Zowie EC2 Tyloo Review
Zowie are known for their subtle and performance-focused black peripherals, but sometimes they do release some more colorful editions of their products. Every time that happens it's for a reason, though. The Divina line, for example, was a statement from the brand to support women in eSports and this brand new 'candy apple red' EC2 has a story behind it as well. It's made to celebrate the brand's ongoing cooperation with Asian CS:GO powerhouse Tyloo.
If it's made for a team like that then there shouldn't be any doubts surrounding the quality of the mouse, but we've sent a unit over to our reviewer just in case. Is the EC2 Tyloo Edition worth your money? Find out in our full review!
"The Tyloo special edition was made to celebrate the team's ongoing dedication to Counter-Strike, even at times where the game barely received any attention in Asia. This kind of perseverance and dedication to eSports is what we stand for too."BenQ Zowie
Zowie EC2 Tyloo - First Impressions
I'll get straight to the point: the EC2 Tyloo isn't any different from the regular EC2 (we've written an article about the differences between different EC iterations here) in any way except for the fact that it obviously has a different color. I will give it the full review treatment though, so if you're considering this mouse you can read on without worry. Anyway, aside from the color this is what we've all come to expect from Zowie: a piece of performance hardware geared towards competitive (CS:GO) players.
As a way to honor Tyloo and the people behind it as well as their ongoing dedication to CS, Zowie have released this special edition, and it is instantly recognizable. The whole mouse is finished with a matte candy apple red coating which gives it a distinctive pop. I really do like this color and finish; it reminds of these old vintage race cars that I used to love looking at as a kid but that might just be me. The scroll wheel and side buttons have been painted white for the occasion, and the same goes for the Zowie logo on the back of the mouse. On the left side you'll see the BenQ logo at the back of the shell, and on the front you'll encounter the Tyloo name.
You obviously have to be a fan of striking color schemes to really love this mouse, but in my opinion they've done a good job with keeping it classy here. I also like the fact that they haven't gone overboard with branding, making it so that you can still use this mouse without anyone necessarily knowing that it's a team-branded peripheral in case you are concerned with that kind of stuff.
The EC2 Tyloo is very much a classic EC in the sense that it's a medium sized mouse with an utterly fantastic ergonomic shape. You can say a lot of things about Zowie but they definitely know how to do shapes, and it's a good thing that Zowie doesn't try to make 'improvements' to this design like so many companies that end up making something that has worked for years worse.
The Tyloo edition of the EC naturally comes in a special edition box. The entire box is now red as opposed to the standard black, but it's noticeable how Zowie haven't gone overboard with branding here either. They've put the Tyloo logo on the box, obviously, but it's done in a subtle way as opposed to plastering it all over.
Inside this box it's all very standard: you get the standard documentation and a quick start guide, along with a Zowie sticker and a pair of replacement feet. This is par for the course for Zowie but I do feel like they missed the opportunity to include a Tyloo sticker here as well to complete the package. That's just a minor observation though, as this in no way impacts the performance or indeed my opinion of the mouse.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
Those of you who are a bit familiar with gaming mice will probably know of the EC and its widely lauded shape. This shape is rather safe because of the lack of any sudden curves or grooves which results in a 'naturally flowing' shell that accommodates a very wide variety of grip styles and hand sizes. Many mice have come and gone since I first properly held an EC but for me it's still one of the best ergonomic shapes in the business. It's a tried-and-true design that has this reputation for a reason; it's very comfortable and a pleasure to use.
The mouse is finished with a matte coating that is extremely similar to that of the regular EC but I somehow seem to like this one better. It feels as if they added a smidgen of matte material to the mixture which results in a coating that, to me, feels a bit better to the touch. That could just be down to the fact that it isn't as easy to notice fingerprints and oils on this finish (due to the color) though, so take these words with a grain of salt.
The glide is provided by two large feet, and these work fine straight out of the box. They aren't the fastest or smoothest feet in the business but they're definitely up to par with what I'd expect out of a competitive gaming mouse so I don't have any complaints here at all.
Buttons and scroll wheel
Zowie uses Huano switches in all of their mice, and these provide a heavier clicking experience than what you'd normally get out of a gaming mouse. That's not a bad thing; some people prefer clicks with a bit more heft, and these fit the bill perfectly. I do not like extremely light clicks myself so I am absolutely not against this design philosophy of Zowie.
The clicks are something that the people at Zowie seem to have been working on over the past few months and it's paid off if you ask me. The main clicks feel good to use, featuring minimal travel and actuating with a pleasantly crispy click.
The side buttons are a different story though. For me there's still too much post travel here, and I am not a fan of how the side buttons go inside the shell if you apply enough pressure. Whether or not this is something that annoys you will depend on your tolerance for this kind of thing; for me they're still usable but this is definitely an area where Zowie can make improvements.
The scroll wheel is something that I don't really have problems with. A lot of people dislike Zowie's choice to go for a rigid wheel with just 16 steps but I don't really mind it at all. Yes, it can get tedious for browsing, but for gaming it's good to have such clearly defined steps as opposed to a wheel that leans more towards the smoother side of things. That said: I wouldn't be upset if Zowie decided to go for a more conventional wheel with more steps in the future. I'm just saying that I understand this design decision and that I'm personally not bothered by this wheel at all, even if it isn't my favorite one out there.
Quality and cable
There is a bit of mouse wheel rattle when I shake the mouse around in my hand, but seeing as I can't reproduce this when using the mouse as it's intended to be used (on a mousepad) I'm gonna say that this is not an issue at all.
The mouse does feel very sturdy: I cannot make the shell flex at any point by applying pressure, and it doesn't sound as if it would give out after applying even more pressure since there's no creaking whatsoever. The build quality is very good here, and this looks and feels like a mouse that'll keep performing for years and years while also being able to stand up to reasonable amounts of 'gamer rage.'
With this section we've also arrived at what I think it the biggest drawback of the Zowie EC2 Tyloo: the cable. The rubber cable that Zowie uses is fine in the sense that it doesn't really get in the way if you pay attention to where you put your leftover cable (or even better: pop it in a bungee) but it's no secret that manufacturers smaller than Zowie have been able to put way more flexible cables in their products for a few months now. It would definitely be good to see Zowie come up with their own paracord-like cable in future releases, doubly so because they're so focused on competitive performance and having a light and minimally noticeable cable is objectively better.
Performance and sensor
Zowie's EC mice have had the 3360 sensor under the hood for a few iterations now and that's good news as this sensor flawlessly translates every move that you make without any hint of prediction or correction. This means that whatever move you make on your mousepad will be represented on your monitor with perfect accuracy (unless you've got some software-side shenanigans going on) so there's no one to blame for any missed shots but yourself.
Zowie peripherals famously come without any software; everything that most people want to change with their mice (DPI and polling rate) can be changed on the device itself. That's good news for competitive players who are often traveling to play somewhere else as it means that's one less peripheral to install drivers for, but it's a bit of a bummer for people who like to record all sorts of macros with their mouse.
This mouse is built for competitive gamers though so if you're asking me the lack of software isn't a drawback. In case you're wondering: the mouse has all of the 'standard' DPI levels, allowing you to select between 400, 800, 1600, and 3200 so it's unlikely that you'll be left in the dark when it comes to DPI.
As I said earlier on in the review, the EC has a shape that suits an extremely wide variety of grip types thanks to the lack of sharp or sudden curves.
Whether you love this shape or not will obviously be down to personal preference but if you like ergonomic shells then it's hard to imagine that there's something to actively dislike about this particular mouse. The EC is my go-to mouse to hand over to people who come to a LAN or gaming session without their own gear because of this fact, and so far I haven't yet heard a complaint so this is definitely something that can work for lots of people.
It might not be perfect for fingertip grippers (you'll probably want to look at ambidextrous mice as a fingertip player) but aside from that it's a contender for anyone who's looking to try this kind of ergo shape.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The EC Tyloo is pretty much just a recolor of the regular EC so what I said there also goes for this mouse.
It's a great gaming mouse with a phenomenal shape and nice clicks along with a perfect sensor. The shape alone makes it a worth a try and the mouse itself is definitely great, but it could be better if they made a couple of improvements. I'm mainly thinking about the cable and the side buttons here since those are aspects that could objectively be better. The EC is an industry standard in CS:GO for a reason so you should still consider this if you're after an ergonomic device; I'd just like to see Zowie make some more meaningful improvements in their next iteration to really push the EC line to the next level.