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Zephyr Pro gaming mouse review: Built-in fan keeps you cool

By Hoots the Owl - 9 Oct 2021

Zephyr Pro gaming mouse review: Built-in fan keeps you cool

Note: This review was first published on 30 September 2021.

Lighter and quieter

Last year, I reviewed a quirky prototype of a gaming mouse called the Zephyr. It had a built-in fan, blowing a cool breeze against your hand to banish sweaty palms. Unfortunately, the mouse's shape didn't feel the best in hand, and the fan was noisy and buzzed frenetically when using the mouse. 

One year later, Zephyr Gaming has rebranded to Marsback, and their new mouse, the Zephyr Pro, is here for a second shot at active cooling in a gaming mouse. The Zephyr Pro fixes a lot of the issues faced by its predecessor, and the improvements are significant.

It's now got a far more comfortable shape that's very similar to the Glorious Model O. With a flat profile and slight comfort grooves along the sides and mouse buttons, it feels much better in hand than the Zephyr. It is a safe, versatile shape, suitable for almost any grip style. However, the mouse is quite large, which means that certain grip styles such as the fingertip grip work better for those with bigger hands.

The geometric open shell design brings its weight down to 69g, and it feels a lot more nimble than the Zephyr. Build quality is good, and there is minimal flexing when pressing down on the sides. And for a mouse with actual moving parts, I'm happy to see that there's no rattling when shaking the mouse either. 

When it comes to the fan, it's far quieter than before and also less disruptive. The annoying thrum that plagued the original is gone, and the fan positioning has been tweaked, blowing directly upward instead of at an angle. This seems to have improved cooling somewhat, and I can see this coming in handy for you if you have sweaty palms. The shell cutouts are larger than you'd typically see on a mouse, which probably helps with airflow as well. You can still feel the vibrations through the mouse, but it's faint enough that it kind of fades into the background after a while and you don't really notice it. The fan does not affect tracking either, so you don't have to worry about that. 

The Omron switches on the Zephyr Pro are rated for 50 million clicks. They are crisp and responsive, but are not as tactile as Huano or certain Kailh switches. There is minimal post-travel too, the same of which goes for the side buttons. The scroll wheel is inoffensive and quiet, with well-defined notches that allow for precise adjustments. The stock PTFE feet provide a smooth glide right out of the box, with no noticeable scratchiness.

Like most other mice on the market today, the Zephyr Pro is also equipped with a flexible paracord cable. It isn't the softest cable I've used, but it does the job well enough with minimal cable drag. 

The sensor is a 16,000DPI PixArt PMW3389 optical sensor, found on many top mice today. It offers flawless tracking as expected, with no noticeable acceleration or jitter. You can set up to seven DPI stages in the software and toggle between them using the dedicated DPI button. The scroll wheel then doubles as a colour-coded indicator for you to quickly see what sensitivity you're on.

The Zephyr Pro has its own software that lets you customise DPI, button functionality, RGB lighting, lift-off distance and more. The interface could definitely use some polish, but there's a ton of functionality packed in there. Interestingly enough, there is no way to adjust the fan speed, and there is just a button at the bottom that you hold to turn off the fan. To be fair, I didn't see any need to tweak the speed of the fan while I was using the mouse, but more control over what is clearly the marquee feature of the mouse would be nice.

 

Conclusion

The Zephyr Pro is a unique mouse in a very crowded space. It is a huge step up from the original, sporting a better overall build, more comfortable shape, and lighter design. More importantly, the fan is no longer a nuisance, and it could actually help you if you have sweaty palms. Elsewhere, Marsback has taken care to equip the mouse with everything you'd expect from a gaming mouse in 2021, including a paracord cable and customisable RGB lighting. 

At US$59, the Zephyr Pro is pretty attractively priced as well. If you constantly find yourself wiping your palms down, or just want to try something different, it is well worth a look. 

You can get the Marsback Zephyr Pro here, but don't be fooled into thinking the sale price is US$59 - this is its normal price. For our loyal HardwareZone readers, you're in for a treat! Patch in discount code - HARDWAREZONE - and you can get the mouse for only US$49.

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8.0
  • Design 8
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Comfortable shape and light weight
Much quieter than its predecessor
Flawless sensor
Flexible paracord cable
The Bad
Cannot adjust fan speed
Fan can be a bit gimmicky and not everyone actually needs it
Driver could use more polish
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