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Tuesday, 9 May 2017


Corsair Harpoon RGB Review

The PC Gaming and Peripheral Industry is more competitive right now than ever before with each consumer aiming for the maximum performance at minimum cost along with the right looks. Corsair has for long been the leader of the gaming peripherals market with some legendary products including the recently reviewed Corsair K95 Platinum Keyboard which costs a bomb!
Now Corsair has jumped into the budget side of this industry and brought out the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse which thanks to Corsair India is on our table today for review.

Even though the Harpoon RGB is priced in at $30 or Rs 2300 in India it comes equipped with high-performance Pixart PMW3320 Optical sensor, adjustable DPI, six buttons, Omron switches and more which you tend to find absent in most of the gaming mice priced higher than the Harpoon!

What's in the Box?

Corsair Gaming components are now depicted by a black box with splashes of yellow since that's what their signature color theme is. The packing of the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse is no different which also comes in a sleek black box with yellow in tits and bits all over. The product image and Corsair logo are prominent along with the main features such as 6000 DPI, light weight and RGB back lighting.

The back is similarly colored with a detailed marked diagram of the mouse indicating towards its key physical characteristics such as textured grip, multi color back lighting and on the fly DPI switch. Its a nifty packing justifying a product of this stature and does the job well in protecting it through transit.

Open the packing and you'll find yourself holding the mouse neatly packed inside a tinted molded pack along with some papers such as the warranty card and user manual.

Let's take a Closer Look

Corsair has designed the Harpoon RGB as a compact and light weight gaming mouse with an all matte black finish, contoured design and textured rubber areas for added comfort and grip. The top is smooth and clean with a rubber coating for added grip. The front has the DPI switch and at the back you can find the Corsair sails that light up in multi color, we'll be discussing that later on. All these switches are Omron switches that are rated for 20 million clicks.

At the left side you will find two forward-backward buttons that are placed right above the rubberized area at a slight angle. These are hard and have a click to them and don't feel loose or cheap in either performance or feel which tends to happen with some mice in this category.
Right side is simple and has a full rubber coat in coherence with the left side to provide grip and comfort. The sides are similar, though not identical. This is not an ambidextrous mouse and so while it would likely work for a left-handed gamer, it is not recommended.

At the front the scroll wheel is uncovered to add some esthetics while the wheel itself is rubber coated and feels good to press aswell as scroll. I didn't find any miss scrolls or inaccurate scrolling while using it. The on the fly DPI switch is located right at the back of the scroll wheel and is glossy and shiny with a hard press feel to it. By default it is programmed with 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 6000 DPI with accompanying colors on the Corsair sail's logo to indicate the present DPI. All this can be configured and customized through the CUE software.

The cable on the Harpoon RGB is 1.2m in length and is unbraided being made out of silicon which is perfectly understandable at this price point and feature set. At the end you'll find the same USB connector as that on all the Corsair Gaming Peripherals, its rubberized and strongly build for longevity. Keep in mind that the wire retains its coiled shape very strongly so make sure you straighten it out before use or opt for a mouse bungee if possible.

About the CUE

Corsair has brought out an entirely new software suite with the Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse. CUE as Corsair likes to call it is a suite to bind all the three gears, namely as the Void Headset, MM800 Mousepad and K95 Platinum Keyboard, together as one taking a more holistic approach. CUE can be downloaded from the Corsair official website for free.

This new version of the CUE is quite well laid out and has all the comprehensive and complex options hidden deep within. The demo devices listed on the starting page are actually a bunch of emulators that users can  use to get a feel of the lighting and various options available for the enlisted peripheral. The top has an advanced button for bringing down the more in depth options for the users & I personally advice that one uses the same as its required to reap the full potential of such a premium device!

The first one is the Actions section which let's you remap and reassign buttons. Its simple section of the mouse but the real power of the CUE and Harpoon is seen when you enter the Macros section where you can record macros for the mouse and use them by the click of a single button. This is real handy for typing in texts during multiplayer battles to your team mates for quick response.

Since its RGB so there has to be a dedicated section to lighting isn't it!? In this section you can choose from the pre-defined patterns and even select the speed. In the advanced options you can even set it to static if you are like me and don't want a distracting disco ball under your palm during gaming.

DPI section is where you want to be for not only selecting the DPI level at each click of the button but also choose the color the sails should glow in when the respective DPI is selected.

In the setting section you can customize the polling rate of the mouse to your taste along with the brightness at which the RGB lights would glow. Pretty straightforward & useful.
All these settings and customizations made on the Harpoon RGB stay on the mouse thanks to its on-board memory so you don't need to install the CUE on every system you play on just plug in the mouse and all your settings would work seamlessly!

Performance - Time to put it to Test

Whenever I review a keybaord or mouse I like to use the device for atleast a week putting it through my daily usage varying across the week. My usage for mice range from simple navigation across the explorer, web browsing, photo editing and even gaming when I get the time to mainly engaging in FPS, Open World and Strategy.

Comfort Level 

Its a small gaming mouse and by small I don't mean its petite but its inclined more towards claw grippers than palm grippers. People who have small hands would find it useful for palm grip but people like me who have medium size hands or those who have large palms would likely find it more comfortable if sticking to a claw grip since there isn't much space to rest your tiny finger on the side which can lead to discomforts in long gaming sessions. The buttons on the side are reachable and can even be pressed by the thumb joint at times, they are hard and give a nice feedback upon pressing.
The rubber is comfortable and does offer significant grip without being sweat inducing that rubber surfaces are some times. Sine the mouse weighs in at only 85g it feels extremely light and easy to swift and glide or even pick and place back in case you run out of mouse pad area!

Gaming and Daily Usage

For gaming the Harpoon RGB is just perfect especially for FPS and strategy since at higher DPIs you can move real quick for rapid response in games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard  or skim through the massive battlefield swiftly in CnC Kane's Wrath! On the go DPI switch works really nicely and I found it more comfortable in the 4000 DPI range both for gaming and daily use anything above that was a bit too much for taste and my 1080p screen.
Putting it through my daily use was a good decision when it comes to navigation but I found it a bit awkward or abnormal in cases where I use Photoshop and had to move the cursor with precision at high zoomed in views. I realized that at lower DPI the Harpoon RGB does this job well but at DPI of 4000 and above it fails to register minor movements accurately leading to abnormal cursor movement. But overall the mouse did the job well and is definitely a good addition to offices aswell.

My Verdict

If you'd asked me to suggest you a great gaming mouse for around $30 a few months back then probably I would've suggested you something but said that don't expect too much out of it but all that has changed from today. The Corsair Harpoon RGB is unarguably the best gaming mouse in its category and performs way more than its price tag.
The build quality is solid and doesn't feel flimsy from any corner. It does favor the claw grippers over the palm grip users dues to its shape and size which is probably a measure to cut down on the cost by saving some casing material. At very accurate or minute movements it does end to skip a few pixels leading to abnormal cursor movements probably something that Corsair can fix with a firmware update later on.
CUE software yet again shines bright in its usability & acts as a big plus factor for a budget offering such as the Harpoon RGB  making it the only mouse of its category to be backup by such a powerful and rich driver suite. Also the onboard memory is a welcome addition to keep all the settings intact making it an ideal choice for LAN gamers who are always on the move playing on different gaming PCs.
The Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse is build solid, looks decent, performs as expected & does more so for the budget price tag of $30 or Rs 2300 in India. I recommend the Harpoon RGB to all the gamers on a budget aswell as to people who are looking for a decent upgrade to their office or studio mouse.
I give it 8/10 earning our Gold Award!

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