Corsair Dark Core SE RGB
CORSAIR iCUE software for macOS puts your entire setup at your command, all through a single interface. Orchestrate every last detail of your compatible CORSAIR peripherals: synchronize dynamic RGB lighting effects, create custom macros, hone your mouse’s sensitivity in single DPI steps, and fine-tune your audio for whatever you’re.
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- Competitively priced.
- Solid and attractive form factor.
- Large, heavy frame may not appeal to everyone.
- Can't be used while wirelessly charging.
Bottom LineThe affordable Corsair Dark Core RGB SE is a rock-solid entry in the realm of wireless gaming mice.
In the past year, we've seen wireless charging added to a number of gaming peripherals. This technology has been something of a hurdle for gamers, who often feel hindered by limited battery life and potential connectivity issues. Corsair breaks into the wireless-charging race with its latest high-end gaming mouse, the Dark Core RGB SE ($89.99). This new addition to Corsair's family of peripherals seeks to change the stigma of wireless gaming accessories while remaining affordable, and succeeds on multiple levels.
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Large But Sleek Style
The Dark Core RGB SE ($89.99 at GameStop) is a hearty, sleek gaming mouse built around a Qi wireless-charging receiver. The chassis evokes something like a futuristic sports car. It has four independent RGB lighting zones highlighting an aerodynamic form factor and sporting textured, rubberized grips at the contact points for your palm and thumb. Aesthetics are nothing without function, so, along with a responsive mouse wheel, the Dark Core RGB SE features six auxiliary buttons in addition to the standard inputs. Two are on the left edge of the left mouse button, one is behind the scroll wheel, and three are bundled together closely under the thumb rest.
Corsair Dark Core Mac Software Free
Slightly larger than your typical wireless mouse, the Dark Core RGB SE measures 1.7 by 3.5 by 5 (HWD) and weighs a little more than 4.5 ounces. (In contrast, the Editors' Choice Logitech G903 Lightspeed($149.99 at Dell) is 1.5 by 2.5 by 5 inches and weighs 4 ounces.) The robust frame isn't ungainly or obtrusive, though, and the curved black shell responds well using either claw or palm grips. While the Dark Core RGB SE is slightly heavier than some of its wired counterparts, this is barely noticeable even when rapidly whipping the mouse around during matches of Overwatch. However, none of the buttons on the Dark Core RGB SE can be removed or replaced, which may make it uncomfortable for lefties.
The optical sensor features a 1,000Hz report rate and a maximum DPI of 16,000, ensuring top-tier precision. The Logitech G903 Lightspeed's and Razer Mamba's sensitivity levels top out at 12,000dpi, to compare. Personally, I never keep my settings higher than 4,500dpi, but the precision is definitely noticeable. The ability to quickly swap DPI settings with the conveniently placed thumb button is also a nice touch. And despite the bad rap that wireless peripherals get for gaming, I didn't experience any dropped signals during my use, resulting in smooth gameplay.
The mouse communicates with your device of choice using either Bluetooth connectivity or with the provided 2.4GHz wireless adapter. It allows for multiple customization options through the Corsair Utility Engine (iCUE) software. The robust but approachable software allows you to change RGB options, remap button functions, and create individualized profiles with ease. The litany of customization options available allows you to tailor multiple profiles for different gaming experiences and quickly swap between them if necessary. The iCUE software continues to reign as some of the most accessible and versatile third-party peripheral software available.
Optional Charging Pad
Corsair Dark Core Driver
Corsair claims that the Dark Core RGB SE boasts up to 24 hours of battery life, but I got closer to 7 hours when the mouse was constantly in use. Battery life can be extended by disabling the RGB lighting or using the sleep function when not in use. The lifespan isn't short enough to be a massive inconvenience, but is certainly something I had to consider before sitting down for an extended gaming session, especially since the mouse must remain stationary on any Qi-enabled device in order to draw power (meaning it can't be used while charging).
While the Dark Core RGB SE can be charged via conventional micro USB, it can also make use of its Qi wireless charging feature by combining it with the optional $79.99 Corsair MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad, which I used during testing. The smooth black plastic surface of the MM1000 measures 0.2 by 13.8 by 10.2 inches (HWD), and firmly anchors itself to your desk with a textured, rubberized base. The MM1000 is robust and heavy compared with a typical mouse pad, weighing nearly 2 pounds, and it isn't designed to flex or fold. The pad and its single USB throughput are powered via a small hub on the upper left corner that has a single indicator light to confirm that a device is connected. The hub uses a pair of robust, braided USB cables to supply power and data to the pad.
The cornerstone of the MM1000 is its integrated Qi charging zone located in the top right corner of the pad itself. The charging zone can be used to power other Qi-enabled devices like the iPhone X($999.00 at Verizon Wireless) or the Samsung Galaxy S9+. With the included Qi charging attachment, it can also be used to supply power to any device that would typically charge via a micro USB, USB-C, or Lightning cable. Alternatively, any Qi-enabled charging mat can also be used to provide power to the mouse. If you utilize other Qi-enabled devices, the M1000 is convenient, but it's otherwise a bit of a frivolity.
Comparatively Well Priced
Wireless charging is a relatively new concept in the realm of gaming peripherals, and while the technology is hardly ubiquitous, there are options available for gamers looking to cut the cord. The Editors' Choice Logitech G903 Lightspeed Wireless is a more ergonomically friendly option that can be used while charging, but has a premium $250 price tag to accompany its included charging pad. (To compare, you're looking at a $170 bill if you buy the Dark Core RGB SE and the MM1000 charging pad together.) If you're game for a wireless mouse that relies on a traditional charging solution, and that comes with a sub-$100 price tag, the Razer Mamba($119.00 at Amazon) combines excellent performance with a charging dock to keep its battery topped off.
The Corsair Dark Core RGB SE, though, is a capable and attractive gaming peripheral paired with some solid specs, especially when compared with some of its more expensive counterparts. Barring the inability to use the mouse while charging, the Dark Core RGB SE still makes for an excellent addition to Corsair's lineup.