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Stuff I've used: Gaming Mice + Mousepads

Posted 12-11-2013 at 03:44 PM by Spacebear

I'm no old school PC junkie (I wish I was though. I might spend my Christmas break playing Tribes 2 and UT2004), but in the time I've owned my own computer and played games, I've had a chance to play with a handful of mice. I've always been one to research stuff that I don't know much about before I make the purchase, so I've never had an actual bad mouse or anything. But with my brother getting a little more into PC gaming now that he has a capable machine, and with my friend getting ready to buy a new PC, as well as me just being bored of what I had, I've been looking at various mice.

Here is the short list of mice and mousepads I've used

Logitech mx518
Steelseries Kinzu v2
Logitech g400s
Zowie ec2 Evo (white glossy finish)

Magic the Gathering playmat repurposed for mousepad
Puretrak Talent
Steelseries QcK
Allsop Raindrop XL

The Logitech Mice

My first mouse was the Logitech mx518. I used it for a good 4 years, and never had an issue with it. The software worked well, the shape was good, and the sensor was pretty solid, if not perfect. I think most people have seen and/or used this mouse or one of its children at one point or another. I would honestly be happy using this mouse for the rest of my life.

When I was looking recently for a new mouse, my first thought was upgrading to the g400 or g400s mouse. I wouldn't have to change any of my existing preferences, and the sensor would be an upgrade. That, and I didn't really see a lot of compelling reasons to change my allegiance at the time to something other than Logitech.

Two problems occurred. The g400 and g400s, while they seem very similar, do have some real differences. From what I could tell, and what some sources told me (Quake/Tribes nerds), when Logitech made the g400s, they changed the mouse clicking for the worse. The mx518 and g400 have the same click.

Apparently there is a slight delay in the clicking for the g400s. While I could not detect any delay in the clicking, I definitely didn't really like the change. The clicking was "mushier" than what the older mice had. It wasn't easier to press or anything, but I definitely preferred the older click.

I wouldn't tell anybody to not purchase a g400s, as it is still a very good mouse, but after owning it for about a month (shoutouts to my friend/Best Buy employee for giving me a gift receipt so I could test it until January), I decided I was ready for something a little new.

Steelseries Kinzu v2

I saw a deal online for the Kinzu a while back. Ten dollars? I decided that it would be a good little experiement. The Kinzu has about the same shape as a Sensei, but it is lighter and smaller. It also does have the side buttons, and the dpi settings are much more restrictive.

My initial reaction to the mouse was very good. The shape felt good, even if my hands were probably a little too big. It's light weight made it glide pretty easy across my Puretrak Talent.

I had some concerns about the Kinzu's sensor. There were times that I was in the heat of a fight in Tribes Ascend, and it felt like the sensor was failing to track properly at times. I play Tribes at a fairly low sensitivity;lower than most players (even the "pros"). When I would be fighting multiple people, it seemed to me that the mouse would fail to track when I would move it quickly. For most games, this might never come up, since you don't really need to do 180 degree turns very often in the middle of a duel. But for Tribes, it can happen quite a bit, especially if you were trying to duel 4 or 5 people at a time like I was doing at the time.

That said, the mouse worked just fine for me 95% of the time, and my brother uses it as his main mouse for DOTA 2, and he likes it. It makes for a decent backup.

Zowie ec2 Evo

After a bit of research, I settled on trying a Zowie mouse. I originally was going to go with the ambidextrous AM model, but I decided that the shape of the ec2 had a better chance of being more comfortable.

I've had the Zowie mouse for about 10 days now, and I love basically everything about it. The sensor is the best I've ever used, the lift off distance is fantastic for low sensitivity play (you barely have to lift it for it to stop tracking, but it isn't so low that it ever fails to track). The shape is similar to a Razer Deathadder, which I've never used but people like those. The buttons feel nice to click as well. The mouse feet are the smoothest I've ever used, and Zowie even includes a spare set of them for if they ever wear out. I've lowered my sensitivity in games to compensate for the smoothness of them.

There are some downsides, even if they aren't downsides in my case. The mouse has no drivers or software. So if you want to use macros, there isn't any included software for that, unlike Logitech or Steelseries. There is also only 3 dpi settings: 450, 1150, and 2300. I used 800 dpi on my other mice, so I needed to change my sensitivity for every game to adjust.

The glossy finish also gets dirt stuck on it pretty easily. This doesn't affect anything besides how it looks, but its just an observation.

Dpi is changed on the fly via a button on the bottom of the mouse, so for people who like to have one setting for general play and a lower one for sniping, well, that won't really work here all that well(unless you want to lift the mouse and hit the button with your thumb). Polling rate can be changed from 125 to 500 to 1000 hz, which is adjusted when you hold down a certain button combo on the mouse as you plug it in.

Overall, I love this mouse. I never use macros for any game, so it suits my needs exactly. My grip on the mouse feels more even and more comfortable than the Logitech mice, and the Zowie is lighter in general.


My first big mousepad was a Magic: The Gathering playmat. My friends also used them, since they already had them, and the surface is very similar. Plus, they have pretty pictures.

I ended up wanting to move away from using my playmat, since they are very thin, and the edge was starting to curl from my forearm sitting on it. That, and it didn't really grip the surface well, and it slid on my table from time to time.

I moved to a Puretrak Talent, a very large and thick mouse pad. The surface is smooth, but not too smooth. It gave me a very similar experience compared to the playmat, but it was more comfortable. That may be due to the thickness, and the much better grip on the surface.

I later bought a small Steelseries QcK for testing purposes. I found the surface a little rougher than I would like, so it did not displace the Puretrak. I know some people prefer a little more rough texture on their pads, to help with mouse stopping power, but I thought it was too rough for me. Still a solid mousepad.

The mousepad I will probably recommend to anyone looking for a new one is the Allsop Raindrop XL. It is smaller than the Puretrak, but still big enough for low sensitivity nerds like myself. It is smoother than the Puretrak, which I'm not sure if I like or not.

My favorite part, though, is the raindrop pattern on it. It is a simple, nice and pretty design that doesn't scream gaming, but make no mistake, the mouse pad is very good for games. That is probably what pushes it over the top for me to recommend to friends. Very portable, large, pretty. Oh, and its cheaper than gaming brand mousepads of the same size.



My brother in law uses a Razer Naga, and I can say that I don't like that mouse at all. I don't like the buttons, but funny enough, he doesn't really care for them either. His version's buttons are hard to push, and his hands are pretty big.

I might post pictures of my setup if I feel like it, to try and give people a better feel for how large the mouse pads are. I'll probably use a Magic card for scale.
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