VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless Review

VAXEE has been hard at work making their lineup of mice wireless, and the final mouse to undergo this transformation is also the first mouse they ever released: the ZYGEN NP-01. With the release of this mouse, VAXEE has also debuted their 4000Hz technology (see: What is Polling Rate?) and the wireless version has seen some (small) shape changes when compared to the wired one. In our full VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless review, we put the brand’s latest effort to the test.

Also read: VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01S Wireless Review

At A Glance


VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless

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Staff’s Choice

The NP-01 sports a unique shape that really can’t be compared to anything else on the market, and its unique blend between ergonomic and ambidextrous mice is something that I greatly enjoy. Couple that with the fantastic build quality, the latest and greatest in sensor tech, and a product that’s been finished to a very high standard and you’ve got one of the best gaming mice out there at this point in time.

Pros

  • 4K compatible
  • Great gaming performance
  • Fantastic and unique shape
  • Good build quality

Cons

  • Side travel on pressed-down buttons can get annoying

Specs

SensorPMW 3395
DPI400, 800, 1600, 3200
Polling Rate1000 / 4000 Hz
Button SwitchesHuano
Button Force66g
ConnectionWireless
ShapeAmbidextrous
Length11.8cm
Height3.9cm
Weight72g
Width6.6cm

First Impressions


Packaging

Inside the box of the VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless, you’ll find:

  • The mouse
  • A USB-C charging cable
  • 4K receiver
  • QR code, leading to the manual and extra info

As I’ve said in other reviews: I am not someone who is against minimal packaging. It’s a lot better for the environment, and while extravagant unboxing experiences are cool, it’s also a fact that a lot of extras (stickers, ‘thank you’ notes, …) get shoved in a drawer by most people.

Still, I would’ve loved to see an actual readable quickstart guide or pamphlet. Even a folded up A4 paper would’ve been fine for me. The fewer QR codes I have to scan in my life, the better.

Spare mouse feet would have also been cool to see. They’re not very expensive when it’s time to replace them, but in a product that’s squarely aimed at hardcore competitive gamers it is always a nice inclusion.

The Mouse

As you might know, VAXEE release their mice in a bunch of different colorways. I got the yellow version for review, but the NP-01 Wireless is also available in orange, blue, pink, black, and white. Functionally, there are absolutely no differences between the different colors.

What’s interesting is that VAXEE have been working to reduce the weight of their mice, and you immediately feel that when holding the NP-01. This larger, full-sized version weighs just a little bit more than the smaller NP-01S, and is around 5 grams lighter than its wired predecessor.

I am not someone who absolutely needs the lightest mouse in the world, but it’s nice to see that VAXEE have been making efforts to trim down the weight. They mentioned that their current target weight for the (near) future is 63 grams or less, so newer VAXEE products will probably see a steady weight reduction over the coming months and years, bringing them more in line with the current weight standards in the scene.

Something that’s new with this NP-01 Wireless is VAXEE’s 4K receiver. This modestly sized receiver will be the one that VAXEE uses for all of their products going forward, as they say it’s also faster at transmitting data at 1000Hz.

Shape, Coating, and Mouse Feet


Shape

The VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 shape has been an interesting one to me right from the get-go. I mained the NP-01 (VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Review) for a while so I was initially kind of worried when VAXEE announced that they made some changes to the shape. After playing with the Wireless version I can say that I think they’ve changed it for the better, though.

When compared to the original version, the Wireless has a slightly flatter left side, and a slightly flatter front right section. These shape changes are by no means drastic, so enjoyers of the original shape (like myself) won’t feel lost here, but they do make the mouse a little bit safer overall.

The shape itself is still one of the best shapes in the current mouse world if you ask me. The VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 is almost a blend between an ambidextrous design and an ergonomic design. It has a thumb indentation on the left side which gives it a very ergo feeling. Meanwhile, on the right side you’ll find a side panel that feels a bit more like what you’d find on a traditional ambidextrous mouse.

For me, this shape feels extremely pleasant to use. When using ambidextrous mice such as the Logitech G Pro X Superlight (2) I often notice that I love a neutral shape for dexterity, but I wish I could just press my thumb down into the shell a bit more for stability reasons.

On the other hand, I often find very curved and formed ergonomic shells a bit too limiting and ‘locking’. The fact that the hump on the NP-01 isn’t as high as it is on something like the OUTSET AX or other traditional ergo mice alleviates that ‘locked in’ feeling, so the NP-01 feels a lot more mobile when making small up/down aim adjustments with your fingers.

I feel like the NP-01 shape expertly marries the pros of ergo and ambi mice, and I love this combination.

Of course, all of this this also means that it’s kind of a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ type of mouse. If you like that super locked-in feeling of (larger) ergo mice, this won’t offer that. The same goes for the nimble, ‘grab it anywhere’ experience you get with ambi mice: that’s not going to happen here, as the thumb indentation does kind of force you to place your thumb within the cutout.

Coating

When it comes to performance, VAXEE’s coatings are among the best in the business. The NP-01 Wireless felt grippy and performed perfectly in all circumstances: hot hands, cold hands, sweaty hands, and dry hands.

I’m still not a fan of slightly chalky feeling that the coating offers as it can feel a bit ‘dirty’ after extended sweaty gaming sessions, but I can’t argue with its performance.

Mouse Feet

The default VAXEE feet have remained unchanged for a good while now, and I think that’s a good thing. They feel more towards the controlling side, and that’s something that I appreciate. If you’re someone who is looking for the fastest and slickest skates on the market, you’ll definitely want to replace these, but for me these are just fine.

The feet are smooth right out of the box so I had no performance issues with them.


I see the VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 as a claw grip mouse. Its hump is too low to palm grip unless you have small hands, and for fingertip grippers who want this shape I would suggest the smaller NP-01S Wireless.

Of course this is just a guideline: everyone is different, so you might absolutely love this as a fingertip mouse. Take this section as a guideline, not as gospel.

Buttons and Scroll Wheel


Buttons

Compared to their earlier models, recent VAXEE mice have notably lighter clicks. The same goes for the NP-01 Wireless.

Whereas the original version required ~84 grams of force to actuate, the NP-01 Wireless only requires ~66 grams. For me, that’s okay. It’s not so light that I get accidental clicks (like on the XE Wireless that I got in for review) but it’s also not too heavy so that they become hard to spam or click on a whim.

The clicks themselves feel consistent no matter where you click them, and the switches actuate with a reassuringly tactile pop. Pre- and post travel are very respectable. In general, the clicks on this mouse feel fantastic.

Sadly, there are some issues with side travel on my copy. If you press down a mouse button, you can move it from side to side, and if you do so with a certain amount of force you can feel it grinding. This is not something that influences the performance, but as someone who tends to press down hard in stressful situations (such as when spraying in CS2) it definitely gets annoying. Some side travel is expected on a mouse and usually not a problem at all, but the grinding sensation does get on my nerves.

This is something that was also present on my NP-01S Wireless and, to a lesser extent, on other new VAXEE mice. It could be that I’m extremely unlucky, since I don’t see many other reviewers (other than Boardzy in his NP-01S review) mention this, or it could be that VAXEE has to reevaluate the way they implement their buttons somewhat.

Scroll Wheel

The scroll wheel on the VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless is quite simply top notch.

It is very grippy due to the heavy texturing on the wheel itself, so it’s easy to grab hold of. The tensioning between different scroll steps is pretty much exactly on point for me, and the same can be said for the wheel click tensioning. To top it off, it’s also pretty quiet.

VAXEE have come a long way here, and their scroll wheels are among the best in the business these days.

Side Buttons

Both side buttons actuate with a clear and precise click, and there’s very little pre- or post travel to be found. Nothing more needs to be said about them; these are reliable and nicely implemented side buttons.

Build Quality


VAXEE mice are always extremely well built, and the same goes for the NP-01. There are no loose parts inside of the mouse, and the overall build quality is great.

Do note that it’s technically possible to actuate the side button by applying a lot of pressure on the left side of the shell, but this is not something that happens ingame unless you grip your mouse like you’re trying to squeeze juice out of a stone. A similar issue was present in the first batches of the NP-01S Wireless, so if your mouse has an issue on this front that’s interfering with your gameplay I would suggest reaching out to VAXEE. For me, however, it’s not an issue at all.

Sensor and Everyday Performance


Sensor

VAXEE’s mice are using the 3395 sensor these days, and that’s basically the ‘it’ sensor in today’s gaming mouse market. It’s a flawless sensor which is implemented fantastically by VAXEE, so the gaming performance of the VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless is top tier.

The brand is continually working on improving their technology and sensor implementation, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the best out of this sensor if you go for the NP-01 Wireless.

VAXEE Goes 4K

The NP-01 Wireless is the first VAXEE mouse to go 4K, and with the release of the 4K dongle, VAXEE’s entire mouse lineup is now 4K compatible. The actual ingame worth of these high polling rate mice are a topic of debate in the community (see Is a higher polling rate mouse worth it?) but it can’t be denied that it’s nice to have the option.

Bear in mind that you need to have a beefy PC and a high refresh rate monitor and a higher DPI in order to even start potentially noticing the advantages of 4000Hz, so this is absolutely not tech that will propel you to the top of the ranking charts if you’re playing on a budget setup. Consider 4KHz as a cherry on top of the sundae, where the sundae is a top tier gaming rig.

With that said: VAXEE’s 4K implementation is (as I expected) done nicely. I will say that I got some pretty weird looking test charts at 4000Hz, but the people at VAXEE have mentioned that this is due to a specific algorithm that they implemented to reduce interference and improve stability. Since I had absolutely no stutter issues or inconsistencies with 4000Hz ingame, I am inclined to say that the tech is working as it should.

Using the mouse at 2000Hz gives a much more stable looking polling rate stability chart, and it performs without hiccups as well. It also adds an extra 10 hours to the battery life, so it’s a good middle ground to consider for people who don’t want to sacrifice too much battery life.

Of course there’s also still the option to use the mouse at 1000Hz and below.

All in all, it’s nice to see that VAXEE mice are now 4KHz compatible. Again: this is tech that you will only notice if you’re playing on a top tier system (and even then it’s going to be a small difference) but it’s optional, so you don’t have to use it.

Configuring The Mouse

VAXEE has no driver software, so all of the configuration is done on the mouse itself. Now that the mouse comes with motion sync, higher polling rates, and other extras, it’s starting to get a little bit confusing.

The polling rate LED indicator lights, for example, only go up to 1000Hz on the bottom of the mouse. When selecting a polling rate, all 3 lights on means that you’re on 4000Hz, and only the last 2 lights on mean that you’re on 2000Hz.

This is all clearly laid out in the (online) manual, but it also underscores the importance of having a real quickstart guide/manual in the box if you ask me.

Of course most people will only configure the mouse once and then move on with their lives, so this is kind of a nitpicky complaint, but still. This configuration process could be made a bit more intuitive now that there’s a lot more to configure.

Battery Life

There are two modes that you can put the VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 wireless in. There’s competitive mode and normal mode. The mouse comes with competitive mode on by default, but if you switch to standard mode (which basically makes the mouse favor battery life over performance) you can get around 100 hours of battery life out of the NP-01 Wireless.

Using competitive mode you get the following battery life:

  • 55 hours at 1000Hz
  • 45 hours at 2000Hz
  • 35 hours at 4000Hz

This is very respectable and just about in line with what I experienced when testing.

Note that normal mode doesn’t make the mouse suddenly perform like a $5 office mouse. It’ll still be absolutely fine for gaming. I do recommend every gamer to use competitive mode though. Why buy a mouse dedicated to gaming only to then gimp it’s performance?

VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless Alternatives


The most obvious alternatives to the ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless are obviously going to be VAXEE’s own products, namely the NP-01 wired and the NP-01S Wireless. Aside from the brand’s own offerings, no shape out there really replicates what the NP-01 does from my experience, so there aren’t a ton of alternatives to talk about.

VAXEE NP-01 Wireless vs NP-01

As outlined at the beginning of the review, the NP-01 wired has a slightly different shape and weighs more. The gripping experience is still pretty much the exact same, however, so if you can handle a cable when playing then the NP-01 is a great affordable alternative to the NP-01 Wireless.

VAXEE NP-01 Wireless vs NP-01S Wireless

The NP-01S Wireless has the exact same internals as the NP-01 Wireless (and is 4K compatible if you get the 4K dongle) in a smaller package. Note that the NP-01S isn’t just a ‘shrunken down’ NP-01; the length is the same, while the S version has a lower hump and is thinner. Essentially, the S version is a less filling version with less palm-to-mouse contact points.

VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Wireless Review – Conclusion


The VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 is one of my favorite shapes on the market. The fact that it’s the last VAXEE shape to get a wireless treatment made the wait extra painful, but now that the wireless version is finally here I can say that I’ve probably found my new main mouse.

The NP-01 sports a unique shape that really can’t be compared to anything else on the market, and its unique blend between ergonomic and ambidextrous mice is something that I greatly enjoy. Couple that with the fantastic build quality, the latest and greatest in sensor tech, and a product that’s been finished to a very high standard and you’ve got one of the best gaming mice out there at this point in time.

There are some who will call the weight a problem, but I find just over 70 grams to be very much tolerable. VAXEE isn’t a company that is blindly chasing trends or wildly throwing caution to the side in order to implement the latest hot thing. I can respect that, even though I also respect that this weight makes the mouse a non-starter for some people. After all, you can’t argue about preferences.

Something that is a bit of a problem for me is the button grinding, but that’s something I can live with since everything else is done so nicely. Still, it’s beginning to be a recurring theme with wireless VAXEE mice for me, so maybe a little QC tuneup is in order here?

Concluding: they might not be the flashiest mice on the planet, but VAXEE now has an all-wireless lineup with fantastic shapes and great tech behind it that’s implemented really nicely. I can’t wait to see what the brand comes out with next now that all of their mice have made the transition to being wireless.

This product was received for free from the manufacturer and given to our reviewer to test and review. Brands and manufacturers have no editorial control over our reviews. For more information, check out our review FAQ.

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