Endgame Gear XM1 RGB Review
Endgame Gear is a relatively new player in the gaming gear world, but that doesn't stop them from putting out great mice and, lately, great mousepads. One of the strengths of this company is that they're always listening to feedback from reviewers and clients. That led to the release of the now critically acclaimed XM1 v2 which is often touted as perhaps the ideal claw grip mouse, and now the company has a new version of their hit mouse ready in the form of the XM1 RGB.
Endgame Gear could've taken the XM1 shell, added some RGB strips to it and called it a day, but that's not what they did. The RGB version has new switches, new mouse feet, and a new scroll wheel click. Are these changes worth it? Is the added weight due to the RGB justifiable? Find out all that and more in our review!
"It's a fantastic mouse with very little downsides, and once they have a lighter RGB-less version and a heavier RGB version with the exact same specs I'd love to see what they can do with a new shape, or perhaps a smaller version of the XM1."Our mouse reviewer
Endgame Gear XM1 RGB - First Impressions
Ah, RGB. The ol' Red-Green-Blue Light Emitting Diode strips are known to improve the performance of any gaming related product by at least 10% so naturally adding RGB LED strips was the next step for the XM1 to truly make it a top tier gaming mouse.
No, for real: I know that a lot of people love their RGB (and I admit I can get hypnotized by pretty RGB lights myself) so I wasn't that surprised when I was informed of the fact that the XM1 would get an RGB edition. What we've got here is the well-known XM1 shape, with an almost full body underglow (it's not there at the very front) RGB zone, as well as an RGB ring in the scroll wheel and an element behind the Endgame Gear logo.
As far as RGB goes I'm a big fan of the underglow concept because you actually get to see it when holding the mouse, so it's cool to see that Endgame Gear didn't just go for a regular RGB logo + scroll wheel combination. I'm not such a big fan of the fact that a lot of weight was added to accommodate these RGB zones. The regular XM1 came in at 69 grams on my scales and this RGB version reached 82 grams. That's 13 grams of added weight just for cosmetic purposes.
Of course 82 grams isn't 'brick weight' at all but since this is about first impressions I have to admit that I felt the weight difference pretty much immediately. Whether or not this matters to you will obviously be personal (and I'm not gonna go into the whole 'ideal mouse weight debate' here) but I'm just mentioning it. Logically speaking you could just go for the regular XM1 if you don't care about RGB but you do care about weight but then there's the fact that this RGB version has a couple of different specs (more on that later) so they're not quite the same, which can make choosing between the two quite difficult.
The XM1 RGB is a medium sized ambidextrous mouse. The shape remains unchanged from what we saw on the first two iterations of the XM1 so if you've ever grabbed one of those you know what you're in for: this mouse looks pretty flat from the top but it actually widens pretty substantially at the back. More on the shape later though.
Aside from the addition of the LEDs this new version also has Kailh switches instead of Omrons, a new scroll wheel switch, and two large mouse feet as opposed to four smaller ones.
Just like with the other products in the XM1 range you don't get a whole lot of extras in the box here. You get the mouse and a little quickstart card and that's pretty much it.
Admittedly there aren't a lot of useful extras that you can include with a performance-oriented mouse but I do always appreciate the inclusion of some replacement mouse feet, doubly so if you're marketing to competitive players. That's sadly not included here but as usual that won't influence my opinion on the product itself at all.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
As I said before the XM1 RGB has the exact same shell as the other XM1 mice. It's an ambidextrous design that seems to be optimized for claw grip (and is often recommended as an ideal claw mouse) with a noticeable hump at the back and a widening back portion. This isn't visually apparent when you're looking at the top of the mouse because it's all happening near the bottom where your fingers make contact with the device but it definitely feels a bit curvier than you'd give it credit for.
The coating, from what I can tell, hasn't changed. On the performance front the XM1 RGB feels great. I had no issues with slippage or anything like that during testing but I do need to say that the coating does show fingerprints and finger oils rather easily. As someone with sweaty hands I get these easier than people with dry hands but luckily the mouse didn't start to feel icky after long gaming sessions, and it cleans up easily so this is merely an aesthetics issue as far as I'm concerned.
On the bottom we now see two large PTFE mouse feet. These provide a smooth and scratch-free glide straight out of the box. I do feel like the previous four feet set up is a tad faster but that might be due to the weight difference. Both versions provide a smooth and consistent glide, so I wouldn't be against using either setup, but if I had to choose I'd go for the larger feet so as far as I'm concerned this is a (slight) upgrade over the other versions that I've reviewed so far.
Buttons and scroll wheel
Another change with the XM1 RGB is that the switches underneath the clicks have changed from the (for now; this seems to be changing) industry standard Omrons to Kailhs. I didn't have any complaints about how the switches on the previous versions felt (in fact I really liked them) but with the enthusiast community becoming more and more hesitant towards Omrons (due to double clicking issues in some mice that use them) I can kind of understand the switch, doubly so because these clicks feel great once again.
These, to me, feel even crispier and while there's a bit of a difference in how the left and right clicks sound I can say that this is another successful change in my opinion. The main buttons on the XM1 RGB also feel and sound less hollow than the ones on the older versions, so if you had a problem with that there's good news for you. There is virtually no travel on these buttons either; I can't say that I had any (post or pre) travel issues on the older XM1 but Endgame Gear seem to have reduced the amount of post travel even more to the point where there's barely any on my copy, no matter where I'm pressing the main buttons. I don't have any scientific way of testing this but the clicks don't feel a lot heavier or lighter than what previous versions offered so really you're just getting an improved experience over the older editions. Those didn't have any issues with their clicks according to me so this is a pretty small (but impressive) improvement.
The scroll wheel feels a bit heavier to scroll with compared to previous editions but it's by no means annoying to use and provides a relatively quiet and responsive experience. Underneath this wheel there's a new switch that makes the mouse wheel easier to click and I can't believe I'd ever say this but they might've made the wheel a bit too easy to click. I put a decent amount of force on my wheel when scrolling and I found myself accidentally actuating the middle mouse button a couple of times during work and gaming activities. That's perhaps something that I need to get used to (it only happened on the first step of scrolling, which means I put my finger on the wheel with too much force and it's not a hardware issue) but I thought I'd mention it.
The side buttons feel great. There were some issues here with the earliest versions of the mouse but these truly are in the past: you get two crispy buttons with barely any post travel and no wobble at all so these definitely pass with flying colors.
The sound test on the right in order: left click, right click, scrolling down, scrolling up, middle mouse button, mouse 4, mouse 5.
Quality and cable
The XM1 has a bit of a reputation for being extremely well built and that hasn't changed. There is absolutely no flexing, creaking, or rattling anywhere. This simply feels like a very high quality product on all fronts. I'm not the first reviewer who's been impressed by the build quality of these mice so it's good to see that the addition of multiple RGB zones hasn't influenced the build quality.
The cable hasn't changed, but why should it. This is still one of the most (if not the most) impressive stock cables on the market so you can absolutely use this without a bungee though I would, perhaps amusingly, recommend a bungee to go with this mouse since the cable is so flexible that it might end up underneath your mouse if you're a low sensitivity gamer or someone who performs very aggressive swipes.
In any case: the build quality and cable remain among the very best on the market.
Performance and sensor
While there are a number of changes on the inside of the mouse the sensor remains the same. The XM1 RGB is powered by the PixArt MPW3389 which, as we know, is a flawless sensor. That's not a selling point anymore these days since (luckily) flawless sensors are the norm so there's no acceleration, smoothing, or any of that nonsense (unless you want to) with this sensor.
In essence this product can be used without downloading any software at all: you can adjust the polling rate and DPI on the mouse itself but of course you're probably going to want to change the RGB if you're going for this mouse, and for that you can download Endgame Gear's software. There you can adjust all three zones separately as well as bind a keyboard button to an XM1 button, for example. There's no expansive macro support here, nor can you do extremely crazy stuff with the RGB aspects but the software certainly does what it has to do without any hiccups so there aren't any complaints from me on this front.
A tiny complaint that I do have is that the transitions from certain colors others aren't as smooth as they could be on the RGB zones. When you've got a mode on that changes between different colors it can sometimes look as if the RGB elements are displayed at 10 frames per second, causing it to look a bit sudden sometimes. I know that RGB doesn't work with frames per seconds (it's just a way of explaining) and I never thought I'd complain about RGB in a review for this website since that doesn't have any influence on the performance at all but since it's one of the main selling points of this mouse I thought I'd mention it.
Over the past couple of months the XM1 has made a name for itself as an almost perfect (preferences vary so there is no 'one size fits all' mouse or shape) claw grip mouse and I fully see why, though it can definitely also serve as a fingertip mouse for larger hands and perhaps a palm mouse for smaller hands.
As always it's important to figure out what you like though. Every individual has their own preferences and quirks so what I'm saying here is merely a guideline. Not a single reviewer (myself included) can 100% know whether or not a mouse will suit you so it's important to do your own research. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have though: I answer all questions on my reviews.
Conclusion & Recommendation
This is a bit of a complicated one for me. On the one hand I feel like we got an upgrade on the clicks and (this is perhaps more personal) the mouse feet but on the other hand this mouse weighs a lot more (relatively speaking) than its predecessor for, in my opinion, a rather weak RGB addition.
Is 82 grams a lot? No, absolutely not, and there are certainly people who will feel like this mouse is more in their weight category than the lighter versions because some do absolutely prefer heavier mice but I hope that the upgrades that Endgame Gear have made to this mouse will also make their way to the regular edition so that the only choice you have to make is 'do I want RGB (and a heavier mouse) or not'.
If it were up to me (it's not but I get paid to give my opinion on stuff so that's what I'm doing) I'd bring over these upgrades to the regular edition as well and leave the XM1 line at that for now. It's a fantastic mouse with very little downsides, and once Endgame Gear have a lighter RGB-less version and a heavier RGB version with the exact same specs I'd love to see what they can do with a new shape, or perhaps a smaller version of the XM1.
I went off on a tangent there so I'll conclude: the XM1 RGB is yet another great product by Endgame Gear, and for those who love their RGB and/or prefer heavier mice this is a fantastic mouse. For people who don't care about that aspect I would recommend the regular version since the changes on this version are (in my opinion) not enough to justify the rather large weight increase.