Corsair Katar Pro Wireless Review
It's an exciting time for gear enthusiasts. New gaming mice seem to be hitting the market every week, and with such a dense schedule of new releases it can be quite hard to stand out if your product doesn't offer something new or groundbreaking. The Corsair Katar Pro Wireless is one such product. It's not sporting the latest and greatest sensor, nor does it have holes all over the shell in an attempt to be the lightest mouse on the market: this is an attempt to make an affordable and reliable wireless mouse at a very friendly price point.
With most wireless mice still making quite a big dent in your wallet this is, in theory, a welcome addition to the ever-growing lineup of gaming mice so we've sent one over to our reviewer to see what he thinks of all this.
"Weighing just 96g, the KATAR PRO WIRELESS is great for hours of fast-paced FPS or MOBA gameplay. The compact, symmetric shape makes it great for claw and fingertip grip styles."Corsair
Corsair Katar Pro Wireless - First Impressions
'Do I know you from somewhere' was just about the first thing I thought when I started unboxing this mouse. And indeed I do. The shape of this Corsair Katar Pro Wireless is reminiscent of that other budget wireless mouse; the Logitech G305. That's only when you look at it though; the feeling when holding both mice is without a doubt different but I'll talk a bit more about that later on in this review.
Aside from that this mouse shines in its simplicity. Whereas most Corsair mice have that typical 'gamer' kind of look with sharp angles, curves, and what have you this one looks very much like a normal wireless office mouse. The only RGB element that you see is right underneath the DPI button and serves as a DPI indicator. For me personally that's a welcome departure from Corsair's regular design language with their mice but of course these things are subjective.
The Katar Pro Wireless is a small ambidextrous mouse which is powered by a AA battery. That means that it's gonna be a bit on the weightier side straight off the bat (a AA battery weighs around 21 grams, which is a ton of weight for a gaming mouse) but that also means that you can get that weight down a bit by using a AAA battery with a converter kit. Absolute weight freaks can shave off another 9 grams by keeping the back plate off but of course that's only recommended if you're a fingertip gripper, and even then it's not something that I'd do myself.
With the Katar Pro Wireless being a budget and performance-oriented mouse I didn't expect to get a ton of extra swag in the box and indeed there isn't. You get the mouse, a bit of documentation, an included AA battery and that's pretty much it. The USB receiver is found inside the mouse itself, by the way. That's usually the case with wireless mice that have a storage compartment for their receiver but I just thought I'd mention it in case someone buys the mouse and starts panicking that it's not there after unboxing the mouse.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
Those who know their gaming mice will notice a ton of similarities between this and the Logitech G305. You've got the fact that it's powered by a AA battery that sits underneath a large removable cover at the back of the mouse, the lower price point, and of course that infamous small egg-shaped design. I noticed those similarities too, so much so that I thought 'why would they make such a similar mouse when their competition has enjoyed a great reputation for years' but that feeling went away when I held the Katar Pro Wireless.
The G305 has a more curved top shell than the Katar Pro Wireless whilst the latter has sides that curve outward, which is something that isn't the case with the G305. To end the comparisons (this is a review of the Katar Pro Wireless after all, not of the G305) I'd say that the G305 feels a lot more rounded and 'eggy' as opposed to the more traditional feeling Katar. It's not my favorite shape of all time (plus it's too small for my 18x10.5 cm hands and claw grip) but if you're into these smaller mice I don't think you'll be offended by anything as far as the shell design goes.
The coating is alright: it's got a decent feeling matte coating all over the shell which does a good job at handling sweat but it has to be said that the top coating can get a bit slippery if you've got completely dry hands. That's not an issue for me because my hands pretty much always get sweaty when gaming but also because of the fact that the sides are textured. They're not rubberized or anything like that but there are multiple tiny triangles scattered across both side panels and those, to me, do help with grip.
The only 'problem' I have here is that these side panels do feel a bit cheap to me for some reason (probably because I prefer a different material choice if companies decide to texture the sides) but that's highly subjective. All in all they've done a good job with the coating, just watch out if you've got super dry hands all the time.
On the bottom of the mouse there are two large PTFE feet that do their job fine but they're not the smoothest out of the box. I didn't get annoyed by them scratching up my pad or anything like that but they're a bit off from that buttery smooth out of the box glide I've come to expect from recent gaming mice. They're definitely fine though: they're just not great, and if you're someone who wants the fastest glide possible these will not be your cup of tea.
Buttons and scroll wheel
I had a bit of an adventure with the buttons of this mouse. Usually it's no problem to find out what kind of switches a mouse uses for the main clicks but this time I couldn't find the info anywhere, not even after looking at spec sheets and asking a Corsair representative. This resulted in me having to open up the mouse (which was a bit of a pain because the screws used to hold both shell halves together aren't your regular cross screws) where I found Kailh switches.
Kailh it is then, and to me the switches themselves feel fine. They feel and sound snappy when actuated and there's a nice balance as far as the required weight to get them to actuate goes. There is a noticeable amount of pre and post travel on the main buttons on my copy though, and that combined with the fact that the right button feels very loose and flimsy makes me a bit disappointed with this click set. It's not unusable (it would've been far more annoying if the left button felt loose to me) but this is an area that can definitely be improved upon.
As I said: my biggest problem here is the right button. It feels as if it's not on there properly. If I lay my finger on it I can almost hear it 'snap into place' and there's a lot of pre travel movement on this button too. The left button does have this issue too but it's much less pronounced here so I suspect it's a quality control problem but of course I can only review what's in front of me. In short: the switches feel fine, the buttons can use work.
The same can be said for the side buttons: these don't have any glaring flaws but there's too much post travel on the mouse 5 button for my liking and they feel a bit mushy too. To say it with a phrase from Chernobyl (a great show) that's become sort of a meme these days: not great, not terrible.
The scroll rubberized scroll wheel has those same tiny triangles on it for texture and this one works great. It strikes a nice balance between tactility and smoothness while being relatively quiet and the wheel itself is easy enough to click as well. It's rock solid, too: I can't get it to move sideways or anything like that so the scroll wheel implementation is great.
Sound test in order: left click, right click, scroll down, scroll up, scroll click, mouse 4, mouse 5, right click rattle.
Quality and cable
Shaking the mouse vertically reveals a bit of a noise near the top end which I believe has something to do with the looser main buttons but otherwise this mouse feels really solidly built. There's no noise when using the mouse normally, nor are there any loose parts to be heard or felt anywhere inside the shell so that's all nice to see and hear.
The integrity of the shell is great too; if you press hard right underneath the DPI button then the top part of the battery cover will budge but you'd have to have an extremely unusual grip style for this to affect you in any real way so I'm going to go ahead and call this a non-issue.
Performance and sensor
This is a budget mouse so it's not a surprise that it comes with a budget sensor in the form of the 3325. We've seen this on a variety of other products and while it's technically not a top tier sensor it performs just as you'd expect out of a gaming mouse that's been produced in the last two to three years: it works flawlessly. Theoretically it's possible to make it spin out but you'd have to be doing extremely fast swipes for it to show any problems. I personally had no issues with the sensor at all and I doubt many people will, but I'm just saying that it's theoretically not at the level of the HERO, 3360, and Focus+ Optical sensors of this world. In practice, though, the difference is extremely minimal.
The Katar Pro Wireless can be configured in Corsair's iCUE software: that's the place to be to record macros and adjust your DPI. Technically it's plug and play but one of the default steps is 1500 instead of 1600 (which is a far more common DPI step) so I kind of had to go into the software since I play at 1600. I always do test the software so it's not as if that's a problem for me but it's just a little quirky to have 1500 as a default step. There's also no 400 DPI step out of the box either, so if you use that you'll also have to download the software.
One more thing to note about the sensor performance is the LOD. That's on the higher side (between 2.4 and 3.6 millimeters) with no way to change it in the software. It's not something that really annoys me personally but of course you just might find this to be something of a deal breaker yourself so of course I'm mentioning it.
Speaking of annoying: I also have to say that I had one connection dropout during my testing. In all fairness that might have been when one of my driver programs was updating (I was just browsing the internet while this happened, so it wasn't during gaming or anything) and I didn't experience it afterwards so that's probably not a real issue, but I'm mentioning it to be complete. What is a real issue is that the 'standby' time of the mouse takes a bit too long to deactivate.
Whenever the mouse doesn't get used for a certain period of time it stops tracking (as pretty much all wireless mice do) but my problem here is that it takes too long for it to get back to life after moving it. The delay is perhaps not even a second but there is no way to adjust this in their software so I did get annoyed by this a couple of times when I was just doing work or browsing the web. Will this affect its gaming performance? No, unless you're in the habit of leaving your mouse at the exact same place for a very long period of time (which isn't something that happens when gaming) so I won't note this as a real problem but I would've liked to see a 'time before going into sleep mode' setting or something like that.
You can also use this mouse in Bluetooth mode but that's always a serious 'no no' for gaming purposes (latency issues, lower polling rate, ...) so I didn't do any in-depth tests of this: in Bluetooth mode it works just as any other Bluetooth office mouse.
With this being such a small mouse it's probably not going to be bought by a lot of palm grippers, and rightfully so. I'd say you can only reliably palm this if you've got very small hands, and even then there are way better options for palm-oriented players.
As far as I'm concerned this is a great fingertip mouse and also a solid option for claw grippers with smaller hands and/or for hybrid grip players who don't need a lot of palm filling.
As always this part is full of suggestions. Don't take any of this as gospel since everyone is different and each individual has their own preferences: us reviewers are just giving some general sizing/grip guidelines that you can consider when deciding on your next purchase, nothing more.
Conclusion & Recommendation
Corsair hasn't managed to impress me with any of their mice (yet) and this one doesn't really change that. If you're really keen on trying out a wireless mouse and you're on a smaller budget this can definitely be considered (provided your hands aren't too large or you just prefer small mice) but otherwise there are better budget mice to be found these days if the whole wireless aspect is not a priority. If the shape really interests you then you'll be happy to know that a wired (and much lighter) version of this is planned too, by the way.
It's a decent product, all things considered, but the main buttons are a major downside and I don't think that it does enough to attract the attention of a lot of competitive gamers. Sure, it doesn't really have to: this is a budget mouse after all, and serious competitive players probably won't mind flexing their budget a bit to get the top tier sensors and what not (even though the 3325 sensor really performs fine in 99% of use cases) but as a whole this isn't a package that excites me.
I'm happy to see companies who try to make wireless mice affordable for 'the masses' so I won't bash this product too much (after all you can't use all of the premium components if you want to keep a wireless mouse affordable) but some tightened up main buttons and perhaps slightly better stock feet would do wonders for this mouse if you're asking me.
Take a look at it if you're on a budget and want to try wireless, otherwise you're better off skipping this.