We recently took a look at a couple of GAMDIAS items before, the more recent being the ARES Combo keyboard and mouse. Being a more budget offering, the ARES was extremely good value for money. Under review today is a more premium offering by the company, the ZEUS Laser mouse.
Mice are a very personal thing in that comfort is more important than number of buttons – at least from our experience. Getting the right shape for your hand can be the difference between maintaining high-accuracy after several hours of intense gaming, or having your arm lock up in pain from RSI within half an hour. So it’s always best to try before you buy when you have the chance.
With that said, there have been a number of manufacturers over the years that have attempted a ‘one size fits most’ approach to mice design. Not in the sense of building the most comfortable mouse going, but giving the user the opportunity to adjust various aspects of the panels, to increase its length, widen, shorten, lift incline and so forth. The ZEUS Laser mouse is one such peripheral, allowing the adjustment of three of the panels to mold the mouse to your hand.
Aesthetically, this ZEUS will not be for everyone – it’s certainly an acquired taste. Strong angular shapes, flashy detailing, not to mention, it’s rather large. The most striking features will be the large chunky buttons and the ‘floating’ panels that can be customized with rollers on the underside. It’s the typical aggressive-styled gaming mouse.
While the panels that can be adjusted look flimsy, they are quite solid, very little flex in them at all – no cheap plastics here. Each panel has a small extrusion that’s inserted inside the mouse and connects to a roller on the underside of the mouse. Turning the roller pushes out or pulls in the connected side panel. There isn’t a huge amount of give in the panels, with a total range of movement of about half an inch, but it’s enough to feel a difference in the hand.
There is one thing included with the ZEUS that has been missing from every mice I have personally tested since the Mad Catz RAT7 – a lip under the thumb rest and pinky finger. What I mean by a lip is a small extension under the panels for your thumb and finger to rest on. This small but subtle feature prevents your thumb and finger from rubbing against the desk.
Regarding the rest of the hardware, GAMDIAS’ ZEUS is a fairly standard high-end gaming mouse that’s for right-handed folks only (no left-hand model as far as we’re aware). The sensor is 8200 DPI, there are 11 buttons in total, 9 of which are programmable. There are three buttons behind the scroll wheel, one to the side of the left mouse button, and another four buttons on the right side above the thumb. There’s a 32-bit ARM processor inside the unit with 512KB of on-board memory, capable of supporting 6 different profiles. The scroll wheel has an RGB light, along with the profile light.
The underside has four red LEDs to provide ambiance (these lights are red only, but they can be disabled). There is a compartment for storing five 4.5g weights which can be removed. Even without the weights, the ZEUS is reasonably heavy, so it’s not going to be suitable for those that prefer light weight mice.
As with the previously reviewed peripherals from GAMDIAS, the ZEUS laser mouse makes use of the unified driver and software stacked called HERA. I have to praise GAMDIAS here for making the software non-invasive, as it doesn’t need to be installed and can be run from anywhere. Just download, extract and then you can customize any of your connected peripherals. Since the ZEUS has its own memory too, configurations are portable from system to system, perfect if you attend LAN parties or events where you have to use pre-built systems.
The software matches the whole gaming theme with a slightly over-the-top style, but is otherwise very usable and easy to understand. All the normal gaming functions are available such as complex macros, timers, various sound effects can be triggered, as well as full control over the basic mouse functions.
You can configure different profiles for different games, each with their own DPI levels and macros. You can assign independent X/Y axis sensitivity, lift-off height, poll rate; as well as scroll speed, straight-line correction and acceleration. While there are only two RGB lights, you can only assign them six specific colors, as well as brightness or pulsing effects.
The macro manager allows for full control over macro building, from live recording, real or fixed delays, even cursor position capture. Sounds can be triggered, and even more complex actions such as timers with sound alerts and macro trigger on delay. It’s a very well rounded software stack that’s quite easy to use once you get past the graphics.
For the curious, there is a section for ‘Muscle Memory’ which is a collection of stats about how often you press certain buttons, distance tracked, most number of keys used in a given time, and so forth – just in case you’re a stats junkie (also a good way to tell when you are nearing the limit on the supposed 11 million key presses). There is even a hot key called ‘Blueprint’ that can be assigned which uses an on-screen display to show you the current profile and button assignments of the mouse.
We have been impressed with GAMDIAS at Techgage; its products provide extremely good value while still competing with the more established brands. The ZEUS is no different. While on the higher end of the price range, the ZEUS is not the usual premium price for a budget product. The plastics used for its construction are solid and are likely to hold up to the rigors of active gaming sessions.
The software is a bit of an eye-sore in places, but it’s extremely easy to figure out and isn’t required to run in the background for full functionality, thanks to the ZEUS’ on-board memory. In fact, the inclusion of memory these days is quite the rarity.
Changing profiles is quick, with .exe recognition as an option for application specific profiles. I should note that the software updates the mouse in less than a second, so you are not hanging around for 30 seconds every time you make a change – one of the fastest update systems we’ve seen on a mouse.
The customization takes a little getting used to, finding the right sweet-spot for your hand will require some experimenting as you will need to adjust the rollers on the underside, flip it over and repeat as necessary. The left-side thumb rest has a small lip above it as well, which can line up with the thumb buttons, or protrude out, preventing accidental clicks if you want. The lip on the right side pinky rest elevates your finger just enough to stop if from scraping the surface, and the ring finger adjustment is good for switching from a claw-grip to a more standard slope. Again, there is a small lip above the ring finger that’s useful for picking up the mouse when you need to adjust tracking position.
The extra buttons provided on the ZEUS are slightly stiffer than the regular left and right clicks. They are not too spongy either, with no discernible wobble. The middle scroll click is quite light and soft, making easy access for push-to-talk without straining your finger for long holds. Initially it was a bit stiff on the scroll, rubbing against the two main buttons, but after a while this subsided. My only real complain would be a lack of notches, since the scroll itself is very smooth.
While two of the lights are RGB, they are not completely customizable, limited to red, orange, yellow, turquoise, blue and purple. There is no green which seems odd (considering its required for yellow). Also, the GAMDIAS logo on the back of the mouse is always illuminated in yellow – this can not be turned off or changed.
In terms of tracking accuracy, we didn’t notice any significant issues. There is still some minor edge snapping enabled even on the lowest setting, mainly in the horizontal plain, but you really need to draw a lot of spirals to notice it. Additionally, some alteration of the lift-off height might be required depending on surface material. We found that going below level 4 would introduce minor stutters, even on bright surfaces.
The ZEUS comes in two editions, one being the standard laser, and the other is the eSports edition which has replaceable panel styles for more customization. Pricing is competitive for what you get at $45 for the standard edition, and $60 for the eSports. Not the most expensive mice out there, but definitely a more premium model.
The ZEUS Laser is a worthwhile option if you are looking for some customization in your mouse, even if it’s just in the width (there are not many adjustable mice out there to begin with). For the price, it’s fantastic, even with the minor issue with the scroll wheel.