SteelSeries Kinzu Optical Gaming Mouse Review - Pictures and Testing

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The Kinzu comes in a very nice grey-scale package.  It has all the specs and features listed on the box, and also have multiple languages.

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The Kinzu comes with a user manual, which presents its various features in a very clear manner.  It's plug-n-play, but the Kinzu allows sensitivity adjustment and modifying of the sampling rates.  The onboard memory stores multiple profiles, and allows each profile to have its own CPI settings.

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SteelSeries has a very utilitarian design set, no fluff, all business.  The Kinzu follows suit with a very functional, simple design.  No lights or intricate designs.  The mouse is ambidextrous, and fairly low profile.  I have large hands and generally tend to prefer fuller-bodied mice, but the Kinzu is satisfactory, and its doesn't feel uncomfortable to me during use.  The surface has a light texture which is still fairly smooth.  The buttons have a very satisfying "click" when actuated.  The buttons feel very high quality, not "mushy" like many mice, and the switch feels very "twitchy," in that it's very easy to click rapidly.

The scroll button is very crisp with each click of rotation feeling very definite and it also clicks down very nicely, which is huge in many of the games I play.  I've had mice that tend to turn on me when I try to click the middle mouse, which often cycles through weapons or in-game options, and can be very disruptive.  The Kinzu, in an effort to be compact and light for on-the-go LAN gamers, does not have any side buttons.  It would be nice to have one, but isn't a deal breaker.

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The Kinzu has a sensitivity adjustment button just behind the scroll wheel, and the bottom has three very large, wide feet.  It tracks really nicely on a variety of surfaces, and the wide feet help level out rough surfaces.  It seems they wanted you to be able to set this mouse down on any table/desk/ or other surface where your computer might be without the need to have a mouse pad or gaming surface such as their 4HD.  The bottom has the SteelSeries logo neatly embossed on it, I like SteelSeries' continued use of their logo in subtle ways in the aesthetic of their products.

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The Kinzu also comes wit ha very nice braided cable that is very flexible, and also doesn't knot or bind up very much.  Sometimes it's about the little things, and the braided cable is great.

 

Testing

SteelSeries' claim-to-fame for the Kinzu is unparalleled reliability, and through testing on a wide variety of wood, glass, synthetic, and mouse pad surfaces, the Kinzu doesn't perform noticeably differently.  With that said, their claims seem very well justified.  The tracking is smooth and definitely blurs the line of precision between laser and optical.  This felt very similar in tracking to the MX518, which many people have sworn by for a long time as their favorite mouse.  As I mentioned before, the large feet allow for smooth, even tracking on rough and uneven surfaces. I used it on an old, rough, and beaten table to give it a true test of a worst-case secenario surface for your mouse, and it definitely handled much better than the other mice I had on hand with more traditional small feet on the corners.

The Kinzu games nicely, my only gripe is its slim form factor strains my large hands a bit after a long time.  A side button would be nice, but it's not so difficult to get around that, but once you've gotten used to having one, you definitely notice that there isn't one there.  It performs great from a tracking and control standpoint, and, as I've said before, feels much as a laser mouse does, but is much more versatile in terms of the different surfaces it will work well on.

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