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+Nexus18
I have been using this mouse for about 2 weeks now so I thought it was time for a review now that I have gotten use to the sensitivity etc.
 
Features:
  • Ambidextrous mouse developed for claw grip usage
  • Two thumb buttons on both sides to comfortably serve left and right handed users
  • Plug and Play (no drivers needed)
  • Easy to switch between left and right hand functionality
  • 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 DPI adjustment
  • Adjustable USB report rate 125 / 500 / 1000 Hz
  • Perfect lift off distance = 1.5 ~ 1.8mm
Packaging:
 
Nothing as fancy as the likes of Roccat or Razer's packaging. Box is very minimal overall.
 
Along with the mouse, we also get a Zowie sticker and extra mouse feet.
 
Installation:
 
Plug and play! That is all.
 
Whilst in some ways this is a good thing, I kind of miss having software/control panel where I can tweak settings i.e. no way to customise what the thumb buttons do, can't fine tune the DPI etc.
 
Aesthetics and Feel:
 
Firstly as you can probably tell, this mouse is ambidextrous i.e. designed for right and left hand users.
 
As you can see, we have have a yellow scroll wheel and yellow Zowie logo, personally I don't like yellow especially with black :p I would have preferred white!
 
In terms of the shape, the mouse is very similar to the old Microsoft Intellimouse so a low arch and no fancy curves, you could say, it is a rather plain looking mouse. 
 
DC4IWQwh.jpg
 
Whilst the mouse doesn't feel as comfortable as ergonomic mice like the Deathadder, there is just something about this mouse that feels "natural" and spot on for "precise" control and grip. 
 
Z1YO8OHh.jpg
 
A comparison of the the Logitech G400, Zowie FK1 and Razer Deathadder (first gen)
 
R6YTXifh.jpg
 
mHe5Gb2h.jpg
 
I have medium sized hands and have a hybrid type of grip i.e. a bit of a palm and claw grip. I don't think this mouse would suit users with very large hands.
 
6VoeE5Uh.jpg
 
VBfzf2sh.jpg
 
On both sides, we have 2 thumb buttons, initially when looking at the mouse, I thought they looked a bit on the small side but having used them, they are perfect as they are. Initially the thumb buttons on the right were a bit annoying as I kept accidentally pressing them but having got used to the shape and adjusted my grip, it is no longer an issue.
 
k3jndFnh.jpg
 
The zowie FK1 right and left mouse buttons use blue huano switches so clicks require a bit more pressure than most other mice and as a result they are a bit louder, some people will hate this, others will love them and it will come down to the type of games you play. Blue huano switches are most suited for FPS so firing only 1 bullet at a time will be easier with this mouse than say a Deathadder i.e. it is a lot easier to fire just 1 bullet with the fastest ROF gun in BF 4 now, the FAMAS!
 
rtgBVdch.jpg
 
As for the thumb buttons, they have a bit of a mushy feel to them, they feel fairly similar to the thumb buttons on the Deathadder.
 
2cT6iz1h.jpg
 
The scroll wheel feels good, it is better than my G400 and Deathadder scroll wheels. It is quite stiff at first but after a bit of usage, it has loosened up. This is a 24 notch scroll wheel, previous Zowie mice had 16. The wheel has a grippy texture and lines/notches engraved in it. The middle click has a positive strong click feel.
 
lWJvMsuh.jpg
 
The FK1 is very light, it weighs in at 90g and feels great once you get used to it. For comparison, the Logitech G400 weighs 132g, the MX518 weighs 106g and the Deathadder 2013 version weighs 104g.
 
Currently I am using an OCUK XXL mouse mat and the Zowie FK1 glides along very smoothly, it feels very similar to the Deathadder mice and a heck of a lot better than the G400!
 
One area that is extremely important to me is the finish, the FK1 has a very similar finish to the Razer DeathAdder 2013 but smoother so pretty much the perfect finish out there as it doesn't build up grub like other plastic finishes especially glossy plastic. Some sweat and grease marks will show but the majority of them will evaporate of. Unfortunately, Zowie had to go and use glossy plastic for the thumb buttons so grub builds up on them, however, since they are relatively small, it isn't as much of an issue like it was with the first Deathadder and its thumb buttons.
 
Mouse Sensor:
 
Onto the most important part now and the main reason I bought this mouse! The Zowie FK1 is using the best optical sensor on the market, the 3310. As far as I know, this is only used in a handful of other mice at the minute and is the first Zowie mouse to use it.
 
With the Zowie FK1, we have 4 DPI presets that we can use, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200dpi. The DPI can be changed via the button on the bottom, each colour represents a DPI level.
 
CsNFpP6h.jpg
 
With my previous mice, I always used at least 1400dpi, however, for some reason with this mouse (probably because the tracking is far better and the FK1 being super light), 800 seems to be the new sweet spot. This is at 2560x1080 res. too
 
There is very little jitter with the FK1 (polling rate is 1000Hz)
 
V4yIajC.png
 
I have played a variety of games and have found the FK1 to be a nice improvement over my previous mice, it just feels like my aim is more accurate  and that I can go from target to target quicker and more precisely.
 
LOD (lift off distance) is VERY low at the default setting, which is for "cloth pads". You can change the LOD to a "plastic pad" setting by:
 
- holding the back button on the side and right mouse button while plugging the mouse in
 
To set the LOD back to "cloth pad" setting:
 
- holding the back button on the side and left mouse button while plugging the mouse in
 
There is also a higher LOD, you can change to this by:
 
- holding the back button on the side and the left and right buttons at the same time while plugging the mouse in
 
Build Quality:
 
Overall, the mouse is super light but feels extremely sturdy, there is no rattling noises, no creaking plastic, no lose bits. I have even dropped it (although it was dropped on to carpet) and it still seems fine. I reckon this mouse should last me quite a while...
 
Most would probably expect a mouse like this to have braided cable instead of plastic especially given the price and whilst braided looks and feels nicer, it isn't as durable as plastic i.e. with my old Deathadder, the braided cable is very frayed now and can get caught on cloth mouse pads easily and as a result possibly put your aim of.
 
Conclusion:
 
To put it simply, this is one of the best mice out there for FPS games, the superb sensor, feel, weight, shape, mouse buttons etc. are just perfect, at least for myself. It feels like I have more control with my aim and when burst firing guns in BF 4.
 
I'm sure that CS gamers would love this mouse too.
 
If you are a MMO/RPG gamer then you will probably want something with lighter mouse clicks, more buttons and software/control panel with the option of programming macros.
 
All in all, for ?50, there really isn't much to complain about.
 
Pros:
  • Best sensor out currently and certainly shows it in FPS gaming
  • Weight + shape & feel
  • Build quality
  • Plastic finish used for the majority of the mouse body
 
Cons:
  • No software so can't change what the thumb buttons do, have custom profiles for different games, fine tune dpi level amongst a bunch of other stuff
  • Glossy finish on the thumb buttons

 

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      Turn the case around and you will find a USB-C charging slot (a compatible cable comes in the box), a small LED light and a button - the only physical button on the entire device. You can press the button to learn the battery status of the earbuds. If the battery is high, the light flashes green, if it's been used about midway, it blinks yellow, and if the charge is low, it turns red.



      Moving on to the stars of the show, the earbuds that are housed inside the silicone case are small, sleek and ergonomic. Each individual earbud has a touch panel on its exterior to navigate controls. The right earbud has three tiny little holes in a corner which are barely visible. These serve as the microphone. You can tap each bud once, twice or hold down to trigger different controls such as pause, play, volume controls, voice assistant, and answering or declining calls.

      Owing to the small size and squarish design of the earbuds, they fit in nice and snug when worn. I found no issues while wearing and using them for long periods of time. Rather, I would often forget that they were on in the first place. Contrary to my fears, the buds are not prone to falling out either. Overall, it was a very comfortable wear experience.



      One of the biggest disappointments for me was the lack of an IP rating on this thing. Although it also lacks active noise cancellation, the water and dust resistance certification is a bigger priority for me personally. Through an unfortunate incident, I was able to discover that despite the missing IP rating, the CX 400BT earphones are considerably durable.

      While walking to work one unlucky morning, I happened to drop the case in a nearby pool of drain water. My immediate reaction was to pick it up and douse clean water all over it. After several hours of sanitization and intense cleaning up with tissues at my workplace, I was amazed to find out that the earbuds were working just as good as before! Following this incident, I think from a durability standpoint, the CX 400BT are pretty good despite not having any sort of resistance certification.

      Performance


      Speaking of the actual performance of the Sennheiser TW earbuds, the sound quality is simply excellent. Music and calls sound very crisp and clear, and the bass and treble also sound great. Though it doesn't have ANC, the in-ear closed acoustic technology manages to shut out outside noise very well. The only time when I could hear external sounds with the CX 400BT on was in the midst of heavy traffic and even that was reduced to a low, barely audible hum.

      The microphone works pleasingly well, despite the petite nature of the buds and their distance from the mouth. As for the touch panels, they are also great and respond perfectly without any accidental touches. All controls are completely customisable and can be changed via Sennheiser's mobile phone app. It is called Smart Control and is available for Android and iOS. It also has an equalizer, allowing users to adjust the sound preferences to their liking.

      Battery life


      On paper, the battery specifications state that the earbuds can stay alive for up to seven hours with continuous playback. When factoring in the silicone case, the battery life is further extended to a cap of 20 hours of back-to-back playback. I decided to put this to the test and my results were well above satisfactory.

      After fully charging up the CX 400BT, I was able to use the TW earphones (including the case) for 14 days straight. I tend to listen to music while working, so the actual playback time according to my estimates would be about 21 hours of real-world usage. Once drained, it took me 1hr 6m to charge the case back up fully, as opposed to the 1hr 30m official charge time. The results speak for themselves, the battery life deserves applause.

      Conclusion


      In the end, I would say that if you're an average Joe living the nine to five corporate life but have a penchant for music on the go (coupled with a tendency to be clumsy like me), these earbuds will work as a fabulous fit. The sound quality is wonderful, they look really stylish and are very comfortable to wear.

      Some other plus points that make up for the lack of ANC and IP rating are the unexpectedly good durability and the easy-to-use controls. Add to that the brilliant battery life and you have an absolute winner on your hands.

      If you're looking to buy a pair of Sennheiser's CX 400BT TW earbuds, you can purchase them for a temporarily discounted price of $129.98 from Amazon.

      As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

    • By vishal1082
      Epic Games Store is hosting a Black Friday Sale, with a MudRunner giveaway
      by Vishal Laul



      Epic Games Store has put on offer MudRunner to claim and keep for free this week, taking the place of Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door. Also starting today is the Black Friday Sale, hosting discounts for a wide range of titles for this week. Check our weekly gaming deals post this Saturday so you don't miss the best offers.

      MudRunner, formerly known as Spintires: Mudrunner, is an all-terrain off-roading simulator that paces players through a variety of locations. With only a map and a compass, players have to traverse through muddy and hilly terrains to reach locations around the map. Here’s how the Epic Games Store describes it:

      Epic Games Store is offering MudRunner for players on Windows. Here are the minimum requirements:

      If you wish to claim MudRunner, you can find it here. It will be free to claim until December 3, which is when Epic will put on offer Cave Story+ for its next giveaway.