Author Topic: Swiftpoint Z mouse  (Read 6187 times)

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Offline NamelessPFG

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Swiftpoint Z mouse
« on: Mon, 04 July 2016, 06:53:06 »
Some of you might be familiar with those tiny, ergonomic Swiftpoint mice made with more of a pen grip in mind. They even Kickstarted another iteration that lets you scroll around like a touchscreen device by tilting it slightly.

This is not one of those mice - they're stepping up to full size this time and running another Kickstarter to do so.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/granto/the-z

So what makes the Z different?

-Tilt sensitivity (left and right rolling motion): could be used as an analog axis (Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous players, rejoice!), a mode shift for the rest of the buttons, or locked out altogether by replacing the mouse feet. Unlike other 3D mouse designs like the Lexip 3D Pro and Tesseract, it looks less joystick-like in implementation and more based on an internal gyroscope sensor.
-Yaw sensitivity: like tilt, just on a different axis.
-Gyroscopic motion sensing when lifted off: I don't see nearly as much use for this, but it's there if you want that free-floating rotational input.
-Pressure-sensitive main mouse buttons and fingertip buttons: could be useful for things like Force Touch gimmickry, more analog axes in games, pen pressure sensitivity in drawing apps, etc.
-Trigger buttons behind the main and fingertip buttons: you can slap these down with the flat of your finger, or pull back on them for two more additional functions.
-Tactile feedback: apparently linear actuator-based, and instead of boasting Logitech iFeel effects in games, it's pitched more toward making you more aware of mode shifts (with the yaw/pivot axis especially), when you've made a Deep Click instead of a regular click on the pressure-sensitive buttons, and for a "Tactile Steps" mode that's supposed to make those fine 1px adjustments easier.
-Pixart PWM3360 sensor: they'd be hard-pressed to do any better than that!

A lot of you are bound to see all of the above as unnecessary gimmicks, but I do see a mouse with great potential that gives me even more control than my G502 currently allows. If nothing else, it's certainly worth discussing for its approach to computer mouse design.

Offline Bucake

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 04 July 2016, 08:04:42 »
should be interesting, if successful. but we'll have to wait and see that this turns out without any problems. most of these features sound like they could be hard to get right
i'll certainly be checking out reviews of it out of curiousity, but have no use for its features myself
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 16:55:01 »
I'm not sure the pivot is a good idea..

a Pivot outwards is fine,

But try to pivot inwards, and you're exacerbating the RSI syndromes caused by the wrist twisting inward...


Online csmertx

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 19:08:43 »
I was kind of interested until they mentioned the trigger/finger push/pull buttons. To me, it seems like those trigger/finger switches are going to be the first switches to develop problems. Yea, only the LMB/RMB have the switches rated for 20m clicks, those (finger or trigger?) trigger buttons are doomed :'( Pixart 3360 tho

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 23:09:40 »
I was kind of interested until they mentioned the trigger/finger push/pull buttons. To me, it seems like those trigger/finger switches are going to be the first switches to develop problems. Yea, only the LMB/RMB have the switches rated for 20m clicks, those (finger or trigger?) trigger buttons are doomed :'( Pixart 3360 tho


That,, and SEVERE RSI..

Offline Coreda

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 23:20:02 »
That,, and SEVERE RSI..

I'd be more interested in graphics tablet styli made for gaming. Using a pen grip is so much more ergonomic than a mouse, and with inbuilt tilt sensors and pressure sensitivity already in the device I'm surprised someone hasn't at least tried it.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 05 July 2016, 23:25:47 »
That,, and SEVERE RSI..

I'd be more interested in graphics tablet styli made for gaming. Using a pen grip is so much more ergonomic than a mouse, and with inbuilt tilt sensors and pressure sensitivity already in the device I'm surprised someone hasn't at least tried it.

Vertical mouse.. modded with WMO internals..

Offline Coreda

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 00:06:59 »
Vertical mouse.. modded with WMO internals..

The topic though is about a mouse with the unique selling point of tilt and 'deep click', etc which is where bringing up the stylus is relevant.

In the last few years graphics tablets have also implemented multi-touch, so there are any number of open possibilities for something gaming related. That said I doubt it will happen. The idea that only a mouse is for (PC) gaming is too ingrained.

Online FrostyToast

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 00:29:12 »
My favourite line from the product presentation:
"And, of course, we have the GLOWING RGB LED."
I think I found the perfect gaming mouse. I hear that RGBs improve your accuracy based on how many millions of colours it can change to.
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Offline NamelessPFG

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 05 June 2017, 23:10:51 »
Okay, I know this thread's months old by now, but it warrants a bump because this Kickstarter has delivered and I now have one. Hey, someone's gotta review an overengineered mouse like this, right?

To give you an idea of the overall size, here it is next to some popular Logitech mice, a G502 and an MX700 that I believe has the same dimensions as the famed MX500/MX510/MX518.

https://s18.postimg.org/cmhja3svd/Swiftpoint_Z_unboxing_imminent.jpg (linked because I feel like it breaks up the flow of the post too much)

On to the first impressions, shall we?

-The right side of this mouse takes some serious getting used to for me. The pinky rest, assuming it's not actually a ring finger rest, is a centimeter forward of where it would feel most comfortable for me, and gripping the side with the pinky alone feels odd.

Keep in mind that I've historically gripped mice with my ring finger resting on the right button while my middle finger rests on the wheel, and one of the Kickstarter shots showed the Z being held with middle finger on right button.

Also with that in mind, switching my grip to two fingers on top is pretty much necessary if I want to use the pull function of the two-way triggers in the middle.

-Mouse wheel notches don't feel very defined; it's like a WMO with more resistance. Of course, coming from a G502 where each tick of the scroll wheel with notching engaged is a solid thunk, it's like going from buckling springs to MX Browns in terms of tactility. Still, I wouldn't call it unusable, just different.

-Also speaking of the mouse wheel, it was not initially advertised as one of the "deep click" pressure-sensitive buttons, but sure enough, it's got all the pressure sensitivity of the main mouse buttons and fingertip buttons around it.

-The vertically-oriented thumb buttons look worse than they actually feel; it's easy to click one without clicking the other, and the bottom one doesn't require much thumb movement to hit.

-I have to use the short fingertip button caps (those buttons being the small ones between the main left/right and the two-way triggers in the middle) because the long caps rest right where my fingertips would normally rest on the main buttons. The good news, at least, is that those buttons actually don't get in the way at all!

-From a palm grip standpoint, the two-way triggers make great slap switches for the push functions, but pulling them forces me to shift back into a weird claw grip. I'd save the pulls for non-critical functions.

-All the buttons have a nice microswitch click, and yes, that includes the pressure-sensitive "deep click" buttons. The tactile click is such that it generally starts at 0% of the pressure curve, so you have a lot of room past that if you wish to use the deep click functionality.

-Wow, practically anything on this mouse could be a mode shift for all the other buttons - even the rotational axes, by varying degrees! In fact, the programming mode they show for DPI adjustment is really just a tilt/pivot trigger at some extreme angle you wouldn't normally move the mouse to without lifting it, and you're free to remap which buttons change DPI (and by how much), which programming profile is selected, or even start an IMU re-zero calibration from there.

Just keep in mind that if you decide to use the tilt/pivot features in your other profiles, you have to manually re-program said programming mode in those profiles all over again, lest you be forced to use the driver software to switch profiles and make adjustments.

By the way, those buttons beside the left mouse button, normally used for DPI shift on other mice, won't actually shift the DPI outside of the preset config mode by default. This means that it's perfectly possible to use them for more mouse binds while using the mouse conventionally. In fact, I like to use the mouse wheel for DPI shift in config mode now, with the left edge buttons now being profile switching.

-I was hoping the mouse pad they promised for Kickstarter backers would be the hard pad they showed off on the page. Not so; you can see that it's a soft cloth/rubber pad rolled up in the box. It seems pretty nice for a cloth pad, but there's a reason I have that Steelseries I-2/Icemat on my desk! But hey, at least that sweet aluminum cube mouse bungee isn't fixed to some specific pad and can now be paired with any pad you want. "No lag, no drag" indeed; Swiftpoint could probably make a tidy sum just selling those cubes by themselves.

-This mouse is surprisingly light, especially for the size. Being lighter than the G502 probably isn't much of an achievement, but it's also a smidge lighter than the older G500 going off feel. It's no featherweight WMO, though.

I also suspect that this difference in weight is why it glides a lot smoother on that glass pad. I guess we'll see if that holds up after the usual wear and tear on the mouse feet.

-Speaking of mouse feet, the default tiltable ones are surprisingly unintrusive! I don't feel like it gets in the way of normal mousing since I have to be pretty deliberate with tilting it, and it's only a bit under two degrees of physical tilt on either side

I find the flight sim base attachment to be useless, though. Let's face it: if you care about that genre enough, you'll get yourself a proper flight stick. It's not like a T.16000-M or even a second-hand SWFFB2 is that expensive. Cheaper than the Z, at any rate, whose official MSRP would buy you a pretty good HOTAS already, probably with pedals on top.

-The software does not appear to be complete. That part where they tilt the mouse right for Swiftpoint GT-style smooth touch-esque scrolling, and hold the right mouse button down for continuous scrolling? That's not in the current release. You can fudge it through emulated mouse wheel ticks, including left and right, but it's just not the same.

The "Tactile Steps" feature for pixel-perfect adjustments is also missing, since I can't find any actions that let me shift the mouse cursor around. That's something I could see being useful for artists and designers.

Oh, and if you're on macOS instead of Windows, they still haven't released any drivers for you. The Z is programmed at the firmware level, so it would presumably work as intended once you've programmed it, but you'll have to do all your initial programming from a Windows environment until the software gets released.

-Also speaking of the Z's software, why is the driver software using up 65 to 75 MB of RAM!? Look, just because I'm using it on a system maxed out with 32 GB of RAM doesn't mean I'm going to excuse software bloat. This is a first pass on the release software, so I'll let it slide for now, but I see no reason for a simple firmware macro programmer without much in the way of graphics to consume more than a few megabytes.

I mean, look at what Kinesis is doing with the Freestyle Edge. The SmartSet programming app takes up a mere 805 KB (important when the embedded flash drive holds all of 4 MB for the software and plain text profiles), handles pretty much all the firmware functions it needs to, and doesn't force me to tab around too much to get to everything. That's the sort of efficiency that's lost on peripheral programmers these days, and the Z isn't that much more complicated of a device when it comes to programming its various features.

All right, with all that off my chest, I need to play some games for a while, figure out how I'm going to remap them after years of being accustomed to a three-thumb-button layout. Maybe I want grenades, melee, grappling hooks and/or special abilities on the fingertip buttons instead of the thumb buttons? Only time will tell what I feel most comfortable with, but I know I'll have a use for all those buttons.

Heck, I can shift everything else with the two thumb buttons; that's 8 buttons and the scroll wheel that I can easily shift twice for a MMORPG hotbar or two's worth of commands.

Online Tom_Kazansky

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 06 June 2017, 01:38:03 »
Okay, I know this thread's months old by now, but it warrants a bump because this Kickstarter has delivered and I now have one. Hey, someone's gotta review an overengineered mouse like this, right?

...

thank you for such detailed review,  :thumb:
I am a G502 user myself, though lately I think I need a more advanced mouse for everyday use.

based on your pictures, the Z is bigger than G502, which is a good point (I always think the G502 is just a bit small for my hand)

the Z is lighter than G502?  :eek: big plus

I understand it will take some times to get used to, but that's to be expected :D

---
I can still pre-order this mouse through Indiegogo, is that right?
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Offline NamelessPFG

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 06 June 2017, 04:02:37 »
thank you for such detailed review,  :thumb:
I am a G502 user myself, though lately I think I need a more advanced mouse for everyday use.

based on your pictures, the Z is bigger than G502, which is a good point (I always think the G502 is just a bit small for my hand)

the Z is lighter than G502?  :eek: big plus

I understand it will take some times to get used to, but that's to be expected :D

---
I can still pre-order this mouse through Indiegogo, is that right?
I'd say they're roughly the same size with the Z being wider in the rear, though the Z also feels narrower up front. It was only later that I found out that my particular style of palm grip didn't quite work with the Z's design.

See, with most other mice, I generally have my middle finger on the wheel and the ring finger on the right mouse button, leaving the right side to be supported by the pinky. This works well, even with the G502's weight.

But the Z isn't designed around that; trying to support it with just the pinky on the right side results in having to grip it a bit more uncomfortably, as well as the right side finger rest being too short. Also, pulling the trigger buttons is uncomfortable with the middle finger in the way.

It's really meant to have both ring and pinky on the side, as pictured here.


Your appreciation of the Z depends on how much you like this particular grip style; for me, it keeps tripping up my muscle memory for the mouse wheel, but I'll adapt soon enough.

I suppose you can still order one off IndieGoGo at a minor discount, but it's $199 + shipping, considerably higher than Kickstarter pricing. Still, any discount counts when it comes to niche products like this one!

Offline pfooti

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 09 June 2017, 19:21:22 »
Yeah, I just started using mine today. I use the fancy features pretty much entirely for gaming, and am coming from a Razer Naga mouse (since I used to play a lot of MMOs, and the naga's input is pretty great for that).

I concur with the finger placement- I have to put my middle finger on the right button and ring finger alongside (and on to the finger rest). When I'm tilting the mouse, I end up gripping with thumb and ring finger. So far, it's really just tilt for scrolling.

With a palmed grip and the short caps on the forward buttons, I can use the extra forward buttons pretty easily, but definitely have to shift grip for the two-way triggers. I can actually press down on those triggers with the middle of my finger (intermediate phalanges) pretty easily, and might do that if I end up needing those features. So far, it seems like the pull on the two-way triggers, the most distal index finger button (the ones that are normally DPI shifts), and the upper thumb button are all the least convenient buttons. Still, that gives me the regular two buttons, middle button, and six extras all in easy and distinct reach. The final four switches are harder to get to, and don't yet feel natural. We'll see.

I'm also excited about the whole thing being programmable and portable, as my windows PC doubles as a linux machine during work hours (linux for work, windows for play), so it's nice to be able to use some of the more esoteric functionality (I think I'll program some media keys that I haven't been able to get working on my ergodox, for example). It's also pretty rad that the display LED can be shown what the current mode is.

Overall, the programming / driver interface still needs a LOT of work. Like instead of programming "control-x" as a keystroke, you have to separately say "press control", "press x", "release x", "release control" as four things. There's no macro record function, and some of the simpler stuff is too annoying, like getting tilt scroll to work is an exercise in cleverness (tilt by itself doesn't repeat, but you can program a repeat into the tilt, but then have to also program a cancel-repeat into the untilt action). Still, it's super promising, the software can continue to improve and I'm already just liking the ergonomics of the mouse's main two buttons, scrollwheel and middleclick for everyday stuff.

Offline NamelessPFG

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 10 June 2017, 04:50:14 »
They did update the software recently, at least. Here's the change log:

Summary of what’s new in PC Driver Release
1.1.75 New Features

* Changes to starter mappings (visit the Tech FAQ, to see what these do) 
* Extended available function key bindings to F1- F24. 
* Tilt inputs automatically map to the most likely axis when joystick output is selected
* Improved error reporting and logging. 
* Pivot actions can now be mapped to an analog Joystick (check starter mappings on how)
* Starter mappings file re-created if accidentally deleted. 
* Moved output action tips to '?' icon. 
* Analog range for deep clicks can now be bound to joystick and slider output. 
* General UI improvements

Bug Fixes
*Added a fix for the ‘something went wrong’ message some people are seeing when upgrading the Firmware (Note this will fix many occurrences of this error, but not all – we’ve added some more logging to this release to help identify the issue that is occurring for some users) 
*Adding additional "Logo Backlight" action on profile swap no longer corrupts config. 
*Volume up/down media controls no longer cause an invalid profile. 
*Scroll outputs now function correctly when bound to inputs other than the scroll-wheel.
*Improved driver response to a lack of internet connection when launching or updating the driver/firmware. 
*Upon profile deletion in the driver settings are saved to mouse to avoid inconsistencies. Such as mouse using a profile which does not exist in the driver.

They also pushed out the first Mac driver, though I have yet to test that.

They're still working on some much-requested features; check the bottom of the page here. Yes, recording key combinations like Ctrl-X and whatnot is definitely on the list, alongside copy/paste of action lists! Those are my two biggest complaints right now.
https://www.swiftpoint.com/technical-qa-faq-swiftpoint-z/#developments

Oh, and speaking of MMORPGs, I'm curious as to how you've mapped yours out. My current approach thus far is to use the thumb side buttons as shifts, with one shift to turn the main mouse buttons, fingertip buttons and trigger pushes to 1 through 6 on the number row, the second shift being 7 through =. That's an entire hotbar within immediate reach!

This still leaves the two edge buttons (the typical "DPI shift" ones) and the mouse wheel for potential extra shiftable inputs, and it doesn't even factor in shifting via tilt or pivot for even more actions. I'm thinking that the extras would be great for targeting controls.

Offline pfooti

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 10 June 2017, 09:01:07 »
I haven't played WoW in a couple of months, so this is hypothetical for now (it's only a matter of time before I get pulled back in, like the tides). I think my strategy would be somewhat similar - (left, right) x (fingertip, trigger press) as important actions, and (left, right) x (trigger pull) for less important ones (like 1-4 and 5,6 on the action bar) and then shifted modes for the two thumb buttons.

AoE type spells get bound to shifted mode left / right click probably (just map those to whatever keypress I need, bound in-game, and the shift click will bring up the reticle and then I can left click to cast).

All that said, I'm noticing a very important bug - the front edge button is sometimes registering double presses. I was noticing this as I was using it to switch through profiles, and it kept occasionally skipping ones. I switched my bindings to register a D on press and U on release (both using the "tap key" binding), and it pressed the button a bunch into a text editor. I got a couple of DD strings, meaning it registered two presses without a release in between. Given that the key is not supposed to repeat (and doesn't when I just hold the button down), this is kind of problematic. I'm hoping it's fixable with firmware, since it's actually similar behavior from my Naga that led me to deciding to retire it (it stopped reliably recognizing middle-clicks, like 0.5% of the time it skips or double-clicks, not enough to be horrid, but just often enough to be annoying because I middle-click a lot in linux.

Offline pfooti

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Re: Swiftpoint Z mouse
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 13 June 2017, 11:42:15 »
the linux report.

the mouse works more-or-less okay if you load everything into a profile on the mouse firmware. I'm able to access keyboard functions (pgup / down) plus scroll functions in the extra buttons and tilt actions on the mouse. I'm not able to report on media keys yet, though. I had my media keys bound in a separate profile (so I could swap in, adjust volume / track with handy buttons, and swap back out again), but I can't change profiles in linux. Pressing the key I'd bound globally to "next profile" put the mouse into an error state: the whole system froze for about five seconds (screen, pointer, everything), and then the mouse vibrated hard three times and the logo changed from color-shifting to blinking red.

the browsing profile still works (it was the one the mouse was in when I rebooted into linux). So it seems like if you load the mouse firmware up you can put a profile on board, but cant change to another profile without entering an error state. Bummer. Disconnecting the mouse removed the flashing red error indicator, but it is still stuck in the one profile I had at reboot.

could be worse, could be better. I wish it was more fully-programmable, the way my ergodox is.