Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

Zowie FK1+ Review

A simplistic ambidextrous design with some excellent performance under the shell makes the FK1+ a tournament ready delight!

by Shaun

Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

Zowie FK1+ Review

A simplistic ambidextrous design with some excellent performance under the shell makes the FK1+ a tournament ready delight!

by Shaun

by Shaun

With the introduction of the FK series, Zowie brought some simplistic, ambidextrous shapes into the market. These no-nonsense mice are built to be ‘fit for purpose’ without sacrificing performance. Here we have the BenQ Zowie FK1+ gaming mouse which has been developed with the help of some e-Sports professionals.

The FK1+ mouse delivers a comfortable shape that fits nicely in any hand and features the PMW3310 optical sensor which gives a reliable and accurate gaming experience across a lot of different gaming titles. The strength of Zowie mice isn’t just in the build quality but also the variety of available shapes for gamers. The FK1+ offers slightly bigger dimensions than the FK1 and FK2 and despite being ambidextrous its still a highly comfortable mouse.

Pros

  • Simple Design – No frills but still elegant.
  • Comfortable – Brilliant shape.
  • Great Tracking – Highly regarded sensor.
  • Durable – Sturdy well put together mouse.
  • No Software – Plug and play

Cons

  • Material – Could become slippy after prolonged usage.

benq zowie fk1 mouse review

Mouse Size & Weight 

  • Weight: 95g
  • Size: Medium
  • Length: 12.8cm -5 inches
  • Width: 6.8cm – 2.6 inches
  • Height: 3.8cm – 1.4 inches
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous

Mouse Tech

  • Sensor: PMW3310 optical
  • Buttons: Huano Switches
  • DPI: 400/800/1600/3200
  • Polling Rate: 125 / 500 / 1000Hz
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Cable: Non-Braided

What’s in the box

zowie fk1 gaming mouse review

Zowie seems to base the colour scheme on product boxes to match the colour of the mouse inside and with the FK1+ it’s no different. We have a plain black box with a lifesize drawing of the mouse centred on the front.

Inside we have:

  • BenQ Zowie FK1+ Gaming Mouse
  • User Guide
  • Extra Skates (set)

Size & Weight

Zowie are the kings of variety and the FK1+ is the biggest option in the FK series.  The FK1+ is 12.8 cm long which is about 1cm longer than the wired Logitech G pro but the same length as the Fk1 and EC1. The width is 1mm more than the FK1 and 5 mm more than the wired G Pro but it doesn’t feel wide in the hand and it always felt comfortable to grip. The height of the mouse is the same as the wired G Pro (3.8cm) and feels like quite a low profile mouse with an unintrusive hump. Overall I would say this mouse is for medium-sized hands but the extra few millimetres of the FK1+ could cater for a bigger hand than mine (18×11 cm) with no problems. It feels big enough to palm grip but my best results in-game were when using the more natural feeling claw/palm hybrid grip.

If this seems a bit too long compared to what you are used to or maybe you have significantly smaller hands than myself but like the look of the FK mice then maybe consider the FK2 as it’s smaller in every way (12.4 x 6.4 x 3.6 cm). There is, of course, the FK1 which is the middle ground in the series.

The FK1+ weighs 95 grams without the cable which makes it quite a light feeling mouse but still has enough heft to it. The weight is similar to the HyperX Pulsefire FPS Pro and 5 grams heavier than the Fk1 version. It doesn’t feel heavy at all due to its relatively small size but if it sounds slightly too heavy for you it’s worth noting the FK2 is only 85 grams. The weight distribution of the FK1+ was excellent and it was probably one of the most balanced mice I’ve used.

Shape & Texture

The FK1+ is an extended FK1 and designed to be a bit more comfortable for the larger hand. It’s size also makes it more viable to palm grip the mouse but as I said earlier the shape felt most comfortable when using a hybrid grip. The shape is nice to look at and at first glance, it just looks like a simple generic mouse. The hump appears to be directly in the middle and tapers off towards the rear palm rest and to the front primary buttons in a gentle manner. The shape despite being ambidextrous feels ergonomic and you can instantly feel why Zowies mice shapes are highly regarded. There doesn’t seem to be any comfort grooves apart from on the sides which do a great job of improving grip and comfort. It’s worth noting the mouse has 2 buttons on either side but due to the impressive design I never accidentally hit them once while using the mouse which surprised me. There are some ever so slight indentations on the primary buttons to keep your fingers nicely in the middle of each but it is barely noticeable. If you look at the mouse from the bottom it resembles a bottom heavy hourglass with the sensor sat in the middle and overall the mouse feels long and narrow but with a wide enough rear section to rest on.

The material for the shell is thin, robust plastic and It’s got a matte black finish to it that feels glossy to the touch. The mouse feels great to hold but it does start to pick up condensation almost immediately after gripping for a few minutes which was fine for me but be wary if you have sweaty palms. It feels slippy to the touch but I never lost control of the mouse once even with the wet layer of condensation I was getting as I grip quite tightly. I preferred the material used on the FK series to the new Divina mice as the surface feels like it’s got a tiny bit more texture to it. I have seen people like to ‘scrub’ their Zowie mice with sandpaper for extra grip but I’d rather add grip tape if it became slippy.

Buttons

The FK1+ features Huano switches and the buttons have a bit of stiffness to them which impacted tap shooting in CSGO at first. Once you get used to the buttons they do feel quite nice but I’m used to an easier click from my Deathadder and the difference is very noticeable. That being said I never accidentally clicked the buttons like in other mice from resting my fingers in full palm grip which was great. The buttons are part of the main shell and feel like they have more travel towards the middle of the mouse which I don’t like but it didn’t affect me while playing. The clicks have a satisfying click to them but it’s worth noting they have quite a deep, loud noise compared to other mice.

The Mouse has a clickable scroll wheel in its usual place and it sits quite low in the shell out of the way. It’s a tactile wheel but doesn’t feel as robust or refined as the main competitor’s wheels however it’s not really a game-changing difference. The wheel can’t be re-programmed as there is no software and its quite a loud wheel when scrolling.

There are a total of 7 buttons on the FK1+ but only 5 will work when you use the mouse, this is because the 2 side buttons of the right are disabled when the mouse arrives. This mouse features 2 side buttons on either side to accommodate for both right and lefties but you can disable one of the sides to prevent any accidental pressing. You cant remove any side buttons but you can change which side is deactivated. You do this by holding down the left mouse button together with the middle mouse button to activate left-handed mode or by pressing the right mouse button with the middle mouse button to change it back to its original right-handed mode. As I mentioned before though I never once touched the extra side buttons as the shape design is superb plus the side buttons are a lot smaller than the ZA series. The side buttons have low travel and don’t move too much when I slide my thumb over them like bigger buttons tend to do. The click feels solid to press and responsive in-game.

The FK series features a DPI button on the bottom with the 4 predetermined DPI settings available in the mouse. The DPI stages are colour coded so we don’t have to guess what setting we are on.

DPI Stages:

  • Red – 400 DPI
  • Purple – 800 DPI
  • Blue – 1600 DPI
  • Green – 3200 DPI

It’s good to see the DPI switch on the bottom out of the way as there doesn’t seem to be any need for it on the top but I only play FPS games so what do I know. As mentioned before there is no software with Zowie mice so if you are used to customising your DPI to something different than these values you may need to search for a different brand of mouse. These values they offer are standard and are all close to what a lot of gamers will already be using. I use 800 DPI so loved the plug and play nature of this mouse.

Cable

The cable on the FK1+ is 2 metres long and has a smooth rubber texture. The cable was quite flexible and didn’t really snag on anything even when using it without a bungee. It does go a bit bumpy nearer the mouse end if you wrap it around like some people still tend to do (stop it). The cable fits naturally in the Zowie Camade bungee with no problems but when testing it in the cheap alternative I found the glossy plastic just allowed the cable to slip right through.

Sensor & Performance

The sensor features the same PMW 3310 sensor seen in the EC series and it great! It’s not the latest sensor from PixArt but it’s still highly regarded in the community as precise and reliable. Like in other mouse models the implementation of the 3310 has seen some spinning out issues. I did find it hard to get the sensor to spin out but due to my low sensitivity I occasionally tilt slam and there was a situation in the middle of a CSGO game where the crosshair went flying. Like I say it was one time but its enough to make me consider the newer Divina range from Zowie with the 3360 being implemented. The sensor remained smooth and accurate without any acceleration or deviation throughout testing.

When scoped in on CSGO or PUBG the mouse tracked smoothly and was fun to use for sniping in general. I normally have a preference towards right-handed mice for FPS titles but the FK1+ was a really good alternative and I didn’t notice that I was using an ambidextrous mouse to be honest so it converted me a little to try new shapes in FPS games. The lightweight mouse glided across the pad easily and made flick shots quick and precise in CSGO however there was something slightly off when making micro adjustments. I’m not sure if it’s my grip or if it’s because I’m used to slightly bulkier mice, but the small micro adjustments just weren’t as accurate as I would have liked.

The lift of distance has been optimised and is around 1.2mm. When lifting the mouse there didn’t seem to be much cursor movement and it just seemed to stop, which was brilliant. The polling rate goes up to 1000Hz and comes set to this as default but it can be changed with some more button commands. For 125Hz again unplug the mouse but this time while holding mouse 4 and 5. To set it to 500Hz you must first unplug the mouse and hold mouse 5.  To set it back to 1000Hz you simply hold down Mouse 4 as you plug the mouse back in.

Mouse Testing Section

These are the various tests we can consider doing.

  • Paint Test
  • CPI Divergence
  • Perfect Control Speed
  • Speed Related Accuracy Variance
  • Polling Rate
  • Input Lag
  • Click Latency

Our Verdict

When you buy a Zowie mouse you aren’t looking for the latest RGB configurations or specialised materials coating some trigger system. You want a mouse that is fit for purpose and tournament ready and that’s what Zowie delivers. The Ambidextrous shape to the FK1+ is one of the most comfortable ones I’ve had the pleasure of using and when you pair that with its performance you’ve got a really fantastic mouse in your hands. Sure the clicking could be a little looser and the mouse wheel could be refined but there is no doubt this will improve your gaming experience. If you’d prefer a right-handed alternative then the EC series is worth checking out but for a top of the line ambidextrous mouse, the FK1+ is one is a beast.

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