Gaming mice in 2021 are for the most part, all really good. They all have over the top optical sensors, mechanical switches, programmable buttons and lightweight materials. You’d have to be a special kind of special to make a bad one. So it’s harder than ever for manufacturers to make a mouse that stands out above the competition. Enter the $59.99 Marsback Zephyr Pro(at the time of this writing), a gaming mouse that differentiates itself by adding something totally off-the-wall — a cooling fan for sweaty gamer palms.
But that’s absolutely silly, right? Not really. Many people do suffer from sweaty palms and constantly have to dry off during intense gaming sessions. Having a mouse that keeps them cool isn’t such a trivial feature. Thankfully, that’s not all the Zephyr Pro has to offer. Besides the cooling fan schtick, you get a very competent gaming mouse but then again, that’s a solved problem.
So what’s this cool mouse like to use everyday?
Marsback Zephyr Pro RGB Sweat Proof Gaming Mouse Review
The first thing you’ll notice about the Zephyr Pro is the now ubiquitous asymmetric plastic shell with geometric hole cutout design that was made famous by the Glorious Model O mice. This makes Zephyr Pro pretty light, measuring only 69g which is great for a competitive gaming mouse. The plastic used feels hard but very sturdy with no creakingand I’m confident it will survive some brutal treatment.
This design works well for both lefties and righties but the thumb buttons are on the rightside. A DPI switcher sits ontop of the mouse behind the scroll wheel. Underneath the mouse is the optical sensor flanked by two extra buttons; one for cycling RGB and the other for toggling the cooling fan.
Speaking of which, you can see the cooling fan through the holey shell sitting in the back of the mouse. It looks like a miniaturized PC case fan and it’s made of a translucent plastic that works well for RGB lighting. Turn it on by long pressing the aforementioned underside button and it whirls into life. There’s no dramatic breeze blasting your hands and it’s really only a tingly buzzing as well as seeing the fan spinning that confirms it’s on.
Admittedly, I’m not one who sweats in the palms but I’m also just coming out of a chilled Australian Winter. Testing the cooling effect required some inventiveness so I simply wet my palms with some water and used the mouse. It was then I really felt the cooling effect and not only that, but my moist palm also dried up in less than a minute. It definitely works as advertised.
Marsback say they engineered the fan in a way that efficiently directs the air upwards into your palm with minimal noise and vibration. Indeed I couldn’t ever hear the fan but damn, I certainly could feel that vibration. It’s less of the mouse shaking in your hand and more like a constant buzzing feeling which feels, well, really weird and distracting. I have no evidence that this degrades the overall performance of the Zephyr Pro but I was certainly more focused on the mouse than on the game I was playing which as you can imagine, messes with your game sense.
I can imagine how that would be a problem for competitive gamers who need only focus on the game at hand and not the feeling in said hand. For the more casual home gamers, it could be fine but that’s entirely subjective. In the end, I felt the Zephyr Pro was just a lot better feeling with the fan off than on, which defeats the entire point of a mouse that’s designed for high-stress, sweat-inducing sessions.
Thankfully, even with the fan off, the Zephyr Pro is still a highly competent mouse. The main right and left buttons are of the Omron mechanical switch variety and are responsive and satisfying to press, although I felt they have longer travel and less clickiness than something like Razer’s optical-mechanical switches. The lightweight nature of the mouse and large PTFE feet make mouse movements easy and fast while the USB cable is flexible and never got in the way of my motions.
Every button is customisable as per norm but the Marsback software looks rather dated compared to competitors. It’s easy enough to work with though and you can save upto 5 different profiles to the onboard memory. You can also choose from 7 lighting presets for the three zones and it looks really slick especially when the fan is running.
Inside the Zephyr Pro is a Pixart 3389 16K optical sensor with 400IPS and in my testing performed excellently. I’ve been playing a ton of Destiny 2 PVP and the Zephyr Pro performed wonderfully with accuracy and speed that was on point. I have never been able to actually play at anything over 3000 DPI but if you can, then the Zephyr Pro won’t let you down thanks to it’s smooth acceleration.
If Marsback wanted a schtick to make the Zephyr Pro stand out from the crowd, then they sure nailed it. The cooling fan sounded like a gimmick but once I tested it, I could see how people who sweat easily in their palms would appreciate it. Sadly, the buzzing sensation was just too distracting for me to keep it on. I also found the overall ergonomics less comfortable than I’d like while travel on the switches was less crispy and snappy feeling than my Razer Basilisk V3. For the most part, the Zephyr Pro is just another good gaming mouse that has the added benefit of a cooling fan which works as advertised but isn’t quite perfect yet.