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Zephyr Gaming Mouse

pzogel

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The ambidextrous Zephyr Gaming Mouse is a new Kickstarter project that aims to introduce a wholly new feature: a built-in fan to keep the hand cool. Additionally, PixArt's PMW3389 sensor, a lightweight honeycomb shell, and a highly flexible cable are on board, too.

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So... let me get this totally straight.....

1596661293337.png



and, TPU now recommends broken mice? So broken, in fact, it's broken OUT OF THE BOX?

1596661353522.png




@W1zzard whats the deal with reviews these days and the obvious and completely incorrect recommendations that come attached to them from time to time? This being the most recent culprit.





And, no software to turn off the silly fan when you find it annoys you due to noise and baring wobble ?? The review should read something along the lines of: "Buy another mouse for half the price and get double the features in comparison to this - the real TPU Recommandation."
 

pzogel

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Neither unstable USB polling nor the occasional missed scrolled (roughly 1 out of 20) means that the mouse is 'broken'. It's already possible to disable the fan, as written and even shown in the review. Given that the review is based on a functional prototype, rather minor issues like these can be expected. Zephyr has promised to address all of these concerns for mass production. In any case, I've thoroughly enjoyed using this mouse, so it'd be silly not to give a recommendation, especially given its USP. Of course, people that don't want a fan get little to no value out of this mouse—that's a given, but nothing to fault the mouse for.
 
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I see some sense in what you've just said @pzogel but I cannot look past the "recommended" on what you yourself have confirmed as being a pre-production example that does not represent either a finished product or a high standard of QC.


Also, I'd like to say this with the utmost respect for you and everyone else out there that does this for a living or just a passion.... but being a reviewer isnt about reviewing things for your own pleasure or even judging the item based on your own ideals as an end-user.. its about providing your target audience with solid, actionable advice that saves them money or from using a sub-par product.




That being said, I'll stick to my original notion that this "recommended" badge was awarded without any real merit to a mouse that could be beaten in features (thats what we pay for on a mouse, after all, not fan size or CFM) for a substantially lower cost... with the alternative mouse probably providing a more mature software suit to entertain.... but I guess we'll have to wait to see if theres any software to begin with on this Zephyr....?
 

Rean

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This honestly sounds like it should be called a Preview or Hands-on rather than get lumped in together with final product reviews.
 
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He did says it preproduction model. Maybe balancing the fan blades needs to be a priority.
I just saw a ride a few days ago of this it was black version ? Do they come in black and white only, No silver....? :/
 

pzogel

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If the fan doesn't appeal to you then I can absolutely understand why you'd find the 'Recommended' unwarranted. Indeed there are plenty of other mice with similar or better features and similar or better performance for $50 or less, so paying the premium for the Zephyr no doubt isn't worth it in that case. However, for those that do want a fan in their mouse, the Zephyr is not only a very good choice but the only one, and hence worthy of a recommendation. As for the software, it's something that can be done, and I've suggested to Zephyr that this would be a very welcome addition. (At the same time, there are people who don't want software at all, and even oppose the option—it's not easy to reflect all these sentiments in a single conclusive verdict.)

In general, my approach is to give readers as much information as possible, so in case a reader disagrees with my overall conclusion and sentiments towards the product, he or she at least is in a position to make their own informed decision, and I hope the review was useful to you at least in regard to the latter.

He did says it preproduction model. Maybe balancing the fan blades needs to be a priority.
I just saw a ride a few days ago of this it was black version ? Do they come in black and white only, No silver....? :/
Currently only black and white versions are planned.
 

Cheeseball

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I would revoke the Highly Recommended award and just give it the Innovation one. Once they release a fixed production model and you’ve tested it again, then the HR award may make more sense.
 

pzogel

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I would revoke the Highly Recommended award and just give it the Innovation one. Once they release a fixed production model and you’ve tested it again, then the HR award may make more sense.
The problem is that by the time I'd be given a mass production sample the campaign would already be over. Giving a mouse that no longer can be purchased a recommendation would be rather pointless.

I understand your sentiment, however, and added further reasoning to the conclusion. Hope that makes it a bit clearer why I decided to give it a recommendation.
 
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He did says it preproduction model. Maybe balancing the fan blades needs to be a priority.
I just saw a ride a few days ago of this it was black version ? Do they come in black and white only, No silver....? :/
Black and white are the initial colors. My understanding is if they hit (which they may have, I haven't checked to verify) a high enough point in funding they'll offer a pink color as well.
 
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That variable polling isnt that rare, had that in couple mices. Usually its no concern.

Delay is what I encountered with similar PMW made sensors too. IMHO think its exactly due PMW and how well is firmware built to negate its "features". Also reason why I bought Logitech with their own sensor, since it has none of PMW issues.

Dont feel need for fan under my hand, version without it would be better for me. But, for me its way too big mouse. :D

Still, since its prototype, I would advice to making it "preview" as suggested and if ever there will be final version, then actually do review, or simply confirm/deny what was in preview.
 
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I wish they had a variant that was slightly larger and incorporated a slightly larger fan too (30-40mm). My relative with hyperhidrosis also has basketball player hands (long fingers and wide palm) and this would have otherwise been perfect to help cut down how hot his hands get just after 20 minutes of mouse use.
 
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So... let me get this totally straight.....

View attachment 164702


and, TPU now recommends broken mice? So broken, in fact, it's broken OUT OF THE BOX?

View attachment 164703



@W1zzard whats the deal with reviews these days and the obvious and completely incorrect recommendations that come attached to them from time to time? This being the most recent culprit.





And, no software to turn off the silly fan when you find it annoys you due to noise and baring wobble ?? The review should read something along the lines of: "Buy another mouse for half the price and get double the features in comparison to this - the real TPU Recommandation."
100% agreed. This feels like falling into every gullible idiot trap ever and I don't want that from reviewers. In fact its a sign I need to run away, fast. Its pre production, and yet gets recommended? How about 'Promising, but unfinished'? You know, a bit of nuance...

@W1zzard
Change this yesterday please. Even if the balance is positive on user count when you do this sort of thing... this is harmful to credibility. Just... chill out on the badges. Give out a limited number every X time or something. Right here it feels out of place and I also agree with XLR its not the first one. Kickstarter projects are first and foremost a risk venture as well, let's not forget that either, and this mouse for what it really is, is grossly overpriced, much like most other things that get kickstarted.

We already have the chairs that seem to be all over the place, now this... I mean... Its good that there is still a serious bunch of reviews at the core of it all, let me put it nicely.

Neither unstable USB polling nor the occasional missed scrolled (roughly 1 out of 20) means that the mouse is 'broken'. It's already possible to disable the fan, as written and even shown in the review. Given that the review is based on a functional prototype, rather minor issues like these can be expected. Zephyr has promised to address all of these concerns for mass production. In any case, I've thoroughly enjoyed using this mouse, so it'd be silly not to give a recommendation, especially given its USP. Of course, people that don't want a fan get little to no value out of this mouse—that's a given, but nothing to fault the mouse for.
I've never had a mouse missing one out of twenty scroll clicks, to be honest with you. But then maybe I look at the right brands :rolleyes: I'm sure it happens... but it does not speak for a 80-100 dollar mouse. Also, yes, the fan, and its certainly not a minus, but the rest is a very mediocre mouse that shouldn't cost over 35-40 bucks (and that is being generous)... its quite staggering to see a tiny fan cost the other half.

I'm also a little concerned about the initial stance on Zephyr's credibility. Its a new company with zero track record... and they provide a 6 month warranty on a product that is priced high, and that should have an economic lifecycle of at least 3-4 years. Explain that to me, because I find it strange and in the EU its not even legal to offer below a year.

So...a lot of actual and questionable issues for those badges to be there, and the majority of them screams 'DO NOT BUY'.
 
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pzogel

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Just to touch on some of your points:
Its pre production, and yet gets recommended?
Pre-production units being used for reviews is nothing unusual. OTOH, the Xtrfy M4, Glorious Model D, and HK Gaming Mira-S/M all were pre-production units, yet all of them got an Editor's Choice. On the other hand, I've had retail samples with much greater issues than the Zephyr, issues grave enough that I had to request a new sample. Whether a sample is suitable for review can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.

I've never had a mouse missing one out of twenty scroll clicks, to be honest with you. But then maybe I look at the right brands :rolleyes: I'm sure it happens... but it does not speak for a 80-100 dollar mouse. Also, yes, the fan, and its certainly not a minus, but the rest is a very mediocre mouse that shouldn't cost over 35-40 bucks (and that is being generous)... its quite staggering to see a tiny fan cost the other half.
Not clicks, just steps. I.e., when scrolling up (not down) by a single notch, in one out of 20 cases said notch wasn't registered. It's certainly quite irritating, but considering the specific conditions that need to be met for this to occur, I'd say it's forgiveable. Speaking of other brands, the scroll wheel on the Logitech G403 I'm using for my comparisons either doesn't register steps at all or reverses the input (i.e., when scrolling up it scrolls down on screen). As for the mouse being 'mediocre', sensor performance, mouse feet, button quality, and the cable certainly elevate the Zephyr above mediocrity. I only know a single mouse with a 3389 for $35, which is the Dream Machines DM2 Supreme. Most mice with this sensor cost $50 and above.

I'm also a little concerned about the initial stance on Zephyr's credibility. Its a new company with zero track record... and they provide a 6 month warranty on a product that is priced high, and that should have an economic lifecycle of at least 3-4 years. Explain that to me, because I find it strange and in the EU its not even legal to offer below a year.
That has me a little concerned as well, as mentioned in the conclusion. For what it's worth, I'll be getting a finalised sample in October (target date), so I'll be able to verify whether the promised improvements indeed have taken place. If the issues persist, I'm certainly open to revoking the Recommendation.
 
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Just to touch on some of your points:

Pre-production units being used for reviews is nothing unusual. OTOH, the Xtrfy M4, Glorious Model D, and HK Gaming Mira-S/M all were pre-production units, yet all of them got an Editor's Choice. On the other hand, I've had retail samples with much greater issues than the Zephyr, issues grave enough that I had to request a new sample. Whether a sample is suitable for review can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.


Not clicks, just steps. I.e., when scrolling up (not down) by a single notch, in one out of 20 cases said notch wasn't registered. It's certainly quite irritating, but considering the specific conditions that need to be met for this to occur, I'd say it's forgiveable. Speaking of other brands, the scroll wheel on the Logitech G403 I'm using for my comparisons either doesn't register steps at all or reverses the input (i.e., when scrolling up it scrolls down on screen). As for the mouse being 'mediocre', sensor performance, mouse feet, button quality, and the cable certainly elevate the Zephyr above mediocrity. I only know a single mouse with a 3389 for $35, which is the Dream Machines DM2 Supreme. Most mice with this sensor cost $50 and above.


That has me a little concerned as well, as mentioned in the conclusion. For what it's worth, I'll be getting a finalised sample in October (target date), so I'll be able to verify whether the promised improvements indeed have taken place. If the issues persist, I'm certainly open to revoking the Recommendation.
Did mean steps, indeed :) Thanks for covering those points. Even if I still don't agree with the scoring here, I do understand them.

The problem is bigger than you though. The way TPU does its scoring and rating is sometimes a bit of a head scratcher, as is the stuff that gets reviewed. But, maybe that is just the nature of the beast; at least its varied and surprising :)
 

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Thanks @pzogel for the review. I didn't see it mentioned in the review on how to adjust the lightning, but I did see in the video that you clicked the two buttons at the same time. Is that the only way to adjust settings?

You said:
Retail units will come with brightness reduction options and the ability to disable the lighting altogether.
Do you know yet how those options will be implemented, hardware or software?
 

pzogel

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Thanks @pzogel for the review. I didn't see it mentioned in the review on how to adjust the lightning, but I did see in the video that you clicked the two buttons at the same time. Is that the only way to adjust settings?

You said:

Do you know yet how those options will be implemented, hardware or software?
Sorry for the late reply. As of now, lighting effects are cycled through by keeping M1 and M2 pressed while hitting the forward side button. I reckon the implementation will be in hardware, likely using button combinations as well.
 
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