When reviewing hardware, two of the most important questions you can ask are, “What is this thing meant to do?” and “How well does it accomplish this task?” Now, one might assume that a piece of hardware with a clear mission statement and great execution would be a ringer, but other questions tend to bleed into the process along the way.
For instance, you might wonder, “Am I willing to pay to fix the problem this product supposedly addresses?”
This is where the Zowie Camade II mouse bungee ultimately struggles. Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad that I have it, but “convenient” doesn’t necessarily mean “worth it.”
Zoom In: Specs
- Brand: BenQ Zowie
- Color: Black and Red
- Spring: Dual Height Setting
- Dimensions: 159mm x 96mm x 82mm
- Weight: 380g
Unboxing the Zowie Camade II is about as simple and straightforward as can be. Once it’s out of the box and the plastic casing, you’re all set. There’s no assembly required — just run your cord through the red slots and set the bungee on your desk. You can adjust how far the bungee protrudes and how much give you want for your cord so that your mouse movements are totally unhindered.
Aesthetically, the Camade II is elegant and uncomplicated. Its color palette consists of black, red, and metal grey. A triangular hollow in the Camade II provides another red accent and leaves the bungee with a suitable heft without being overburdened by unnecessary material.
The Zowie Camade II is an interesting piece of hardware in that when it’s working, you hardly notice it’s there. I decided to test it with Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, a medieval combat simulator and RPG in which the direction of your weapon swings are determined by mouse movements — seems like the perfect fit, right? Indeed, the most glowing endorsement the Camade II earned during that session was that I thought about it exactly two times: when I started and got it set up to my liking, and when I ended the session, remembering that I was, in fact, testing a piece of hardware.
As a gaming mouse bungee, the Zowie Camade II allows for full range of motion and keeps your cord from getting tangled. In terms of accomplishing its goals, the Camade II is a rousing success. It’s easy to adjust, and especially for someone with a frequently cluttered desk (like yours truly), it certainly removes some (admittedly minor) headaches from desktop PC gaming.
Price Point Problems
Returning to the questions posed in the introduction, would I actually buy the Zowie Camade II? At a price point of $24.99 on Amazon, no. Even constraining my budgetary decision-making to hardware options, it’s simply not the sort of issue I would prioritize. Does this mean the Camade II is a bad product or that the manufacturers are charging too much? Not at all.
Without insider knowledge of how the Zowie Camade II is made, it’s hard to comment on how exactly this price was decided. Given the design, material, and manufacturing costs likely associated with its production, $24.99 seems like a reasonable asking price to balance profit margins with affordability on the part of the customer. That said, it could be a perfectly reasonable price point and still fail to justify a purchase.
Overall, your reaction to the Zowie Camade II is likely to fall roughly in line with your reaction to the very concept of a gaming mouse bungee. If you’re the type of person who thinks it’s an unnecessary accessory, the Camade II is unlikely to change your mind. However, if you’ve found yourself cursing tangled mouse cords and don’t have much interest in wireless mice, the Zowie Camade II is definitely a solid option.
In a sense, this is the inverse of the “I recommend this if you’re a fan of this franchise” trope in gaming reviews. In those cases, you’ve typically got a product with lopsided, messy execution, but one which serves a broad audience of pre-established fans who might not mind a few defects if it means getting to play the next Star Wars game, for example.
Conversely, the Zowie Camade II gaming mouse bungee operates with something of a shaky (or niche, depending on how you want to frame it) concept, but it executes said concept very well. If you happen to fit into that niche, check it out.
Zoom Out: Verdict
Performance - 9/10
Aesthetics - 8/10
Affordability - 7/10
The Zowie Camade II is one of the most popular mouse bungees in the eSports arena, and it’s a fantastic accessory for serious players. That said, if it’s never occurred to you to purchase a device that untangles your mouse cord, it probably won’t be transformative. Even still, with an elegant design that hits its selling point handily, the Camade II is a definite success.
- Simple, elegant design
- Easy use and adjustment
- Accomplishes its goal handily
- Takes up desk space