Zephyr – the coolest gaming mouse ever. Zephyr blows. Have hot, sweaty hands – get a Zephyr. I could go on, but you get the drift.
Zephyr is a fan-cooled, cabled mouse for gamers and extreme users, and I have one here to review. Note it is a prototype and will start shipping in October. The Kickstarter site is here.
Price: Kickstarter has it for US$79 (about A$112) including post. We expect the mouse will eventually retail for nearly double that.
First and foremost Zephyr is a mouse, albeit one that would look quite at home in a sci-fi TV show.
The Pixart 3389 optical sensor enables 800/1600/3200/6400/16,000 DPI (Dots per linear inch). This is important as it means the speed at which a cursor (or character) moves. The catch 22 is high DPI is perfect for character movement and reaction time but makes aiming difficult. For example, a sniper requires lower DPI and a car game requires high DPI. Sidelights indicate speed
It has a built-in fan! No, it is not a gimmick but chose speeds that you need from 4000 to 10000 RPM. We found the lower settings work best, and there is no vibration. Anyway, 3D cut-outs enable better air circulation.
It is pretty light at 68g (plus cable)
It sits on five PTFE slip pads (Polytetrafluoroethylene – same stuff as on Teflon pans) for 250km of movement
The Omron switches are good for 50,000 clicks
The scroll wheel has customisable haptic feedback (clicks)
And has a paracord braided 1.8m USB cable
And for the bling – 16 million colours/tones and seven animations. Although we have a suggestion for a future model – develop an app and also link it to RGB lighting systems for PCs and keyboards. Oh, and if you get killed, it should glow bright red.
Well, how do you review a mouse?
Well, Zephyr well knows I am not a serious gamer, but I am a serious reviewer. GadgetGuy is the last Australian owned, publicly accessible deep-dive lifestyle tech website. Products need to go through extensive testing to get our imprimatur. And well we have only been using it for a few days.
We looked at comfort (ergonomics) and tested against Cornell University Ergonomics for computer mice (I will bet you did not know such guidelines existed!)
It passes all tests for one simple reason – it is a symmetrically shaped mouse suitable for left-or-right-handed use. A lot of mice try to push the design envelope by adding curves, ridges and architectural features.
It is well proportioned to the adult human scale. Once you rest your palm on the back (over the fan area) the index and middle finger fit naturally over the left and right-click buttons (neutral pronation).
The width is perfectly proportioned to a typical adult male or female hand – not too wide.
The scroll wheel has a pleasing haptic feedback for precise scrolling or push it down for free form scrolling.
Ulnar/dorsiflexion deviations to control mouse position (English for – without moving their arms) is lower than a standard mouse due to the high DPI and low weight. This means less stress on the arm and wrist, and you can adjust DPI to suit the screen size and activity.
Grip surfaces (left and right) while not textured or smooth are close to perfect.
Cut-outs in the shell provide excellent grip and temperature control.
The forward and back buttons have sufficient weight to avoid false presses.
So 5-out-of-5 there. But one caveat – don’t use any mouse for long periods without a break
GadgetGuy’s take – Zephyr is a unique gaming mouse, and I love it.
I have been using a SteelSeries mechanical keyboard and Sensi 310 mouse, and it has been great. It is my go-to games mouse. The Zephyr beats or exceeds this and is my new favourite.
Zephyr has already incorporated a lot of feedback for the final production model.
1) The built-in fan will have three intensity levels: 4000rpm, 7000rpm, and 10000rpm. RPM 10000 is the dynamic mode. The noise of maximum mode noise is below 25dbs.
2) Adding a slower 400dpi level.
3) Adding an ’OFF’ option for the RGB light and maybe add one more ‘Smooth light’ option for someone who thinks the lights are too bright, more friendly during the night game time.
Zephyr Gaming Mouse
Superb mouse, fan-cooled for gamers and extreme users. (Note: Now superseded by Zephyr Pro)