As a PC gamer, I've slowly allowed myself to become indoctrinated into the RGB cult that seems to manifest in every PC gaming accessory on the market. From keyboards to speakers, you're bound to find a variety of glowing accessories that'll give your gaming rig the aesthetic of a dayglo rave. But that's not to say they're without function, in fact, the best gear are those that manage to find a happy medium between the two.
The latest in fashion meets function to come across my desk is the Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse, a mouse uniquely made for the sweaty gamer. The Marsback Zephyr Pro is a fully customizable mouse that comes with an interesting gimmick — a built-in, RGB fan that streams a cooling blast of air directly into your palm, keeping your hand cool and dry during intense gaming sessions. A cool idea (no pun intended) but what's it like in practice? The Marsback Zephyr Pro is a competent mouse, but its fan gimmick didn't make a fan of me (OK, that one was intended).
Bottom line: The Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse checks all the boxes necessary to make a competent gaming mouse and improves on its previous iteration, but unless you have truly hot hands, the fan inside might as well not be there.
- Great-looking mouse
- Software is easy to use and offers lots of customization options
- Excellent sensitivity settings
- Greaseproof and fingerprint proof
- Fan is not that useful
- Only six buttons
- Not really ergonomic
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse: Price and availability
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse retails for about $100 dollars, though its currently on sale for $60, which puts its well within the typical price of a gaming mouse. That sale is also meant to last through August, but using the Promo Code WINONLY can drop another $10 off the price. The mouse is available directly from Marsback's website and is not available on other online retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse: What's good
First, quick backstory: Last year, Marsback launched the world's first sweatproof gaming mouse with an adjustable cooling system on Kickstarter, which had gained support from more than 700 backers. The Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse is the upgraded version, improving on the previous model with a stronger cooling blast directly into your palm, less buzzing noise, and higher revolution, the Zephyr Pro promises to evaporate sweat and make your hands feel cooler.
The Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse is a confident device, you can tell immediately from its packaging to its unique honeycomb shell. The Marsback Zephyr Pro features a slick matte honeycomb design, which is both greaseproof and fingerprint proof. It pops quite nicely against the RGB fan from just about every angle you view it from. It comes with a lengthy 1.8m (about 5.9-foot) paracord cord that's extremely smooth and flexible, and the mouse itself is incredibly light and the feet are made of PTFE material that ensures smooth movement. It just feels good to use, both on and off the mousepad.
Underneath the surface, you'll find a PMW3389 optical sensor, with 7 DPI settings and a maximum of 16000 DPI, as well as a scan rate of 12000 FPS. The Zephyr Pro can track accelerations of up to 50g, and the movement speed can reach 400 in/s. And all of this can be customized with Marsback's free software download and applied to up to five different profiles. You can also set up macros as well.
So, the Marsback Zephyr Pro is a solid mouse in build and customization, but what about the spinning blades inside the body? The fan is the main draw of Marsback Zephyr Pro and it works as advertised. While I wouldn't necessarily say that I have sweaty hands, I could definitely feel the cool air against my right hand, and I spent more than a few hours on Final Fantasy XIV and DOOM Eternal. There's virtually no noise either, and I only ever felt a very faint vibration against my hands from the fans.
Under the mouse, you'll find two buttons. One that controls the RGB light patterns, and another that can turn the fan off if it's not needed. Back on top, you'll find a DPI button at the top, just before the scroll wheel, and on the left you'll find two additional buttons that can be mapped to whatever function you'd like.
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse: What I didn't like
My major complaint with the Marsback Zephyr Pro is that I personally didn't need the fan. My hands have never been so hot that I've needed a fan directly on them, nor do I live in a particularly hot climate. Even worse, I found that the skin on my right hand (which actually was burned not too long ago) would become dry after using it for a while, so I found myself just turning the fan off most of the time. The single button on the bottom of the mouse only turns it on and off, and there's no RPM indicator for fan speed on the mouse or in the software.
I understand the application, and there might be some users who'll truly appreciate the cooling blast from the mouse. But I personally didn't need it at all, and it was sometimes distracting.
Without the fan gimmick, the mouse works just fine on its own. And while it has eight buttons, only six can really be adjusted. I normally use the Roccat Aimo which features 12 buttons, so the loss of functionality was noticed. But even if the specs of the Marsback Zephyr Pro might be great on paper, the mouse isn't as ergonomic as other gaming mice. For full price, I think there are better mice to go for, but if you're looking for a distinctly unique mouse with a distinct gimmick, the Marsback Zephyr Pro might be right for you.
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse: Competition
If you're in the market for the best gaming mice on the market, the Razer Viper 8K is hard to beat, and it comes in at roughly the same price point. If you're in the market for a cheaper mouse, the SteelSeries Rival 310 is about $50 and holds its own pretty well. And of course, if you're all about function, the Razer Naga Trinity offers tons of customization for a price that's not much higher than the Marsback Zephyr Pro.
Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You love RGB lights and aesthetics
- You get clammy, sweaty hands while gaming
- You enjoy cranking the sensitivity all the way up
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You eat while you game
- You like having lots of buttons on your mouse
- Your hands don't need cooling
The Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse is a solid mouse overall. It's aesthetically pleasing, and it feels good to use, whether you're on a mousepad or not. It's got great software that's simple to use, and tons of customization options. It's just that fan, which might be a selling point for some, was totally unnecessary for me. And if you're not worried about sweaty hands, there are plenty of other options to entertain.
The Marsback Zephyr Pro Gaming Mouse is an excellent revision of the last Marsback Zephyr mouse, but it falls short of being great. The fan gimmick is just that and is just not as ergonomic as other gaming mice. Still, it's a unique and great-looking mouse and has just enough bells and whistles to hold its own.
Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. I like playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.