Zowie ZA11 Mouse and Mousepad Review

Zowie ZA11

Name a mouse manufacturer, and the chances are they’ve released a gaming mouse. Zowie, a big name in eSports circles, has partnered up with BenQ to create the ZA11. It’s a driverless mouse designed to work for eSports gamers, as you might well have guessed. It’s an ambidextrous device designed for people who want a palm grip. The ZA11 is also the largest of Zowie’s ZA series.

Looking at aesthetics, the ZA11 appears basic but there are little things that make it a little more interesting than your average mouse. First, there’s the curvature. Many mouses tend to have a lower rear compared to others, this one is higher and better for daily use. Using claw grip, at least for me, becomes tiring when doing menial tasks on my PC. Everything but the Zowie logo in the back is black, and it makes the mouse quite unassuming. Underneath, the mouse sensor lies in the middle with the DPI switch and indicator LED.

Since the mouse is driverless, changing between 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 DPI happens with a touch of a button. The ZA11 can change between 125hz, 500hz and 1000hz on your USB port. A simple button toggle when plugging in is enough to set each mode. Cable length runs to two meters and Zowie has opted to use rubber as opposed to braided coating. The cable itself is soft and is less prone to kinks as opposed to the braided kind.

You’ll get a spare set of mouse feet and a sticker in the packaging, which isn’t much. The real reason you get a ZA11, is for the mouse in the end.

Let’s get down to how well the mouse works. It’s no surprise that a mouse designed for eSports tracks well, especially paired with a proper mouse pad. For me 1600dpi was the sweet spot for any FPS I wanted to play. 3200dpi, while it may work for some felt far too sensitive. There are some subtleties that I need to mention. First, the space where your thumb makes contact with the mouse is indented a little. That allows easy lifting when moving the mouse. That’s perfect for palm grip users.

The scroll wheel’s movement felt a little tight at first, but was easy to get used to. The clicking felt solid, and didn’t go over each step. I felt that the side buttons (2 of which you will use) were a little to quick to react to the slightest touch. When lifting and moving around, for example, I found myself tapping them unnecessarily. The ZA11 is a fairly heavy mouse, which if you’re not used to it, will take some time to adapt to. Once you’re into it, it’s a dream.

The G-SR Mouse pad is the companion to the ZA11. A cloth pad with a rubber underside, it allows the control that the two materials give. Unlike the first cloth pads that came out, the edges are stitched, reducing wear and tear over time. The rubber underneath was soft and sticky.

Zowie ZA11 Mousepad and Mouse

I felt as if there was way more speed on the pad than on other cloth pads. There was still a certain amount of friction on the pad, but less so than one would say. It’s 3mm thick and just over 45cm wide. The way I see it, if you have space – a bigger mouse pad is never a bad thing, even if your mouse sensitivity setting is high. I feel like the stitching around the G-SR’s border could cause chafing with long usage, though some prefer knowing when reaching their mouse pad limits.

The mouse-pad combination of ZA11 and G-SR worked great. The mouse tracked well on the pad while the pad felt speedy yet in control. Each item’s materials felt quality and I couldn’t complain about any flimsiness. Little subtle touches like the indentation at the bottom of the ZA11 and just enough weight were great. I appreciated the minimal appearance of both the pad and mouse. Simplicity were the keys to what made both great. If you want, you can pick up ZA11 for just under R1300, and G-SR for just above R600. While the mouse may be a little pricey, the mouse pad is well priced and will last for quite some time.

The Zowie ZA11 was reviewed by Zubayr Bhyat

Writer for Tech IT Out & Geeknode. Former writer at MWEB GameZone. Complete tech geek and From Software fanatic. Sunbro to the death.