Epic Gear Meduza HDST Gaming Mouse ReviewManufacturer: Epic Gear
UK price (as reviewed): £39.95
US price (as reviewed):
Epic Gear is a new startup brand from Taiwanese firm Golden Emperor International Limited, best known for its memory products. With a focus on gaming equipment, it currently offers a couple of mouse pads and a mouse bungee, along with the Meduza mouse. Entering the mouse market is a brave decision, as it's highly competitive and thus hard to stand out in. With sensor technology now at a stage where most mice are very competent trackers, the need for features, comfort and price to be precisely balanced is even more important.
£40 is a reasonable enough price for a mouse, although there are certainly cheaper options. It's a seven button affair, six of which are programmable to functions or macros. Under the hood is an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M3 CPU and 128KB of onboard memory, allowing the mouse to make use of algorithms to reduce jitter, skip and drift. It also houses two sensors on its underside – one 3,200 dpi optical sensor and a 6,000 dpi laser one. These can be used independently or together in HDST (Hybrid Dual Sensor Technology) mode.
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The USB 2.0 connection sits at the end of a two metre braided cable, which despite being a little stiff is not intrusive. The top of the Meduza has a hard matte black surface, whereas the left and right side feature a black rubber coating that provides good grip for both your thumb and little finger (although we did find the tip of our pinkie dragging slightly in use). Overall the mouse feels well made and durable.
The forward and back buttons are right where you'd expect them to be – just above the thumb and easy to reach quickly. Just below the scroll wheel is another button, which by default changes the current dpi level between one of four settings, indicated by four easily visible LEDs just in front of where your thumb rests. Finally, ahead of the forward button is the profile switch button, which is non-programmable. The scroll wheel is a particular highlight, with well defined scroll points that aren't too clicky.
The underside is clad in a bright orange-red, which thanks to the dual sensors makes the Meduza look always happy to see you. The switch is used to flick between the three sensor modes. With the mouse connected, the scroll wheel and the logos are illuminated by red LEDs, which makes for a pretty cool look in our opinion. We only wish that all of the LEDs changed colour along with the scroll wheel to indicate the current profile in use.
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The mouse weighs in at 170g, which cannot be adjusted. We would have preferred it slightly heavier, but this is a personal choice, and the weight is generally fine and more importantly is well balanced. The right handed mouse is wonderfully comfortable, especially for gamers employing a palm grip. Small grooves for your two main fingers are complemented by a well-shaped hump, and the groove for your ring finer is especially nice.
Thanks to the two large Teflon feet of the Meduza, it provides a low friction and smooth experience in use. The differences between the three sensor modes aren't hugely pronounced. As such, the dual sensor feature is basically an unnecessary cost increasing feature, as single sensor mice work just as well.
The bundled software is incredibly irritating in many regards. It's full screen only, and very flash-heavy with silly animations and sound effects. As a result, although it is generally well laid out and functional, it's pointlessly over the top and cumbersome for a simple piece of mouse profiling software.
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Up to five profiles can be saved at one time, and the ability to switch between them on the fly is always welcome. Within each one you can adjust dpi settings, program buttons, and configure other settings like double click speed, USB polling rate and pointer acceleration. The built in macro editor is simple to use and can store up to fifteen macros. The mouse LEDs can also be turned off if desired.
The Meduza is a very respectable entry into an already crowded market. It looks pretty cool with its red LEDs, and it's a very comfortable mouse to use, especially for right handed palm grippers. With its seven buttons and downloadable software it provides better functionality than the SteelSeries Kana, which also also goes for around £40 now. Serious MMO and RTS gamers who might make need of masses of buttons and macros might be better suited with the Corsair Vengeance M90, for example, but otherwise the Meduza is a fine choice.