Xtrfy MZ1 review: 'Zy's Rail' is great, but not for everyone
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Xtrfy are a Swedish company that specialise in gaming equipment, mainly producing mice, keyboards and headsets for the gamer.
Established in 2013, Xtrfy may be relatively new to this business, but are already making waves with their peripherals.
The most notable products they have currently are the M4 and the M42 mice. They are also going all-in with their keyboard designs, and have proudly dubbed their new line of peripherals the “Project 4” (hence most of the products having the number 4 in them).
So it was quite a surprise that Xtrfy took a detour from Project 4 to introduce a new mouse in the form of the MZ1.
The shape of the mouse was designed by Australian YouTube mouse reviewer, Zy Rykoa, famously known as Rocket Jump Ninja.
According to Zy, he has played Quake and other First-Person Shooters (FPS) games for the past 22 years of his life. He has also spent the past five years reviewing various mice on YouTube, even building up a cult following because of the way he reviews them. Zy concentrates a lot on the shape and weight of the mice, and even has a chart that claims to help viewers find the “right” mice just by measuring their hand.
The nickname of the mouse, “Zy’s Rail”, is a homage to Quake’s Railgun, which is a gun that can deal extremely high damage when it hits a player directly, akin to a sniper rifle.
Our best guess is that this is just his way of saying that this mouse will allow him to deal extremely high damage to whoever crosses his path in game. And rightfully so, as the mouse’s design is actually tailor-made to fit his style of fingertip grip.
Zy has constantly preached to his viewers about finding you own perfect mouse shape for playing FPS, as this is supposed to help with aim and comfort.
From the looks of it, since he hasn’t found his “perfect” shape, Xtrfy took this opportunity to work with Zy to bring his ideas of a perfect mouse shape to life.
Sensor: Pixart PMW3389
Mouse switches: Kailh GM 8.0
Feet: 100% PTFE
Weight: 56g in tech specs, 60g on our unit
Cable: Xtryfy EZCord Pro
Polling Rate: 125/500/1000hz
Shape: It’s complicated
The retail packaging comes with the mouse, extra mouse feet, a product guide and a "thank you" card.
Now, let’s just get this out of the way. The mouse has amazing internals. From our testing, the mouse performs flawlessly.
The sensor performs great. No noticeable lag or whatsoever, typical of the PWM 3389 sensor.
The Kalih GM 8.0 switches makes the left and right mouse buttons extremely crispy and tactile (with medium tension). Not much travel is present on the buttons as well.
The scroll wheel has profound steps to it and is also easy to click.
The side buttons are also easy to press without much pre-travel.
The 100% PTFE feet that comes with the mouse are great. No scratching on the mousepad or whatsoever, and enthusiasts may not even feel the need to change it to aftermarket skates.
The Xtrfy EZcord Pro is extremely flexible and does not interfere with mouse movements.
It is a lightweight mouse, weighing in only at 60g.
Construction of the mouse feels absolutely solid despite having holes, although there is minor creaking if you hold the mouse too tight on the sides.
You don’t need a software to adjust anything on this mouse! That’s a big win. A function slider that is present underneath the mouse allows you to change any kind of setting with a click of a button. More on that later.
The main meat of the review is the shape of the mouse.
The shape of the mouse is truly unique. On the surface, it may just look like any normal pseudo-ambidextrous mouse (it’s not truly an ambidextrous design if it doesn’t have thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse). But, having a closer look at the MZ1, you can see a couple of things not present in any mice in the market:
The left and right mouse buttons are heavily recessed.
There is a groove on the left side of the mouse for your thumb that is not present on the right side.
The mouse does not have holes in places where you are supposed to place your fingers.
An extremely high and flat back.
These design choices were supposedly implemented by Zy to favour the fingertip grip.
The recessed mouse buttons allow the fingers to be snug on the mouse buttons, and this even reduces the click distance between the finger and the switch.
The little groove at the thumb buttons allows for better grip on the mouse, and the thumb buttons are easily accessible from that groove.
Since this groove is not present on the opposite side of the mouse, you are able to grip the right side normally with your ring and pinky finger. This is actually a feature that really impressed us. When we tested equally smaller mice like the Razer Viper Mini and the Finalmouse Ultralight 2, the width of both of those mice constantly gave our hands some cramps, no matter how we gripped it.
Despite being of similar width, the MZ1 never had that effect on us. And this is why that small ergonomic change of the thumb groove makes a whole lot of difference.
You can be holding the best mouse in the world, but if you are not comfortable using it, there is absolutely no point in owning and using one. The MZ1 scores points for comfort in this area.
The high back of the mouse helps with keeping the mouse steady in the palm of your hands. It may seem unnatural at first (unless you’re used to something like the Cooler Master MM710), but over time, you will realise that the high back just simply slots into that gap in your palm when you’re holding the mouse. It also gives your palm the option to relax on it, and this improves the comfort of the mouse.
The mouse also has specific spots where you are supposed to hold the mouse. These areas are not laden with holes, so you can easily spot them.
A few of us tried to grip the mouse at these designated areas, and almost everyone unanimously agreed that the “recommended” finger placement on the mouse made the mouse usage extremely comfortable, except for one person. And this person has big hands.
One thing to note about this mouse: it is a quite small.
Joining the ranks of small mice like the Razer Viper Mini, Glorious Model O-, Cooler Master MM 710 and the Finalmouse Ultralight 2, this mouse is supposedly fit for small-to-medium sized hands. If you have big hands and are used to medium-sized mice like the Logitech G Pro Wireless, you are going to have a tough time adjusting to this mouse.
The MZ1’s shape is definitely not for everyone, and if you are actually looking to purchase this mouse, please find a way to test it first before buying.
Echoing what Zy says in his reviews, if you are not comfortable with the shape, look for another mouse.
Like what we said earlier, this mouse is supposed to favour a fingertip grip. But in our testing, we found out that this mouse is also pretty good for a claw grip. The high back allows for the mouse to rest on the palm comfortably, the groove on the left side stabilises the mouse, and the recessed mouse buttons keeps the fingers in place. The main plus points of this mouse for a fingertip grip applies to the claw grip as well.
What will be extremely awkward is the palm grip. Because of how the mouse is shaped, if you are a palm gripper, you can skip this mouse. It will be extremely uncomfortable and we do not recommend it.
Like we said earlier, this mouse doesn’t need any kind of software to change any settings on it.
There is a function slider below the mouse that dictates what the button near the scroll wheel does. You can use it to change the RGB settings on the mouse, the lift-off distance of the sensor, the polling rate of the mouse, and you can also use the button to bind it to the F11 key on your keyboard.
A firmware update is also available on Xtrfy’s website to change the F11 keybind to the Page Down key instead. This is for people who play games that do not recognise the F11 key as an active key, so they can use Page Down instead.
The mouse comes with a guide that shows you ways to adjust all these options by using slider and the button, so do refer to that if you need to adjust anything on the MZ1.
The Xtrfy MZ1 is an extremely thought-out mouse in terms of build quality and function, but its shape is the divisive factor.
It is not a clear “must-buy” or “please avoid” situation, because it may be extremely good for some of you, but it may be absolutely terrible for others.
Our take on this mouse; please try it first before making the decision.
If it’s solely based on specs and performance, this mouse gets a recommendation from us. Everything is right on the mouse; the switches, the durability, the weight, the functionality, the RGB even.
The Xtrfy MZ1 is retailing at S$119 in Singapore, and retails at US$79.99 internationally.
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