Zowie EC1 Gaming Mouse Review
Testing and Conclusion
Unlike many of the mice we test this really is a no-frills affair.
We haven't got any software to configure, no light patterns to play with, or macros, or... well much of anything really. This is very much a hardcore plug and play mouse.
So what's it like in use?
Starting with the good, it has a superb balance to it. There is a slightly rearward bias to the weight distribution that really helps keep it planted and under control. When you consider that the arse end of a mouse you either move with the ball of your thumb, or if you're a fingertip user you don't move intentionally at all, then to have it more planted makes perfect sense. It leaves your fingers themselves able to make far more accurate adjustments of the lighter button end.
That isn't to say it's hugely noticable. At most it feels like about a gramme difference, but it's just enough.
The coating on the main body of the mouse is glorious and will be instantly familiar to anyone who has used a Razer mouse. It's almost identical to that found on the Imperator and that's a good thing. It does however make the mouse a little bit Jeckel and Hyde.
Zowie say that the white model, which has the gloss coating all over, is better for reducing sweaty palms, whereas the black model has the rubber coating to increase the grip when in use. They can't both be good things? Either it's better to have a gloss surface, in which case provide the black model with it too, or it's better to have a rubber surface, in which case why doesn't it extend to the sides? Especially on the right side as this is a right handed mouse and so your ring and little fingers tend to just make those tiny adjustments. It's curious to say the least.
The sensor is very good. It gives strong results in of the games we tried the mouse with. At 2000dpi FPS games were as responsive as we like and the buttons have a very crisp response to them. Dialing things down to 1000dpi for RTS and other games still saw high accuracy whilst reducing the twitchiness which is the essence of FPS games.
However this does end up with our penultimate beard-stroking moment. Who on earth would ever use the 500dpi mode? Unless you've brought a decommissioned aircraft carrier to use as a mousemat it's just hopelessly insensitive. And with the mouse so devoid of other buttons to fill the acreage, why is the dpi switch underneath? It makes it all-but-impossible to make on the fly dpi changes although with the gap between the settings as large as it is you probably wouldn't want to.
So all in all it's a very capable mouse. It lacks any real flash or flair, but if you just want something that works without needing to set it up for ages beforehand, it's the ticket.
Well, it would be. If you're one of those people who doesn't look at the price then, knowing what you know about this, take a guess then have a look. I know we were amazed too.
Mice roughly should be 20-30 pounds for a basic gaming one, £40 for a good one, and more than that if it's got some serious bells and whistles. Pushing up against the £50 mark makes the Zowie EC1 more expensive than the CM Storm Sentinel, Roccat Kova, Razer Deathadder and a host of other mice with better sensors and more features. If this was £25 it's a good buy, £30 it's still fine. For £35 you could just about make an argument if you really like the look or the pared-down nature. Once you get past £40 there are just too many, much better, mice to even consider the Zowie.