A few months on from my original review of the GAMDIAS Zeus GMS1100 eSport, I was allowed to keep the moue as a long-term test unit. Having no other high-end peripherals on the cards to compare it with, I decided to use it as my daily driver to gauge performance over time. It’s generally noted that most peripheral reviews or, indeed, reviews of any computer products take place over the course of two to four weeks, without any long-term updates added in later to get an idea of how ownership of the device itself changed the reviewer’s initial impressions. Let’s jump in, shall we?
The Fraying cable
My Zeus isn’t part of the many online examples of the cable fraying and I’m glad that this isn’t the case. My cat has been biting the cable a lot as a way of asking for food, but otherwise the cable, the USB ports and the sleeving have held up well in the last six months. Living by the sea lets me assess components for how well they deal with rust and things have been good there as well – the gold-plated USB connector hasn’t given me any problems yet.
With that said, though, many people do see issues with frayed cables and that’s down to how GAMDIAS was using the shrink-wrapped USB cords in earlier batches of the Zeus. There’s very little one can do about it except to haul out the scissors to keep it trimmed down, or return the mouse and hope that GAMDIAS or Esquire, their local distributors, give you a better replacement.
The body and underside
The body of the Zeus has held up well to scratches, a couple of occasions where I was eating chips with my right hand and it’s been dropped five or six times as well. The buttons still click fine, the scroll wheel isn’t sticky and the thumb buttons, the two closest to the palm which felt a little mushy, haven’t given me problems.
Readers of my original review may remember that I noted a manufacturing default on my unit with a little plastic lip that hadn’t been smoothed over after being taken out of the injection moulds in which they are made. I used a nail file to smooth it over a bit and over time the mouse has kept its smooth ride. The Teflon feet are still good for about another year of use and I also have replacements sitting in the box, ready when needed.
I haven’t lost the weights, thankfully. I took them out to make the mouse lighter, as I’m not really a fan of heavy mice and the extra weight did make it more of a chore to move around. Sans the extra weight the Zeus is still very easy to move about, although it is still much heftier than my Steelseries Sensei RAW.
Hardware, lights, sensor
The internals have held up pretty well. I haven’t had any issues with the sensor although I have not made much use of the higher sensitivity levels except for playing HAWKEN, where I use the 4800 dpi mode. I’ve written in previous articles that many manufacturers use custom firmware to artificially increase the sensitivity of optical mice and this is also the case with the Zeus. Using the mouse at the highest sensitivity setting actually resulted in a few dropped movements as the sensor battled to keep up with me. Twitch shooters don’t have nearly the accuracy I was looking for. Overall, sticking to 3200 dpi with customised game profiles has served me well.
I can’t say that much for the lighting though. One of the LEDs on the side that cycles through colours to tell you what sensitivity level you’re using began to blink on and off about every hour. The blinking became more pronounced later on until it began to interfere with the mouse’s functioning. I resorted to selecting a different colour for the LED indicator, switching the 1600 dpi mode to use purple instead of orange.
This took away the power issues and I no longer had reliability problems. There’s a power issue in there somewhere, but I won’t take the mouse apart just to find something that I won’t be able to fix myself anyway.
Hardware-wise, I can’t fault the Zeus’ reliability, but the extra buttons on the side by the thumb rest as well as the third button by the dpi switch and the profile switch button aren’t recognised in a lot of games. In fact, there are some games where the regular thumb buttons don’t get picked up at all, again an example being HAWKEN. This seems to be a firmware issue rather than hardware and I hope GAMDIAS fixes it soon.
Hera Software still needs work
The latest versions of Hera seem to be a bit wonky. While GAMDIAS fixed the issue of software hangs under Windows 8/8.1, updating from within the Hera interface doesn’t always work properly for me and I’m unable to update the mouse’s firmware. This is also exacerbated by the fact that when I last downloaded, unpacked and ran a new version of Hera, the GAMDIAS logo still floated in front of all other windows and couldn’t be minimised. That needs some fixing.
In my review I also wrote that using Hera on a flash drive allowed it to be sort of like your own personal cloud and that’s still possible today. So, at least their best software feature hasn’t changed, which is good. Backing up user-made macros and custom control sets is also still possible, but you’d have to share these manually or have them backed up manually on something like Dropbox with symbolic links.
In my original review I gave the GAMDIAS Zeus eSport a pretty high score (9/10) and it was definitely deserving of it. It was a good push from a new company that wanted to differentiate themselves and it reminded me of Steelseries’ first version of the Sensei (which still has occasional bricking problems that I encountered two weeks ago).
However, I’d give it a much more reserved score these days than before. GAMDIAS hasn’t put a lot of fire behind their driver team to give Hera new features or solve any of the residual issues and far too many games in my library don’t recognise the extra buttons on the mouse that I could be using for other things. The Zeus is a grand mouse, no doubt about it, but it’s a little less appealing now that I know that there are some latent issues with it.
Today I’m giving the Zeus a long-term score of 8. It still offers a lot of features for the price and it’s definitely poking around in a price point that most higher-end mice usually avoid (around R800). If you can find stock, it’s a good bargain but now that I’m more familiar with its quirks, I’d be less eager to put it up as my first choice.