Endgame Gear XM1r, MB1 and MPJ1200 Reviewed

The EndgameGear XM1r is a compact, light-weight and agile little gaming mouse that has – for the past year and change – been my daily driver. On my workstation.

While it hasn’t been taxed with the demands of gaming, it’s been thoroughly excellent- another one of those products that works its way into my daily usage and slips through the review cracks. Well it will slip no more… except on my desk, with its slick, slick PTFE skates.

Along with the XM1r, EndgameGear sent me one of their monster 1.2m x 0.6m MPJ1200 mouse pads and their MB1 mouse bungee. I was assembling desks and getting ready to move into a newly converted home office when they arrive, and this trifecta of products really rounded off my office build.

The MPJ1200 Mouse Pad

First up, the MPJ1200 mouse pad. I had a very tight budget for office desks, so I bought six IKEA table tops- four of which were on sale for £6 a pop. These 1m x 0.6m table tops formed the main desks in my office, and were joined by two slightly larger wood effect ones at £14 a pop. That’s a lot of desk for £42. I grabbed the cheapest legs, too, and re-used some we already had.

IKEA table tops are cheap, very cheap, and are perhaps the most miserably awful surface to do anything but store loose items on. They scratch and chip easily, and if any water gets into those scratches they’ll swell and look like a wolverine has been trying to get to the gooey innards. But sticking an EndgameGear mouse mat on the top – currently on sale for £25 – absolutely transforms the setup. I went from cheap, garbage table top to wonderful cloth finish from edge to edge. Yes. The 1200x600mm mouse mat was bigger than a single 1000x600mm table top, so it helped bridge the gap between the two desks (I’d glued and screwed them together) while protecting from spills, scratches and general wear and tear.

It’s been over a year since I installed the MPJ1200 mouse mat on top of my desk, and it doesn’t show any sign of wearing. I have soldered on it, used lots of pokey pointed electronics, disassembled things and more. Yes it’s got very, very grubby and dusty over time, but a vigorous wipe with a Dettol wet wipe in place has lifted the grime with no problems at all. I’d put it in the washing machine, perhaps, but I’ve been a bad boy.

I had to custom mount my monitor arms with a wood baton and screws. Not wanting to mess up the clean edge-to-edge feel of the mouse mat I just put the screws right through it. Yep. Sorry Endgame Gear I have committed mouse mat sacrilege. Albeit on the other hand I trust the quality enough that I would make it a permanent part of my desk. It’s a trooper.

The pad is hefty enough that those screws keep it in place. I’ve never needed to stick the front edge down, but I’m sure some 3M tape would have done the trick had I wanted to. I’d love more of these mats to do the rest of the desktops, but the sizes don’t quite work out. Yes there are uncovered, white, IKEA table-tops. Yes they are absolutely ruined. I couldn’t recommend the cheap desk + decent mat combo more.

The XM1r Mouse

My experience with Endgame Gear’s XM1r mouse has been largely positive. I started with a Windows setup for some time, before growing frustrated with WSL (Linux on windows) and switching to Pop! OS. The XM1r has kept right on working, albeit the firmware update utility needed Windows to run. Such is life.

It’s been on my desk for roughly 18 months now through thick and thin. It’s light, fast and responsive, the braided cord is nice, the buttons are tactile and responsive- I seldom notice it. The only complaint I’ve had is with the wheel.

The mouse wheel on the XM1r had an awkward habit of scrolling erratically or scrolling back up if I tried to scroll quickly. Now I scroll through code an awful lot, so this has been frustrating and I wasn’t sure if it was Pop! OS, some Linux oddness or the mouse itself that was awry.

Now I have experience dealing with the sort of technology used in scroll wheels- the rotary encoder. It uses the phase of two pulses to figure out which direction you’re scrolling the wheel in. The faster you scroll the wheel, the tighter the waveform and the faster your MCU needs to be to make head nor tail of it. On my Alienware keyboard it will basically just give up and fail altogether if you try to scroll the volume up and down quickly, for example, but the XM1r had this strange habit of scrolling back up in huge jumps.

Fortunately- and I don’t know why it took me so long to check- Endgame Gear have released a firmware update for the XM1r that addresses this scroll issue (note, this is mentioned in the changelog included in the zip file). It made a huge difference in my setup, but it doesn’t seem to have completely fixed it. Is something else amiss? I don’t know.

The fact remains that the XM1r is such a sleek, light little mouse that I’ve simply forged ahead and largely ignored this issue. I’m still using it. I have other mice I could switch to- such as the Alienware 610M – but this one is just sleeker. Nicer.

There are two side buttons, which are my go-to for in-game comms and situational awareness (A.K.A. the map). I – badly – played a lot of Natural Selection 2 and I use these buttons constantly.

The stock PTFE skates are very, very small and it’s this, in addition to the light weight of the XM1r, that makes it feel really nippy and agile on the desk. I have no doubt that using Endgame Gear’s mousemat in conjunction with the XM1r helps considerably, too, but the mouse itself is all round one of the most comfortable I’ve used for a while. Perhaps the bulky Alienware 610M was… a poor choice.

I’m remiss that I don’t game hard enough to truly do it justice. And, when I do, my skills leave an awful lot to be desired. I did, however, use the XM1r quite frequently for Blender when I went through my phase of doing random case studies of confectionery or just abstract nonsense.

With the XM2w – a wired/wireless version of the XM1r – around the corner (albeit it includes an STM32 so that might be a biiiig corner) Endgame Gear have both wired and wireless use-cases covered at two competitive price points. They are very worthy of your consideration.

The MB1 Mouse Bungee

The MB1 mouse bungee is truly the unsung hero of my setup. It’s all too easy to forget. Unlike the XM1r which I interact with and feel daily, the bungee sits there, out of the way, doing its thing, letting me forget the pain of using a wired mouse.

I’ve always been somewhat against using wired keyboards on my desk because they don’t really move all that much. The wire is unobtrusive and much less of a nuisance than managing batteries or charge.

Mice are a different story. A wireless mouse with solid performance has always been the holy grail, since the lack of wire can make a huge difference to the comfort – or should I say “lack of frustration” – of daily use.

Enter the . Rather than cut the cord, it aims to manage the cord and eliminate some of the common- literal- snags that you might run into when your mouse cord drops down the back of your desk, wraps around your coffee cup. The MB1 simply claps the mouse cord and hoists it over your desk like an electricity pylon.

But it doesn’t just do this. The hoist is a short, spring loaded assembly that grips the mouse cord and gives a little bit of sprung tension allowing you to pull that extra bit further without pulling more cord into your mousing space.

The MB1 is something I’d never really have considered or tried if it weren’t for Endgame Gear throwing one my way. I wouldn’t be so hyperbolic to claim I could never do without one, but its service is very much appreciated.

Overall

While my lack of gaming chops mean I don’t have anything insightful to bring to the conversation, I can acknowledge that Endgame Gear are bringing some solid offerings to the table in a market that’s crowded with dizzying options. I would not hesitate to recommend any of these products. All three together will currently run you just shy of £90- a hell of a three-hit Christmas combo for that gamer in your life.