Last year, I wrote one of my first hardware articles when I had the opportunity to review the Kinesis FreeStyle Edge Gaming Keyboard. A breakthrough into the gaming scene for Kinesis, we were presented with a solid product at a hefty price tag. Fast forward and Kinesis is taking another stab at a gaming peripheral: the mouse. Targeting gamers on a budget with a friendly price tag, the Kinesis Vektor a temping purchase - but how does it hold up? I’ll break it down after some technical specifications.
- MSRP: $44.95
- OS: Windows 7/8/10 | Mac OSX 10.8+ (No app for Mac at this time)
- Connectivity: Wired USB, Braided 2m cable
- Sensor: PixArt PMW3325 (Optical)
- Sensitivity: 50-5000 DPI (On-the-fly adjustment)
- Buttons: 6 (Programmable via Configurator App)
- Lighting: Dual-Zone, 16.89M RGB Colors
- Finish: Soft-Touch Matte Black, Rubber Grips
- Grip Type: Ambidextrous (Palm, Fingertip or Claw)
- Switches: Genuine Omron Switches, 20M Clicks
- Dimensions: 130 x 70 x 38mm | 5.1 x 2.8 x 1.5”
- Polling Rate: 125Hz - 1000hz, Adjustable
The first thing I want to draw your attention to is the price tag. $44.95 for an RGB mouse is quite a deal but it doesn’t come without some sacrifice compared to higher end gaming solutions. The most obvious of which is a DPI maximum that’s roughly half of what most other gaming mice offers. It’s up to you how big of a deal this is because every gamer is different. I personally almost never use a DPI higher than 5000 anyways so there was no detriment to the reduced sensitivity. Second we have to look at the the Omron Switches only being rated for 20M clicks. While 20 million is A LOT of clicks most RGB Gaming mice start with Omron Switches rated for 50 million, though to be fair they also carry a price tag that’s $20 or more on average.
The reason I point all this out is it’s important to see where the costs were saved and I think Kinesis chose the right areas to trim, to be quite honest. Like I said before I don’t use over 5k DPI and I don’t know anyone who does so a sensor that’s capable of 10,000 or 12,000 is overkill. I also have no realistic idea of how long it will take for me to hit 20 million clicks and even at that it doesn’t mean it will fail right when you hit that limit.
All of that being said you might get the idea that this is a cheaply made mouse and you couldn’t be more wrong. The plastic that makes up the body is sturdy and inflexible and the matte finish feels nice on your palm with the rubber side grips adding a decent amount of grip so you don’t lose control in sweaty moments. The actuation of the switches feel right in line with other high end gaming mouses I’ve reviewed before - you won’t accidently click by resting your fingers but it doesn’t require much additional pressure to actuate the switch.
The shape of the mouse feel good in your hand as well. I don’t know if you can call it ergonomic but I don’t have to play any gymnastics with my hand to get a good fit. My palm rests nicely on the top and the curve follows the curve of my hand almost perfectly. I’m a right handed, palm grip user so I can’t really test out the ambidextrous claim but considering there are no buttons on the other side I would argue it’s not truly meant for left handed users. While the design is symmetrical and can definitely support left handed use you will lose easy access to the two side buttons that would sit right above a right-handed users thumb.
When it comes to gaming I spent most of my time play Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Fortnite, and Elder Scrolls Online. In twitch shooters like CoD’s Blackout and Fortnite BR the Kinesis Vektor performed admirably. The weight of the mouse is just right for fast reactions and I never had a problem with accuracy - which is to say I did not experience any sensor glitches that you sometimes see in budget mice. When it comes to MMOs like ESO it was perfect. I don’t use an MMO mouse in general so I quite literally noticed no difference between the Vektor and my daily driver, the SteelSeries Rival 600. That’s about as high of a praise as I can give for a mouse when it comes to playing MMOs.
When it comes to software the Vektor departs from what we saw with FreeStyle Edge split keyboard in that you do have a third party application to download. With the Configurator App, as Kinesis calls it, you can control your lighting, button bindings, and preset DPI settings that are cycled through with the switch under the scroll wheel. The application itself is light, simple and well executed. There was no perceivable lag between changing colors in the app and seeing them on the mouse and making changes was easy and intuitive. What the application lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for with complete usability and ease of access.
The fact is, the Kinesis Vektor RGB Gaming Mouse is a solid addition to any build, high-end or budget, and Kinesis is operating in a price bracket that they’re poised to dominate if and when word gets out. Between the solid build quality, vibrant RGB lighting, and comfortable design you’ll be hard pressed to find a better mouse for under $50. The Kinesis Vektor is close to, if not at, the top of its weight-class in the mouse world.
- Solid Build Quality
- Vibrant Lighting
- Easy to Use Software
- Sensor only goes to 5,000 DPI
- Not Truly Ambidextrous
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.