Introduction

BenQ is a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer and it stands for “Bringing Enjoyment ‘N’ Quality to Life”. BenQ brand is committed to bring enjoyment in the areas of life that matter to most of the people since 2001. BenQ product line includes projectors, monitors & digital displays. ZOWIE is premium gaming brand for professional peripheral devices. BenQ Acquired ZOWIE Gear in 2015 to extend to Gaming Division. Under BenQ flag ZOWIE is producing Keyboards, Mice, Monitors, Mouse pads & related accessories, marketed as professional e-Sports equipment. Zowie has categorized their mice into 4 categories:

  • ZA series | Ambidextrous High-Profile Design
  • EC series | Ergonomic Right-Handed Design
  • FK series | Ambidextrous Low-Profile Design
  • S series | Symmetrical Right-handed Design

While each category has different mice and features, I am only going to talk about ZA series of mice. ZA series boasts Ambidextrous Design that allows user to maneuver the mouse with his both hands while high profile design lets user do a proper palm grip without getting tired. ZA series mice come in three different sizes(Small, Medium & Large) for better grip.

I got my hands on ZOWIE ZA12 e-Sports mouse two weeks back. The ZOWIE ZA12 is a medium sized Mouse with maximum dimensions of 64mm x 39mm x 124mm (WxHxL). With the $90.00 on Amazon & 8,800 PKR at Ease Tec for Pakistan price tags, will ZOWIE ZA12 become our new favorite? Let’s dig into that more later but first lets jump take a look at the specifications and features.

Specifications

DPI400/ 800/1600/3200
USB USB 2.0 / 3.0 Plug & Play
Buttons 5 buttons
Cable Length 2m / 6,6 ft
Report Rate 125 / 500 / 1000 Hz
Size Medium
Design High Profile
Sensor 3310
Switch TypeHuano Switches
Game TypesFPS games

Features

  • Ambidextrous mouse developed for palm and claw grip usage
  • Two thumb buttons on both sides to comfortably serve left- and right-handed users
  • Perfect lift-off distance; Plug and play (No driver needed)
  • Easy to switch between left- and right-hand functionality
  • 400/ 800/ 1600/ 3200 DPI adjustment
  • Adjustable USB report rate 125/ 500/ 1000 Hz

Unboxing

On the front side of the box BenQ & Zowie logos are present along with model & shape of the mouse printed.

On the back side of the box, there is ZOWIE logo printed in the middle. While on the bottom generic information like manufacturing date, bar coddes and other EAC, CE etc logos are present.

The side of the box states that ZOWIE ZA12 mouse is made for e-Sports, along with a ZOWIE logo.

The bottom side of the box has recycle logos and Made in China printed. While the top side of the box has a bar code printed along with model number and ZOWIE Logo.

Opening the Box, we can see ZA12 enclosed in a container waiting to be opened.

Contents of the box includes a ZA12 Mouse, User Guide, Service Information card, Zowie Sticker & Gliding pads.

The f BenQ ZOWIE ZA12 Mouse has thin rubber cable with 2 meters length. In my opinion, cable is made with good quality material and its not going to break on normal humanly use. USB connector of the mouse is gold plated. It supports both USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 connectors.

Package includes an extra set of gliding pads and a ZOWIE logo sticker. Now lets look at the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12 e-Sports mouse itself.

Closer Look & Testing

At first glance, We can see that the ZA12 is ambidextrous gaming mouse. We have reviewed ASUS ROG Pugio another ambidextrous mouse previously. I can say that Ambidextrous mice are my choice because I sometimes utilize mouse with my left hand as well. Also the ZA12 is not ergonomic at all as its solely designed for both hand use. Just to let users know that ZOWIE mice do not contain any sort of RGB illumination on its devices. Also they requires no software to be installed to configure any feature, which is pretty awesome if you use plan to use gaming mouse with Linux or Mac.

The BenQ ZA12 is a sleek looking mouse, with a small red logo printed towards the back of the mouse. ZOWIE ZA12 has rather pronounced height towards the back that feels like a hump. This might make some users uncomfortable while having a CLAW grip on the mouse compared to a lower profile FK series mouse. But ZOWIE is offering shapes for every e-Sports professional out there. It just BenQ is one of the fewest brands that have an ambidextrous mouse with a high profile shape.

ZOWIE ZA12 boasts Huaons Switches, which are stiffer & tactile compared to the counterparts. The main mouse buttons has tactile clicking feel with a satisfying travel time that is just right for usability. Both buttons provide a premium feeling while clicking as I personally dont like a smooth and non tactile clicks on my mice.

Scroll Wheel is okay, it has a rubber coating and does what its made for. I had no problem using the mouse for 2 weeks. So I can safely say that you wont face any issues from this mouse (but if you still do you can always claim warranty).

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12 e-Sports Mouse has a rather hybrid coating on the mouse which feels like its between matte and glossy finish. Its easy to notice fingerprints on the mouse, but I think this makes easy grip for most people. But for me, my hands are sweaty so I noticed it upon first user. I can easily state that I am more inclined towards rubber or matter coatings on mice.

The back of the mouse has a ZOWIE logo printed on it. Shape of the ZOWIE ZA12 allows the user to maneuver it with both hands. While the height of the mouse feels like it has a hump, which helps if you are PALMING the mouse but it certainly does not get in the way if you like CLAW grip. While ZOWIE ZA series mice come in different sizes and you are a CLAW gripper, I would suggest you to try the mouse first before buying.

we have forward and back buttons on both sides of the mouse. The feeling of click of side buttons is pretty amazing. All four buttons have got a satisfactory click.

On the bottom of the mouse we have a DPI button to switch between four levels of DPI 400/ 800/1600/3200.

You can also change the lift-off distance & polling rate by following the steps below.

Lift-off distance:

  • For a lower lift-off distance: Please disconnect the mouse, hold down Button 4 + Button 1 while re-connecting the mouse through USB 
  • For a medium lift-off distance: Please disconnect the mouse, hold down Button 5 + Button 1 while re-connecting the mouse through USB 
  • For a higher lift-off distance: Please disconnect the mouse, hold down Button 4 + Button 1 + Button 2 while re-connecting the mouse through USB

Polling Rate:

  • 125 Hz: Hold button 4+5 and plug the mouse into the USB port. Once the wheel lights up, the rate will be 125 Hz. 
  • 500 Hz: Hold button 5 and plug the mouse into the USB port. Once the wheel lights up, the rate be 500 Hz. 
  • 1000 Hz: Hold button 4 and plug the mouse into the USB port. Once the wheel lights up, the rate will be 1.000 Hz

Conclusion

The ZOWIE ZA12 is one of the perfect mouse I have tested so far. It is undoubtedly a good ambidextrous e-Sports mouse with Plug and Play support. Which means it does not require any software whatsoever to be installed, which is even great for Linux and Apple Mac users. There is easy switch DPI button and you can also set the polling rate & lift-off distance of sensor, but that is not easy to do.
If you are planning for a lightweight well equipped Ambidextrous e-Sports gaming mouse, I am sure ZA12 will be one of the best choice for you.

Aside from the coating on the exterior of mouse, I have no other issue with this mouse at all, I have found it to be one of the best performing mouse. ZOWIE did a great job manufacturing ZA12. It’s a unique mouse that targets lefty e-Sports professionals.