I spent the weekend giving my trusty Mionix Naos 5000 a rest in favour of two mice from Zowie, a company that caters exclusively to the competitive gaming crowd.
It was an interesting weekend.
See, normally, whether personally or professionally, I've only ever enjoyed the extreme ends of the PC gaming mouse spectrum. A spectrum that in my younger days had "cheap crap" at one end and now has "luxurious battleship mouse" at the other.
Zowie's offerings exist somewhere between this, with the added caveat that they're not trying to appeal to a diverse range of people or genres. There aren't concessions made to PhotoShop users or MMO fanatics here. These are mice for people who play fast games, seriously, and I appreciate that kind of practicality!
The two mice I used were the EC1 eVo black and the AM. Both have a number of things in common, like their overall design and a great matte black rubberised finish. They both sell for $60, are both optical (not laser) and both let you switch DPI on the fly, ranging from 450-2300.
The differences? There aren't many! The AM is ambidextrous, with its side buttons mirrored to accomodate both left and right handers, while the EC1 eVo is a little larger and features a mousewheel that changes colour depending on the DPI setting selected.
Of the two, I preferred the AM. Not just because it looked a little better (with red highlights), but its compact size made it more comfortable to use over extended periods of playing Borderlands 2, Mirror's Edge and War of the Roses. Both were great mice though, being super-responsive and consistent throughout.
To go with them, I also tried out a couple of Zowie's mouse pads. I know, I know, many people don't even both anymore, but I do, so I put my Rude Teflon pad away and tested their G-TF and G-CM pads.
Coarsely stitched, the G-TF must be an acquired taste, because I didn't like the feeling at all, not the way the mouse moved nor how my wrist fared against the rough surface. The G-CM was much nicer, being a smooth pad, but lost me with the GIANT BRANDING, which I always find a little bit much on a mousepad.
So, in all, not a bad weekend! The pads I could live without, but both mice were a nice surprise, especially since they're so light and nimble (and I'm a guy who normally uses a large, heavy mouse). Like I said, the AM was probably the better of the two in my books, but if you've got bigger hands (or different tastes) the EC1 eVo was largely the same.
If you've got any questions, let me know in the comments below!
Zowie Gear [Zowie]