A good wireless gaming mouse is a lot like the story of Goldilocks. Instead of the porridge being too hot or too cold, a gaming mouse can often be too big or too small, too many buttons or not enough, too light or too heavy. Corsair’s update to its Dark Core mouse, however, tries to strike a perfect balance in almost all aspects of their design. While still a large mouse, Corsair has made some smart changes with the Dark Core RGB Pro SE, both inside and out.
Sensor: PixArt PAW3392
Battery: 50 hours, Qi Wireless Charging
Interface: Corsair Slipstream (2.4 GHz dongle), Bluetooth 4.0, USB-C wired
Ergonomic: Right-handed Palm Grip
There are fewer buttons than its predecessor, but the layout is now cleaner and more thought out because of it. The upgraded Pixart PAW3392 optical sensor now reaches 18,000 DPI, and the QI wireless compatibility and improved battery life are just some of the improvements under the hood that should get some folks excited. The other is the $90 price that well undercuts its competitors like the Logitech G604 Lightspeed or the ROG Spatha, which is another gaming mouse for people with big mitts.
The Dark Core Pro uses Corsair’s Slipstream wireless tech, which Corsair claims sports a sub-1ms latency. That means it should be nearly indistinguishable from a wired gaming mouse in terms of performance. During my time, I’m surprised to report that yeah, it feels as good as a wired gaming mouse.
Whenever I get a new mouse in I, spend a lot of time in the Apex Legends target range messing around with guns and different ranges. It's an easy way to see how my aim holds up with various weapons, and I had no problem when handling precision guns like the G7 scout, Triple-take, or the Wingman.
I need to give the button layout a shoutout too. Mostly the smart placement of the two buttons to adjust DPI on the fly, located on the edge of the left mouse button that cycles through your onboard profiles. The light indicator to let you know which profile you're on is also a nice touch. At first, I was concerned that the LMB being slightly thinner than the RMB to accommodate the two extra buttons might affect my gameplay. Still, it ended up being a non-issue playing frantic shooters such as Call of Duty Warzone.
Shooters like COD: Warzone benefit the most from this on the fly DPI switching. Being able to move from a high DPI to a lower preset whenever I pick up a long-range weapon for sniping is seriously useful and has become my new favorite way to play.
For me, the Dark Core RGB Pro SE is best used with a palm grip. Though, if you're a claw grip gamer like me, the mouse still works just fine, even if the textured grip around the mouse feels a little too slick for my liking. If you have larger hands, the Dark Core Pro sits taller than Corsair's other gaming mice, such as the Harpoon or Glaive. There's even an additional modular magnetized textured grip you can attach to the right side of the mouse if you need a place to rest your pinky and ring fingers. I found this to be a more comfortable option for long-term gaming sessions.
Battery-wise, the Dark Core Pro SE boasts up to 50-hour battery life on a single charge, and the upgrade to USB-C charging is a welcome improvement. Another nice touch is the Qi wireless charging support now that is becoming more common in mousepads (it works with Corsair's MM1000, too). Anecdotally, the Dark Core lasted me about four days of gaming and working before I had to recharge it.
On the connectivity front, I ran into no problems with the 2.4GHz wireless connection via dongle, or when connected through Bluetooth 4.0. I experimented a bit and added in some wireless dongles to other devices I own, such as a wireless headset and keyboard, just to give it some extra traffic to contend with. I did notice some considerable stuttering after I added the dongle for the wireless keyboard. Switching over to Bluetooth was the best fix for me, so it's just something you need to be aware of if you have a ton of wireless dongles on your PC or laptop. Though, if you want to take advantage of that speedy, ultra-low latency Corsair Slipstream tech, you do need to use the dongle.
Corsair's Dark Core RGB Pro SE is competitively priced at $90, and to all intents and purposes, closes the performance gap between wired and wireless gaming mice. Despite the lack of claw grip love, Corsair's impressively updated mouse is still worth a look if you want something speedy and affordable, assuming you don't mind a larger gaming mouse. Personally I find it a little too large to work comfortably with my claw grip and I'd suggest trying to literally get your hands on the mouse to see how you fare before pulling the trigger on buying one.