Zowie Camade II Review
If you ever had a nice frag denied because of the fact that your cable managed to get stuck behind something on your desk then you'll know how handy a mouse bungee can be. It seems like a gimmick at first, but many professional and competitive gamers have a bungee on their desk. If you're playing (or you want to play) at the highest levels you simply can't afford to leave anything up to chance so a bungee is definitely a reasonable investment.
The Camade is one of the most popular bungees out there and now that Zowie has come out with a new and improved version of their popular cable management system we thought it was the ideal moment to have our reviewer take a good look at this product. Enjoy the review!
Zowie Camade II - First Impressions
There is, in all honesty, not much to note about a mouse bungee since it's a pretty simple product but two things did catch my attention almost straight away: the color (obviously) and the fact that the arm is rather long when compared to most other bungees. Whether you like that first aspect will be entirely up to you (the Camade II is currently only available in the Divina colors, namely pink and baby blue) but that second point is definitely an improvement over the first version of the Camade.
Another thing that's been changed is the base. The front part is about a centimeter wider than that of the original Camade, and this newest version is way thinner at the back. This doesn't reduce the overall footprint of the Camade II when compared to the first iteration but the larger front part can obviously have a positive effect on the stability of the product.
At 377 grams the Camade II is a pretty weighty bungee. That weight and the broad base along with four rubber feet on the bottom are the elements that are supposed to keep the bungee stable even during the most aggressive swipes. The flexible arm itself is adjustable and at its highest point it's just over 8 centimeters.
Zowie aren't known for their flashy marketing or packaging so the Camade II comes in a sleek white box (which is standard for all Divina products) that has the bungee in it and nothing more. When you open that box you'll find a very minimal 'quickstart guide' printed on the inner packaging instead of a booklet or flyer.
The Camade II has the same adjustable spring arm that you'll find on the first version, but this one is almost double the length. That's good news, as that means that less cable will be touching the pad which in turn ensures less cable drag and thus a much freer feeling.
This might be something personal, but for me a bungee should have an arm that angles upwards. This means that there's a lot less cable that comes into contact with the pad, and with a good cable and bungee you can achieve an almost wireless feeling if the arm is long enough. In that sense the Camade II really is a massive upgrade over the original. How much cable still touches down on the pad will depend on your sensitivity (a lower sensitivity obviously means you'll need more cable out of the bungee which in turn results in more cable touching the pad) and the flexibility of your cable but I really like this change.
The Camade II still has that very recognizable trapezoid base and it's finished with a BenQ logo on the left side only and a Zowie logo on the front.
A longer arm can produce some problems with stability but that's countered by the pretty large base and the weight. The weight has been increased (it's about 130 grams heavier than the original Camade) to counter the longer arm and thanks to that it's impossible to have the Camade II tumble over if you set it up correctly. During normal use (by which I mean I left enough cable slack to allow for maximum movement) I never had any issues with stability at all, even when I purposefully tried to get it to tumble or move.
You should set up a mouse bungee so that you can reach every corner of your pad (or playing area if you're using an extended pad) without running out of cable, and if you do just that the Camade II works perfectly in all scenarios. The arm is flexible enough to not really interfere with your aim once you reach the 'bending point' but it does have a good amount of resistance if you keep gliding past that point so that you get a kind of 'warning' that you're reaching the edge of the bending point.
You can adjust the position of the arm via a little slider at the back of the bungee. 'Officially' this arm has three positions: aside from the obvious positions (fully extended and fully retracted) there's also a point halfway where it clicks into place but I also tested this bungee with the arm at various positions and it didn't budge at all so you can safely adjust this to be at the exact point of your liking without having to worry about it sliding around inadvertently.
The Camade II also takes a variety of cables with no issue. The little cable gutter on top of the arm is rather tight but it took the thickest cable I have lying around (the one that's on the original G403) without any problems. Getting some shoelace-like cables to stay in there is a process that requires a bit of twisting and turning in some cases but in the end all cables stayed put.
Conclusion & Recommendation
A mouse bungee is a pretty simple product but that doesn't mean that it's easy to make a good and reliable one. Zowie seem to have found the formula, and the Camade II is a logical successor to the wildly popular first version.
The longer arm is great to keep even more cable off of your pad and there are no stability issues coming from this longer arm thanks to an increased weight and broader base. With its tiny footprint it's also going to be easy to add to pretty much every desk so if you're looking for a simple, no-frills mouse bungee this is definitely one of the top contenders out there.