After many years of development, the Zaunkoenig M1K was revealed in June of 2019. Almost two years later, in March of 2021, we revealed the Zaunkoenig M2K, the successor of the M1K. Much has changed. The following is an overview over both the M1K as well as the M2K.
A short overview over the Zaunkoenig M1K
The Zaunkoenig M1K was the first dedicated Fingertip Grip gaming mouse. Thanks to its carbon fiber top shell the weight of the M1K was just 23 grams, making it the lightest gaming mouse by far. The M1K famously featured a two-button design. Two buttons as in left button and right button, but no side buttons and no wheel. The M1K was a gaming mouse reduced to its essence.
Other notable features of the M1K were its cable and its printed circuit board (PCB).
The cable was lightweight, flexible and strong at the same time, thanks to utilizing ultrafine copper wires in combination with Kevlar strands and a Polyurethane jacket.
The PCB featured zero lag switch debouncing, the best switches in any gaming mouse (Japanese Omrons: D2F-01F) as well as an internal polling rate of 8,000 hertz.
Enter the Zaunkoenig M2K
The M2K has the same cable as the M1K. And it also has Japanese Omrons as well as the 3360 sensor by PixArt. The size as well as shape is the same as well. That is about it for the similarities however. Everything else has changed.
The big difference with the M2K is that we added not only a wheel, but a middle mouse button as well, while at the same time only increasing the weight by one gram. The Zaunkoenig M2K weighs in at just 24 grams, making it the second lightest gaming mouse in the world – second only to the M1K:
Keeping the weight increase so small while at the same time adding a wheel and a middle mouse button was not easy and required a complete redesign of the carbon fiber shell, the bottom shell as well as the PCB.
For the carbon fiber shell we switched to a unibody design. The carbon fiber shell of the M2K is so stiff, that it does not require an additional traditional bottom shell. The carbon fiber shell of the M2K thus is both: top shell as well as bottom shell:
The plastic part in the middle of the above picture has only one purpose: it holds the PCB in place.
The PCB of the M2K got a complete design overhaul as well. Even though the M2K has a much bigger MCU (needed for driverless 8,000 hertz) as well as a wheel encoder and an additional switch (needed for the middle mouse button) it weighs the same as the M1K PCB. This was achieved thanks to an efficient PCB layout as well as a PCB thickness of just 1.0 mm (compared to 1.6 mm for the M1K).
The wheel of the M2K weighs in at just 0.9 gram. We achieved this low weight by replacing the rubber ring that traditional gaming mice have with a grippy yet ultrathin ceramic coating. The wheel encoder is made by Alps (a Japanese manufacturer) and for the middle mouse button we use the same switch that we use for the left and right button: Omron D2F-01F.
Thanks to its beefy MCU the M2K can do driverless 8,000 hertz. Meaning: you can use the M2K at 8,000 hertz without having to install any software or driver. For the M1K you had to modify a Windows driver to use it at 8,000 hertz.
If you would like to know about the revolutionary design of the M2K carbon fiber unibody I recommend reading this article by my brother: A closer look at the carbon fiber unibody design of the Zaunkoenig M2K
And if you are interested in how the global chip shortage almost prevented 8,000 hertz give this article a try: 8,000 hertz, the global chip shortage and military drones