We loved Corsair’s Dark Core RGB SE when it came out a couple years ago, finding it to be one of the best wireless gaming mice on the market. Corsair’s follow up is the Dark Core RGB Pro. It features a brand-new sensor, more side buttons, Bluetooth connectivity, and a whole lot more.
Design and Comfort
One of the most striking things you notice on the Dark Core RGB Pro is its RGB lighting. Corsair added some more accent lights for the Pro model, and you can really see the difference. The lighting is vibrant and pops off the mouse, without being too ostentatious or distracting. There are nine lighting zones you can individually customize in Corsair’s iCUE software. Each of these zones can be set to independent colors and patterns.
The big, roomy left and right mouse buttons were one of our favorite features on the original Dark Core, and I’m happy to see them return on the Dark Core Pro. My large fingers felt right at home, effortlessly sliding into place in either palm or claw grip. Adding to the comfort are the contoured body, the textured rubber on the bottom of the body, and the swappable side grip on the right hand side of the mouse. The Dark Core Pro just feels so great in my hand – I don’t want to go back to my old mouse.
The Dark Core RGB Pro features more side buttons than the Dark Core SE. While we had some issues with the side buttons on the SE, Corsair has made the adjustment for the Pro model, and it’s better off for it. Rather than one joystick-y button on the SE, Corsair returned to the traditional two separate side buttons, plus two more on the top of the mouse near the left mouse button. The side buttons were easy to distinguish from one another, and I never had any misclicks. The two additional top buttons were a bit tricky to reach, however - they felt too small and too close to the left mouse button for my tastes. The Dark Core Pro also has a sniper/DPI switcher button right underneath the scroll wheel. It’s big.
Performance and Features
Like the original Dark Core, the Pro can be used with either a wired or wireless connection. Corsair claims sub 1ms latency with their 2.4Ghz Slipstream wireless technology. Setting up the wireless connectivity is simple – you snap off a side panel on the base of the mouse, plug in the USB receiver, and flip the switch on the underside of the mouse to the clearly-labeled wireless mode. One thing I really liked about the wireless mode is how the RGB lighting automatically shuts off when you switch to it, saving previous power so you can use the mouse for even longer.
In-game performance is outstanding in wireless. Like the previous Dark Core, you won’t be able to tell the difference between wired and wireless modes. Even in fast-paced, twitchy shooters, the Dark Core RGB stood its ground, never once lagging or dropping mouse movements. Corsair claims up to 50 hours of battery life – more than the Dark Core SE. In the real world, I used the Pro for a few days of work and gaming, and the battery lasted for the entire time.
New to the Pro model is a low-latency (as low as 7.5ms) Bluetooth connection. What’s cool is you don’t need to use the USB receiver – Bluetooth connectivity is baked into the mouse itself. Like with the wireless mode, the RGB lighting is shut off. While the Bluetooth connectivity is far from ideal for gaming, it’s perfectly suited for office tasks and web browsing. Outside of intense gaming, I never experienced any latency or dropped mouse movements. Switching between the three different connectivity modes is incredibly easy, thanks to the previously mentioned switch on the bottom of the mouse.
With the Pro model, Cosair has upgraded to the Pixart PAW3392 sensor. This sensor can deliver a whopping 18,000 DPI, and can be customized in 1 DPI incitements with Corsair’s iCUE software. While 18,000 DPI is more of a marketing gimmick than anything, having the ability to switch to incredibly high DPI is helpful in specific scenarios that require precise, fast adjustments, like when sniping. Overall, the sensor incredibly smooth and accurate. It moves around effortlessly, and I never felt like I was struggling to get the cursor to go where I wanted it to go.
The PAW3392 sensor is also optimized for low power use, which is obviously important for wireless gaming. Also new to the Pro is the capability for a 2000Hz polling rate. What this means is that the mouse will send its position to the operating system two thousand times per second, increasing the speed and accuracy of your mouse movements.
By comparison, most gaming mice have a polling rate of around 1000Hz. My only complaint is that this feature isn’t enabled out of the box – you have to manually adjust it in iCUE. While I get that this is probably done to save power when you’re using the Dark Core Pro wirelessly, I’d hate to see such a great feature buried in an options menu, causing gamers to not even know it’s there. That being said, it’s great to see Corsair push the boundaries, and I hope other mouse manufacturers follow suit.
Corsair’s iCUE software is absolutely exhaustive, allowing you to change things such as the RGB lighting, surface calibration, and button mapping. You can record not only custom macros, but double macros – two separate macros that can be initiated by a single button press.
Pick up the Dark Core RGB Pro on Newegg.