When it comes to mice, Corsair’s options run the gamut of gaming needs. Ergonomic, FPS, MMO; you name it, they make it. The latest Corsair mouse to slide across my desk is the Katar Elite Wireless. A small, 6-button FPS mouse, the Katar Elite Wireless arrived at the same time as a hot new first-person shooter released, so I’ve had plenty of time to put this little guy through its paces. Should the Katar Elite Wireless find its way into your loadout? It may be the perfect fit for some gamers, but I doubt it will become the meta.
- Current Price: $79.99 (Amazon)
- Sensor: Marksman 26K
- DPI: 100-26000 in 1 DPI increments
- Max Acceleration: 50G
- Max Speed: 650 IPS
- Programmable Buttons: 6
- Button Switch Type: Omron
- Button Durability: 60M clicks
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz SLIPSTREAM and Bluetooth wireless, Wired
- Report Rate: 125/250/500/1000/2000 Hz
- Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Polymer
- Battery Life:
- SLIPSTREAM: Up to 60 hours of continuous use
- Bluetooth: Up to 110 hours of continuous use
- Grip Type: Claw, Fingertip
- Hand Size: Small, Medium
- Weight: 69g
- Dimensions: 115.8 x 64.2 x 37.8mm (LxWxH)
- Software: Compatible with Corsair iCUE, one on-board memory profile
- Warranty: 2 years
The Katar Elite Wireless is Corsair’s latest refresh of a line of FPS/MOBA mice that includes the original Katar, the wired Katar Pro XT, and the wireless Katar Pro. Besides the addition of two thumb buttons and the detachable cord on the wireless models, the outward appearance of the series has seen very little change. The Katar Elite is relatively compact and weighs a mere 69g, planting it firmly in ultra-light territory. It features a slight slope from the front of the mouse to the top of its hump, followed by an aggressive curve on the back third of the mouse, giving it a truncated look and feel. Instead of concave sides that contour to your fingers, the Elite is widest at the top of the mouse, with slightly convex sides leading to a thinner base.
The Katar Elite’s design favors a claw or fingertip grip and is perfect for small or medium size hands. Due to the Elite’s short length, tapered sides, and low height, users with large hands may find much of their hand dragging along their mousepad with a claw grip. Regardless of your hand size, a palm grip is out of the question due to the Elite's shape and size.
When I pulled the Katar Elite Wireless out of the box, its matte black surface gave me some concern. The plastic is very slick, and the small triangle texture added to the sides of the mouse didn’t seem like it would provide any extra control. -Gripping the Katar Elite felt strange initially, but I quickly found that its unique shape afforded a solid grip with minimal pressure from my thumb and pinky. I generally prefer a palm grip and find a fingertip grip to be very fatiguing, but that isn’t the case with the Elite. I could accurately control the Elite with a very relaxed grip, leading to hours of gameplay without my hand becoming sore or cramped.
While all my concerns about the shell’s slick surface were initially quelled, one issue arose while using the Katar Elite. The mouse buttons are fingerprint magnets. The smooth buttons do nothing to hide any oil transferred from your hand to the shell, and the Elite quickly becomes an eyesore that must be cleaned frequently.
While the Elite shares the same aesthetics as other Katar versions, Corsair has considerably upgraded its internals. Even if you don’t need the Marksman optical sensor’s maximum 26000 DPI setting (many professional gamers stay below 1000 DPI), odds are you won’t push up against its impressive 50G acceleration and 650 IPS tracking thresholds.
The Katar Elite also utilizes high-quality Omron switches guaranteed to last 60 million clicks. The Omron switches are paired with Corsair’s Quickstrike buttons. In theory, the Quickstrike’s zero gap design gives lightning-fast responsiveness to finger presses. In reality, the zero-gap design doesn’t provide faster clicks, but it does eliminate that spongy feeling some mice have; if I get a mouse click.
While the Katar Elite’s detachable USB-C to USB-A cable can be used for wired connectivity in a pinch, the Elite supports Bluetooth and Corsair’s SLIPSTREAM wireless technology. SLIPSTREAM utilizes a low-profile 2.4GHz dongle to provide 2000 Hz hyper-polling, although I couldn’t perceive any difference between the industry standard 1000 Hz setting.
The Katar Elite Wireless specs beg the question of how much is too much? There’s no doubt you can notice the difference between a sensor polling at 250 Hz and polling at 1000 Hz. Can you really tell the difference between 1000 and 2000 Hz, though? I had that same question when I reviewed the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro and its 8000 Hz polling rate. The answer then was, and still is, no. The same goes for the elite’s other “upgraded” specs. Is anyone using a mouse set at 26000 DPI, or is it just a marketing number that never comes into play during actual use? Sixty million clicks sounds better than 50 million, but will the button’s spring last as long as the Omron switch? In my experience, the answer is no.
One of the changes that can be translated to an actual improvement in use is the Katar Elite’s reduced weight. To drop the weight of the Katar Pro Wireless’ 96g down to the Elite’s 69g, Corsair has done away with the AA battery used in the Pro and replaced it with a lighter rechargeable internal lithium battery. The significant weight reduction results in quick, precise movement with very little force. There is a downside to the battery swap, though. The lithium battery is only rated for up to 60 hours of continual use through the 2.4Ghz SLIPSTREAM connection before recharge. That’s less than half of the time the Pro could run on a single AA and doesn’t compare well against the other lightweight wireless mice on my desk, which can all go 100+ hours on a single charge. However, even at 8 hours of non-stop gaming a day, the Katar Elite will still last an entire week without needing a charge.
If you plan to mix some productivity work or low-reflex gaming into your schedule, you can stretch out a single battery charge to up to 110 hours by switching to a Bluetooth connection. This, in fact, is one of the key selling points of the Katar Pro Wireless: as of this writing, it is the only wireless mouse available from a major brand that features dual-mode connectivity. While connected via Bluetooth, the input was marginally less responsive than when using the 2.4GHz dongle (though is measured at 8ms versus the 0.5ms of SLIPSTREAM), with the real issue being some jaggedness during rapid direction changes.
Bluetooth is also a great choice if you have portability in mind. There’s a small compartment on the mouse's underside to stow the SLIPSTREAM dongle, so there’s no chance of losing it during transit. There’s also onboard memory that can store a single profile, so you can keep your favorite hardware options without having to download and install Corsair’s iCUE4 software on secondary devices. The small size also pays dividends when it comes to being able to throw it in a bag without it become a bulky extra.
Speaking of iCUE4, Corsair’s software opens up many customization options for the Katar Elite. For starters, the iCUE4 software allows you to configure the RGB logo on the Elite and seamlessly sync it with the rest of your Corsair peripherals. More importantly, iCUE lets you remap all six of the Elite’s buttons to other buttons, keystrokes, or macros. You can also set up to five DPI settings that can be cycled through with the DPI switch (assuming you didn’t reassign it to something else), as well as adjust the mouse’s polling rate, sleep mode, power saving mode, and whether or not a battery gauge is visible in Window’s Notification area.
At the end of the day, choosing a mouse is a very personal affair. It takes more than simple functionality to win over a user; a mouse has to have the right fit, too. As such, the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless won’t be the perfect mouse for some people. In fact, it fills a very specific market. If you are looking for an ultra-lightweight wireless FPS mouse and already have other Corsair peripherals, have small to medium size hands, prefer a fingertip or claw grip, and want components that may or may not provide a benefit over cheaper options, then the Katar Elite is a perfect choice. If only one or two of those items are on your “must-have” list, the Elite’s price tag of $79.99 feels a little high, and a different mouse might be a better option.
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