Unveiling the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless, a wireless wonder priced under €100, renowned for its ethereal design and a sensor with hypersensitivity. Does it dance the tightrope between quality and affordability in the modern gaming mouse arena? Let’s embark on a journey to find out.
Introduction: In a changing of the guard from the Katar Pro Wireless, the Katar Elite Wireless emerges, a doppelgänger in appearance but a technological pioneer within. Priced at €80 upon its debut, it stands as a wallet-friendly alternative to the titans of the gaming mouse world, which often command twice the price – think of the likes of Logitech’s G502 X Plus or Razer’s DeathAdder V3 Pro. But does it pack half the punch? Join us on this odyssey to decipher its true worth.
Ergonomics: At first glance, the Katar Elite appears nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, save for a luminescent logo. It wears an understated visage, draped in a smooth matte black attire, an aesthetic choice that shaves substantial grams from its weight (down from 96 g to a mere 69 g). It now comfortably nestles itself in the ultralight category, though peers like the Viper V2 Pro have danced below the 60 g threshold.
In the hand, it offers a commendable grip, albeit with a caveat – it may not be the most hospitable for larger hands, especially for those who favor a palm grip. Instead, it extends a warm invitation to claw grip and fingertip enthusiasts, drawing a line that some hands may find too restrictive. The main buttons, flared in design, welcome the fingers with grace. However, the embossed coating on the edges falls short of providing the optimal grip.
Here’s the rub: While the Katar Elite boasts symmetrical aesthetics, southpaws may feel left out in the cold as the secondary buttons exclusively grace the left side of the mouse. Moreover, these buttons appear to have stagnated since the Pro model, with elongated travel, lackluster responsiveness, and an awkwardly situated rear button. Thankfully, the primary buttons, equipped with Omron switches, come alive with responsiveness and longevity, rated for an impressive 60 million clicks, double that of its predecessor.
Elsewhere, a hexagonal button above the scroll wheel presides over sensor sensitivity. The scroll wheel, though, opts for a no-frills approach, forsaking horizontal scrolling and free-wheeling for notched scrolling – a common trait among many ultralight mice. These notches lack the pronounced definition found in some competitors. In essence, the Katar Elite offers only a handful of buttons, casting it primarily as an FPS specialist.
To power down and choose connectivity (Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz via the Slipstream receiver), the switch resides beneath the Katar Elite. For minimal latency, the receiver is the favored choice. A thoughtful hideaway for the dongle resides beneath the mouse. On the underside, PTFE pads flank the base, ensuring a glide as smooth as silk.
On the RGB front, the Corsair logo takes center stage, its colors and effects controlled through the manufacturer’s iCue software. While rudimentary, it bestows a dash of personality upon the mouse. Battery life stands at a claimed 60 hours with lighting engaged when connected via the Slipstream receiver and extends to a hearty 110 hours in Bluetooth mode. Charging duties fall upon a USB-C cable, though it’s worth noting that it’s sheathed in rubber rather than the prized paracord. An inconsequential detail for a wireless mouse.
The build quality of the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless is a mixed bag, with both notable strengths and some areas where it could see improvements.
- Lightweight Construction: The Katar Elite is designed to be an ultralight mouse, weighing in at just 69 grams. This lightweight build is a significant advantage for gamers who prefer quick, precise movements, especially in fast-paced first-person shooter games.
- Matte Finish: The smooth matte black finish gives the mouse an understated and elegant appearance. It not only contributes to the mouse’s aesthetics but also reduces its weight. The matte finish can also help prevent fingerprints and smudges.
- Omron Switches: The primary buttons of the mouse feature Omron switches, known for their responsiveness and durability. With a rating of 60 million clicks, these switches should provide long-lasting performance for gamers.
- Hideaway Dongle: The mouse cleverly includes a storage compartment for the wireless dongle, ensuring that you won’t lose it during transport or when not in use. This attention to detail adds to the overall user convenience.
- RGB Lighting: While not overly complex, the Corsair logo’s RGB lighting adds a touch of customization and personalization to the mouse. The ability to control lighting effects through the iCue software allows users to match the mouse’s aesthetics to their gaming setup.
Areas for Improvement:
- Limited Ergonomics: The Katar Elite’s design caters more to claw grip and fingertip grip users, potentially leaving those with larger hands or a preference for palm grip feeling somewhat restricted. A more ergonomic design accommodating a wider range of hand sizes and grip styles could enhance its appeal.
- Secondary Buttons: The secondary buttons on the left side of the mouse have been criticized for their elongated travel, lackluster responsiveness, and the awkward placement of the rear button. Improving the feel and responsiveness of these buttons would enhance the overall user experience.
- Scroll Wheel: The scroll wheel, while functional, opts for notched scrolling instead of a more premium free-scrolling mechanism. Some users may prefer a more tactile and defined scroll wheel for smoother scrolling.
- Ambidextrous Design: While the Katar Elite maintains a symmetrical appearance, the placement of secondary buttons exclusively on the left side makes it less suitable for left-handed users, limiting its accessibility.
- Cable Material: The mouse’s USB-C charging cable is sheathed in rubber, which, while functional, may not match the durability and flexibility offered by paracord cables found in some high-end gaming mice.
In summary, the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless boasts a lightweight and sleek design, making it suitable for competitive gamers who prioritize agility and precision. While it has some ergonomic limitations and certain areas that could see improvements, it offers a compelling balance between performance and affordability, particularly when it’s available at a discounted price. Its build quality is generally solid, but future iterations could benefit from addressing some of the identified areas for enhancement to cater to a broader audience of gamers.
Precision: The Katar Elite marches to a different drumbeat with its sensor, bearing the “Marksman” label from Corsair, likely a close relative of the Pixart 3393, derived from the illustrious 3395 model. This sensor cranks the sensitivity dial to 26,000 dpi – a figure often lost in translation to real-world use – and comfortably withstands accelerations up to 50 G. The polling rate is set at a stratospheric 2000 Hz, a number that, truth be told, challenges differentiation from the standard 125 Hz.
iCue Configuration Software: Corsair’s iCue software stands as the conductor of this symphony, allowing you to fine-tune the Katar Elite Wireless. Every button can be assigned new roles, macros forged in the fires of customization, sensor sensitivity tweaked in 10 dpi increments, and communication frequency with your machine adjusted (125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, or 1000 Hz) to preserve precious battery life.
Conclusion: The Corsair Katar Elite Wireless ushers in a new era for the Katar series, enveloped in contemporary technologies. It may seem unadorned, yet it dances gracefully in the realm of ultralight mice, delivering a virtuoso performance in the FPS arena. However, the caveat lies in its petite stature, an ill fit for devotees of palm grip – a point that may curtail its allure to some gamers. Further, its secondary buttons fall short of top-tier standards. But when it emerges on sale, it emerges as a beacon of value, a formidable contender against high-end rivals that often tout astronomical price tags.
Reasons to Buy the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless:
- Ultralight Design: If you prefer lightweight mice for quick and precise movements, the Katar Elite’s 69-gram build is a significant advantage.
- Responsive Primary Buttons: Equipped with Omron switches, the primary buttons offer quick response and long-term durability, making them ideal for gamers.
- Convenient Dongle Storage: The mouse includes a storage compartment for the wireless dongle, ensuring you won’t lose it during transport or when not in use.
- RGB Lighting: Customizable RGB lighting on the Corsair logo adds a touch of personalization to your gaming setup.
- Affordable Price: At a reasonable price point, the Katar Elite offers good value for gamers seeking a capable wireless gaming mouse without breaking the bank.
Reasons Not to Buy the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless:
- Limited Ergonomics: The mouse’s design may not be comfortable for those with larger hands or those who prefer a palm grip, limiting its appeal to a specific user group.
- Secondary Button Issues: The secondary buttons on the left side have been criticized for their feel, responsiveness, and awkward placement, which can be a drawback for certain gaming scenarios.
- Scroll Wheel Preference: The notched scrolling mechanism on the scroll wheel may not be ideal for users who prefer a more tactile or smoother scrolling experience.
- Left-Handed Limitation: Despite its symmetrical appearance, the placement of secondary buttons on the left side makes it less suitable for left-handed users.
- Cable Material: The USB-C charging cable is sheathed in rubber, which may not match the durability and flexibility of premium paracord cables found in some high-end gaming mice.