Review: Zalman Knossos

Last Updated July 8th, 2021

Adjustable size and weight are becoming more important for gamers looking for comfort. Now it is possible to adjust the size and feel of your mouse to conform to your own hands with these next level pc gamer peripherals. The Zalman Knossos is new entry into this adjustable mouse category.

Features

The adjustable size, weight, and sleek design are all features that were well thought out in the Knossos. What I thought was an on-the-fly DPI switch near where the thumb rested turned out to be a button that opened a new web browser window, though I was able to give it the DPI function through the software. Nevertheless the button would have been better as an on-the-fly switch DPI switch by default.

There is also auto double click button next to left click, which comes in handy at times and it does not interfere with normal clicking. This button may also be changed to do other things. As the button is located in a prime spot right next to where my index, it makes for a highly functional key.

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After years of buying lesser known brands of gaming mice, the one aspect I’m usually disappointed with is the software suite and the facility with which I can change what all the buttons do. Zalman surprised me with their easy-to-use non-bloated software, which is simple to find, install, and use. While it is not on the same level as the SteelSeries or Logitech software suite, it definitely helps get the job done without too much confusion.

Design

The adjustable features give the mouse a modular appearance reminiscent of Transformers—something most of these new adjustable mice have in common. The color scheme is simple with black plastic and gun metal accents. There are brandings bearing the Zalman name as well as descriptive text near the size adjustment screws. While helpful, I feel these take away from what would otherwise be a clean and sleek aesthetic.

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The mouse wheel turns easily and the notches produce a satisfying feeling when you scroll through your weapons. The wheel click actually requires a slight depression when pressed, and while this isn’t something I’ve experienced with other mice,  I feel more reassured when pressing the button. Sometimes when I try to press the middle mouse button on other mice, my ring finger will click the right mouse button without realizing it—but the screen tells a different story when the kill cam shows I aimed down sights instead of throwing a martyrdom grenade and going out in a blaze of k/d.

The only design feature that I feel is missing, is an LED light in the weight chamber, which would further embellish the awesome looking transparent compartment. I felt a little let down at the when i plugged the mouse in and there was no glowing chamber in the center of the mouse.

Comfort

The Zalman Knossos is a unique mouse that belongs to a new breed of mechanically adjustable gaming peripherals that allow users to customize the form factor for a better fit. This is achieved with the help of a cleverly embedded wrench tool that can extend the back plate and both sides of the mouse. The surprising aspect of this feature is that even at full extension, the mouse still feels solid when using it. There are no wiggling parts that extend out—an achievement I could only attribute to engineering wizardry.

This peripheral also includes a new feature that has been recently included in higher-end gaming mice, a custom weight system. This mouse is moderately heavy when the weight chamber is empty, and when you add all the weights in, the Knossos gains a reassuring feel that I found to be on par with a wireless mouse. I ended up putting four out of the seven weights in the chamber since I feel more comfortable with a heavier device, which I didn’t find distracting when playing games. I prefer using mice of a middling weight: not too heavy and not too light.

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Button placement is an aspect of gaming mice I am very critical of, and for a lot of the gaming mice out there that boast more than 5 buttons, it sometimes feels like whoever manufactured the mouse did not bother to test how difficult the buttons are to reach or use in-game. This Zalman mouse keeps it simple by putting all the extra buttons on the left side and well within my finger’s reach.

Performance

I tested the Knossos on the battlefield of Black Ops 2 Multiplayer and on the Zombies mode, Battlefield 4, and Transistor. At every turn this mouse felt like a gadget Batman would use. All the buttons and functionality are there whenever you need them. Even the jerry-rigged DPI switch had a purpose when used for sniping and tank warfare. The other thumb buttons were, as always, useful for melee and push-to-talk binds. The auto double click came in handy while mowing down zombies with an automatic shotgun.

All in all, if you’re looking for a sleek mouse on a moderate budget and are not too keen on having a million buttons, the Zalman Knossos might be the mouse you’re looking for.

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My View

Features: 7/10

The Knossos has all the features that are starting to become standard in higher end gaming mice and it also manages to throw in some other innovative features. The Knossos still has a few kinks such as a misleading DPI switch that keep this mouse from standing out.

Design: 8/10

The modular Transformer-like look the mouse adds a lot to the visual aspect of the mouse. However, I definitely feel that the absence of highlighting on the fantastic honeycomb weight chamber and unnecessary markings around the mouse take away from the overall aesthetic.

Comfort: 9/10

Very few mice excel at conforming to the various shapes and hand sizes of different gamers. The adjustable design of the Knossos allows it to adapt to the needs of gamers on a personalized level.

Performance: 9/10

In the fray of video game slaughter and tactics, the only expectation for a mouse is that all of its functions work as intended. Sensitivity, button binding and functionality, as well as weighting and long term comfort. These are all areas the Knossos does well in, save for the misleading thumb button.

Overall score: 8.25/10

Performance and great comfort alone do not make for a good mouse. There were a lot of overlooked or untested aspects of this mouse that set it back a few notches. While this mouse is fun to tinker with, there are other gaming mice available for the $60 price point that would get the job done with better software and better placed buttons.

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