Today we are going to look at the first three products in the Epic Gear range, the Meduza gaming mouse, the Skorpios mouse bungee and the Compoxite gaming surface. We have decided to combine all three of these products into one article as they are designed to work closely with each other.
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Epic Gear before as they have recently spawned as the gaming peripheral division of GeIL Memory. GeIL also produce a wide range of memory and solid state drives for the enthusiast audience. They have recently expanded their product range into gaming peripherals and power supplies with the brand names Epic Gear and Thortech.
Considering the Meduza is the first gaming mouse from Epic Gear, it boasts an impressive feature set. This includes both a 3,200 DPI optical sensor and a 6,000 DPI laser sensor. It’s quite clear that Epic Gear are looking to take on the major players in the market with this gaming mouse so we are very interested to see how it performs.
- 3 switchable sensing modes: Laser, Optical and HDST™
- (Laser + Optical)
- Advanced algorithm logic technology to restrain common problems of jitter, skip and drift
- Sensitivity of up to 6000 dpi
- Optical mode: 400/800/1600/3200 dpi (4 level)
- HDST™ mode: 4 customizable DPI levels via GUI of up to 4800 dpi
- Laser Mode: 4 customizable dpi levels via GUI of up to 6000dpi
- Minimal lift-off distance of 1mm for extreme precision
- Tracking speed of up to 200 ips @ HDST™ mode
- Acceleration speed of up to 30 G @ HDST™ mode
- Longevity gaming keys of 10 million clicks
- USB 2.0 full speed: 1000Hz report rate
- 7 buttons, 6 fully programmable
- 5 gaming profiles with customizable LED color
- 15 sets of customizable long macro
- ARM 32-bit Cortex™-M3 CPU
- Onboard memory of 128KB· on-the-fly dpi change
- Independent X/Y axle change via GUI @ Laser Mode
- Supports driverless plug-and-play
- Angle snapping support @ Laser Mode
- Auto power saving mode on/off via GUI
- Ultra swift big-size teflon feet
- X-braided cable for durability
- Ferrite bead cable for anti-EMI capability
- 2 Metre USB cable
- 2 year warranty
The Meduza is supplied in a very attractive looking packet which is decorated in a black and red livery. The front of the box features a large plastic window which lets us see the size and shape of the mouse within.
Turning the box over reveals a detailed list of the features and specification of the mouse alongside a few diagrams which illustrate some of the key features. The mouse is packaged within a plastic tray inside the external cardboard box which should provide adequate protection during transit.
Inside the packaging, the only item we find alongside the mouse itself is a software and driver CD.
Like the vast majority of gaming mice on the market, the Meduza features a soft-touch black paint finish which spans the top section of the mouse. Epic Gear have edged this with strips of gloss-black plastic on either side for visual effect but have retained the soft touch finish for the sides of the mouse where a finish with more grip is preferable.
The build quality of the Meduza is up to the same high standard a we’ve experienced with mice from the likes of Roccat and SteelSeries. In fact, the ergonomic design of the Meduza isn’t dissimilar from that of the Roccat Kone. All the plastics used in construction feel high quality and we cannot pick any faults in the way the mouse is put together.
Epic Gear has chosen to use a right-handed form factor for the mouse.
Epic Gear have chosen to use contoured left and right click buttons which fit nicely to your fingers. The mouse-wheel feels refined but seems to rattle slightly when scrolling slowly.
We find the browser forward and back buttons in their usual location in the top portion of the thumb alcove on the left hand side of the mouse. This positioning is ideal as it makes it quite difficult to activate them accidentally while still allowing quick access.
Along the bottom edge on the left hand side of the mouse there is a row of four LED lights which indicate the current DPI level of the mouse. The DPI switch is located on the top of the mouse, directly behind the mouse-wheel.
Above the LED indicators there is an additional button which switches between profiles and can change the colour of the illuminated bands which straddle the mouse-wheel. Unfortunately this doesn’t change the colour of the illuminated logos on the back of the mouse.
In a similar fashion to most other quality gaming mice, the Meduza features a braided cable which features red banding for visual effect. It’s also good to see that Epic Gear have chosen to use a gold-plated USB connector as it reassures us that they haven’t cut any corners in the design and manufacture of the Meduza.
It’s clear from a quick glance of the packaging that the Skorpios is part of the same range of gaming peripherals as the Meduza. The box features a very similar black and red livery as well as a large window which surrounds the bungee inside on three sides.
Turning the box around reveals a list of the features and specifications of the bungee in English and what appears to be Chinese to an untrained eye. This packaging should provide adequate protection for the Skorpios during transit.
The bungee itself is finished almost exclusively in matte-black. The only exception is a small red Skorpios badge on the base. This means that the bungee will compliment the vast majority of mice aesthetically, not just the Meduza.
Even though the base of the bungee is finished in plastic, we expect there is a metal lump in there somewhere as it’s reasonably weighty. In conjunction with a large rubber pad on the underside, this helps keep the bungee firmly planted to the desk during use.
We imagine that the Epic Gear named this product ‘Skorpios’ because it looks rather like a Scorpion. The ‘tail’ of the scorpion is made from rubber and forms the bungee part of the unit. The tail features a slot along the top and down the back which holds the mouse cable in place.
The bungee functions exactly as you’d expect, keeping the mouse cable tidy and out of the way while gaming. There is plenty of flexibility in the arm which gives the mouse a wide range of movement without much restriction.
Epic Gear supply the Compoxite surface rolled up inside a long cardboard box which is decorated in a similar fashion to the packaging of the other two products in this review. In the past we have found issue with this method of packaging gaming surfaces as they often don’t lay completely flat on the desk after unpacking. The Meduza didn’t seem to suffer from this issue though as the base is quite heavy.
The actual surface of this mouse pad is quite different to what we have experienced in the past. It feels like the lovechild of a cloth surface and a plastic surface as the fabric is moulded into silicon. Epic Gear say that it has been specially designed to work with the HDST sensors on the Meduza.
From a practical point of view, this surface works well. We expect that it will be significantly more durable than a standard cloth pad and it has the added benefit of being water proof. This is sure to come in handy at those all night LAN events when you might accidentally knock of your favourite energy drink.
The base of the mouse mate is made from thick rubber which is bright red in colour. This will prevent the mat from slipping around on the desk.
The only slightly negative aspect of the Compoxite is that it doesn’t let your mouse glide quite as freely as the best cloth pads out there. It’s not far behind, though.
Installing the software is very simple as Epic Gear supply a CD with the mouse. If you prefer, the software can also be downloaded from the Epic Gear website.
Unlike most software configuration utilities we’ve experienced in the past, this one is a full screen application with a loading animation. It seems to be based on the loading screen and main menu of video game. This is a little unnecessary and can be quite annoying when you want to quickly switch to other windows.
The main page of the software handles the button assignments. It lets us set functions for the six main mouse buttons from a list of predefined functions or macros. We are also able to configure four different DPI levels which are switchable in game.
The DPI levels can be set for the optical sensor, HDST (laser and optical together) and the laser. In the laser sensor mode, DPI levels can be configured independently for the X and Y axis.
Moving on to the ‘Performance’ section, we find options for scroll and double click speeds as well as USB report rate, acceleration, lift off distance and angle snapping. Like all the other settings in the software, these can be configured separately for the five different configuration profiles which can be selected on the fly.
On the next page of the software we can configure macros. These can be set to the different buttons on the landing page. This macro editor is far from the most comprehensive we’ve seen as it doesn’t let us key specific timings and relies on you keying in the sequence accurately.
The fourth and final page is titled ‘Support’ and provides direct links to the Epic Gear website for software and firmware updates.
Without doubt the stand out feature of the Meduza is the dual sensor configuration. There are three different sensing modes: optical, laser and HDST. The latter is designed to combine the benefits of both optical and laser sensors together.
In practice we didn’t find much to choose between the three modes except the higher DPI levels available when running in HDST and laser modes. Both Optical and Laser technology is so good these days that the vast majority of people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
In fact, the only difference we noticed was a very slight improvement in accuracy when tracking in optical and HDST modes compared to the laser only mode. We didn’t notice this when gaming, only when editing photographs in Photoshop.
The right handed ergonomic shape of the mouse fits very nicely in the hand. In fact, the Meduza is one of the best feeling mice we’ve ever tested. We would say that it’s better suited to those gamers who adopt a palm grip rather than a claw grip as it’s quite large and fills your hand more than other mice like the Corsair Vengeance M60.
On the underside of the mouse there are two slim teflon pads which facilitate an effortless gliding action. The Meduza is very easy to move with precision and agility thanks to perfect weight balance and overall low weight.
Overall we are very impressed with what the Epic Gear Meduza has to offer. Even though it’s their first attempt at a gaming mouse, the Meduza is very impressive indeed and is sure to lure gamers away from the longer established brands such as Razer and Roccat.
The Meduza’s unique selling point is the dual sensor configuration that Epic Gear have developed. This lets users choose between both optical and laser modes of a hybrid mode which combines the benefits of both. This is sure to made this mouse appeal to those users who are stuck between purchasing an optical or laser mouse. In practice, we couldn’t find a whole lot to choose between the different modes but the option is there should you want to make the most of it.
It is very difficult indeed to fault the Meduza as the mouse is well balanced and exhibits no real weaknesses. The low weight and perfect weight balance make it very easy to move precisely with agility. It also feels very well built and has all the features we expect from a high-end gaming mouse today.
There are only two ways in which we felt slightly underwhelmed by the Meduza.
Firstly, the software isn’t quite up to the same level as the competition. The macro editor isn’t as feature full as others we’ve used and the whole interface is unnecessarily flashy. Secondly, we were a little disappointed when we discovered that the only lights that you can change the colour of are the ones illuminating the mouse wheel. The other lights are restricted to red only.
At a price of £48 from Overclockers UK we think the Meduza offers great value for money. Overclockers even include a free Epic Gear mouse pad, albeit not the Compoxite one we tested in this review.
- Dual sensors.
- ‘Epic’ performance.
- Perfect weight balance.
- Great build quality.
- Software could be better.
- Not all the lights are colour-configurable.
KitGuru says: The Meduza is an excellent mouse which offers fantastic value for money, making it a must have.
Compoxite Surface and Skorpios Bungee
The Compoxite surface is also impressive. We love the silicon-cloth hybrid surface as it is practical and performs well. The Skorpios mouse bungee is quite a useful product that helps you keep the mouse cable tidy and free from snags.
The Compoxite gaming surface costs £43 from Lambdatek which has stunned us. It may be innovative but it definitely isn’t worth this price tag. It needs to drop significantly in price before we could recommend the product.
We also think that the Skorpios mouse bungee is very overpriced, costing nearly £37 from Lambdatek. The Roccat Apuri performs exactly the same function (as well as including a 4-port USB hub) and costs around £10 less. We would like to see this falling to around £20 before we would consider a recommendation.
KitGuru says: The Compoxite mouse pad and Skorpios bungee are also good products but are both horrendously overpriced.