Zalman ZM-FG1000 FPSGUN Gaming Mouse

Written by Fred Hunt

February 27, 2008 | 07:22

Tags: #fps #gaming-mouse #gun #immersion #input #mice #mouse #peripheral #realism

Companies: #zalman

Testing

We had a play with the FG1000 in what Zalman claims is its stomping ground; the FPS genre.

After having chosen some of the most popular games in recent FPS history; the Battlefield series, Counter-Strike, Quake Wars and Doom 3, we settled in for a marathon gaming week.

Why so long? Well, our main concern was that our unfamiliarity with the mouse might influence the review in some way. We switched from our favourite rodents to the Zalman FPSGUN and gave our hands time to adjust – but one thing that was evident from the first time we used it, was how unnatural it felt.

The thing about real pistol grips is that they are designed with the trigger positioning in mind, so that the natural position of your index finger is exactly where it needs to be to fire. Pistols are not only ergonomically evolved to be easy to hold and shoot, but also feel like they are naturally an extension of your arm.

It sounds weird, but a decent handheld weapon feels very natural to aim. Shooting is something that can feel very good from a design perspective.

Zalman ZM-FG1000 FPSGUN Gaming Mouse Testing, Conclusions Zalman ZM-FG1000 FPSGUN Gaming Mouse Testing, Conclusions
Click to enlarge

The Zalman FPSGUN however is not quite as easy to hold. It’s noticeably small for one thing. I personally don't have especially large hands, but I found my fingers would not sit on the buttons, but past them.

The angle at which you hold the FPSGUN at is about the same as holding a standard mouse, but the "trigger" buttons sit uncomfortably low here. It’s enough to make you have to find somewhere to stash your little finger during gaming. The position of the scroll wheel was also difficult to get used to, I found myself changing weapons and selecting menus by accident – often a fatal mistake in multiplayer games.

The location of the optical sensor is what Zalman claims to make this product truly revolutionary though. The tiniest movements of your wrist are amplified on the horizontal plane because the sensor is positioned to the front, yet you hold the grip near the rear. The idea is great in theory and being able to pan from right to left in an instant with minimum effort should put the Zalman FPSGUN right up there with caffeine and pizza as requirements of modern gaming. Unfortunately, it just doesn't feel right.

Even after using the mouse for a long period of time, I simply found myself confused by the vertical movement. Imagine running into the warehouse on the cs_assault map in Counter-Strike. You’re busy panning left to right, downing foes easily, but you find yourself having to make extra long movements to cover the same distance vertically.

Zalman ZM-FG1000 FPSGUN Gaming Mouse Testing, Conclusions Zalman ZM-FG1000 FPSGUN Gaming Mouse Testing, Conclusions
Click to enlarge

The interchangeable sensitivity is useful, and the colour indication on the scroll wheel itself is also quite nifty, though looking down to see what colour your mouse has changed to during gaming is akin to suicide on a busy, hostile map.

To see how the FPS Gun copes with non-FPS gaming and standard desktop tasks we tried World of Warcraft, Sims 2 and some random internet surfing. Trust us when we say that there’s a reason it’s called FPSGUN – it’s simply not usable for anything else.

Conclusion

Gaming mice are probably the most important peripheral hardcore gamers can invest in, so cost is not usually an issue if the gains are noticeable. What Zalman is asking you to do though is to buy into an idea, a concept – one that may or may not work according to how well you adjust and how big your hands are.

Comparing the FPSGUN to the likes of a Razer or SteelSeries mouse though might be considered a little unfair, as essentially you are limited to using the FPSGUN for FPS games. So, even if you did invest £35 in the FPSGUN, you would still have to stick with your old mouse for everything else – for us, this ruins any of the value and attraction the design could have ever had.

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