We have come today in the hopes of spreading the word about the folly of searching for a cheap gaming mouse in hopes of saving a few dollars on a decent clicker. The thing with inexpensive peripherals is that sometimes you luck out and acquire a great product, which is awesome. But sometimes, you just can’t catch a break, and the product you bought only serves to give you more issues than benefits, as well as make you think that you’d be better off performing brain surgery with a blunt butter knife than using said mouse for one more second. Sadly, the ET X-08 falls into the latter category.
Let’s get something very clear right off the bat; if you’re a regular user, then you might not take issue with this mouse; as long as it clicks and tracks effectively, then you won’t need much else. However, most gamers have different requirements and expectations from their gaming peripherals, which leads them to invest significantly more in these products in hopes of refining their trade and enhancing their performance in the proving grounds. If you fall into the latter category of people, then you will find this mouse lacking in several aspects. Don’t worry, we’ll elaborate; but first, a little background.
From what we could gleam from the darkest recesses of the internet, ZhiZhu is a company specialized in the distribution and sale of electronics of all types and purposes. In their catalog, we can find all sorts of oddities and knick-knacks, from patio string lights, BlueTooth receivers, and phone car chargers, to gaming headsets, power cable adapters, USB DVD burners, and gaming mice. As you can see, this organization is all about importing and reselling all types of products to appeal to the widest audience possible, with a tradeoff of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, but ending up as master of none.
This fact isn’t more obvious than with the ZhiZhu ET X-08; a mouse that tries to fit in with his big brothers from Razer, Logitech, and other renowned manufacturers, but falls flat on its face, due to several reasons, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Before jumping into our ZhiZhu ET X-08 review, we need to elaborate on the criteria we use in order to create unbiased and objective reviews. As we mentioned above, gaming mice like the ET X-08 are designed to provide a certain set of features to the users, so that they may improve upon the player’s abilities, and give them an edge on the battlefield. In this sense, gamers value a mouse that offers them a decent amount of additional buttons, a high-quality sensor with adjustable CPI settings, a comfortable and ergonomic form factor, and an aesthetically pleasing design, among others.
That said, the mouse in question tries its best to measure up to the competition. It features a customizable optical sensor, which can increase and decrease its CPI with the click of a button. It also has a couple additional buttons on the thumb rest for added functionality, as well as a form factor that promotes a strong grip, while granting plenty of breathing room to your fingers, for those gamers who tend to develop sweaty palms during those long gaming sessions. Another relevant feature about this mouse is that, for better or worse, this is a wireless peripheral, which that it could offer the benefits inherent in these types of mice, while also being subject to their shortcomings.
But enough previews, let’s get into the review proper.
The ET X-08 comes packaged with a design that’s reminiscent of a strongbox. Ironically enough, this container is actually quite frail, and the clasps that keep it shut actually feels like they would fall off after a few uses. Other than that, the box can be reused for transporting the mouse, or for storing other things, such as USB cables, adapters, batteries, or other small things that are prone to get lost with time. Contrary to other products of this nature, we won’t find any information about the titular mouse on the various faces of the packaging. Instead, we will find all relevant specifications on the instruction manual included with your purchase.
Upon opening the box, we can find the mouse firmly embedded in a thick styrofoam layer, along with the aforementioned instruction manual and the smallest USB receiver we’ve ever seen (well, not really, but it’s actually really small). The receiver’s size is similar to Logitech’s Plug N’ Forget BlueTooth receivers that are designed for just that; plugging it into the rear USB ports of your computer and forgetting it ever existed in the first place. When not in use, the receiver can be stored in a convenient slot located on the bottom of the mouse, right next to the AA battery compartment.
Like with many other wireless mice, the ET X-08 suffers from battery issues; specifically, that it requires constantly switching out drained batteries and replacing them with new ones. As opposed to other models, this one can’t be recharged via USB or with the use of a charging dock. This issue can be somewhat circumvented by purchasing a set of rechargeable batteries, along with their respective charging dock. But, for the price of the mouse and a set of rechargeable batteries, you’d honestly be better off purchasing a different mouse altogether. The X-08 can be turned off via flipping a switch on the bottom, and this can definitely help to prolong the battery life when not in use. Similarly, with the use of the same switch, the mouse can be set to operate without the LED lighting. But despite these measures, the fundamental flaw will still persist.
But the battery issues themselves are not the deal-breaker here. The real flaw, at least in our opinion, originates from the “squishy” buttons.
This mouse has a grand total of 7 buttons, including the 2 CPI switches behind the wheel. On top of the mouse, we can find the standard clickers; left, middle and right mouse buttons. And on the side, we can find two additional buttons, just above the thumb rest. These buttons are mapped by default to the forward and back functions of your browser and, sadly, they can’t be remapped without the use of a third-party software.
Up to this point, this mouse seems like pretty standard stuff. But after using it for the first time, we can definitely feel that there’s something off; the buttons don’t actually make any sound, or provide any type of feedback when clicking. This might not bother regular users, but since this is advertised as a gaming mouse, we definitely cannot let this slide. When it comes to gaming, we expect our mouse to emit appropriate clicking sounds and provide some soft of haptic feedback to our fingers. Without these features, our whole game gets thrown off, and we find ourselves constantly wasting bullets, or misclicking due to not being able to effectively tell when the mouse registers clicks. The sensation of using this mouse is akin to pressing down on a glob of Play-Doh. And this isn’t even a design flaw; it’s actually advertised as a feature, as a quiet button design.
The feature mentioned above is, by far, the worst this mouse has to offers. When it comes to sensors, the ET X-08 is equipped with a decent optical sensor, which provides a pretty precise tracking experience, at sensitivities of up to 2400 CPI. As we mentioned above, the sensitivity can be switched on the go, simply with the use of the bottoms that are located behind the scroll wheel. The optical nature of this mouse allows it to be used on a wide variety of surfaces, excluding reflective materials such as glass desks or tables made from wood with a polished finish.
One of the best things about this mouse is its form factor, which actually feels quite comfortable on small to medium-sized hands. The contoured shape of the ET X-08 actually fits neatly in the hand, and automatically causes your fingers to fall into the grooves on the sides, which are meant to be used as finger rests to prevent fatigue and promote a strong grip. these very same rests are equipped with breathing ports, ideal for those who suffer from sweaty palms so that the skin can breathe and prevent excess sweat from building up and compromising the grip in the heat of battle.
When it comes to saving a few bucks, the Zhizhu ET X-08 can definitely help to provide the benefits of a wireless mouse, without breaking the bank. Its additional buttons, as well as customizable CPI settings and comfortable grip, make this a really good candidate for those that need a reliable mouse to get some work done. However, when it comes to gaming, you could definitely do a lot better. The features that are meant to improve the user’s experience, such as the quiet button design actually take away from the user’s skills and can contribute to misclicking or making mistakes.
If this mouse was advertised as a generic office mouse, we wouldn’t have any issue. But since we’re talking about a gaming peripheral, then we can’t really endorse its purchase for this purpose exclusively. For the other contenders in the best gaming mouse arena, see our dedicated guide.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com
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