BenQ Zowie EC1-A Full Review
Searching for the best of the best pro gaming gear and BenQ is one of the brands that stand out in the gaming hardware industry. BenQ is known for top quality monitors and they created another division named ZOWIE and eventually became ZOWIE by BenQ.
Zowie researched and developed the mouse and other peripherals especially for the first person shooter e-sports titles such as the CS:GO, Overwatch, Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG) and Fortnite hearing a lot of stories from certain gamers that are into first person shooter e-sports titles experienced brilliant performance. Although that they differ slightly from other models, each of these models has specific features that can actually elevate your gaming experience respectively.
The BenQ ZOWIE mice completely look like a normal and average mouse, but don’t be fooled by it’s looks and there is something underneath that needs to be explored by the science of gaming gears.
ZOWIE EC1-A comes with 3310 optical sensor one of the best in the market has to offer. Huano switches are fairly light estimated at 97 grams without the cable, 64mm width grip, 120mm length base, designed and suited for FPS Games.
Features and Specification:
Ergonomic right-handed design
Plug and play – no driver needed
Perfect lift-off distance: Only 1.5 ~ 1.8 mm
24-step scroll wheel
DPI ( Dots Per Inch ): 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
Adjustable USB report rate 125 / 500 / 1000 Hz
Length of cable: 2m / 6.6 ft
Operating system: Win2000/XP/VISTA/7/8/10
Mac OS X v10.2 after
At first glance, the mouse packaging seemed mysterious in such a way it comes with a minimalist design.
Underneath the packaging it comes with the user manual and skates replacement just in case you don’t feel comfortable gliding than usual.
Starting our EC1-A tour from the front and looks completely plain old mouse. But actually that’s not quite the case looking at clearly there is a contour and moving in seeing the mouse in a bigger picture seems a difference in terms of shaping the mouse from left to right.
Let’s turn to a different perspective that the ZOWIE EC1-A we find two side buttons from the looks of it it can be used for Melee attack for Overwatch. The Mouse itself has gloss white finish and i can tell that it cannot be easily gets dirt and grime all over in your e-sports training sessions with your team or casual me time.
Underneath, the EC1-A Features two large Teflon skates of which are included as replacements. BENQ ZOWIE touts PixArt sensor which is known for a reliable Avago 3310 sensor which is located in the middle with the DPI beside. The switch is pre-programmed to 400 / 800 / 1600 and 3200, alongside with the scroll wheel combined to indicated the selected profile (Red/Purple/Blue/Green)
The moulded USB looks nice with the ZOWIE logo, which can often be handy for identifying items around the back of your PC, though, surprisingly, BenQ has decided to go for a rubber coated cable instead of the, almost expected, braided cable. The rubber cable chosen offers next to no resistance, so should never be any issue.
The USB port marked with the ZOWIE logo perfectly, which is easier to identify the ports behind the PC. Amazingly, BenQ decided for a coated cable to my surprise they did not incorporate the braided cable for some reason it offers almost no resistance and another featured caught my eye is the ferrite core. Ferrite cores are known to block EMI or Electromagnetic Interference / RFI or Radio Frequency Interference that is usually present in our homes because of the technological world we live in.
ZOWIE EC1-A touts the Avago Sensor and Huano switches and were tested using Overwatch, Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds, CSGO and Crysis 3, giving a rational broad range of games and adding an old favorite game. The sensor performed astonishing well on 4 of the available DPI options (400 | 800 | 1600 | 3200). The lack of any driver or software due to e-sports regulations and obviously limits the ability to tweak the DPI, and resorting to in-game settings must be changed to achieve somewhat a similar result, by means of adjusting the sensitivity.
Since this is a an E-Sports mouse, it’s completely designed to be taken wherever you join in certain events and plugged into the provided gaming machine which is assigned to you, providing the exact same environment regardless of location. Likewise, the Huano switches provide positive feedback, much more so than OMRONs switches used by other competitors.
Zowie included a scheme as mentioned in the user manual, of adjusting the polling rate, with 125Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz made possible. The mechanism very simple as holding the required button while connecting the mouse to your chosen USB port making it completely no software adjustments.
The EC1-A is appealing, with the glossy white outer shell combined with classic shape. The scroll wheel shines to indicate the chosen DPI, with distinct colors available (Red / Purple / Blue / Green.) BenQ’s choice to use a small logo and blends well with the minimalist design, keeping it low. The black thumb switches emerge and are well positioned for easy access, though they feel a little bit awkward to use, with a ‘two-stage’ click feel. Other than the thumb switches, the overall build quality is good.
In addition, the scroll features a 24 click points, with deep gaps requires a large amount of force to spin since i have heavy hands, making the scroll wheel more reliable as a button for use to cycle a secondary weapon or similar.
The cable chosen by BenQ, with a thin insulation was found to produce less resistance that it’s not worth considering the fact i prefer still braided cables in the first place; even when cramped up in front of the mouse, During testing it was a little difficult to push out of the way since it was designed to be lightweight without the aid of mouse bungees.
For the E-Sports athlete joining the competitive scene and requires a sturdy and reliable mouse to travel with, the ZOWIE EC1-A should be given a serious consideration. The Avago sensor is reliable not just for e-sport practice sessions but also for the competitive scene, the Huano switches underneath mouse 1 and 2 provide a light tactile feel, the scroll wheel feels completely tactile and requires amount of force to crank; all of which is packaged in a beautiful white shell.
The missing driver software support may not be for everyone in general, limits the tweaks of the mouse quite considerably, though ZOWIE has figured out innovative ways around. On the other hand, the mouse is completely designed for E-Sports, where the rules slated that no driver software is to be installed inside the arena PC.
Except you’re planning on joining multiple competitive events, you’d be better off looking at a regular gaming mouse, the EC1-A is extremely serious to be used otherwise.
The glossy body is a plus, cleanup is a breeze, provided a sweaty experience after a short period of time; The black version doesn’t come with the same base coating, so wouldn’t suffer from the same problem.
Adding one thing we’d like to see with an E-Sports mouse with a small pouch to carry with and preventing any damage or it getting scratches or grime along the way.
The BenQ Zowie EC1-A retails for just Php3,000.00