On gaming mice and hammers

I was reading through the comment section of the TechPowerUp test for the Zaunkoenig M2K and got stuck on the following post:

«I do have that fingertip grip and would love to try it out... but 300 euros just for a toy? No thanks.»

Toy.

The reason I dislike it so much when someone calls the M2K a toy is that the design goal for the M2K decidedly was to not make a toy, but a tool instead. A tool for professionals.

The difference between tools and toys

Tools are made for a specific task. And to master that specific task well, they often are specialized just for that one task. A hammer that also is a saw (hammer-saw for the rest of the article) would be a very poor hammer and a very poor saw. Thus tools are minimalistic by design.

Tools also are made from materials that are up to the job. A hammer made from plastic would pass as a toy, but to qualify as a tool the hammer needs to be made from metal instead.

Tools also are much more durable than toys: they have to last a very long time. Sometimes even a lifetime. Hammers made from a single piece of metal are a good example for this. Toys by contrast often only last a year or two.

You can also tell something is a tool and not a toy by just looking at the name. When a product is called «Smasher 2000» it is probably a toy.

Smasher 2000 versus the M2K

Smasher 2000 is the name I have given the quintessential toy-like gaming mouse. In other words: Smasher 2000 is everything that is wrong with the world of gaming mice.

Smasher 2000 is one half gaming mouse and one half gaming keyboard. Like the hammer-saw, Smasher 2000 has no focus and is neither a good gaming mouse, nor a good gaming keyboard.

Smasher 2000 is a poor gaming mouse because all those extra buttons make it pretty heavy. And the heavier your gaming mouse, the more inertia it has. And the more inertia it has the slower it will react to your hand and finger movements. In other words: all those extra buttons slow down your aim.

Smasher 2000 is not a good gaming keyboard either. The reason is pretty straight forward: a gaming keyboard needs to stand still when you press its buttons. This can be achieved with rubber feet, for example.

Smasher 2000 however has feet made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). These PTFE feet have one purpose, and one purpose only: making it easier to move Smasher 2000 around. Ask yourself: what good is a keyboard that cannot stand still?

That is why for the M2K we kept the number of buttons very low. By doing that the M2K is great at the one thing a gaming mouse needs to be great at: aiming. And for everything else you have a gaming keyboard. Much like every carpenter will have a hammer, and a saw, but not a hammer-saw.

Next up: the right material for the job. The right material for a gaming mouse is carbon fiber, since thanks to its insane specific stiffness it enables the lowest possible weight. Hence the M2K features a carbon fiber unibody design. There is a bit of plastic in the M2K; not because we needed its rigidity, but because we needed a place to mount the printed circuit board (PCB) onto.

Smasher 2000 by contrast is made entirely from a plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). ABS was chosen not because it has impressive specific stiffness (it does not). ABS was chosen because it is simply convenient: it is cheap to mass produce and if you put speed holes into it it at least looks lightweight.

Last, but not least: durability. A tool has to last for more than just a year or two. Sadly Smasher 2000 is infamous for developing accidental double clicks (thanks to using a cheap MCU and cheap switches). Smasher 2000 also has a rubber coating that wears off after 3 months of use.

The M2K by comparison uses gold plated Japanese switches and an MCU that is the opposite of «cheap». We still have not had a single M1K or M2K with accidental double clicks. And instead of having a volatile rubber coating the surface of the M2K is sandblasted: there is no coating to wear off to begin with.

Summary

Someone in a forum acted like a tool and called the M2K a toy. By explaining how the M2K is not a toy, but a tool, I myself am risking coming across a bit like a tool, but so be it.

If eSports wants to be taken seriously, it needs serious gaming mice. Gaming mice that are designed to be tools. Not toys. Hammers. Not hammer-saws.

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