Zowie EC1 Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Zowie EC1 Gaming Mouse


Since the release of the Razer Boomslang back in 1999, gaming mice have become nearly the only mouse you can buy. No longer are we forced to remove the ball and clear fluff off the rollers, even the most basic mouse has an optical sensor and you'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't come with a scroll wheel or a back button.

Of course that doesn't mean that all mice have incredibly high quality sensors and parts though. Many companies have attempted to leave their stamp upon the Gaming Mouse market with only a few doing so successfully.

Nonetheless though it's such a lucrative marketplace that companies will continually try and create the next must have mouse. The great benefit of not having the latest and greatest is that you can always justify your average performance by blaming your tools. It's the "if I could afford a Stratocaster I'd be Hendrix" argument.

Enter Zowie and the EC1 Gaming Mouse. Zowie are a small California-based company founded in 2008 that have enlisted some of the best gamers around to help design their products and so ensure that they genuinely provide what the end-user needs, rather than merely what a huge faceless corporation thinks they need.

Discounting a re-release of an early Microsoft Intellimouse this is Zowies first foray into the world of Gaming Mice. Of course following the good quality of their previous products we had to take a look.


A quick trip across to the Zowie website to grab the technical specifications also brought with it some of their own explanatory text, so rather than regurgitate it, here it is in their own words :

1.5 mm lift-off distance - one of the lowest on the market to date
One of the primary features of the ZOWIE EC-series is the lift-off distance. ZOWIE EC-series has made it possible to create one of the lowest lift-off distance currently available in any optical mouse on the market - 1.5 mm.

1,000Hz USB Report Rate - plug and play with 1.000Hz
Most optical mice are 125Hz which can be artificially raised to 500 – 1,000Hz through driver installations. The ZOWIE EC mice are the only optical mice which has 1,000 Hz from standard, without any installation of drivers.

Improved mouse wheel
The mouse use an optical encoder instead of the cheaper traditional mechanical system and added a new optimized rolling system developed by ZOWIE, which ensures that the mouse wheel is the most durable and precise mouse wheel on the market today.

Adjusting DPI on the fly is not really an innovative feature, but ZOWIE decided to put it on the mouse anyway, as it's important for a gamer to be able to optimize the settings to create the perfect feeling when playing.

Two shapes - four mice
HeatoN's EC-series consist of four mice with the same features and specifications. The only difference is coating, color and size.

EC1 and EC2 black, has a rubber coating to increase the grip when holding.
EC1 and EC2 pure white, has the popular smooth coating which reduces sweaty palms.

Quote from Emil "HeatoN" Christensen:
"In my 10 years as a professional gamer, every day I have wanted to develop the ideal mouse for competitive gaming." .. "as a competitive gamer, you have to be able to rely on your equipment to be functional at all times. The mouse is probably a gamers most important tool, so it is important that you can trust it to deliver. We have put our focus on precision, stability, durability and comfort. No more excuses. It's up to you now!"

- 100% stable optical mouse developed for gaming by HeatoN
- Ergonomic designed right hand gaming mouse
- 1.5 mm lift-off distance due to custom developed ZOWIE-lens
- Improved mouse wheel system
- 500/1,000/2,000 DPI adjustment
- 1.000Hz USB report rate
- Operating System: Win2000/XP/VISTA/7 or Mac OS X v10.2 after

- Frames Per Second: 6,500
- Inches Per Second: 40
- Dots Per Inch: 500/1.000/2.000
- Max. Acceleration: 15G
- 1,000Hz USB report rate
- Connector: USB
- Buttons: 5

As you can see the lack of drivers mean that the mouse is compatible right out of the box with anything you can plug it into. Let's have a look at it before we get down and dirty. 

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Most Recent Comments

28-09-2010, 05:53:46

Haha Zowie ! Shaggy's favourite saying in Scooby Doo

I shall read


Well, I have to agree with Bryan. £50 for a mouse that offers nothing much is way too much money. If I hadn't had a look at it flipped over and the blatant MADE IN CHINA stuck underneath I wouldn't have thought about it as much, but it's obviously put together pretty cheaply and thus is woefully over priced.

Personally I don't like the velvet rubber coating. That's why both of my Razers are now back in the box..

On the DPI thing.. I don't really know the complete ins and outs but does 500 DPI just make it slower? or, does it also make it less accurate? (edit, by way of name dots per inch would indeeed indicate so, so 500 dpi may well be very useful for art programs)

The reason I ask is because in Photoshop for example when tracing edges and drawing lines 1000 DPI is so jittery it makes it near on impossible. It's like trying to hold onto a schizophrenic inpatient on caffiene and adrenaline.

I've always used my mice on the lowest possible DPI setting when editing or drawing with Photoshop. It's too easy to slip otherwise.Quote

28-09-2010, 08:37:51

I agree that in Photoshop the need for a slower responding mouse is vital. However considering that a basic pen and tablet arrangement can be had for about £50 if you really need that amount of precision and use it regularly enough, then I believe you'd purchase a tablet.

It's not poorly built at all. It's just.. featureless.Quote

28-09-2010, 08:47:10

Well DPI is basically how many pixels the cursor will travel for every inch you move your mouse. That's assuming you have default sensitivity settings.

When you use a mouse with low DPI that means when your attempting to draw a straight line in Photoshop, your lines will be straighter since the mouse won't pick up slight tremors that you might have. This is oppose to having high dpi and low sensitivity where the mouse will pick up even the slightest movements.

So in a nutshell. High DPI means higher accuracy of what your hand is actually doing. Low DPI means lower accuracy since the computer plugs in the gaps between movements, so drawing straight lines are easier.

On the issue of this being a gaming mouse. The 1,000Hz refresh rate is good, the DPI is a bit lacking, but a lot of people, such as my friends use ~1,600 DPI when gaming because anything higher is too hard to control, even if they turn the computer sensitivities down a bit. I personally use a 5,000 DPI mouse and computer sensitivity are maxed out and i don't have issues, but realistically 2,000 is probably enough for your average gamer.Quote

28-09-2010, 10:11:14

Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post

I agree that in Photoshop the need for a slower responding mouse is vital. However considering that a basic pen and tablet arrangement can be had for about £50 if you really need that amount of precision and use it regularly enough, then I believe you'd purchase a tablet.
Oh absolutely mate. Making it even more pointless (pardon the pun, pointers etc) than it already is. There are far better mice out there for that use, so it just affirms your views on it. Maybe had they left that function out they could have spent the extra pennies on making it into a proper gaming mouse.

The problem is the competition. Alienware's TACTX mouse for example is a rebranded slightly smaller Logitech. It has about 9 buttons and is completely programmable AND has a RGB lighting system.... For £45.

I know people are mostly 'no frills' but when you have no frills you don't really want to pay for them. TBH that mouse looks like a Razer Salmosa, has the same covering as a Razer Salmosa and about the same level of functions yet the Salmosa costs around £16.

Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
It's not poorly built at all. It's just.. featureless.
Absolutely. And for £50 you can get a mouse that looks like the Blackpool illuminations with about ten buttons and all sorts of fancy stuff..

If they are aiming for a niche market then I think Steelseries have already beaten them to it Quote

28-09-2010, 12:56:13

Absolute waste of cash, it is lacking in features that people pay for in that price range.

I just see no reason when you can get some great mice for ~£32, because a lot of people will agree that the Deathadder or the G500 is the most anyone will ever need. That is true, seeing as most people don't have monitors at anything more than 1080p.

To be honest, I have been using a Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse and actually prefer it over the Microsoft Sidewinder X5 and any OCZ mouse on the market. But, then again, OCZ makes horrible mice .Quote

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