Lots of small improvements.
The Corsair M65 RGB Elite Tunable FPS Gaming Mouse is the follow-up to the Corsair M65 Pro RGB that we looked at and liked last year. Like its predecessor, the M65 RGB Elite (See it at Amazon) is designed for FPS gamers and offers solid build quality and a weight tuning system for the price of $59.99.
Compared to its predecessor, the Elite ups the accuracy of the optical sensor and drops some weight, while also offering a redesigned and improved layout of the side buttons. Do these additions make the M65 RGB Elite a suitable replacement for last year’s M65 Pro RGB? I put it through its paces to find out.
Corsair M65 RGB Elite – Design and Features
At first glance, the M65 RGB Elite looks identical to the M65 Pro RGB. Both feature two-zone RGB lighting, a long-and-narrow shape best suited for right-handed claw grips, and eight programmable buttons. Underneath, both mice feature an aluminum frame and three removable weights and five glide pads. Upon closer inspection, however, you see that the LED indicator between the top buttons is no longer a target icon, and the Corsair branding has been removed from the left mouse button. And on the thumb side of the mouse, the plastic cover does not go all the way to the front of the mouse but stops abruptly just past the side buttons to expose the aluminum frame underneath.
These three differences are purely cosmetic, but there are three details that change how the mouse feels and performs.
First, the M65 RGB Elite is lighter than its predecessor. Using the weights, it ranges from 97 grams to 115 grams. By comparison, the M65 Pro RGB weighs 115 grams at its lightest and goes up to 135.5 grams by employing its three weights. As with the Pro model last year, the M65 RGB Elite features three removable screws and weights on its bottom panel to get the exact weight and feel you desire.
Second, the M65 RGB Elite ups the sensitivity. It boasts an 18,000dpi optical sensor, which is 50-percent more precise than the M65 Pro RGB and its 12,000dpi sensor. Big-screen, high-resolution gamers will appreciate the added sensitivity, though in reality nobody really needs 18,000dpi.
The tighter grouping of these three buttons offers an improved layout.
Third, the side buttons have been redesigned. The forward and back thumb buttons are larger on the M65 RGB Elite, making them easier to engage, and the gap between the forward side button and sniper button below has been eliminated. The top of the sniper button now touches the bottom of the forward button. The tighter grouping of these three buttons offers an improved layout because your thumb does not need to reach as far to seek out the sniper button, allowing you to locate and engage it quicker.
The M65 RGB Elite boasts a durable aluminum frame that is covered by a plastic top piece that comes in two color choices: black or white. The sides are a textured plastic and gray in color. The shape is designed for right-handed, claw-grip gamers. I found the shape and the weight (at its max with all three weights on board) comfortable, but the bottom panel’s five small glide pads didn’t afford as smooth a gliding action as the large Corsair Ironclaw RGB mouse and its four huge glide pads (review coming soon).
The shape is designed for right-handed, claw-grip gamers.
The M65 RGB Elite features eight programmable buttons. The presence of the eighth (sniper) button makes it best suited for FPS games. It has the standard right- and left-click buttons and a clickable scroll wheel. Behind the scroll wheel are DPI-up and -down buttons. On the left side are the forward and back buttons and the sniper button. The sniper button lowers the DPI setting when it’s held down and is separate from the five DPI settings you can cycle through by using the two DPI buttons next to the scroll wheel.
Corsair M65 RGB Elite – Software
Corsair’s iCUE software works across all the company’s products that support software control. It’s well designed and easy to use. The first stop you should make is DPI settings. The two buttons next to the scroll wheel let you cycle through up to five DPI settings, from 100dpi to 18,000dpi. For each, you can program a color for the light between the DPI buttons so you can keep track of which setting is active. Separate from these settings is a Sniper setting, designed to be set at a super-low DPI for precise, slow movements when lining up a kill shot through a sniper scope.
Elsewhere in iCUE, you can create macros and other actions, perform surface calibration (to help improve tracking and aiming) and enable angle snapping (to help you track in a straight line), and customize the lighting effects. There are two lighting zones — the scroll wheel and the Corsair logo — and you can set a color or pattern for each. You can also create and save multiple profiles in iCUE. The mouse has onboard storage so you can take one profile of your macros, lighting and other settings with you without needing to install iCUE on another PC.
Corsair M65 RGB Elite – Gaming
To test the mouse, I fired up to two FPS staples: CS:GO and Overwatch. The Corsair M65 RGB Elite proved to be supremely accurate and responsive with both games. With its impressively wide DPI range, I was able to set the mouse to the exact level of sensitivity to fit my setup. In fact, unless you have multiple monitors, you are unlikely to need the 18,000dpi max. At that setting, my cursor moved too fast to keep it under control.
The layout of the eight buttons felt natural. I particularly enjoyed having the sniper button sitting at the edge of my thumb. I ended up resting the tip of my thumb against its back edge and needed only to slide up ever so slightly to press it to line up a sniper shot.
The left and right mouse buttons provided a satisfying click and felt fast. I also liked the grippy, textured side panels, which created a slip-free grip for my thumb and pinky. The left side flares out a bit along the button and provided a comfortable nook for my thumb to rest.
My only complaint is that Corsair made the mouse too light. It claims it did so in response to reviews and user feedback in making it 15 percent lighter than the R65 RGB Pro. I played around with the weights and determined that the best feel for my claw grip was leaving all weights onboard and using it at its max weight of 115 grams. Of course, the weight and feel of a mouse is entirely subjective and you may prefer a lighter mouse.
The Corsair M65 RGB Elite Tunable FPS Gaming Mouse has an MSRP of $59.99, and since it recently launched it’s the same price online.