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Review of the Zowie AM

post #1 of 292
Thread Starter 
Zowie AM

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Zowie seems to be the only gaming company that doesn't join the dpi race and focus ONLY on how their gaming equipment performs and thats why I always have high expetations when recieving a zowie product.

After testing the Zowie AM for a couple of days I can say that it does live up to my expectations and I will continue explain why in this review.

What's included?
Zowie AM gaming mouse
Zowie sticker
Extra set of teflon feet
A box... which also function as the instruction manual on how to change dpi, polling rate and which side buttons that will be activated.





Sensor: All I can say is that the avago 3090 finally shows its potential.


Remember the cm storm spawn only reached around 2,1m/s with the exact same sensor? The Zowie AM exceeds speeds of 3m/s and at 500hz it even get up to 3,78m/s. In my observations the average RTS gamer don't reach speeds higher than 1,5m/s while some people with extremely low sensivity can reach up to 2,5m/s during gaming, so it should be enough for pretty much anyone.

Test results
125hz:
450dpi 1150dpi 2300dpi

500hz:
450dpi 1150dpi 2300dpi

1000hz
450dpi 1150dpi 2300dpi

Remember enotus mouse test is not something I would consider 100% accurate but it gives an idea.


Theres no Jitter jitter on 450dpi and 1150dpi but there seem to be some slight jitter at 2300dpi. The jitter at 2300dpi does go away when I lower the default windows sensitivity though, so it might just be the high dpi making it hard to control.

There's no prediction.

There's no acceleration.

prediction and jitter test:
541




Lift off distance is extremely low(lower than 1cd) even my pure black cloth mousepad. It might cause some problems on white surfaces, but this is not something i can confirm as I don't own one at the moment.





Weight and dimensions: Looks very similar to the Xai/Sensei/msi 1.1/wmo but feels somewhat smaller. Because it have basicly the same lenght and height but is 13% less wide it feels more like / \ than the more rounded xai sensei. The weight is pretty much the same as the cm storm spawn which imo is PERFECT. For me an optimal gaming mouse should be between 75-90g. Anything less feels uncontrollable and anything more will make it harder to do fast accurate movements in fps games.

Another thing is with the sensei/xai I sometimes missclicked the side buttons on the right side by mistake which is something that won't happen because the way the zowie am I deigned.

Weight: 88g
Height: 39mm / 1.53 in
Width: 60 mm / 2.36 in
Length: 125 mm / 4.92 in

This shape works very well for both claw and fingertip.






Build quality, coating and the cord:

The cord is to put it simple, the best cord out there. Neither too thin like on some razer mice or too thick, but yet its VERY flexible.

I would put it in the ranks of some of the higher build quality mice out there though there seem to be a small issue. If you press down VERY hard on both the main mouse buttons at the same time they will touch eachother which can be annoying.

EDIT: Problem fixed with the new batch
http://www.overclock.net/t/1195737/review-of-the-zowie-am/100#post_16266970

This picture show the problem
338

The rubber coating is like with the zowie ec series of very high quality and I never had it wear off on any of my zowie mice. It feels very grippy and you can lift up the mouse applying almost no pressure on the sides

Last but not least the teflonfeet. They are big and seem to be made of 100% pure teflon. There is even an extra set of teflonfeet when you need to replace them

Overall I'm impressed with the build quality and coating.




The buttons and scrollwheel:

The two main buttons are custom huano switches made for zowie and feels exactly the same as on the zowie mico. They are hard to press, but give GREAT feedback in terms of feel and sound. Also they have a very short travel so its easy to double click

The side buttons is much easier to press and is probally ttc switches? travel is a bit longer but they feel just fine. Unlike many other gaming mice the clicks are registered instantly with no delay

The scrollwheel is exactly the same as on the EC series and is a more durable optical scrollwheel. You can feel when you scroll and the scrollwheel is easy to click





Software:
When you run a mouse with software theres always the possibility that something can go wrong. The software can crash, not work, or just drain the computer memory

The Zowie AM runs completely without software which in my oppinion is ideal and one of Zowies best selling points. Everything can be changed ON the mouse, being it dpi, polling rate and even which side buttons to be activated which is something I never seen before. Great job zowie

Final thoughts
After using it for a couple of days I can definately recommend it if you are looking for a mouse that is 100% about performance and if you are using a claw or fingertip grip. Its the only mouse using the avago 3090 sensor that is completely free of flaws while having a good perfect control speed.

To sum it up.

+PERFECT weight
+Perfect control speed up and sometimes above 3m/s @ 500hz/1000hz
+Shape if you are using claw or fingertip grip
+Defined scrollwheel. Its easy to click and you can feel every scroll you make
+No prediction(that is, if you don't like having prediction)
+No acceleration at all
+ VERY low lift off distance
+No jitter at 450dpi and 1150dpi. Slight jitter at 2300dpi that will go away if you turn down sensitivity
+Well balanced weight
+Big teflon feet and an extra pair for replacement
+PERFECT mouse cord. Neither too thin or too thick, yet its very flexible
+Good build quality and rubber coating
+Great feedback on mouse button 1+2. Short travel
+Instant response from all buttons including the side buttons which on many gaming mice have delay.
+No software

-Mouse button 1+2 will touch eachother if you press both down hard at the same time
-Mouse button 1+2 can be hard to press
-Not as comfortable as the other mice of similar shape like the Xai/Sensei/msi1.1a/wmo
-Side buttons feel "cheap" like on pretty much all mice. Longer travel distance



Pictures:

Steelseries kinzu on the left, Zowie AM in the middle and Steelseries sensei on the right.
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Edited by HaiiYaa - 1/23/12 at 9:37pm
post #2 of 292
Thanks for review!! I was waiting for it for quite a while wink.gif

Did you enjoyed AM more then Sensei? I'm curious becouse the AM / \ shape m8 be uncomfortable for some players.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!
Oldie but goodie!
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Oldie but goodie!
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post #3 of 292
Now to decide if I want the GS version or full matte. Great review!
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post #4 of 292
Since I've read on one of the other AM threads that it's lower CPI tends more towards 480 instead of 450, I set my sensitivity for 480CPI when mine arrived, and found no difference from the DA3.5G configured for 450 or the 1.1A configured for 400 (different in-game sensitivities to compensate for the CPI difference).

Could anyone else test that out and confirm or disagree with it?
post #5 of 292
So you should always set it to 500hz?

Do you know the size of lens because the 450 step is 480 dpi according to some people?

what pad did you test with?
Edited by mikez0r - 1/6/12 at 8:43am
post #6 of 292
I had a problem with my EC2 Blue that I've not really seen mentioned anywhere before.

@ 500dpi
1000hz = Mouse was fine
500hz = Polling rate was a bit random, jumping around from 400-1200(!), averaging around 600hz however.

I was used to 500hz on other mice so initially set the mouse to this however movement felt really weird and after some testing I was getting really bizarre acceleration type issues, even using rinput (CS:S). The mouse didn't have this problem at 1000hz polling.

So, other than asking if anyone else gets this with an EC2 does this problem occur on the AM also?

P.S Would likely just use 1000hz anyway but interested to know why 500hz doesn't work!
post #7 of 292
Entous : The values of the mouse aren't exactly linear with the program. It's hitting slighter higher when it comes to max counts @ 500hz (1150/2300) How did you test that exactly? I don't consider the program accurate because it could report higher rates than the firmware, mcu, and lens combo is capable of. The CPI itself could be a little off as well.

As for the Spawn, it was hit by firmware and or MCU limitations as you might have guessed. It's likely that this mouse would have performed a little better if they used Avago's native lens, although lift off would of course be an issue to a lot of people.

Good review.
Edited by Skylit - 1/6/12 at 9:04am
post #8 of 292
Nice review! I think I am going to be getting this mouse, I can't stand prediction and I can't stand glossy sides due to how hard it makes me grip.
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post #9 of 292
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiGsTaR View Post

Thanks for review!! I was waiting for it for quite a while wink.gif
Did you enjoyed AM more then Sensei? I'm curious becouse the AM / \ shape m8 be uncomfortable for some players.
Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Well I didnt find the shape comfortable at all but I was using a pure claw grip. I know it would feel uncomfortable as palmgrip though

I wouldnt say i enjoyed it more, but there was some things I liked better and visa versa
Quote:
Originally Posted by jung1e View Post

Now to decide if I want the GS version or full matte. Great review!

Normal version if you are prone to sweating and GS if you don't sweat that much
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikez0r View Post

So you should always set it to 500hz?
Do you know the size of lens because the 450 step is 480 dpi according to some people?
what pad did you test with?

I don't know the size of the lense. I used the artisan hayate mousepad to test it with along with a steelseries qck
Quote:
Originally Posted by iBzzz View Post

I had a problem with my EC2 Blue that I've not really seen mentioned anywhere before.
@ 500dpi
1000hz = Mouse was fine
500hz = Polling rate was a bit random, jumping around from 400-1200(!), averaging around 600hz however.
I was used to 500hz on other mice so initially set the mouse to this however movement felt really weird and after some testing I was getting really bizarre acceleration type issues, even using rinput (CS:S). The mouse didn't have this problem at 1000hz polling.
So, other than asking if anyone else gets this with an EC2 does this problem occur on the AM also?
P.S Would likely just use 1000hz anyway but interested to know why 500hz doesn't work!

Never had the polling rate go above what its rated for but it does jump around depending on how fast you move the mouse. You shouldn't worry though as the ec2 and AM use completely different sensors
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylit View Post

Entous : The values of the mouse aren't exactly linear with the program. It's hitting slighter higher when it comes to max counts @ 500hz (1150/2300) How did you test that exactly? I don't consider the program accurate because it could report higher rates than the firmware, mcu, and lens combo is capable of. The CPI itself could be a little off as well.
As for the Spawn, it was hit by firmware and or MCU limitations as you might have guessed. It's likely that this mouse would have performed a little better if they used Avago's native lens, although lift off would of course be an issue to a lot of people.
Good review.

I tested it by getting by putting the closests CPI value to match the one on the mouse. As you probally know you can't choose 450dpi, 1150dpi and 2300 dpi so I went with 400dpi, 1200dpi and 2400 dpi. The results im getting with outerspace log is within 5-10% of the same results with the enotus mouse test so if enotus mouse test is off then outerspace log is too. AVAGO should really let the program they use to test the max tracking out to the public so we can get 100% accurate results
post #10 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaiiYaa View Post

1000hz
450dpi 1150dpi 2300dpi

Picture of 1150 dpi setting is same than 2400 dpi.

Great review.
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