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Zowie FK1 Review

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+Nexus18    167
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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