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Testing & Results
Testing MethodologyTo test usability and comfort the Meduza Mouse was used day to day across multiple platforms, operating systems, and applications. It was used especially heavy in various games. To verify the hardware operation, dx_mouse_timer_dialog and Mouse Rate Recorder were used to verify the reporting rate and accuracy. To test the lift-off distance two stacks of paper were used to suspend the mouse above the mouse-pad. The thickness of the stacks were increased until the sensor stopped responding and the result measured with calipers.
Test System 1
Test System 2
- Motherboard: Foxconn G33M02
- System Memory: 2 x 1GB DDR2-667
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.53 GHz
- Video: ATI Radeon X850XT
- Disk Drive: Western Digital WD400BD-75JMAQ
- Operating System: Windows XP Professional
- Call of Duty
- Portal 2
- Tribes: Ascend
- Office 2007
- Macromedia Studio 8
- Firefox, Internet Explorer
First let's talk about the lift-off distance performance. Let me just say, "WOW!!!" Past mice we've reviewed have not performed terribly well against the lift-off distance tests. Lots of mice claim a lift-off distance of 2 mm, but when tested they function just fine up to several millimeters. When Meduza is set to the very lowest lift-off distance through the configuration utility, it actually works. At a setting of 1, the mouse response became jittery when boosting the mouse feet with the thickness of a single sheet of office paper. At three sheets above the mouse pad the sensor totally stopped responding!!! At a lift-off setting of 10, the laser sensor functioned reliably up to about a quarter of an inch. So the Meduza truly allows you to set you lift-off condition. This mouse could be a huge win for low sensitivity gamers.
Next let's discuss the overall user experience. The mouse was very comfortable to use for long periods of time to perform any task. The buttons have good resistance (soft but not overly so) and good placement (reachable but not in the way).The contours fit my hand well, and I found my wrists and forearms to much more relaxed over long, mouse-intensive work sessions compared to the other mice in my arsenal. I credit this as much to the form and fit as well as to the texture of the gripping surfaces. But I can see that these surfaces will wear out more quickly than my daily use mice. I like the feel of the scroll wheel. It has nice discrete clicks that lock into place without applying brute force. During my use I am most impressed by the construction of the mouse.
The last thing to discuss is the performance of the innovative sensor technology. I'm a medium-low sensitivity user, so I was able to easily test the three sensor modes using my standard sensitivities. I played several games using all three sensor modes, and for the most part did not notice any differences. The mouse response was smooth and predictable under even the fastest flicks and turns. I did experience some tracking problems while using the HDST mode. In Tribes: Ascend I kept having random jumps that happened a couple times each match. I'd be facing one direction, and sliding my mouse for a slow turn when suddenly I'd be facing 90 degrees away from my previous heading. I played several matches switching between sensor modes, but it only happened while using HDST. I tried to replicate the problem in my other games but never experienced problems. It's possible that it was due to lag, but it happened so consistently with HDST but not any other mode that I couldn't shake the feeling that the HDST was giving me grief. Without more advanced testing software I can't say definitively if it was due to the mouse, lag, or all in my head (for the record, my ISP did crash the next day).
When it comes to performance I couldn't provide any hard numbers to verify the increased sensitivity and consistency claims made by Epic Gear. I tried using mouse rate reporter to get an idea of any differences between mice, but the performances were all so solid that I couldn't see any differences. Regarding the Hybrid Pad, Epic Gear released some charts that show improved surface quality using a Surface Quality Analyzer Tool. I can only assume they meant the S.Q.A.T. tool included with the Monix 5000 mouse, but how could they use that mouse to get two scores for optical and laser? I tried using SQAT through the Meduza but didn't get any feedback on the test. If the scores were measured separately, how does Epic Gear know the scores are additive? I couldn't verify any surface quality results so I take the claims with hopeful skepticism.
The Meduza performed well on every surface it was used on, and there were only paranoid observations of what might be sketchy behavior. I suppose only time will tell. Until then I have no reason not to recommend the performance of the Meduza. Next we'll summarize the overall experience and rating of the Meduza Mouse and Hybrid Pad.