Few outside the competitive gaming scene would have heard of Zowie Gear, the Taiwanese gaming peripherals company. Its gear, ranging from gaming mice, mechanical keyboards and other peripherals are actually pretty great, but suffer from a lack of exposure due to low-key marketing as well as the products’ no-nonsense design approach.
In September, Zowie Gear announced that BenQ Group – itself a Taiwanese company that’s making its mark in competitive gaming with its range of excellent monitors – has made a significant investment into the company. This partnership extends beyond the two companies’ first collaboration in 2010, where Zowie helped BenQ design the first professional competitive gaming monitor.
Today, Zowie Gear is officially recognised as “a brand by BenQ”, indicating that the initial September investment has turned into something a lot bigger. With BenQ gaming monitors a regular scene in virtually every global e-sports tournament, and Zowie Gear being personal favourites of some of the best professional gamers (especially in CS:GO), BenQ’s presence in e-sports is massive, rivalling even that from Razer.
Zowie’s gaming gear bear a hallmark of being fuss-free, with little design elements that make them stand out. The company’s philosphy is “not to be the biggest manufacturer of gaming gear, but to be the best”. Its strong focus on performance is exemplified in two of its gaming mice, the FK1 and FK2: they’re both the same exact mouse with the same sensor…only the FK2 is in a smaller form factor for gamers with smaller hands. It’s the same with the ZA series too: the ZA11, ZA12 and ZA13 are the same mouse in different sizes. It is this attention to detail (in total, Zowie has nine different gaming mice models and just one mechanical gaming keyboard) that Zowie attempts to set itself apart from other peripheral makers.
Besides that, one unique aspect of Zowie Gear products is that all of its products are plug-and-play. Unlike virtually every other gaming peripheral company which offer its own software solution to customise virtually every aspect of its products, from important things such as dpi switch to more personal touches like LED backlighting, Zowie’s gaming mice have a set dpi adjustment, are driverless (pure plug-and-play), and do not have fancy LED lighting.
To celebrate the brand’s new identity under BenQ, the company is refreshing its entire product lineup, and making some slight changes. The traditional white Zowie logo on its products will now be red, complementing the colour scheme on BenQ’s gaming monitors. There’s also a very subtle BenQ logo on some of the gaming mice models.
Besides the logo change (and in the packaging), the Zowie ZA, FK and EC gaming mice series will see two changes: lighter Omron switches with a 20-million click lifespan, and a 16-step scroll wheel. On top of that, the SR mousepad series will now be fully black in colour, and have stitched edges similar to the TF-X series.
Finally, the Camade mouse bungee will also released with the new logo in black/red only, complementing the new gaming mice colourway.
Zowie Gear will now leverage on BenQ’s significantly larger distributorship globally. We’ve been told that the new Zowie Gear products will be available in Malaysia starting from this month, but so far there is no confirmed information on which models, pricing as well as availability.