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Posted by Chuck Corbin on Apr 25, 2012

Review – Steelseries Kinzu v2 Pro Edition

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Many times, when a gamer decides to get a brand new mouse, they want more: more buttons, more settings, more customization. If this is what you want, if you want to be able to finely tune a mouse to fit your exacting standards, then this mouse is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a mouse that does a few things, but does them well, then keep on reading.

First Impressions

The thing you might first notice about this mouse is the fact that it’s very plain. The top is a shiny plastic material that comes in red, white, or black, surrounded on the sides by the black rubber grip to give you a good grasp of this mouse. As steelseries markets this mouse as featuring an ambidextrous design, you only get four buttons, all on the top: the two regular mouse buttons, the scroll wheel button, and the CPI button. In other words, this mouse is mostly like any other standard mouse you’ve purchased in the past, except of course for the inclusion of the CPI button.

Functionality

Place the mouse in your hands, however, and you’ll see why it’s not just another mouse that came with the Compaq your parents bought. The thing I noticed about this mouse once I started using it was that it’s very responsive, even at the lower CPI settings. The mouse, with its Teflon feet, allows it to glide on your mousepad without any undue effort. Along with the fact that it weighs only 77 grams means that it doesn’t take much at all to move your cursor across the screen if you’re not careful. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take a bit of time to get used to the weight and responsiveness. It fits my rather average sized hand comfortably, though I would say that if you have larger hands, you might find it to be a bit tiny. The plastic top feels smooth but not too slick, though I’ve found that after a small amount of time dirt and smudges will appear, so if you’re concerned about looks be prepared to do some cleaning fairly often. An oft-overlooked feature that I’m always a fan of is the braided cord. The Kinzu v2 has this very feature, which is something I appreciate as I’ve had problems in the past time rubber cords dragging on the edge of my desk.

If you want to tweak the CPI settings themselves, or anything else for that matter, you’re in for a bit of a letdown. Though steelseries has done a good job of using just one program to let you change the settings of their products, in the Kinzu v2’s case it doesn’t do a whole lot. Yes, you can add macros to your buttons if you want, but when you only have three buttons that are able to make use of it, and those buttons are normally used for other commands anyway, you’re not likely to make use of this feature very often.  If you go into the settings you’ll notice a couple of things: First of all, you’re only able to select two different settings for your CPI switch. The other thing you’ll notice is that in each of your settings, you can only select from 400 CPI, 800 CPI, 1600 CPI, and 3200 CPI. This is a bit disappointing to me, especially since 1600 CPI is a little too slow for me and 3200 CPI is too fast. The fact is, there’s no way I can set the setting anywhere in the middle. For most pro gamers, this is a problem that’s going to prevent them from wanting to buy this mouse.

Final Thoughts

In the end, though, most people are not pro gamers, and if you’re looking for a no frills mouse, this one isn’t a bad way to go, especially if you specialize in games that only require 2 or 3 mouse buttons like Starcraft II or DotA. However, the thing that might prevent people from buying the no-frills Kinzu v2 is its price. At $45, it’s a bit steep for what’s essentially a 3-button mouse. If steelseries were to drop the price to $35 or even $30, though, it could be a huge seller because this is a very solid mouse.

The Good

  • Precise, slick response
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Good, easy to use software

The Bad

  • Only 4 CPI settings
  • Not including the CPI switch, there’s only 3 buttons
  • Slightly overpriced

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