October 18, 2017 // 1 p.m.
The software for the Swiftpoint Z is very similar to the mouse: very extensive but a little bit overwhelming. Some things could be easier, but overall you are able to do far more than with any other mouse brand that I have seen thanks to the crazy amount of hardware functions. When downloading the Z software, it does try and make you give an email address, but I gave a fake one and it allowed me to continue.
The first thing the software does is calibrate the mouse so that it knows how level the desk it. There is no point in having tilt if your desk isn't level, so this does the work so you don't have to.
The main settings page allows you to change DPI settings, change the RGB lighting, and set the LOD distance. If you want to be able to scroll through multiple DPI levels, you can create more and then switch them using the mouse. When you change the DPI, it shows on the OLED screen ensuring you know exactly what DPI you are using.
Before you start to tilt your mouse, you need to set it up. You can set one function at 1.2-degree tilt and one at 10-degree tilt. you can also make it so that it does something different upon returning the mouse to level than when you tilt the mouse. I made it so that when I tilted the mouse left 1.2 degrees it would simply tap the left mouse button. It worked really well, and you can choose between pressing the left click and holding it down, pressing it down so it returns automatically, or pressing it down so that it returns when you level the mouse.
All of the other buttons are similar in terms of reprogramming, and buttons that feature Deep Click are shown clearly so that you can change what happens the more you push it. You can also add more inputs, so instead of 50 percent and 100 percent press, you could have 25, 50, and 100 percent. This is how we did the scoping in our games.
This rear button can be pressed down as well as up, meaning you can add two inputs for it also. If you don't want two inputs, you can remove them and make it so nothing happens. I did this with this one button so that I could just run a simple string of text. You can run multiple commands on all of the buttons, but it is a long-winded process, as there is no dedicated macro control.
Overall, this is a mouse that really does push the boundaries of mouse design without simply adding more buttons or lighting effects. I feel a little strange even thinking of it as an actual mouse - it isn't. it can do so many things that it is almost like having a mouse, joystick, gamepad, and half a keyboard in one hand. Even after around 80 hours of use, I am still trying to master some of the features, and I think the more you get used to it, the more applications you will be able to find for it - it forces you to think of new ways of approaching how you interact with the desktop, your applications, and your games, which isn't something you can say for many peripherals.
In terms of comfort, it is great. Okay, I had a little bit of wrist strain for the first few uses, but I believe this to be more because I wanted to change my grip while using it so I could get the most out of all the buttons. The biggest issue with ease of use is how overwhelming the sheer number of functions is at first, although I did also experience a bit of difficulty with specific buttons.
Performance-wise it really is impressive. I have never flown jets in Battlefield and GTA V with such ease, and being able to set the tilt to lean in FPS games reminds me to actually use it. The sensor tracks very well on multiple surfaces, and I didn't have any problems with stutter, latency, or ghosting.
All in all, the mouse is very impressive, but the biggest drawback for us is the price - £200 is enough to buy a good mouse, joystick, and gamepad. and we would still feel better with each item individually. Maybe we are just stuck in our ways, though - there's no denying that there's a serious level of innovation here that's rarely seen in the mouse market or even the wider peripherals market. For LAN events or gamers who want to swap games a lot, this could be an excellent idea, and I think it certainly fits our Extreme award criteria. Would I buy one? Knock £75 off and I would certainly be tempted.