Mouse wireless mice: EC1-CW hands-on

For a long time, mice from Zowie were considered an almost unalterable choice in the e-sports scene. However, BenQ’s peripheral brand slept through the evolution towards wireless gaming mice – until now: Zowie is venturing into new territory with three wireless models from the EC series. ComputerBase could already get an impression.

For years, numerous PC gamers, including esports enthusiasts and the enthusiastic mouse community in particular, have been wondering when Zowie WILL finally introduce wireless mice. Hope was lost, but the time has come: Almost quietly and secretly, Zowie published the first information about the EC1-CW, EC2-CW and EC3-CW during the CES. A video introduces the three wireless mice and the associated Enhanced Receiver, a large wireless radio adapter with an integrated charging station.

There should also be wireless mice from the FK, ZA and S series. Zowie will also offer all of its own gaming mice in a wireless version. However, there is no specific timetable for this.

The EC series makes the wireless start

ComputerBase already had the opportunity last fall to try out a technically final prototype of the EC1-CW. Zowie employees emphasized to the editors: Everyone at the manufacturer is aware that the manufacturer’s first wireless mice have been a long time coming. So it was all the more important for Zowie to bring a product onto the market that not only met the expectations in terms of performance, workmanship and longevity due to the good reputation of Zowie mice, but also had a higher value than katebelle available. And the manufacturer does not see this added value in a particularly low weight, a higher USB query, a high-end sensor or even RGB lighting, but in a wireless connection that is as stable as possible. But one after anonther.

The EC series is Zowie’s line of asymmetric shooter mice optimized for use with the right hand and palm grip. The manufacturer last updated the EC series in the summer of 2021, so the current wired variants are named EC1-C, EC2-C and EC3-C hours. The wireless adaptations now presented are based on the same C series, are also associated with a lower weight compared to the B series, a flexibly wrapped cable and 24 grid points on the mouse wheel.

Zowie EC-CW series in comparison
Zowie EC-CW series in comparison (Image: Zowie)

In terms of weight, the large EC1-CW is actually 1 g lighter than the EC1-C with a mass of 79 g, while the small EC3-CW is a little heavier at 76 g instead of 70 g. The three new Zowie mice are absolutely light compared to the available competition in 2023, for example a DeathAdder V3 Pro (test) or a Pulsar Xlite V2 Wireless weighs only 64 g or 59 g. The fact that Zowie swims against the tide in this aspect was already demonstrated by the special edition of the EC series released in July 2022. ComputerBase explained in a detailed report why the trend is towards lighter gaming mice.

  • Easily explained: That’s why gaming mice are weighing less and less

But back to the EC1-CW: In an interview with the editors, Zowie explained that the manufacturer was obviously aware of this development and had therefore at least made sure that the wireless mice were not (significantly) heavier than the Model C – Model series. A priority has a low mass for Zowie, but still not.

You can tune it to a variety of sensors with a frequency of 1,000 Hz

And the same can be said for the built-in hardware of the EC1-CW, EC2-CW and EC3-CW. With the PixArt PAW-3370, the mice are likely to be state-of-the-art, but not in the high-end range, which Razer is currently leading with the PAW-3950 and to which, for example, a PAW-3399 or a PAW-3395 too counting is And Zowie doesn’t say a word about the built-in mechanical switches. The battery life runs to around 70 hours with constant movement, with wireless connectivity being realized via 2.4 GHz radio with up to 1,000 Hz.

And the sampling rate is the next topic: Based on some leaked information and sightings of the wireless EC models at e-sports tournaments, the mouse community initially assumed that Zowie – such as Razer with the HyperPolling Wireless Dongle (test) – A wireless polling rate of up to 4,000 Hz would be possible. The reason for the assumption was that the wireless Zowie mice had always appeared in combination with an enhanced receiver that appeared to be sheer huge. And why should such a large antenna be necessary if not for wireless sensors beyond 1,000 Hz?

The author also suspected this at the beginning of the hands-on event, but Zowie actually has a different explanation for the existence of the enhanced receiver. Because with the EC1-CW, EC2-CW and EC3-CW – as is still common with (wireless) gaming mice – a USB query rate of 1,000 Hz is the end. With particularly powerful receivers, however, the manufacturer wants to ensure that the wireless connection between the wireless adapter and the mouse is so reliable that it is in no way inferior to a cable connection, even in an environment with very strong interference. Zowie thinks about e-sports tournaments in the big arenas or LAN parties.

Via Enhanced Receiver for the most stable connection possible

For this purpose, it is already helpful that the large Enhanced Receiver cannot simply be plugged into a free USB socket on the PC. On the one hand, because the wireless adapter can or must be placed closer to the mouse, and on the other hand, because USB 3.0 ports are a common source of interference for 2.4 GHz wireless connections. But in the end it is above all the size of the antennas that makes the difference with Zowie’s solution.

The manufacturer demonstrated the technology with a provisional test setup: in a cool bag with a metal-coated insulating layer on the inside, there was a WLAN router that continuously transmitted data to a smartphone that was also in the bag. In between there was a standard radio adapter – Zowie used the G Pro X Superlight (test), which is particularly popular in e-sports (test) – and the Enhanced Receiver. Outside the cool bag, around 30 cm in front of the opening, there is a corresponding Logitech mouse and a prototype of the EC1-CW.

And indeed: While the sensors of the G Pro X Superlight are threatened in this extreme scenario, which is reflected in a strongly delayed, jerky or sometimes completely missing mouse pointer movement when the mouse is constantly moving, the prototype of the EC1-CW and the Enhanced indruckt Receiverbe. The editors also brought along a Viper V2 Pro with HyperPolling Wireless Dongle for comparison. And while operation at 1,000 Hz shows a similar picture as the G Pro X Superlight, the mouse finally capitulated at 4,000 Hz: the mouse pointer didn’t move a millimeter despite constant mouse movement.

However, it must be noted with regard to this experiment that it is just such an ACTUAL experiment and that the meaningfulness of the practical use of the respective mice is limited. In particular, high-end models from Logitech and Razer used in dozens of tests of the corresponding input devices from Seeiten convinced the editors over several years with a very stable radio connection, which even with a heavy load from more 2.4 GHz band LAN -Networks or other wireless input devices could maintain a stable polling rate of 1,000 Hz. There is no doubt that Zowie’s approach IS superior in theory – but whether there are advantages in this regard in practice compared to a G Pro X Superlight or comparable high-end mice cannot yet be established.

A classic Zowie mouse at its core

In addition, the Enhanced Receiver fulfills another function. There are two metal contacts and an indentation in the front area of ​​the underside of the EC1-CW, while the base plate of the enhanced receiver has the matching counterparts: the oversized wireless adapter also serves as a docking station. Alternatively, the wireless Zowie mice can be charged via the USB-C slot on the front of the mouse. As is usual for the manufacturer’s models, the cable exits the rodent at a slight upward angle in this case to minimize friction on the mouse pad.

And apart from all that? Well, basically nothing has changed. Zowie hasn’t changed the simple shape of the mice. However, there have been changes to the chassis: The two front flanks are raised a little, so that there is more space on the right side for the ring and little fingers to rest on. The key covers are correspondingly less protruding downwards on the sides, although nothing has changed in terms of the actual position and shape. This also means that the left and right mouse button covers are still part of the upper shell, which is pre-travel limited. This is no longer the case with Razer’s competing DeathAdder since the current V3 variant.

Conclusion and outlook

Speaking of the DeathAdder V3: this is the direct opponent, at least for the large EC1-CW. Razer has two options with recommended retail prices of 160 euros, the best sensor in the industry, opto-mechanical test, an optional USB polling rate of 4,000 Hz, a lower one Weight and full programmability, while Zowie scores one side in the other side, at least in theory, more stable USB polling rate, iconic EC shape and optimal build quality. Zowie still does without software. Nevertheless, the recommended retail price is a proud 190 euros – the EC1-CW, EC2-CW and EC3-CW overtake the Basilisk V3 Pro as the fastest series-produced gaming mouse from a well-known manufacturer.

And this very fact will presumably be the sticking point. Of course, an EC1-CW with the latest mid-range hardware does not have to perform worse in practice than a competing mouse with high-end internals – mouse sensors have now become so good that the upper and mid-range models don’t really differ in terms of frame sizes to let. But the fact that the new EC-CW models still cost more than the top models of the top dogs is already causing resentment within the mouse community. The Enhanced Receiver WILL be a price driver, but without it, Zowie’s wireless mice WILL not exist, at least for the time being, as the manufacturer explained to ComputerBase.

In any case, the first impression is positive overall, apart from the price. In hands-on, the EC1-CW could easily establish itself as a competitive wireless shooter mouse in 2023, with the greatest strengths being those that the input device has inherited: the EC shape knows for the palm grip of a large right-handed – hand as before and the mouse already made a very high-quality impression as a prototype. Whether the EC1-CW, EC2-CW and EC3-CW will ultimately be worth the years of waiting for wireless Zowie mice, only full testing and comparison can tell. However, Zowie made it clear to the editors that there was still “they were forever”is the wireless copies available on the German market.

ComputerBase was able to try out a prototype of the wireless EC1-CW as part of an exclusive hands-on event in October 2022 and gain initial impressions with a test setup curated by Zowie employees. The manufacturer did not influence the report, an obligation to publish it was best and not. There was also no NDA – however, Zowie asked the editors not to publish it for the time being. ComputerBase follows this request.

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, Zowie wireless mice: EC1-CW hands-on

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