SteelSeries Kana Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Edition Gaming Mouse Review




Given that we tested the original Kana several months ago, the performance of the Kana CS:GO version is predictable ... predictably good that is. Recalling my experience with other SteelSeries mice, the Kinzu is far too small for my hands, while the Sensei provides a comfortable platform, although I fumble with the dual side buttons from time to time. The Kana is very well sized and offers generous side buttons that are very easy to actuate with a slight bump from the thumb or ring finger. Therin lies the problem. You have to be careful not to grip the mouse too tightly, otherwise you'll accidentally prod these buttons into action. It takes a little getting used to, but doesn't take away from the Kana's undeniable comfort. Another small gripe about the Kana's buttons is that they use TTC switches rather than the premius Omron switches seen in comparativley priced gaming mice. Sensing is accomplished via a Pixart PAN3305DK-H paired with a 0.5x lens, yielding half the DPI but double the maximum speed (130 inches per second) of a mouse equipped with the same sensor and a 1x lens such as the Kinzu V2. The fixed 2mm liftoff distance was noticeable in our testing and should be noted by those who play at a low CPI. The mouse glides smoothly on UPE Teflon that covers 16% of its bottom, and the comparitively low spec TTC switches responded with good feedback and accuracy. 

We've already given our praise for the SteelSeries Engine in our review of the Sensei. The software allows an unlimited number of profiles to be created, each with its own settings. Looking at the options available for the Kana, we see that there are sliders for two separate DPI and illumination levels as well as polling rate. Being able to switch DPI on the fly via the center mouse button lends some strategic advantage to FPS gamers who might play CQB one moment and do some precision sniping the next. We tested the mouse polling rate and obtained a maximum reading of 1022 Hz. A separate pane within the Engine allowed us to assign macros, bind applications, or disable any of the Kana's 5 buttons. Macros certainly have their place in popular RPG titles, but we've found another useful application - burst fire with a single click. Yet another pane gave us a heat map of individual button usage, and we promptly spammed the left button with our index finger to find out how many clicks we could register in 10 seconds. See if you can beat our score! One of our favorite features is the "Trigger Game/EXE" option. This allows the mouse to adopt different profiles depending on the game which is currently being played. When all is said and done, the SteelSeries Engine leaves gamers with plenty of room to customize their latest fragging instrument.

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