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Zero1 Awards 2018 – Peripherals – Gaming Mice

December 6, 2018 — by Digit0

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You can play games with almost any office mouse or a gaming mouse. But, if you’re a professional player, you wouldn’t touch the lower or mid-segment mice. In terms of performance, the best sensors are on gaming mice. The factors that warrant good performance include tracking accuracy at different speeds, precision in tracking and smoothness of tracking. The last two can be implemented in entry-level sensors, but tracking accuracy is where the sensor performance shines.

The surface on which the sensor is tracking is also a factor. High tracking accuracy only makes a difference if you’re used to gaming mice and are able to notice the difference in accuracy. This year, we got to experience more wireless mice than last year. However, wired mice are still better off in tracking accuracy. For Zero1, we stick to the sensor performance.

2018 Zero1 Award Winner: ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin

The ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin adopted the upgraded PMW3360 sensor, so we expected some good scores from it and it didn’t disappoint. Before we begin testing mice, we give it a swipe on MouseTester just to check how well the tracking is so that we know what to expect in testing. We were delighted to see minor deviations from the rising and falling curve. The sensor was able to track the movement even while in motion where many sensors fail.

Even with high-end sensors, few manufacturers are able to calibrate it and maintain tracking at different CPI levels. ASUS has done a great job in both these aspects by using the potential of the 3360. The mouse comes with beautiful RGB lighting customisation using their ROG Armoury software. So, the Gladius II Origin accurate, and it also offers extra cosmetic features.

Runner-up: SteelSeries Rival 600

The Rival 600 is the latest mouse that was launched in India from SteelSeries with the upgraded TrueMove3 sensor, first used on the Rival 310 and Sensei 310. We observed a smooth tracking curve with this sensor and it was pretty close to the 3360. However, the Rival 600 failed to work on a white surface which was a bummer and something that we had also noticed on Zowie mice with the PMW3310 sensor.

Apart from this shortcoming, the mouse performed way above average but not as good as the Gladius II Origin. The SteelSeries Engine is a brilliant software utility tool with a simple and interactive UI. You can add additional weights to the mouse according to your preferences as well.

Best Buy: Logitech G304

Logitech has always been known to have had the best sensors in the mouse market. Now, they have switched to their own branded optical sensor called the HERO. We haven’t tested the HERO sensor in a wired Logitech mouse but only in the wireless mode that uses their Lightspeed technology. The G304 is more of a budget wireless mouse in their lineup. However, the performance was above average and you will be able to comfortably hit headshots.

With time, tracking accuracy in wireless mice will improve. A few other wireless gaming mice struggled when trying to track and send the inputs to the PC simultaneously. This leads to a distorted curve and affects tracking. However, we were still able to play without any issues with them. With the wireless connectivity running on a single AA battery along with good tracking accuracy and a really good software experience, the G304 becomes our Best Buy this year.

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Zero1 Awards 2017 – Peripherals – Mechanical Keyboards

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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Switching over to a mechanical keyboard for your daily typing and gaming activities might be one of the best choices you make. A new trend is that of optical mechanical switches but their adoption is currently slow because of their cost. The cost rises with the superior durability. While current mechanical switches offer up to 80 million keystrokes (Razer Green), optical mechanical switches like Flaretech are said to offer up to 100 million keystrokes. Apart from durability, it also opens up the possibility of supporting analogue signals where the depth of the key press can be interpreted for different actions. If you need a keyboard for gaming and typing as well, you would expect the entire gamut of features possible on a mechanical keyboard. And that is exactly what we were seeking throughout the year and here are the results.

2017 Zero1 award Winner: Corsair K95 Platinum

Corsair K95 Platinum

When we started testing the K95 Platinum, it ticked off almost every item on our checklist. We’re almost certain that this might be the best mechanical keyboard launched this year, we were still looking forward to other manufacturers to raise the bar. It isn’t happening this year, so the Corsair K95 Platinum takes away the Zero1 Award. Packing Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches, the entire chassis of the keyboard is sturdy and premium with no compromises in build quality. It has extra macro-keys and the key-caps are double-shot. The K95 Platinum sets the benchmark for keyboards.

Runner-up: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

After undergoing a few changes from the original version, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 found its way into our labs. It was already regarded as a durable keyboard because of its claim to offer 80 million keystrokes per key. And it contains the necessary features you’d expect on a high-end keyboard such as audio and USB pass-through, extra keys for macros, RGB backlighting, etc. Also, the new Razer software really brings out all the features in the keyboard. Another aspect that we loved was the cushioned wrist rest with magnetic attachment instead of the old clamp technique. Although the Chroma V2 falls short on a few features from the K95 Platinum, the overall build quality scores higher on this one.

Best Buy: GALAX HOF Black

If you aren’t keen on spending more than `10k on a mechanical keyboard, there are several great options out there. The Best Buy award tries to find the mechanical keyboard that strikes a great balance between features, build quality, and price. Out of all the keyboards we tested this year, the HOF Black was always in the back of our mind because of its comparatively lower cost. It has audio and USB passthrough ports, and a textured magnetic wrist rest. Planning on getting on the mechanical keyboard bandwagon while on a tight budget? Look no further, the GALAX HOF Black might just be what you’re looking for if not the TVS Gold keyboard.

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Digit Zero1 Awards 2015

December 22, 2015 — by Digit

What is Digit Zero1 Awards?

December is exciting for two special reasons for all of us here at Team Digit and the Test Centre. We can’t seem to decide as to what we’re looking forward to the most – watching the events of a galaxy far, far away or seeing the reception to our Zero1 Awards from all you readers. The anxiety is unbearable!

The force was strong this year at Digit’s Test Centre where we welcomed just under 600 products in our Mumbai and Noida locations, improving upon our 2014’s tally of about 488 products. Just for those who’re curious, that dials down to about 60 products being unboxed, tested, reviewed and compared both in print and online, each month.

Why do we do what we do? Well for starters we get to play with some of the craziest products you can think of. This year we got a levitating speaker, a robot vacuum cleaner and even a lambhorgini branded phone costing Rs. 4 lacs. But the more significant reason why we do this is because we all deserve the best products, especially when picking the right one can be so darn difficult, and we experience that every single day by engaging with our readers who reach out to us over email, forum posts, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus – all looking for technology buying advice. That’s not only satisfying but it also makes us acutely aware of the trust placed by countless buyers and our responsibility to give them the best possible buying advice. To that effect, the Digit Test Centre proceeds with a single-minded goal of giving our readers the best knowledge about the latest and greatest products that have launched in the Indian market. That’s always been our aim while reviewing and writing about any product that’s printed in Digit’s Tried and Tested section pages or online, and it will continue to remain our focus as long as there are products to review in the market.

With that in mind, let’s outline the significance of this story and the iconic trophy you see on the page alongside. Zero1 Awards are fundamentally different from all other awards that we hand out on a monthly basis in our comparison tests. Unlike Best Buy and Editor’s Pick Awards, Zero1 Awards focuses solely on the performance of a product – where the price, design and features of a product don’t matter at all. It’s similar to a Best Performer Award but more exclusive as Zero1 Awards take place only once a year.

The product categories for Zero1 Award are carefully picked to ensure we have reviewed enough products in any given category to speak authoritatively about it, subsequently zeroing in on the pick of the bunch. We also summarise the highs and lows of a Zero1 Award product category in the introduction of their respective pages, trying to give our readers an idea of what transpired in that product category throughout the year, and predict future trends (if any). And although performance really is king in this Award’s category, we have also highlighted the Best Buy product in each category for the first time. This is to ensure that with this one issue of Digit, you’re armed with enough knowledge to be able to buy the best product you possibly can in the categories we’ve covered.

Many thanks to all the brand representatives who continue to support us with products, month after month, year after year. Winners of Zero1 Awards should rightfully rejoice, whereas products that fell just short of the finish line shouldn’t be disappointed – they’re great performing products, too. They have to be awesome otherwise we wouldn’t mention them here.

At last, after a rather hectic month of testing – not to mention blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights – the Digit Team is proud to announce the winners of the Zero1 Awards 2015. These are the best performing products that have entered our hallowed halls and will serve as benchmarks for future challengers to emerge.

Zero1 Closing Visual

You can see the various categories and jump to whichever page you wish to from the list on the left of this page, or using the dropdown on the top left if you’re on mobile.