With the XM1, not only a new mouse comes onto the market, but also a new brand for gaming products: The XM1 comes from “Endgame Gear”. But the company behind Endgame Gear is not completely unknown, because it is also responsible for Noblechairs and Nitro Concepts and therefore not a newcomer on the market of gaming products.
The debut XM1 should not be an entry with a typical average product. Instead, the mouse directly dares a lot and offers an unusual tuning for 60 Euros: high-end sensor, five keys, symmetrical design – so far so common.
The selected Omron switches are to be installed in order to offer a comparable feeling of pressure with all keys, and the reaction time of the device is to be clearly reduced by the use of an analog sensor for the signal recognition. In addition, the 70 gram mouse is a lightweight model that does not offer RGB lighting.
Whether Endgame Gear succeeds with the XM1 to stand out in the peripheral market right away, and how the advertised features perform in practice, we see in the following test.
Scope of Delivery
Endgame Gear is limited to the essentials when it comes to packaging and scope of delivery: The XM1 comes in a standard coloured cardboard box; the mouse is packed in foam. Apart from a card with additional information about the software and the mouse settings, there’s nothing in the box.
Design and Workmanship
The XM1 uses a symmetrical housing with additional keys placed on one side. Therefore, you can only use the full functionality of the mouse as a right-handed mouse. The two additional keys are located on the left above the thumb rest and serve, as usual, as a back and forth key.
Endgame Gear uses the same matt black plastic for the whole mouse. The quality of workmanship is good throughout – the mouse is stable, the gap dimensions are uniform throughout and the edges of the individual case parts are at the usual level.
The matt black plastic has a very pleasant feel and gives the mouse a simple design. Compared to some other gaming enthusiasts, the XM1 looks more like an office mouse, which of course doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In this case, it probably means that cleaning the mouse is much easier than for products with high-gloss elements or structured surfaces.
The mouse’s simple impression is also enhanced by the fact that there is no LED lighting. The logo on the back of the mouse is therefore printed and not, as usual, illuminated by an LED. In practice, this means less weight and thus contributes to the actual objective of the mouse. LEDs may be beautiful, but they don’t give the user an advantage and, on the contrary, make the mouse a little heavier.
But the mouse doesn’t really get by without LEDs: At the bottom two LEDs show the current configuration of the mouse. The combination of how the LEDs light up symbolizes the polling rate, the color the currently selected DPI profile. Both can be changed via the button on the bottom. Apart from that there are no other special features.
The Endgame Gear XM1 of the PMW 3389 serves as the sensor. The proven high-end model from Pixart covers the range up to 16,000 DPI. In practice, the sensor does an excellent job: All mouse movements are transmitted exactly, there are no distortions or other readout errors – even with fast actions, movements are precisely implemented.
An unexpected strength of the mouse is evident in its ergonomics: Despite its symmetrical design, the XM1 is extremely comfortable to hold. According to Endgame Gear, the mouse is suitable for all three common grip techniques, and indeed it delivers a good picture everywhere.
We would recommend it especially for the claw and fingertip grip, but the XM1 can also be used in the Palm grip for fast, precise and fatigue-free play. Only those who have found a one-hand design that fits their hands very well can expect better ergonomics. Otherwise, the mouse doesn’t need to hide from any other model, despite its symmetrical design.
XM1 delivers a standard solution for the mouse buttons that is of a high quality: Omron switches with a service life of 50 million operations are installed, which according to the manufacturer should be “selected”. This should provide a similar click feeling for both main keys, and in fact this is almost identical with the XM1 – this is not the case with all gaming mice. The pressure point of the two side keys, both of which are easy to reach in use, is also very similar.
In addition, Endgame Gear advertises with an analog measurement of the buttons, which should enable a faster recognition of inputs. As this is difficult to measure due to the already extremely low latencies in gaming mice, we can only refer to the manufacturer’s statements.
According to Endgame Gear, digital sensors should only have a limited readout speed due to the bounce time of buttons. In fact, the bouncing of buttons is a common problem: after switching on, the metal swings back and forth and the contact is alternately closed and open. On the scale: Cherry guarantees a maximum debounce time of 5 milliseconds for its own MX series, only then can the signal be reliably read out.
Endgame Gear wants to solve this problem with an analog measurement, which not only detects the on and off state, but also measures the resulting voltage. This is intended to detect the pressing of a key much earlier. The company speaks of less than one millisecond for internal processing, which should be several milliseconds in advantage over other mice.
Despite missing illumination Endgame Gear provides the XM1 with a configuration software. It can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website and installed quickly and without registration. The tool offers a clear, modern UI that reacts quickly to inputs – here the company is up to date. Unfortunately, potential is wasted with the software options.
The sensor’s setting options are manifold: The four DPI profiles can be set exactly to 50 DPI in the range between 50 and 16,000 DPI, and one of eight colors can be specified for each profile. In addition, the stroke height can be increased from 2 to 3 mm and software post-processing of the curves can be activated. You can hardly criticize anything here.
However, Endgame Gear gives away bonus points when assigning keys, as this offers almost no functions. Only keys can be deactivated. You can’t reassign keys or use macros. This may not be relevant for eSports events with special rules and also for many players, but it’s a pity that the manufacturer doesn’t offer this option anyway – because it wouldn’t cost anything. The built-in microcontroller should be able to send other commands to the PC without any problems, and there is a memory access via the DPI setting anyway.
Thus, the software offers a very easy to learn and in most cases completely sufficient package for gamers, which could be a bit better without additional effort.
Amazing – this describes the Endgame Gear XM1 probably best. A gaming mouse with such simple optics, and then also without RGB lighting, is unusual as a debut work. After all, said lighting and a striking design seem to increase the sales figures.
The XM1, on the other hand, tries to impress in a different way. Even if it doesn’t seem to be a symmetrical design, the mouse lies comfortably in the hand right from the start and enables precise and at the same time quite fatigue-free gaming. As a long-term office mouse, there are undoubtedly models that are even more comfortable, but the XM1 is very well suited for fast movements.
The inner values of the mouse are also good: As usual with the PMW 3389, the sensor does an excellent job. In addition, all keys are easy to reach and offer a pleasant click feeling.
However, we can’t let the mouse through the test without any criticism, because Endgame Gear gives away some bonus points for the software. Although this offers a complete configuration of the sensor, the company should add a new assignment of the function keys – this would simply create more possibilities and ensure that interested users do not have to rely on third-party tools.
The bottom line is that the XM1 is an unusual and well-done debut from the manufacturer. Anyone who insists on RGB lighting is better off with other products, but anyone looking for a simple mouse for fast games that performs well or very well in all relevant disciplines should have found a suitable candidate in the Endgame Gear XM1.