After all my Razer mice reviews, it was time for something else. A non-Razer gaming mouse. I’ve chosen the Zowie EC2.
Zowie has a small product line-up. They sell an old, but great Microsoft mouse and two mice of their own: The Zowie EC1 and EC2. These mice use the same hardware in a different shell. The only difference seems to be the size. I’ve chosen the EC2, the smaller mouse.
The EC1/EC2 use a Avago ADNS-3060 sensor at a 2000 max DPI. There are a few other mice that use this sensor, some A4Tech mice and the Steelseries Ikari Optical for example.
Overall the sensor is pretty good. Zowie chose to keep some prediction/drift-control activated in the firmware, but on a minimal setting. There are some jitter issues on cloth pads (Razer Goliathus for example) and tracking on semi-shiny surfaces can be quite bad. My trusty old Deathadder 1800DPI has less jitter and that’s a mouse with all drift-control disabled.
The mouse gets polled at 1000Hz by default, so you won’t have to install USB hacks or drivers. You can adjust the DPI by using a button on the underside of the mouse. There are 3 settings: 500, 1000 and 2000DPI. The scrollwheel changes color when changing the DPI. A nice way to show which DPI is active.
The overall build quality seems a bit sub-par for the amount of money you pay for one of these ‘heatoN-approved’ mice. On the box there’s a sticker that reads “most durable and precise mousewheel”, but in reality it feels really cheap. Sometimes you can hear the click of the scrollwheel, but no scrolling movement is registered. It’s simply one of the worst scrollwheels I’ve used in a recent mouse, feeling even a bit worse than the Razer Abyssus scrollwheel.
The two side buttons don’t feel very good either, but they get the job done. The main mouse buttons and scroll-wheel button are just fine.
The rubber coating on the black Zowie mice is quite similar to the one on the Deathadder, and feels very nice. The same kind of coating seems to be used on the mouse cord. This makes it less likely to get tangled up like with the original Deathadder.
Overall I quite like this mouse. Being slightly smaller than the Deathadder it’s easier to throw around your mousepad. The rubberized feel and the mouse buttons are fine, the sensor performs well enough to be used on most surfaces at high speeds.
I’m slightly disappointed with the overal price/performance ratio. The sensor has some jitter issues, the scrollwheel is terrible and the side buttons make the product feel cheap and flimsy.
These issues don’t prevent it from being a great mouse which I’d recommend. Especially people looking for a mouse that’s slightly smaller than the MX518/Deathadder/IME3.0.