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BenQ Zowie EC2-CW review: no-nonsense esports performance
9:38 pm | April 25, 2024

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BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Two-minute review

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW is a no-frills wireless gaming mouse intended for high-level esports play. It trades flashy specs and extraneous features for supremely reliable performance and comfortable ergonomics, making it easy to recommend if you’re searching for a plug-and-play mouse specifically for use in competitive first-person shooter (FPS) titles like Counter-Strike 2. For everyone outside of that niche, however, the high asking price and plain design mean that you’re likely to be better served by more mainstream options.

A wireless version of the existing Zowie EC2-C, which is a popular pick for professional FPS players, the Zowie EC2-CW sports a highly ergonomic right-handed asymmetrical factor that fits in your palm like a glove. It remains impressively comfortable over extended periods of use, which is especially important if you’re going to be undertaking lengthy practice sessions.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

While I personally experienced the highest level of comfort with the medium-sized EC2-CW, there are also two additional models available: the EC1-CW and the EC3-CW. The EC1-CW is longer and wider and the EC3-CW is a little shorter. Each version differs by a few grams in weight but is otherwise identical in terms of features. I suspect that the EC2-CW is going to be the best option for the majority of players, but it's still excellent to see alternatives for those with bigger or smaller hands. That said, there isn’t a single model that is suitable for left-handed users at the moment which is a disappointment.

Although manufacturer BenQ declined to offer any exact details regarding the construction materials and components used in the mouse, making them seem like some kind of closely guarded trade secret, it’s safe to say that the exterior is made of a smooth black matt plastic. This means that I also can’t say for sure what kind of micro switches are used for the main buttons, but can vouch for their satisfying level of actuation depth and ability to provide accurate, clean inputs. The mouse also features two additional buttons on its left side, which are both generously sized and fit well under the thumb thanks to their slightly curved shape. 

The scroll wheel is made of a rubberized material, with pronounced ribs. Scrolling uses a careful notched motion that requires a fair amount of force to turn, which took me a little while to get used to. In the long run, however, the more precise controls proved extremely beneficial and helped prevent any unfortunate accidental weapon-switches in even the most high-intensity moments of ranked Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

Hidden just below the scroll wheel are three miniscule white LED lights. These illuminate while the mouse is receiving power, denoting the current charge level on a scale of one to three. It's a useful way to keep track of your remaining battery life which is quoted to last roughly 70 hours - a figure that I found was generally accurate no matter my choice of settings. On the underside of the mouse, you will find the mode switch (which alternates between wired and wireless mode), a report rate switch button, and a DPI switch button. LED lights positioned alongside intuitive labels show your current report rate, which can be switched between 125 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1000 Hz. 

There is also an RGB LED denoting your current sensitivity, which can be raised to a limit of 3,200 DPI. This is quite a modest figure, ten times lower than the 32,000 DPI of other premium mice like the Logitech Pro X Superlight 2. While this might be a dealbreaker for some, most professional Counter-Strike 2 players actually tend to favor a sensitivity as low as 400 DPI or 800 DPI. Handily, both a 400 DPI and 800 DPI mode are built-in - an essential addition when there is no available companion software meaning the mouse is restricted to its range of out-of-the-box presets. 

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

Another area where the Zowie EC2-CW appears to be behind the competition is in its relatively hefty weight of 2.79oz (79g). This is higher than many other wireless gaming mice at this price range, but seems to be a considered choice rather than an oversight. Playing at 800 DPI, the weight lends a fantastic level of precision that would simply wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise. Accidental movement is almost impossible, helping you keep your sights on target in titles where one pixel of inaccuracy can cost your team the win. A replacement set of adhesive skates is also provided in the box, ensuring that you can keep the level of friction consistent if the set that comes preinstalled begins to wear out.

Even though the mouse can be charged through a front USB-C port using the lengthy cable packed in the box, which is also used for wired play, it comes packed with its own compact charging dock. The mouse connects to the dock through two metal contacts on its underside, easily slotting into place. In addition to providing easy charging, the dock doubles as a wireless receiver, reducing the potential for signal interference by drastically cutting down the distance that would be present with a traditional wireless dongle. I've suffered from the occasional signal dropout or odd moment latency using other wireless mice via a wireless dongle, but did not experience anything of the kind with the Zowie EC2-CW with its wireless receiver. 

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

It’s a fantastic inclusion on the whole, especially when you consider that it’s quite compact and easy to fit into your setup. Although using the wireless receiver is definitely the way to go, a more conventional USB receiver and dongle extender are also included here giving you plenty of options. 

If you have the budget to spend and truly value reliability and performance in competitive FPS titles above leading specs and a flashy design, it’s easy to recommend the Zowie EC2-CW. If that’s not you, however, be sure to check out some of the top alternatives listed later on.

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $119.99 / £129.99 / AU$179
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Zowie EC2-CW costs $119.99 / £129.99 / AU$179. It is readily available in the US, UK, and Australia either directly from BenQ or via third-party retailers like Amazon. Although this is very much a high-end price tag, it comes in slightly cheaper than some of the leading alternatives such as the ASUS ROG Harpe Ace Aim Lab Edition, which costs $139.99 / £139.99 / AU$189.

Given the more modest specs of this mouse, you’re definitely paying a large premium for the ergonomic shape and wireless receiver. If you’re willing to compromise on the wireless connectivity, you can pick up the wired Zowie EC2 for just $44.99 / £64.99 / AU$99 which boasts the same fantastic design. If you are set on a wireless gaming mouse, however, the comfort offered by the Zowie EC2-CW definitely makes it worth considering even at this lofty price.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Specs

Should you buy the BenQ Zowie EC2-CW?

Buy it if...

You value ergonomics above all else
By far the most compelling aspect of Zowie EC2-CW is its ergonomic design, which is incredibly comfortable in the hands. With three sizes to choose from, you’re likely to find the perfect fit.

You don’t mind a plain design
The Zowie EC2-CW looks about as understated as they come, which could be quite appealing if you’re tired of the RGB-laden aesthetic of much of the competition.

You want a dock
The wireless receiver not only cuts down on the potential for signal interference but also doubles as a convenient charging dock, making it easy to keep the Zowie EC2-CW topped up with juice.

Don't buy it if...

You’re left-handed
The Zowie EC2-CW is asymmetrical and designed exclusively for right-handed users. With no left-handed option available at the moment, this is one to avoid if you need a left-handed mouse.

You want more impressive specs
Although it performs fantastically, the Zowie EC2-CW doesn’t have particularly impressive specs on paper. If you want the highest possible DPI or the lightest weight, consider other options.

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Also consider

How I tested the BenQ Zowie EC2-CW

  • Tested for three months
  • Tested with top esports titles
  • Used daily for both work and gaming

I spent three whole months using the Zowie EC2-CW as my main mouse. This meant daily use for productivity tasks and internet browsing, plus a lot of gaming.

While I predominantly focused on PC esports FPS titles like Counter-Strike 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, I also played plenty of other games. This included lots of nefarious scheming in Evil Genius 2, a playthrough of The Caligula Effect: Overdose, some Team Fortress 2 with friends, and more. I made sure to test the mouse using its wireless receiver, in addition to its wireless dongle and a wired USB-C connection.

As a hardware writer at TechRadar covering gaming hardware, I have no shortage of hands-on experience with gaming peripherals. In addition to maintaining our guide to the best mice for CS:GO and CS2, I’m a dedicated FPS player with an almost embarrassing number of hours spent in all the latest and greatest titles.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024