Zowie EC1-A Mouse Review. Today we examine a new product from the ever-growing Zowie line up. The naming scheme of this product, may be one your familiar with. In short the EC1-A is an updated version of the original EC series, internally it now has a more able sensor, and while visually it looks identical to the original theirs a new coating on top.
So why did Zowie tweak and refresh the EC, if we already have the FK series?
That would be a fair question. In my opinion it’s all based around consumer and brand loyalty, mice are the product we are literally and metaphorically attached to the most. After interacting with a certain product for so long, users tend to be resistant to change. Rather than create a whole new line-up and try to sway them over. Zowie have taken the logical approach to refresh the EC series with more modern and able components. To please a wider audience, the mouse now comes in two flavours, this EC-1A and a smaller EC-2A
Pricing on the day or review is £49.99 available at OverclockersUK. You can explore their entire Zowie range here
The new EC1-A and EC2-A series keeps the same shape and size from the original EC series and introduces the Avago 3310 sensor just like the FK series. After releasing mice with different surfaces, ZOWIE GEAR understood that most people prefer the coating used in the FK and EC eVo CL lines and, as such, the new EC line will also use this coating.
We are all taught from a young age “Not to judge a book by it’s a cover”, and as an unbiased and fair product reviewer this is also key, not to make assumptions. That said…being human you can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed when you look at the box. It’s extremely plain with nothing but a small amount of text, and simple Logo. It’s a massive change in direction, compared to the FK-1 we looked at a few months back. It’s an area for debate, considering that the majority of us shop online, finding no specifications, window or anything relevant to the product inside, really isn’t that big of deal.
With the exterior box removed, things massively improve and what we find is much more to the usual Zowie standards. Alongside the mouse is a user manual, extra glides and Zowie sticker.
We shall start our tour of the EC-1A from the front side and initially it looks like a plain old, ergonomic ambidextrous mouse, actually that’s not quite the case because there is a slight slant in the shape. As we move around that’ll become clearer. The mouse is higher on the left side, than on the right. The curve is slow and gradual, and my left-handed testers found it just to be fine, for comfort sake.
Spinning around to examine the left side of the Zowie EC1-A, we find the two extra buttons. The surface of each is extremely smooth, with a high gloss finish, compared to the matte finish on the rest of the mouse. Location is logical and I found each to be no problem for reach. The two buttons have a slightly different feel in terms of resistance, and this can be confirmed with the audible difference in sound, when each is clicked. The button furthest away is easier to click than the other, and this will help avoid accidental presses.
On the lower portion of the mouse we find the new Zowie logo, and I’m a fan of the change. The new black and white one, looks so much more sophisticated than the previous yellow version. The slant is much more apparent from this angle, but as I said it’s not across the entire exterior. From the base to the centre point, the overall frame shape is ambidextrous, however this changes towards the front side, with a slant.
Looking at the final side of the Zowie EC1-A, no extra buttons or switches here, the shape remains uniform with no additional ridges or supports for the pinky. The scroll wheel is larger than most and at first, seems like it has no obvious grip. Glance closer and you can see support ridges, It’s an odd sensation because you barely see them or feel them, but they provide ample grip. This is a real plus, compared to some wheels I’ve worked with in the past. Scroll resistance is slim to none but the button does take a fair amount of pressure to be clicked.
An interesting but dividing feature is the fact the wheel illuminates depending on what DPI is set. The only negative is that you can’t disable it. On the other hand, none of the modes are exactly overwhelming in terms of brightness
- Red: 400DPI
- Purple: 800DPI
- Blue: 1600DPI
- Green: 3200DPI
Something that we’ve yet to mention is the 2m cable, unlike on the FK1 series, the wiring is a simple rubber version, rather than a braided cable. While some users feel a braided cable is a must, you could couple the product up with a complementing Zowie cable bungee (£10)
On the underside we have the Avago 3310 sensor and the DPI selector (small black button)
Testing and Conclusion
We’ll be performing all our testing on a OverclockersUK 3XL surface, you can find out, more information here
I will state here, what I do in every review of this nature. Speakers, headsets, mice and keyboards all fall into a grey area for reviewing. What I aim to provide is a fair and accurate overview and test of the product. Reality is though, that no benchmarking method or repeatable test exists and what I provide is nothing more than my experience with the product
We don’t have a predefined list of game for our testing. As time has passed new releases are often thrown into the mix, but more often than not old schoolers like Unreal tournament, and CS: GO are at the centre of the testing.
Now, there are one or two areas here that I want to chat about before we proceed, specifically the side buttons. I have a fair few other mice here to compare against. Perhaps it’s just my hand size (medium) but I rarely have any luck with the said buttons. Generally I find them difficult to reach, or surface to be too much,like the death adder for example, I find uncomfortable with over the top grips. Visually these high glossy buttons, we’re jumping out to me and saying nope, not going to work for you…but they just did and the difference between the two (pressure) is welcome.
I never jump into a gaming on day one of our mice reviews, as I feel it fair to allow for the transition period. We’ve all been there with say a new keyboard, you spend the entire day mashing all the wrong keys, activating lights and such. Mice have a similar and obvious transition period. Now my daily driver is the Steelseries Kinzu V2. A small,ambidextrous and no-nonsense mouse. The height of which is 36mm, so moving onto this the Zowie EC1-A, which stands at 43mm felt odd at first. After a few days to settle and adjust performing daily tasks with photoshopping and such, I began to game.
I’ve been using the mouse with a mixture of games for a few weeks now and I’ve no single problem to report, as in issues with unwanted, accidental clicks, or any oddities like that. Personally the height is just too much for me and I’d be leaning towards the smaller EC-2A instead. As it’s literally the same mouse with a reduction in size, with no compromises. Again to reaffirm what I said above, that’s my personal preference and I’d consider my hands on the lower side of medium. So if you’re in this category, perhaps the EC-2A would be more suited
You could argue that any new mouse is going to slide and glide better than something that’s seen better days (my daily driver) but the difference was mind-blowing and a real eye opening experience, the low resistance pads coupled with the lower weight, meant the Zowie EC1-A felt brilliant to use. The switches on the clickers again, a fantastic improvement. Not only a massive reduction in noise, but the balance feels just right as in amount of force required to click.
The one thing I want to finally mention is the DPI selector, which will certainly be a feature that will divide some users. Some would prefer to access it on the fly, when they want with no comprise. Others are happy to preconfigure before a game and will have no problem with its location. Me personally, being a light and occasional gamer, don’t mind. Looking at the mouse layout and design, I can sympathise and support those who would prefer it to be in plain sight, perhaps right next to the scroll wheel?
The Zowie EC1-A seems to be aimed at those that want a basic no nonsense looking mouse that actually has the internals, to provide something that’s often reserved for the more common, visually enticing “Gaming Only” mice on the market. Considering what’s actually inside the pricing is very fair, the only question that remains is, should you purchase the Zowie EC1-A?
For those with medium to large hands I’d say it sure is. Everyone else should look at the Zowie EC2-A.Or if the shape is not your liking, and want something more flat then consider the FK1
While the size was a touch to big for me (height), I can’t really knock of marks, and theirs another smaller version anyway. Well worthy of our Editors Choice.
We would like to thank OverclockersUK and Zowie for providing the sample, and we look forward to seeing more from them, in the near future!