BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 06, 2021 at 10:04 am
BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B Picture
5.9
Office/Multimedia
7.5
Video Games (FPS)
6.0
Video Games (MMO)
8.0
Ultra-Light Gaming
5.0
Travel
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is the medium-size mouse in the ZA-B lineup. This ambidextrous-shaped mouse should fit almost all hand sizes when using it with a palm or claw grip, but people with small or medium hands may struggle to reach some buttons when using a fingertip grip. While its click latency isn't as low as some other options, it should be low enough for most people. Unfortunately, it doesn't have customization software to remap buttons or set macros, and you can only cycle through the four default CPI presets with a button on the underside. While it feels well-built, there's a lot of squeaking when applying pressure to our unit.

Our Verdict

5.9 Office/Multimedia

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is inadequate for office use. It only has two side buttons for forward and back, the scroll wheel can't unlock for free scrolling, and there's no L/R tilt. Although it feels well-built, there's a lot of squeaking when we pressure the bottom of our unit. On the bright side, it's fully compatible with Windows and macOS.

Pros
  • Suitable for most hand sizes.
  • Fantastic OS compatibility.
Cons
  • Wired-only design.
  • No customization software.
  • No free scroll or L/R tilt.
7.5 Video Games (FPS)

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is good for FPS gaming. It's suitable for most hand sizes, although people with smaller hands may struggle to reach some buttons with a fingertip grip. While the latency isn't as low as some other gaming mice, it should still feel responsive to most people. Unfortunately, there's no customization software, so you're limited to the four default CPI presets. While it feels well-built, there's a lot of squeaking when we pressure the bottom of our unit.

Pros
  • Suitable for most hand sizes.
  • Good click latency.
  • Fantastic OS compatibility.
  • Fairly consistent sensor.
  • PTFE feet glide well.
Cons
  • Very narrow CPI range.
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • No customization software.
6.0 Video Games (MMO)

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is mediocre for MMO gaming. It doesn't have as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice, and because there's no customization software, you're limited to the four default CPI presets. While it feels well-built, there's a lot of squeaking when we apply pressure to the bottom of our unit.

Pros
  • Suitable for most hand sizes.
  • Good click latency.
  • Fantastic OS compatibility.
Cons
  • Very narrow CPI range.
  • Doesn't have as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice.
  • No customization software.
8.0 Ultra-Light Gaming

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is a very good ultra-light gaming mouse, but it's heavier than most ultra-light gaming mice. While the click latency isn't as low as some other options, it's still good and should feel responsive enough to most people. It should feel very comfortable for most hand sizes, although people with smaller hands may struggle to reach all buttons with a fingertip grip. It feels well-built, but there's a lot of squeaking when we pressure the bottom of our unit.

Pros
  • Suitable for most hand sizes.
  • Good click latency.
  • Fairly consistent sensor.
  • PTFE feet glide well.
Cons
  • Very narrow CPI range.
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • No customization software.
5.0 Travel

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B isn't for travel. It's fairly bulky, and you can't use it wirelessly, which isn't ideal when traveling.

Pros
  • Fantastic OS compatibility.
Cons
  • Wired-only design.
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • 5.9 Office/Multimedia
  • 7.5 Video Games (FPS)
  • 6.0 Video Games (MMO)
  • 8.0 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 5.0 Travel
  1. Updated May 06, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 28, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color No Lighting
Design
Shape
Length 5.0" (128 mm)
Height 1.6" (41 mm)
Width 2.5" (65 mm)
Grip Width
62 mm

Note: Our 3D scanner picked up residue from the sticky tack we use to secure the mouse during scanning. This residue appears as a lighter patch on the bottom of the mouse in our scan, but it isn't visible in reality.

5.6
Design
Portability
Volume
20.69 in³ (339 cm³)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
127 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
84 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
84 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

Its build quality feels similar to the BenQ Zowie ZA11-B, but there's a lot of squeaking when applying pressure to the bottom. However, this may be a problem with our unit only. Let us know in the discussions if your unit also has this problem.

8.0
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
No
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
Yes
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
No
Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
No
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Use When Charging
No
On/Off Activation
None
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator No

If you're interested in a similar gaming mouse that connects wirelessly with a USB receiver, check out the ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO.

6.5
Design
Cable
Cable Length 6.9 ft (2.1 m)
Cable Type
Rubber
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
No Port
Port Type: PC End
USB
8.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Ok
Material
PTFE
Extra Included
Yes
Design
In The Box

  • BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B mouse
  • ZOWIE sticker
  • Extra mouse feet
  • User documentation

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
PixArt PMW3360
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
400 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
3,200 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
N/A
CPI (DPI) Variation
-9%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
2.4 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The preset CPI settings are 400, 800, 1600, and 3200. The polling rate settings are 125Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz.

4.2
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
7
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
0
Profile Switching Button
No
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No

For a similar gaming mouse with an additional button on the top of the mouse to the left of the left-click button, check out the DELUX M625.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
16 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel
Control
Noise
Click Noise
Quiet
7.6
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
17 ms
Operating System And Software
0
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name No software
Software Windows Compatibility
No
Software macOS Compatibility
No
Account Needed
No Software
On-Board Memory
No
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
No
Polling Rate Adjustment
No
Profile Configuration
No
RGB On/Off
No
10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is one of many Zowie mice that are very similar but have different sizes and shapes. The ZA-B lineup has three size variants. The BenQ ZOWIE ZA11-B is the largest, the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is medium-sized, and the BenQ ZOWIE ZA13-B is the smallest. The ZA12-B is an upgraded version of the discontinued BenQ ZOWIE ZA12, with an improved sensor and no side buttons on its right side. We tested it in matte black, but it's also available in glossy white. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B is a simple matte-black mouse with no RGB lighting. Its CPI range is more narrow than some other gaming options, and you can only cycle through the four default CPI presets. There's no customization software to set macros or remap the buttons. While its click latency isn't as low as some other options, it should still feel responsive while gaming.

For other options, see our recommendations for the best mouse, the best wired mouse, and the best gaming mouse.

Logitech G Pro Wireless

The Logitech G Pro Wireless is overall better than the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B. The Logitech has a lower minimum CPI, and you can adjust its CPI range precisely in increments of 50. It also has a much more consistent sensor, a lower lift-off distance, and a much lower click latency. Also, since it has customization software, you can set macros and remap all of its buttons. It can be used both wired and wirelessly via its USB receiver, which may be important to some people.

Razer Viper Mini

The Razer Viper Mini is overall better than the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B. It has a wider and adjustable CPI range and a much lower click latency. Unlike the BenQ, the Razer has customization software, letting you set macros and remap all of its buttons. Also, thanks to its smaller size, it weighs less, and it's perfect for a fingertip grip for all hand-sizes. However, if you prefer using a claw or palm grip, the BenQ's larger size is better suited for these grip types.

Razer DeathAdder V2

The Razer DeathAdder V2 is a better gaming mouse than the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B. It has much lower click latency, a lower minimum lift-off distance, and its CPI range is wider and adjustable. Also, its cable is better, and its mouse feet glide much smoother. Unlike the BenQ, the Razer has customization software, and it has significantly more buttons that you can easily program. However, if you like the ambidextrous shape and don't like RGB lighting, the BenQ could be a better choice.

Glorious Model D

The Glorious Model D and the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B are gaming mice with different designs. The Glorious is an excellent option if you're a fan of ultra-light gaming mice since it's very lightweight. It also has smoother-gliding mouse feet, a more flexible cable, and you can adjust the CPI precisely in increments of 100. On the other hand, the BenQ is a good choice if you like simple mice with no RGB or software and you prefer the ambidextrous shape over the Glorious's right-handed design.

BenQ ZOWIE EC1

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B and the BenQ ZOWIE EC1 are wired gaming mice with similar performance but different shapes and sizes. The ZA12-B has a symmetrical, high-profile shape that's well-suited for nearly all hand sizes, though those with small or medium-sized hands may find it difficult to reach the scroll wheel and both side buttons using a fingertip grip. On the other hand, the EC1 has a right-handed ergonomic shape that's well-suited to larger hands and all grip types. However, those with small or medium-sized hands may not comfortably reach the scroll wheel or side buttons using a fingertip grip, and small hands aren't for any grip type.

Logitech G502 HERO

The Logitech G502 HERO performs better overall than the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B. The Logitech has a lower minimum CPI, and you can adjust its CPI range precisely in increments of 50 CPI. Also, it has a more consistent sensor, a lower lift-off distance, and a much lower click latency. Since it has customization software, you can remap almost all of its buttons, and you can even set a G-Shift button to give you more layers. Unlike most gaming mice, you can unlock the Logitech's scroll wheel for free scrolling, making it a great choice if you also intend to use it for office use. However, the Logitech is quite heavy, so the BenQ may be a better choice for fans of ultra-light gaming mice.

BenQ ZOWIE S1

The BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B and the BenQ ZOWIE S1 are wired gaming mice with very similar performance but different shapes and sizes. The S1 is larger and well-suited for larger hands using any grip type; however, any hand size should feel comfortable using it with a palm grip. On the other hand, the ZA12-B is smaller and significantly lighter. It's well-suited to all hand sizes using a palm or claw grip, but those with small or medium-sized hands may have trouble reaching the scroll wheel and both side buttons using a fingertip grip. The S1 has a better click latency, but it may be too small of a difference for most people to notice.

Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro

The Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro is a better FPS gaming mouse than the BenQ ZOWIE ZA12-B. The Razer has a much lower latency when used wired or with its receiver, and it has a wider CPI range that you can adjust precisely in increments of 50. Unlike the BenQ, the Razer has customization software, so you can set macros and remap the keys to your liking. Its paracord-like cable is also much more flexible and doesn't retain as many kinks as the BenQ's rubber cable.

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Discussions