ZOWIE G-SR II Review

The ZOWIE G-SR is a legendary control pad that’s primarily used in tactical shooters (see our best mousepad for CS:GO guide) and other games where stability is key, but it has been one of the default recommendations for players looking for a very controlling pad in general for many, many years now. Like all products, the G-SR wasn’t without fault though. Issues with durability and moisture resistance have often been mentioned in the past, and now those issues have supposedly been rectified with this new edition, making the G-SR II a really strong contender for best control pad in the business. Read our full ZOWIE G-SR II review to find out whether or not this is the case!

At A Glance


Zowie G-SR II

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Pro’s Choice

If I had to summarize this G-SR II review in one sentence it would be the following one: it improves on the original in all the right ways (durability, humidity handling) without changing its very control-focused glide.

Pros

  • Nice stitching
  • Very uniform foam
  • Greatly improved moisture resistance over the first G-SR generation

Cons

  • Tends to slide around somewhat on some surfaces
  • Still somewhat affected by moisture

Usage Over Time In The Pro Scene


First Impressions


The ZOWIE G-SR II comes rolled up in the package. After unboxing the pad, it lays flat almost immediately, so I don’t really have any issues with it not being flat-packed in this case. The pad itself looks and feels great at first sight. The stitching showed no obvious errors and the stylish red/black branding tag on the side of the G-SR II is small enough so that it stays out of the way.

Finish and Overall Quality


The stitching on my unit shows no errors and isn’t raised above the playing surface in a noticeable way, so there were no comfort issues during my testing period. The surface is on the rougher side (as you’d expect from a control pad) but it feels very consistent, and the same can be said for the foam underneath the playing surface, though more on that later.

All in all, the G-SR II feels like a high quality product, as it should. At an MSRP of $34.99 it’s definitely not as expensive as some of the premium pads that I’ve been reviewing in recent times, but it’s not exactly cheap for a mousepad either. As far as I’m concerned, the overall finishing standard and quality of the product justifies the asking price.

ZOWIE G-SR II Review - Tag Closeup

Performance


Glide

The G-SR II is a pad that’s focused on control. As such, there’s a high amount of static and dynamic friction present here, but it’s not the absolute slowest pad I’ve ever used. Both in my testing (see our article on how we test mousepads) and when gaming with it, I initially found it to be a touch faster when it comes to dynamic friction than other dedicated control pads like the Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn Pro and the original G-SR (though I don’t have any tests for that one as I don’t have a fresh G-SR lying around). The static friction feels more or less on par with those other pads.

Don’t get me wrong, though: this is a very consistent control surface, and there’s pretty much no speed to it at all. There’s always going to be resistance when using the G-SR II, both when swiping as well as when you’re doing very small micro-level mouse movements.

Do note that here seems to be a bit of a break-in period with the G-SR II. When I first got it, it seemed to be faster than what it is now. The ‘slowdown’ appeared after a couple of heavy gaming sessions, and it hasn’t slowed down any further after weeks of usage beyond that, so I’m inclined to say that ZOWIE’s claims about the improved durability ring true. Definitely do give it a couple of ‘breaking-in sessions’ though.

Related: Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn Pro Review

X/Y Difference

Something that was noted when this pad was first announced was that there would be a smaller X/Y difference in the glide. As I mentioned earlier, I sadly don’t have a fresh G-SR to compare testing results to, but the X/Y difference on the G-SR II is 14.99%. That’s on the higher side (the average of all the pads I’ve tested so far is 7.5%) but it’s well within the range that I would call reasonable. For reference: the VAXEE PA has a very similar X/Y difference, so if you can handle that then you won’t have any issues with the G-SR II.

Related: VAXEE PA Review

Disclaimer

Note that, while we try to measure mousepad characteristics objectively and in a controlled environment, these results are still just approximations. The glide of a mousepad can vary greatly depending on the mouse that’s being used, the humidity in the room it’s being used in, the force a user puts on a mouse, and so on.

ZOWIE G-SR II Review - Closeup of Surface

Base and Grip

The ZOWIE G-SR II has a non-textured rubber base. This does a decent job at keeping the pad in place, but I did notice that the mousepad had moved a little bit after a couple of intense gameplay rounds. It didn’t slide around so much that it distracted me while playing, but if you have a swipe-heavy playing style or a slippery desk, you will have to place it against a heavier object or just reset the pad every once in a while. It’s a bit disappointing, but nothing performance-limiting.

Thickness and Softness

With a thickness of 3.5 millimeters, the G-SR II is right around the middle of the pack. The foam that’s being used here is on the firmer side, making for a pad that doesn’t lend itself to much digging action. If you push down really hard, you get a little bit of extra grip due to the mouse feet sinking into the surface, but it’s not a pad that’s made for this kind of playing style, and if you’re looking for that you’re better off looking at some Artisan or Lethal Gaming Gear pads. There’s an excellent representation of the firmness of the foam on the G-SR II product page on ZOWIE’s website in case you’re interested.

ZOWIE G-SR II Review - Mousepad Laying Flat

Durability and Humidity Resistance

Pretty much the main reasons for making a new G-SR version were the durability and humidity resistance concerns that plagued the original. Sadly I can’t really say a lot of useful things about the durability in this G-SR II review due to the simple fact that I don’t spend months or even years with the products that I review. I did spend a number of weeks with the G-SR II during a particularly warm and humid summer though, and aside from the aforementioned slowdown that occurred after a couple of days, I didn’t notice any big changes to the overall glide and characteristics.

When it comes to humidity, the G-SR II has definitely improved upon its predecessor, but it’s still not perfect. On sweaty days, you are going to feel your sweat and skin oils impacting the overall feeling of the pad somewhat, but the days where a couple drops of liquid made the mouse come to a full stop are well and truly behind us. On the G-SR II, the humidity issues have been dropped down to just a mild annoyance rather than a full-blown performance limiter, so that’s definitely nice to see.

ZOWIE G-SR II Alternatives


A logical alternative to this pad would be the original ZOWIE G-SR, which I feel is just a bit slower than this one but offers around the same glide experience overall. Other contenders are the recently released Endgame Gear EM-C and the Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn Pro.

ZOWIE G-SR II vs Saturn Pro

As far as the overall glide goes, both pads are super similar. They both focus on control and nothing else, though the Saturn Pro has a much softer base, allowing you to dig in your mouse feet to get a little bit of extra control. The surface of the Saturn Pro is also a bit smoother, and the stitching is finer and of slightly higher quality than on the G-SR II, which can of course be explained by the fact that the Saturn Pro is a more expensive pad at $49.99.

See Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn Pro Review

ZOWIE G-SR II vs Endgame Gear EM-C

The Endgame Gear EM-C is a little bit thinner than the G-SR II, but other than that it’s a very similar mousepad. The EM-C has a bit more static friction than the G-SR II, but less dynamic friction. The differences between the two are extremely small, however, so I see the Endgame Gear EM-C as the most obvious alternative to the ZOWIE G-SR II.

The EM-C comes flat-packed and has a stickier base, as well as slightly better stitching. Just like the Saturn Pro, the Endgame Gear EM-C is more expensive, coming in at $44.90 at MSRP.

See Endgame Gear EM-C Review

ZOWIE G-SR II vs G-SR

Both pads have a glide that’s extremely similar, but the G-SR II is noticeably better at handling humidity and has increased durability over the G-SR I. If you’re considering a G-SR mousepad, I would always recommend the G-SR II over the G-SR I.

ZOWIE G-SR II Review - Stitching

Conclusion


If I had to summarize this G-SR II review in one sentence it would be the following one: it improves on the original in all the right ways (durability, humidity handling) without changing its very control-focused glide. What you’re getting here is a reliable control pad that sits right in the middle of the pack when it comes to price, so if you’ve been looking at all the recent-ish top tier control pad releases but you can’t or don’t want to spend those amounts of money on a mousepad, then the G-SR II is a great purchase.

The G-SR is/was a legend in the tactical shooter space for a reason, and now that most of its drawbacks have been fixed (to some extent; a perfect and infinitely durable mousepad does not exist) it’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a pad that will control your mouse movements at all times.

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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Isaac

can you review the aqua control sakura edition???