|Epic Gear Meduza Gaming Mouse and Hybrid Pad|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Tuesday, 21 February 2012|
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Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts
There is something to be said for an industry that is able to deliver quality that surpasses the capability of examination and scrutiny. When it comes to sensor performance I believe that the mouse industry has reached that level of quality. It's only through volumes of user feedback that we can even begin forming opinions about performance, and even then it's based on personal opinion rather than hard evidence. I had hoped to write some code or build some hardware that might help rate the Meduza's performance against traditional sensors, but it was out of my scope.
Regarding this subject I talked to Sujoy Roy about his ESR MouseScore article. Regarding future articles and benchmarks of mice and mouse pads he was convinced that further benchmarking was pointless since every test was likely to surpass our actual needs. It's kind of like the futility of increasing resolutions above 1080P. At some point your extra work buys you nothing because humans are the new limitation.
In this reviewers opinion it's time to lay the sensor war to rest. The best thing that I got from the Meduza was the phenomenal lift-off distance performance. Here is a feature that I've actually seen volumes of complaints about. The lift-off performance was superb and allows the most seamless lift and place that I've ever experienced from a mouse. Going forward I strongly recommend that mouse developers spend more time making superb software rather than trying to splice hairs. But maybe some of you perfect accuracy gamers out there can let us know if there's still a need for improvement. If so then you'll want to check out the Meduza and Hybrid Pad by Epic Gear.
Epic Gear Meduza Conclusion
Epic Gear's big claim with the Meduza Mouse and Hybrid Pad is the improved performance. The Hybrid Dual Sensor Technology is designed to create stable tracking with high precision at fast mouse movement speeds. Meduza's performance was excellent. Regarding stability it was difficult to find any evidence that it outperforms the current generation of laser mice. There was some qualitative evidence that the mouse actually had random jumps while gaming in the HDST mode. But without hard evidence it's hard to prove one way or another. With regard to lift-off difference the Meduza clearly had greater performance than any other mouse I've used. The software allows the lift-off distance to be adjusted on a scale from 1 to 10. At 1 the mouse stopped responding when removed only a paper-width from the mouse surface. At 10 the mouse could fly a quarter-inch above the mouse pad and still track smoothly.
The Meduza and Hybrid Pad score high marks for style. The mouse is highly contoured, sleek and accented in the right areas. It's got LEDs for both style and function and a strong theme that Epic Gear has really taken to market. The physical layout of the bottom of the mouse lends well to the idea of two eyes and a mouth, and it's great that Epic Gear turned that unique style into a selling point.
The Meduza Gaming mouse has a plastic body with rubberized and glossy surfaces which results in a very light mouse. The entire body is highly contoured with resting spots engineerd for all five fingers. The design is a best fit for right-handed palm-grip gamers and fits very nicely in large hands. The ergonomic design make hours of mouse-intensive work easier to endure or even embrace. The gripping surfaces are rubberized and require little pressure to maintain precise control which eases stress. But the soft surfaces will be wear earlier than other surfaces. The buttons are high quality and have excellent design for activation pressure. The buttons click without too much force, but there's never a concern of accidentally pressing a button. This is also true for the mouse wheel which has a solid yet gentle scroll and the highest pressure button of all. The only buttons that could be improved are the DPI button which is hard to press since it's located above the mouse wheel, and the profile change mode which cannot be used for any other purpose. The Hybrid Pad also has excellent construction. The surface is made from a very high quality fiber and is weaved in a very consistent pattern. The fibers look durable and are mounted on a standard foam-rubber pad.
The functionality in the Meduza comes mainly from two areas of the mouse. First is the HDST sensor which allows gamers to choose between the optical sensor, the laser sensor, or the HDST mode. For those who notice a great difference between sensor types this will allow the choice of sensor for whatever situation may arise. The second area that adds functionality to the mouse is the configuration software. The software allows the mouse to be configured into five different profiles. Only 6 of the 7 buttons can be configured between standard mouse functions or a macro. The macro writing utility provides only basic recording and minimal editing. Not even the timings of the recording can be modified. Unless the software gets an overhaul it's hard to see the Meduza being a long-term favorite among gamers.
Epic Gear listed the Meduza Gaming Mouse at an MSRP of $79.99 with the Hybrid Pad costing extra. The main thing you are buying is the novel Hybrid Dual Sensor Technology. The other features are standard fare on mice that can be purchased for under $50. While it was hard to distinguish clear advantages in the sensor performance, it may be more noticeable to discriminating users. The performance and build quality of the Meduza are enough to recommend the mouse, but due to the current software version, not at the suggested price point. If Epic Gear could release hard data on the performance improvements (data that can be verified by the community) as well as revamps the software (especially the macro interface) then I could recommend the mouse at the suggested price.
+ New hybrid sensor technology
- HDST not yet proven
Final Score: 8.4 out of 10.
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