For the purposes of this review, we are going to look at two gaming mice from Redragon. The M686 Vampire Elite and the M913 Impact Elite. While they may appear fairly similar from the outset, there are some differences. Let's get started.
Straight out of the box the two mice feel very similar. If one was so inclined, it would be easy to say that each mouse shared a similar main body piece. The way your fingers and palm rest are nearly identical. It should be noted that because of their sleek molded design, each of these mice is solely right handed use. The feel of each mouse is natural and becomes a part of your palm when you begin to use it. Gone are the table rubbing pinky fingers, as now they have a nice spot to rest as you play. The finish on the outside of the two mice are different however. Each is shaped similarly, but the Impact Elite M913 mouse has a glossy finish on its sides, and a matte black finish on the upper deck and mouse buttons. The Vampire Elite opts for a matte black overall finish (no fingerprints here) and rubberized side grips. It feels more suited for extended gaming sessions which could see your grip being affected from hand sweats. Some may prefer the overall smoother aesthetic of the M913, but it is hard to argue that the rubber sides on the M686 Vampire are not a help in intense firefights.
Weight is not an issue on these mice. Each mouse weighs in nearly identically, just a couple of ounces difference. Neither mouse sports adjustable weight, but that doesn't matter. The mice feel strong and purposeful when using them. You don't feel like you are holding a cheap mouse that will fly around or drift if you release your grip because the cord moves it. Nope, these mice are heavy enough that your movements are intentional and delivered with the least amount of input lag you could ask for. Speaking of, each mouse also sports a 1ms or less input lag. In Fortnite, Call of Duty, Borderlands, and any FPS game or shooter I played, the movements and button clicks on screen were instantaneous. So you twitch shooter fans out there need not worry.
So, what about those buttons? The Impact Elite is a beast with the number of buttons it has for you to play with. Physically the mouse is the same in size to the Vampire Elite, but has nearly three times the number of buttons!
Both of the mice have scroll wheels which depress as a middle mouse button and also have the two DPI selector buttons immediately behind that wheel. On the Vampire Elite, there are three programmable buttons on the left side of the mouse which, when used with the software package, can be made to activate macros or simple button assignments. On the Impact, that is accomplished with a wall of 12 programmable buttons. With the downloadable software from Redragon, you can tweak these mice to your hearts content.
In practicality, the M913 mouse with its large assortment of buttons is a bit daunting to use. In my previous review of the M913, I noted that you had better be serious about needing these buttons as the sheer time to set them all up could be a negative for a lot of people. I found the mouse to be extremely effective in my day to day use with browsing and word processing. Like the Vampire, each mouse has "modes" that you can set. By a button press on the bottom, you can change the mouse settings (and button assignments) to whatever you mapped for that mode. I used a "browsing" mode on one, and a "gaming" mode on the other. For the Vampire, I had some macros programmed to the side buttons to carry out specific game tasks that I hated reach to keys for, like crouching and reloaded key binds in game mode. Those same three buttons, in browsing mode, were forward-back and copy. All very commonly used commands for me. On the M913 Impact Elite, this was my MMO mouse. I could set literally anything to the mouse and have very little reason to hit keys on the keyboard. However, it does take a learning curve to get used to it. When you are playing, you won't have time to move your hand to see what button to press. To solve this, the keys are designed in rows of three that are angled in towards each other to form a "V" shape. This way, you can feel where your thumb is. The trick is remembering what you assigned to the buttons. Believe me, it takes a bit of practice, and some good memorization, but once you are comfortable with it, those RPG and MMO games will be amazing.
The software package is identical for each of these two beauties. You can select color patterns, solid colors, or no color, the full 16 million color range is your playground. If you light the mouse up and get to playing, decide it is a distraction, you can simply disable all color displays by selecting "ECO" mode on the bottom of these mice. It will kill all RGB lighting and let you have a basic, black/gray mouse. The Vampire Elite has a tad more RGB paths than the Impact Elite. Each has a lit mouse wheel and logo, but for the main body, the Vampire has a long light bar on each side which wraps around the front of the mouse stopping at the USB plug, shown here.
The software is self-explanatory on each, the only difference being how many buttons you have access to for customizing! I won't cover this, as it really isn't remarkable enough to be an item to be considered for comparison. The mice can be enjoyed and used perfect out of the box, the software is just for tweakers who demand a tighter DPI range or different pretty lights. Of course the software is where you make all the fine-tuned adjustments and are easily made.
Gamers know the importance of the battery life of a device. Nothing will cause a mouse to be hurled across the room at frightening velocity than to have a drop out right when you are about to own the guy who just owned you. Rest assured, both of these mice will last and last, but there is a difference between them. The Impact Elite as stated from the factory is 80+ hours of wireless time. The Vampire Elite, as stated from Redragon, is 45 hours. In the real world, how much you use RGB effects, what type of effect, etc… all impact battery life. What I found is that it was weeks using full RGB patterns on each of these mice before I felt I should plug them in to charge. I mean daily use, full RGB pattern lighting, high DPI and everything. The Impact Elite gets every bit of 80+ hours using the lighting and nearly a month if you have it turned off. The Vampire was very similar. Without taking them apart, I would guess that these batteries are very similar. The Vampire was on the shorter side of battery life, but knowing it has almost twice the length of RGB lighting to illuminate, the fact that it was so close to the Impact's life was pretty nice.
Overall, these two mice cater to two different crowds but in the same genre. Gaming. One mouse trades massive customization for a more visual experience and gritty feel. The other opts for sleek, shiny black lines and a wall of buttons to make gaming a snap. That is pretty much where I feel these two break apart. Your overall experience with the M913 and the M686 will be identical in terms of how they perform. Each has the same optical sensor and polling rates. Each have the same latency. What sets them apart, and what you should consider, is how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go for mouse customization? For me, it was the M913 Impact Elite simply because I like being able to assign keyboard commands to the mouse and focus on WASD for movement. For you? Maybe not? Either way, these mice are amazingly well produced and efficient in getting the most for you in gaming.