Zowie EC1-B Review

Zowie implemented the newer PMW3360 sensor into the EC series showing you can improve on perfection.

by Will

Zowie EC1-B Review

Zowie implemented the newer PMW3360 sensor into the EC series showing you can improve on perfection.

by Will

by Will

Zowie has been bringing simple ergonomic mice to the market for years and the EC1-B series is no different. The EC1-A and EC2-A were heavily popular mice and still are to this day but Zowie mice enthusiasts had been calling for the implementation for the newer PMW 3360 sensor. Now with the EC1-B and EC2-B this is a reality. Zowie seems hell-bent on delivering us multiple different tournament ready options that almost always tick the performance boxes in our eyes and its excellent. The EC-B series are right-handed ergonomic mice that come in two sizes; EC1-B being the larger of the two and the EC2-B being a more medium sized mouse which is smaller in every way apart from the depth at the front.

The EC-B series shape takes inspiration from the old but ever so popular Microsoft Intelli mice a lot of us proudly use to own(specifically the IME 3.0). The mice feel close to the ergonomic brilliance of the Razer Deathadder but in my opinion, doesn’t share the same high-quality finish to the touch. However, the quality lies underneath the shell with Zowie mice which is not to say the understated simplicity of the design isn’t something I’ve come to love.

Pros

  • Simple Design – No frills but still elegant.
  • Comfortable – Ergonomic shape.
  • Great Tracking – Highly regarded sensor.
  • Durable – Sturdy well put together mouse.
  • No Software – Plug and play

Cons

  • Material – Could become slippy after prolonged usage.

BENQ Zowie EC1-B Gaming Mouse Review

Mouse Size & Weight (EC1-B)

  • Weight: 94g
  • Size: Large
  • Length: 12.8cm -5 inches
  • Width: 6.9cm – 2.7 inches
  • Height: 4.3cm – 1.7 inches
  • Hand Orientation: Right

Mouse Size & Weight (EC2-B)

  • Weight: 90g
  • Size: Medium
  • Length: 12cm -4.7 inches
  • Width: 6.4cm – 2.5 inches
  • Height: 4cm – 1.5 inches
  • Hand Orientation: Right

Mouse Tech

  • Sensor: PMW 3360 optical
  • Buttons: Huano Switches
  • DPI: 200-12000 (increments of 50)
  • Polling Rate: 125 / 500 / 1000Hz
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Cable: Non-Braided

What’s in the box

zowie ec1b gaming mouse review

Zowie packaging always oozes class and seems to follow a clean and simplistic design. The packaging is no different for the EC-B series. The box is coloured the same as the mouse inside and features the classic outline of the featured mouse drawn onto the front of the box. Zowie is all about function and the packaging makes that clear. You can tell as the box just stylishly houses your future mouse and isn’t trying to dazzle you with special features or what the latest technology is inside.

Inside we have:

  • Zowie ECI-B mouse
  • User Guide/ Warranty
  • 16 extra feet

Size & Weight

Unlike other peripheral brands, Zowie has designed mice for most hand sizes by developing the EC1-B and EC2-B. Both the EC1 and EC2 have been designed with comfort in mind whether you have small or large (right) hands. They accommodate for any play/grip style too with even a fingertip grip being possible on the smaller EC2 but for optimum use id recommend these mice more for claw/palm. The back of the mouse is the widest with it narrowing towards the centre giving you a slight curve for your thumb to rest. It subtly rises in the middle giving a nice unobtrusive hump that sits in most palms.  The mouse angles slightly down to the main buttons giving the mouse an extremely comfy feel as you’d expect from these basic ergonomic shapes. Although I normally prefer the larger mice (my hands are 19×11) with the EC series it was different and I have to say the EC2-B seemed to give me more comfort when playing. It was down to slightly smaller dimensions but also the fact the EC2-B is 4 grams lighter than the EC1 (94g).

Zowie has shaved off some weight with the upgraded EC1. The EC1-B now 3 grams lighter than its predecessor and to put that in perspective the EC1-B comes out 11 grams lighter than the Razer Deathadder. The weight distribution of the mice felt very balanced which I think makes a massive difference in-game as I wasn’t distracted by a top/bottom heavy mouse.

Shape & Texture

The EC series offer a right-handed ergonomic design that has been tried and tested. The series tends to remind some people of the Microsoft Intellimouse albeit slightly chunkier. The shape is very comfortable and Zowie have coated it in a smooth slippery plastic that feels surprisingly nice to the touch. If you don’t sweat too much this glossy coating can be great for grip but if you get a little wet in the palms then you may want to go for a mouse with a differently textured surface like the Rival 600s rubber coating or the previous EC-A series. The EC shape doesn’t feel a million miles away from the Rival 310 in terms of ergonomic shape but the EC mice have softer edges and gentle curves to cater for more peoples hand sizes.

Buttons

The main primary buttons have Huano switches underneath which aren’t bad, they feel slightly harder to press than Logitech switches but they have a nice audible click and the actuation isn’t huge. The Main buttons are a part of the mouse shell which I don’t mind as the buttons still consistently click no matter how high up my fingers are on the button. Just like the shape the switches feel a bit safe, I would have preferred something a bit lighter but you won’t have trouble pressing these switches and I performed no accidental clicking.

They have slightly changed the mouse wheel from the EC-A series. Zowie has done away with the light up scroll wheel to tell you what DPI setting you were currently on, now it’s just a black tactile scroll wheel. If you use the scroll wheel for jumping or in some other way frequently its worth noting its quite loud and could be found irritating. I only use the scroll for the occasional weapon change or knife so didn’t really notice.

There are two thumb buttons for a few extra in-game commands and they aren’t too bad. They have a nice solid feel when you click and a satisfying audible click. They are slightly above where your thumb sits naturally but aren’t too hard to reach. I didn’t have to adjust my grip when clicking the thumb buttons on the larger EC1-B but I did notice it was slightly easier on the EC2 again making it the more comfortable option for me.

On the underside of the mice, there are two buttons. On on the left will switch your polling rate between the three preset options of 125Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz. I always leave my mice on 1000Hz but it’s good to see these options are now easily changed as with the older EC series you had to hold certain buttons as you plugged in the mouse to set your new polling rate. To the right of the sensor is a DPI button which gives you four different colour coded options to choose from starting with red(400 DPI) up to green(3200).

Cable

The Zowie EC-B series like their predecessors come with non-braided rubber cables. The cable is 2m in length and didn’t drag or give me any noticeable resistance. I don’t use a wired mouse without a bungee these days and I noticed the Zowie cable may be too thin and slippery as none of my bungees would hold it in place as well as other mice. It wasn’t like the bungees didn’t work, the Camade from Zowie holds the cable well enough but I did have to readjust after an evening of gaming as it had slipped through.

Sensor & Performance

The previous EC-A series had the PixArt 3310 sensor which was regarded as an excellent sensor and due to an early release fault with coil whine in the newer PMW3360 when first implemented it kept people leaning towards the older EC-A mice. The EC-B series has had a performance upgrade and appears to have fixed some of the earlier issues on release. The Sensor was excellent and performed flawlessly with max tracking speeds of 7 metres per second so I wasn’t randomly looking into the clouds or at my feet after a fast reaction. The sensor will provide you with perfect tracking and there was no visible smoothing up to the blue DPI option (1600).

The mouse was a dream in CSGO but took a little longer to get used to compared to other ergonomic models such as the Razer Deathadder and the Logitech G403/603/703. The sensor performed but the EC1-B felt a little too big and clunky despite being so light. The EC2-B did play a lot nicer though and both mice in-game were flawless. Snapping to a target was quick and precise while tracking heads in-game was relatively easy once I was used to EC-B series. After just a few hours use I began to see why this shape is so popular in the community by casual and professional gamers alike. The light ergonomic shape and high performing sensor translated into any game I would play and gave me great confidence in the mouse.

Software

A huge selling point for Zowie mice is the fact they are plug and play. Just in case you’re still not following, the mice require no software installation or cloud server log in! Yes, this means zero customisation but Zowie concentrate on what matters in their defence. Also, don’t worry as we said before you can still change your DPI but you will have to choose from one of the four following options:

  • Red = 400 DPI
  • Purple = 800 DPI
  • Blue = 1600 DPI
  • Green = 3200 DPI

Mouse Testing Section

These are the various tests we can consider doing.

  • Paint Test
  • CPI Divergence
  • Perfect Control Speed
  • Speed Related Accuracy Variance
  • Polling Rate
  • Input Lag
  • Click Latency

Our Verdict

The overall build quality of the EC-B series was high, at no point did any excess pressure reveal flimsy plastic and after a good shake, there was zero rattling coming from the mouse. The design is minimalistic but this simple approach is refreshing and the ergonomic shape is a joy to hold. The main buttons are good but the other functional buttons seem a bit safe and come across as an afterthought but I don’t really use the other buttons too much so this didn’t bother me. It is a rather barebones mouse and at over £60/$60 you may wonder why but the Zowie EC-B series has a favoured shape, a brilliant sensor, and of course is plug and play so we can see why the EC-B is so highly recommended.

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