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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The typical gaming-grade mouse found on shelves can be dauting to those less inclined to face several buttons, a thousand configuration options and all the bells and whistles that are now market standards. Going against the flow, Zowie released a mouse with only three fixed tiers of resolution, just two extra buttons and no weight adjustment system or any configuration software. That is, it’s a simple alternative to models that look like an airplane control panel. Was it a good bet from Zowie. Let’s get to that after describing the physical characteristics of the peripheral.

Zowie EC1Figure 1: Zowie EC1

The EC1 is a right-handed mouse with a shiny body of plastic with a rubberized cover on the palm rest. There are only two non-configurable buttons above the thumb rest. The scroll wheel isn’t white but translucent – it changes color to indicate the current DPI setting (red for 500 DPI, purple for 1000 and blue for 2000). The cable is made of plastic, not cloth-wrapped like most gaming-grade mice.

Zowie EC1Figure 2: Scroll wheel and thumb buttons.

The EC1 features only two enormous Teflon feet underneath as opposed to rival models that usually have four smaller ones. The resolution selection button is located besides the optical sensor.

Zowie EC1Figure 3: Underside

Zowie EC1Figure 4: Illuminated scroll wheel

[nextpage title=”Playing with the Zowie EC1″]

Well, since the model doesn’t allow any configuration, nor come with a software to create user profiles and macros, we went right to the action. Made to be used in FPS games, we put the EC1 through the grind playing Call of Duty: Black Ops and Battlefield Bad Company 2. We found the peripheral to be a little lightweight – a weight adjustment system would be great. The huge Teflon flee allowed for some swift sliding over a good playing mat.

The fact that the EC1 features three fixed levels of resolution is questionable – after all, who playhs with only 500 DPI? For that matter, that’s not good even for regular Windows usage. With such waste, the user only has two effective options – either 1000 or 2000 DPI. It’s enough for less demanding players to have a good performance on the virtual battlefield, but still Zowie could have distributed the DPI setting in a better way – 1000, 1500 e 2000, for instance.

Another problem concerning the resolution is the fact that the DPI selection button is located underneath the EC1. This makes it impossible to change the sensibility on the fly, which is something we do quite a lot during gaming sessions – we use a lower DPI value to get more precision out of sniper weapons and up the level for action-packed incursions. It would be no big deal to put another button near the thumb buttons to change the sensibility as featured in other models. At least those buttons are big and responsive as is the scroll wheel.

As pure inovation, the EC1 features the lowest lift-off distance currently available on the market – 1.5 mm (1/16 inch). That is how much the mouse can be lifted while maintaining the pointer fixed on the same spot.

Another thing that got us thinking was why would Zowie sell such a simple model for such a high price? See: according to Newegg.com, the EC1 costs around USD 59 which is actually USD 5 more (!) than the Mionix Naos 3200 – a full-fledged gaming-grade mouse with several features. Honestly, the EC1 is a good and well-rounded peripheral, but is a simple model and should cost less.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Zowie EC1 mouse include:

  • Gaming-grade optical mouse
  • Right-handed design
  • Five non-configurable buttons
  • 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) lift-off distance
  • DPI Adjustment: 500, 1,000 and 2,000 DPI
  • Maximum Acceleration: 15 G
  • 1 kHz USB report rate
  • Maximum Speed: 40 ips
  • Dimensions: 5 x 1.7 x 2.76 inches (127 x 43 x 70 mm)
  • More information: https://www.zowiegear.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 59.99

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Below you can see a summary of our impressions about the Zowie EC1.

Strong Points

  • Lowest lift-off distance currently available on the market
  • Designed for gamers who want a simpler mouse
  • Comfortable grip
  • Illuminated scroll wheel indicates the current sensibility level
  • Big Teflon feature ensure swift sliding motion
  • Big and precise thumb buttons

Weak Points

  • Badly located DPI selection button
  • A little too lightweight; could use a weigh adjustment system
  • 500 DPI level is of little use for gaming or daily sessions of Windows
  • High price taking in consideration the simplicity and comparing with the features found on rival models