|Epic Gear Meduza Gaming Mouse and Hybrid Pad|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Wednesday, 22 February 2012|
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Epic Gear Meduza Gaming Mouse Review
Manufacturer: Epic Gear (a brand of GEIL: Golden Emperor International Limited)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Epic Gear.
What features make the best gaming mouse? Laser or Optical? High or low sensitivity? Epic Gear has released a new technology to make it so you don't have to choose. The new Meduza Gaming Mouse uses Hybrid Dual Sensor Technology (HDST) to combine the best of both paradigms. Along with their Hybrid Mouse pad they have benchmarked high mouse performance. In this article, Benchmark Reviews evaluates the Meduza (model EGMA1H-OB) and Hybrid Pad (model EGHP1-OB-M) in preparation for their upcoming release.
In order to evaluate the Meduza it's helpful to understand a little bit about laser and optical technology. In the crudest sense, both technologies shine light on a surface and record many images in a single second. The images are sequentially compared to calculate movement. This is very much like recording the speed of a car from a filmstrip. What separates optical from laser technology is the precision of the images being recorded. The red light that comes from an optical mouse is created by an LED is moving in many different directions and phases; it's called incoherent light. The resulting image could be considered to be blurry. So the pictures are only good for recording the movement of very large features like the fibers in a traditional mousepad. The light generated by a laser consists of waves that move in the same direction with the same phase, and it results in much crisper images. This is why laser mice can work on glossy surfaces where features are much smaller and smoother. These sharper images allow much more precision than the LED images, thus the DPI is higher.
But that doesn't tell the entire story. Early generations of laser mice were often jumpy and jittery at low DPI settings. Even worse, they had mediocre performance at high movement speeds. The landmark MouseScore article from ESR is one example of this problem. In large measure it was due to that article that high DPI and 1000 Hz USB polling rates are now considered a requirement. So there has been a long-standing impression that optical mice are more stable than laser mice, at least at lower sensitivities. I rather think the ESR results show that there should be a lack of jitter for either technology under the maximum accurate response speed. But there are mounds of user reports to the contrary, and these cannot be entirely ignored.
Aside from the DPI, good gamers use inches per second and inches per 360 as standards for sensitivity. These metrics combined with the user experience are what Epic Gear seems to have targeted with the Meduza and the Hybrid Pad. The Meduza mounts one optical sensor and one laser sensor onto the same mouse with a switch that lets you choose optical, laser, or a new Hybrid Dual Sensor Technology (HDST) mode which uses both sensors at once. HDST is meant to provide the sensitivity of the laser sensor with the stability of the optical sensor.
To evaluate the Meduza Mouse and the Hybrid Mouse Pad, five areas were examined: Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality, and Value. Specifically we paid attention to the sensitivity claims, the features offered to assist gamers, the overall quality, and the cost at which this is all delivered.