”Novel design” and ”highly customizable” are the perfect words to describe the Zalman’s ZM GM4 essence.
Champion of mixed signals. This mechanical mouse is a beast when it comes to sensor, macro capabilities, DPI count and design and with the help of the software this becomes an amazing gaming tool. However, there are some downsides, big or small we’ll let you decide.
What we played: Hotline Miami 1 & 2, Sunless Skies
*This item was not provided by Zalman. It was purchased by Unleash The Gamer for review purposes only.
The Zalman ZM GM4 has abilities that might some deem useless. In fact, all those people have really average hands. This highly customizable mouse is a god send for people with all types of hands. Its size can increase or decrease depending on how you want it. Grab the tiny wrench and adjust it to your preference.
In my hand it didn’t feel exactly as I hoped. The mouse is not that tall, and the only customization I could have done was extending the sides and the back. That almost reached a good position, but it was far from the feel of a unibody mouse.
Longest gaming session was clocked at a little over three hours so don’t take my advice into account if you plan on doing godly weekend marathons. At three hours I just felt discomfort. Again, it’s very personal because my hand wasn’t in tune with the mouse. I’m sure that if you fiddle with the mouse and get it to fit your palm you’ll have no issues with it.
Ergonomically speaking it is close to north. In my hand it didn’t feel natural. Yes, you can adjust the measures, but I feel there are other measures that should have been considered. Its nose is not tall enough, the pinky rest, thumb rest, function button and side buttons are really far from where they should be if your grip is normal – at least that’s how I felt gripping it. Using a claw grip will help you reach all these buttons and finger rests. That may be why they’re there?
It looks like Batman rode in it while going to meet the Joker for the final fight of the movie. Ok it looks futuristic. The Zalman ZM GM4 was probably used as a replacement on the set of The Dark Knight (highly recommend it btw). It has its own hexagonal key, which fits inside the mouse. With it you can screw and unscrew different parts of the mouse in order to move them so as the mouse fits your palm exactly the way you want. As I can gather from the web, Zalman has designed only a right-handed version.
The cable has a length of 1.8 meters. Plenty length to reach your tower but not enough for cable gore. It is braided in a black with specks of blue sort of look. Be sure that’ll make it stand out from the crowd.
Its profile is slim, and the design allows is to shrink if you so desire, but I don’t see a few centimeters making a difference when your desk is made for ants. Because of its adjustability, this mouse can be both compact or large, it’s a matter of preference really.
The features crammed in this mouse are the right amount. Personally, I don’t use more than three or four buttons on a mouse even if more are available, but I appreciate that they’re there for me. Pressing buttons accidentally has not happened as the buttons are placed out of the way of my fingers. Even if I slightly trip my finger over a button, triggering won’t be an issue because they are not overly sensitive. Big plus.
This little mechanical thing feels sturdy when. I’ve only had it for a few days, but I’ve read reviews which note that after months (!) of usage the many pieces it’s made from will eventually become loose and wiggle about when you touch them. Some of the hinges will even squeak after a while. Take all this with a grain of salt please.
In my hands it felt good. I found it to be anything but lightweight. Even with all the weights out it was still dragging a bit on my mouse pad.
The overall look of the mouse makes it look like a professional piece of equipment. That is true until you start to look closer. The function button that resides on the side of the mouse feels cheap. It has this slack, the spring behind it may be too soft I guess. Same thing goes for the auto and the other two side buttons. Also called sniper buttons, all of them have slack and can be easily moved by touching without pressing the buttons. Adding to this, the clicking experience is also very flimsy and plasticky.
I have done a bit of research about whether or not the Zalman ZM GM4 is a mouse that will stand the test of time and I can tell you that opinions are divided almost equally between yes and no. The scale is tilted more towards no, unfortunately. In a few months the mouse will register double clicks instead of single clicks. But I digress, I advise anybody that is interested in buying this mouse to read reviews carefully.
This mouse is the epitome of customization. There are 10 total buttons out of which all 10 are remappable through software. On its sides and back there are three hexagonal screws which can be turned in order to increase the size of the components. Big handed people will love this. Just unscrew it to measure and you’re all set. And did I mention the rounded window which sits right on top of the mouse, behind the buttons? Right, honest mistake, it completely went by me. Get the hexagonal key once again, jam it in there and open the mouse’s chest box. Inside there are six slots in which you can fit 21 additional grams of weight (3.5 grams per unit). Ever wished your mouse was heavier? I haven’t but here’s one mouse for people that have.
The DPI go all the way up to 3200. There’s a dedicated DPI button from which you can toggle between the four preset profiles. In ascending order these are: 800, 1600, 2400 and 3200. As a sane man I found myself enjoying the first preset. Right above sluggish but comfortable and exact. Fear not, by downloading the proprietary software you get to change all these presets to custom amounts.
Unfortunately, the Zalman ZM GM4 features no RGB lights but its software is where it shines. All 10 buttons are remappable to either macros, keyboard keys, advanced functions or even universal scroll. As long as you leave one button on normal click you can have 9 other scroll buttons. Neat huh?
Mild clicking noises? I was not bothered by any to be honest. Your neighbors won’t hear it. Neither will your roommate/friend/so if they’re not in the same room as you but I bet they will see a problem if you’re shooting angrily at mobsters right next to them. The Zalman ZM G4 isn’t a library mouse at all but it does sound pretty tame by gaming standards. In ascending order of sound magnitude here are the buttons (yes, they each have a different sound/feel/click, odd): function button (soundless), DPI button, auto button, M1 & M2 and twin side buttons (loud). Oh, and the mouse uses OMRON mouse switches which should give you plenty of clicks – about 5 million.
This concludes my Zalman ZM GM4 review. It sports a novel design that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else, plenty of customization options – both physical and software – and plenty of other goodies. The build itself could’ve been better, but as an exercise in peripheral customization and inventive design, the Zalman GM4 handles itself flawlessly.
|The Good||The Bad|
|Cheap when compared with other mice||Cheap build|
|Adjustable length and width||Parts become wiggly when fully extended|
|Lots of programmable buttons||Lateral buttons dont feel solid|
|Looks really cool and people will ask you about it||Nonadjustable height|
|Braided cable||Very light|
|Adjustable tiny screwdriver fits inside the mouse and is a pain to get get it out|
Zalman ZM GM4
Adjustable Laser Gaming Mouse (ZM-GM4)
|Movement Detection Technology||laser|
|Movement Resolution||8200 dpi|
|Performance||12000 fps, 150 inches per second, 30 G maximum acceleration, realtime sensitivity switching 800 - 8200 dpi|
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