Wireless gaming mice, once derided for adding latency and potentially faulty connections over the air, are now the pinnacle of engineering by peripheral makers. Most offer nearly latency-free performance, long battery life, first-rate build quality and some even feature novel wireless charging technology.
Unfortunately, many of these wireless mice come with equally impressive price tags like the $149 (£149, AU$249) Logitech G903 and $139 (£139, AU$239) Razer Lancehead.
Corsair’s first wireless gaming mouse, the Dark Core RGB SE, offers all the same great features while knocking down the flagship price down to a much more approachable $89 (£89, AU$169). What’s more, with this model Corsair has introduced the world’s first Qi charging mouse, making it easier to recharge this mouse on almost any charging pad rather than utilizing proprietary technology unique to only itself.
The Corsair Dark Core RGB SE’s physically large shape and slightly awkward button placement might not jive with everyone, though. However, if these are issues you can forgive, the mouse’s excellent performance and battery life, should be enough reasons to jump on this high-end wireless gaming mice.
In terms of looks, the Dark Core RGB SE is a fairly big departure from Corsair’s other gaming mice. The overall shape of the mouse is longer than any of Corsair’s other gaming mice, which may irk gamers who play with a claw grip. The likely cause of the longer body is to fit all the Qi charging components that are all located towards its rear.
Whereas the Glaive RGB, Scimitar Pro RGB and M65 Pro RGB all shared a minimalistic, soft-touch lined top surface, its latest gaming mouse is, in a word, busy. Just looking at the top of the peripheral alone, there’s a mix of hard plastic and soft-touch material, two mouse buttons, a profile switch button and DPI buttons.
There’s even more happening on the left side of the mouse, with a DPI/Profile light indicator and two side buttons separated by a sniper button (or a DPI switch that you can hold down to temporarily reduce the sensitivity of your mouse for a more accurate shot).
Despite all the busyness on this nine-button mouse, everything on the Dark Core RGB SE is spread out well enough that simply left clicking doesn’t cause a cascade of unintentional presses. Likewise, we love the feel and look of the snakeskin finish on the rear of the mouse – though, we wonder why Razer didn’t think of it first for all its peripherals named after serpents.
We’re not in love with every design element, though. Namely, the back and forward buttons feel a little too spread out to accommodate the sniper button. The Dark Core RGB SE’s long frame also might be a little too large for gamers with small hands.
Find your Qi
Unlike Logitech or Razer’s proprietary wireless charging system, Corsair has opted to go with the extremely ubiquitous Qi standard. So, rather than having to buy a specialized mousepad, this basically means you can juice up this gaming mouse on the same charging pad you use for your iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or most other modern smartphones.
Like a few other wireless gaming mice, Corsair introduced a wireless charging mouse pad alongside the Dark Core RGB SE in the form of the $79 (£79, AU$129) Corsair MM1000 Qi. Thankfully, it's quite a bit more affordable than Logitech’s $99 (£109, AU$199) PowerPlay. Even when combined with the price of the Dark Core RGB SE and this mouse pad, Corsair’s combo ends up being cheaper than getting the Razer Mamba HyperFlux and Firefly HyperFlux together for $249 (about £180, AU$320).
Unlike its competitors, you can’t just keep using the Corsair Dark Core RGB SE on top of the MM1000 Qi and expect it to draw constant power. Rather, you’ll have to move the bottom of the mouse over one very specific, albeit clearly marked, spot on the upper right side of the mouse pad.
That said, out of all the wireless charging mouse pads, Corsair’s is the first one we would even consider buying mainly, because you can use it juice up a phone or smartwatch – which we would often do while playing games or working. This setup has far more utility than the Logitech PowerPlay and Razer Firefly HyperFlux just in that it can recharge more devices than its companion mouse.
The MM1000 Qi also comes with USB-C, mini USB and Lightning port adapters, so you can plug in other devices even if they’re were never designed for wireless charging. It’s an ingenious inclusion, but we also wished that the included adapter were built with a cable, as a little bit of extra slack would have made recharging our wireless headphones and other large, odd-shaped devices a little easier.
Also, be aware that while you can wirelessly charge other devices, the MM1000 Qi delivers this power in small drips, so even recharging your phone may take a while.
As cool and convenient as Qi charging is, the true measure of a good gaming mouse is destroying your enemies. Good news is the Corsair Dark Core RGB SE is a great tool for death dealing – virtually speaking.
With a maximum 16,000 DPI in sensitivity and 1,000Hz polling rate being pushed through a 1ms 2.4GHz wireless connection, the Dark Core RGB SE feels just as responsive as any of its wired gaming mice. Using the mouse, we are able to make all the flick headshots in Overwatch we’d usually get with a Razer DeathAdder Elite. Alternatively, the Corsair wireless gaming mouse keeps up with all our frantic mouse movements trying to gunk up mimics skittering around in Prey.
The only thing we aren’t in love with is readjusting our grip to use the forward mouse button. We can easily adjust the settings to remap the sniper button to act as other commands, but you’re ultimately losing out on the full functionality of at least one mouse button.
The Dark Core RGB SE also completely lives up to its promise of offering 24 hours of constant wireless gameplay. The mouse lasted almost an entire week of constant use, and has yet to leave us in a lurch if we forgot to turn it off for the night.
Corsair has delivered on one of the best wireless gaming mice we’ve ever tested. We love the way it fits in our hands as well as its long battery life and pinpoint accuracy. When paired with the MM1000 Qi, its Qi charging system makes even more sense when you can use the companion wireless charging mouse pad to recharge your smartphone and other devices.
Just looking at this mouse from a value perspective, it’s much more affordable than the Logitech G903 or Razer Lancehead while being equal in every other regard. All things considered, the Corsair Dark Core RGB SE is one of the best wireless mice we’ve ever reviewed and is well deserving of our Recommended award.