BenQ Zowie S-Series Mouse Review
Two weeks ago I received a box from Benq Zowie Australia with both the S1 and S2 series mouse to review. Zowie is in the business of making devices for the more hardcore players out there, and the S-Series is no different. The reason that 70-80% of Pro-players are using a Zowie branded mouse is because they do look for improvements that other manufacturers don't even consider. If you're a Pro-player or trying to become the next esports superstar you need to be looking at a Zowie mouse and in particular, the S-Series for your next mouse. A professional's needs are not the same as mine; however, I am a near fourty-year-old casual gamer, so is the S1 or S2 mouse worth the investment?
Professional players need to feel comfortable when they play so that they can perform at their best. Having the same mouse that they train with be ready to go at a moments notice in a tournament, regardless of driver support, is a must. The driver-less set up of Zowie mice are just the first reason professional players need one in their travel bag. Being able to plug and play is also a blessing for content creators and anyone travelling while using computers. All settings for Zowie mice are stored in the mouse so they can indeed be plug and play. Dpi settings and polling rate or all controlled on the mouse, allowing for quick changes to be made on the fly, no matter the situation. I don't like using software to adjust peripherals, so this feature helped me out in my day to day use of the mouse.
For the longest time, I have always considered that DPI and amount of buttons were the most crucial parts of the mouse. I must admit that the most significant thing the S-Series of mice has taught me is that I have been wrong all this time. Zowie has nailed its feel with the S1 and S2, which is now what I consider to be the most critical part of mouse design. Outside of the left and right mouse buttons, the S-Series comes with two side buttons, that is it. These two side buttons are perfectly placed and unlike other mice with more buttons, when you go to press these buttons, you press the right buttons. When there is thousands or even millions of dollars on the line, pushing the wrong button can cost you a fortune. Even in my casual use, it just felt natural to use this perfectly simple configuration and never left me frustrated at all.
The sleek feel of the S-Series doesn't finish there. Zowie has been deliberate with each aspect, so it feels fluid to use and not a chore. These S-Series mice are light, and this is because a professional gamer, especially one playing first-person shooters, will repeatedly be picking up their mouse in gameplay. This lift off motion is an aspect that Zowie has worked on as they have moved from a Counter-Strike focused market to a more broader first-person shooter market. The ability to recalibrate the lift-off distance sensor of the mouse to suit your play style is a simple but vital option. Zowie knows their market and what the most elite players want, what this means for me is that my mouse is lighter and more responsive even when I use it to browse the web.
As I mentioned before, pressing the wrong button can cost someone thousands of dollars; this fact shapes every aspect of design in a Zowie mouse. It's frustrating getting to the bottom of a web page with the speed of the mouse wheel, but thousands of dollars aren't on the line at that point. When I play a game, I use to use the mouse wheel to scroll between weapons, but I would often overshoot the market and cost myself time. Scrolling past a gun is a non-issue with these Zowie mice. Even though it takes a long time to get to the bottom of a web page, you can feel every single click of the wheel. So when you're in the heat of battle, you know which gun you will get with every scroll of the mouse wheel. Same goes with the mouse buttons; Zowie makes the press of every button very pronounced. So you know you clicked the left mouse button fifteen times, and you always see fifteen bullets fire in-game, never fourteen or sixteen. All the precise feedback you get from the mouse make it feel like an extension of my wrist, no matter the content I am consuming.
Straight out of the box the spectacular feel of these mice struck me, the texture of the mouse itself right down to the cable seems to be crafted from high quality of materials. The rubber cable, in particular, is a different choice over the braided option that many other mice developers have used. My previous mice had braided cables, but Zowie believes these cables can be a nightmare to travel with, which all professional players have to do. The rubber cable not only is a dream to pack up and put in your bag, but it feels like it is simply not there when you are moving it around the desk. The smallest of design choices to elevate the cable at the point where it connects to the mouse helps the mouse glide around the table. It is simple decisions like this that put the S-Series above any mouse I have used before in regards to its feel.
The base of the mouse rarely ever gets a look or a second thought for me but imagine having to use you mouse ten times more than you currently do. The bottom of that mouse then becomes extremely important. Zowie understands this, and instead of the mouse ends up in the trash when the feet pads are worn out, Zowie supplies a spare set in the box to replace them when needed. Taking it one step further, Zowie had issues with the product information stickers under the mouse scratching desks and detracting from the mouse's flow. To combat this Zowie moved the information to a label attached to the USB cable, so the bottom of the mouse is smooth and precise. I have found it silky smooth to move the S-Series mouse around my desk, and it is in part to this feature.
Zowie has made a feature-rich mouse in a sleek and simple design. There are many more aspects of the mouse that make it top of the class, like the DPI range of 400 up to 3200. As well as the polling rate, which is the amount of time it sends signals to the computer, ranges from 125Hz, right up to a massive 1000Hz. All this helps the professional and casual player adjust their mouse to their playstyle for superior accuracy. The rounded back base of the mouse even helps stop your palm getting stuck under it when you are making the lift-off motion in the heat of a gunfight. When you look at all the small features, most don't think about, that help a player be elite, it is no surprise that over 70% of professional players use a Zowie branded mouse.
If you are a professional player, then you must be looking seriously at a Zowie mouse to put in your hand to get the job done. Zowie mice are designed from the ground up to make esports professionals be the best at every moment of the game, and no matter the location they are playing. Being truly plug and play and need no set up at all makes things so simple. Combine this with the luxurious and smooth feeling I get when using one of the S-Series mice I have no fear in recommending you add Zowie mice to your list of brands you must check out before you buy. Even though you may not be a professional gamer or ever want to be, you will find it a dream to own and use one of these Zowie mice. Web browsing aside, the S-Series mice make using any computer a smooth and hassle-free experience.