styles than the average gaming mouse, which is a definite point in its favor.
When I first started using the mouse I found it to be uncomfortably wide. My usual mouse is the Logitech G502, and the 700M has a significantly wider, flatter top surface. After using it for a week I had adjusted, and I don't feel that the mouse is necessarily too wide for the average user, but if you have smaller than average hands or prefer a more egg-shaped mouse then the 700M probably isn't for you.
Though the 700M has textured sides designed for grip, it's much less coarse in this regard than something like the Corsair M45.
In practice, the 700M offers solid, though not fantastic, gaming performance. It can be dialed up to 8200 DPI, which is more than enough for just about anyone. The main buttons have an average click-feel, and the mouse wheel and DPI cycle button are both within easy reach.
At first I had a problem with the sniper button on the thumb rest, as I thought it was too far towards the front of the mouse to be useful, but then I realized I just wasn't noticing the full size of the button, as only the front-most part of it is raised. It's actually longer and easier to reach than many other sniper buttons I've used, which I liked after getting used to its particular feel.
The left side buttons on the 700M run into the same problem as a lot of side buttons on gaming mice -- in making the buttons narrow enough so they don't get in the way, Cougar also made buttons that can be difficult to press in the heat of the moment. I've never gotten much use out of side buttons for exactly this reason, but the 700M is hardly the worst I've ever used in this regard. You'd likely be alright mapping some less-urgent functions to these buttons.
When using the 700M with The Witcher III and Poly Bridge I never had a problem with it, but when things got more frantic during Unreal Tournament 2004, some of the shortcomings of the 700M's performance became apparent. When my hand got sweaty, the grip on the sides didn't actually do a lot for me to prevent slipping, and something about the contour of the mouse made it difficult to pick up with my fingertips to move quickly during intense action. It wasn't awful, but it was definitely noticeable, and this is an area I'd love to see improved if Cougar ever does an update of the 700M.
The 700M currently has four out of five eggs with 18 reviews on Newegg.com, so make sure to check out what other users had to say.