The day is lastly right here, and the challengers to Logitech’s revolutionary Powerplay wireless-mouse system have arrived. First up is Corsair’s MM1000 charging mat, which makes use of the Qi charging customary to sort-of emulate the identical no-wires system as Logitech.
And like Powerplay, the MM1000 requires a brand-new mouse to reap the benefits of its distinctive charging capabilities. Enter the Corsair Darkish Core SE—Corsair’s first ever wi-fi mouse—with the hookups for Qi charging. You too can use the Darkish Core separate from the MM1000 ($80 on Amazon) although, utilizing a third-party Qi charging pad.
So how does it stack up? Let’s test it out.
The Darkish Core’s design speaks to me. I can’t say for certain whether or not Corsair lifted some inspiration from Logitech’s G502—my favourite mouse for years now—however the similarities are obvious and have been sufficient to get me excited. There’s the elongated and tapered form, the steep drop-off on the rear proper edge, the chunky thumb relaxation on the left.
And if that weren’t sufficient, the Darkish Core even has two small buttons arrayed close to the highest of the usual left-click—one other G502 function. If Corsair got down to make a G502 clone, it a minimum of nailed the fundamentals. If that wasn’t the intent…properly, we must always most likely give Vanilla Ice the advantage of the doubt too. Simply to be protected.
In any case, the Darkish Core gained’t fairly supplant my love of the G502, however I do prefer it. It’s snug, and the mix of soft-touch and regular plastic zones is each eye-catching and satisfying. I even just like the bizarre bump texture on the rear half of the mouse. As primarily a claw-grip consumer, the bumps appear to provide me a bit extra buy when shifting rapidly.
It’s much-needed buy too, as a result of the Darkish Core is heavy. The Darkish Core weighs in at 128 grams. That’s not too far off from the G502, which weighs round 120 grams, however then once more I do get pleasure from a heavy mouse. And whereas the Darkish Core’s weight isn’t stunning for a wi-fi machine, it does endure compared to Logitech’s wi-fi G703 and G903, which weigh 107 and 110 grams, respectively (a lot nearer to the 100 gram candy spot). I don’t know what witchcraft Logitech used to get its wi-fi mice so light-weight lately, however Corsair evidently hasn’t stumbled upon the identical strategies but.
Weight apart, the Darkish Core is a powerful design—one of many strongest Corsair’s had shortly, I feel. I particularly love what Corsair’s carried out with the lighting. It’s not as overtly flashy as final 12 months’s Glaive, however the usual emblem and mouse-wheel zones are adorned with two small accent lights on the facet, an array of DPI indicators close to the entrance, and a round ribbon on the thumb.
Talking of the thumb zone, it’s the Darkish Core’s different distinctive function. I’m at all times all for a brand new tackle the usual two-button thumb area, and lately we’ve seen plenty of experiments in that division, just like the SteelSeries Rival 500 and Razer Basilisk.
Corsair’s variation isn’t fairly as unusual as these two, however does handle to cram one other button into the combo. Mainly, Corsair made one button in your thumb—the sniper button—after which surrounded it by two others. Or, should you favor, Corsair took the usual two-button setup and put a 3rd button within the center.
It’s not fully profitable. For one, it makes it inconceivable to hit each the back and front buttons on the similar time, as a result of they’re on a rocker. Worse nonetheless, it’s really onerous to hit the front-most thumb button in any respect. It’s simply approach too far ahead in your common palm grip, and even when claw gripping I discover I’ve to stretch to hit it reliably.
Hopefully the following mannequin will pull that zone again in direction of the rear of the mouse, as a result of in any other case I feel it’s a powerful idea. I usually don’t use “Sniper” buttons a lot, however the Darkish Core’s distinguished placement makes it extra possible. Higher but, it’s mainly a 3rd thumb button if you perform a little remapping.
CUE the frustration
With that, let’s get into among the Darkish Core’s flaws. One main one, actually: software program. Sure, as soon as once more Corsair’s “Let’s do all the things without delay” strategy means “It’s onerous to do something in any respect” as the tip consumer. Right here, have a look:
If this display screen makes you assume, “This all seems to be self-explanatory,” I agree—it does look that approach. There are hidden pitfalls in every single place, although.
Let’s lay out the steps to remap a key. First, that Actions part is clean, so you need to create a brand new Motion—no matter meaning. Then you need to click on on the button you need it to use to, then select the subcategory of Actions you need within the backside part. Right here I’ve remapped one of many Darkish Core’s buttons to Play/Pause, in order that’s what you’re seeing. If, as an example, you wished to map one mouse button to a different although, you’d need to go to Remap Key, then click on a submenu to convey up Mouse Button as a substitute of the default Typing Key, after which select which mouse button you wished from there.
It will get extra complicated. Corsair’s software program allows you to map mouse buttons that don’t even exist on the Darkish Core—so you’ll be able to, as an example, map Tilt Left to a button though the Darkish Core doesn’t have a tilt wheel. Why? I don’t know.
Then the worst half is simply saving your rattling button project. No matter you select, you then need to click on the button in query from the listing, then (I feel) double-click the motion, after which…hope that it really works? I don’t know. After weeks with the Darkish Core, I nonetheless don’t fairly know the way to change button mapping or colours reliably. Generally it really works, typically it doesn’t, and typically it really works for just a few hours just for Corsair’s software program to renege, wipe all my settings from the mouse (however not the software program itself), and drive me to redo the method once more.
Talking of which: There are a lot of Amazon/Newegg evaluations that cite connection points. I can’t communicate to that myself—I haven’t had any disconnects or latency in my time with the Darkish Core. The mouse is a bit gradual to get up within the morning, nevertheless it’s nonetheless solely a few-seconds delay at most and I haven’t had any points as soon as it’s paired. Then once more, the receiver is plugged into the MM1000, lower than a foot away, so not a lot likelihood for interference. And I’ve had these bizarre software program glitches, the place it misplaced my settings. That’s extra annoying than anything, nevertheless it does make complaints about even worse issues credible.
These small quirks are a disgrace as a result of in any other case the Darkish Core looks like a superb mouse. It sports activities a PWM3367 sensor, the Corsair-specific 3360 variant. I’m proud of just about any 336X mannequin, and efficiency on the Darkish Core has been as easy as I anticipated.
And the Qi charging is neat, albeit area of interest, as our review of the MM1000 reveals. Qi is an open customary although, so you must have the ability to purchase any Qi platter off Amazon for $15-$30 and attain the identical precise impact—wi-fi charging, with out wires. It’s gradual wi-fi charging, most likely solely suited to in a single day breaks, however the Darkish Core’s battery lasts as much as 24 hours so you have to be high quality, and it’s a cool choice should you don’t wish to shell out $200 for Logitech’s extra intensive Powerplay system. Right here, the price of entry is as little as the Darkish Core mouse and a third-party charger.
It’s clear that is Corsair’s first wi-fi mouse. You simply don’t see these kinds of efficiency points from firms which have had years to good their wi-fi setups. Corsair’s enjoying catch-up and it reveals.
One firmware replace’s already been launched although, and hopefully any remaining issues are sorted out quickly (I’m planning to test again in periodically), as a result of because it stands the Darkish Core has the potential to be a winner. It’s snug, it’s enticing, it’s pretty cheap (for a wi-fi mouse) at $80 for the baseline mannequin or $90 for the model with Qi charging, and when it does work, efficiency is simply pretty much as good as every other flagship. If all the things labored completely and CUE have been sorted out, this can be a four-star mouse simply, or perhaps larger.
Wait just a few months although, simply to be protected.