Simple. Basic. Effective.
Simplicity is actually quite nice. But technology and gadgets is where you most certainly not apply it to. Gaming hardware? You might want to dare. But no. The snazzier the hardware looks, the more easily our hands move to our wallets and pull out the money. But there are times when you want to restrain yourself, maybe you are on a budget, looking for high-quality hardware that does away with hard-to-remember functions, multiple grids of buttons, and ergonomics that demands your palm to be molded in a certain way. One such product that, almost, fits the bill is the Steelseries Kinzu V2 Pro Edition gaming mouse we are looking at today.
Measuring 36x64x117mm, the Kinzu V2 is the smallest and the most basic gaming mouse you can get. And it’s basic in every way, from its looks to its features. In fact, our review unit, the Black Edition (their caps, not ours), looks so extraordinarily ordinary, it could normally pass off as an off-the-shelf laptop mouse without raising any levels of suspect (although the large Steelseries logo gives it away. That’s how you spot a gamer.)
Flanked with rubber covering on its sides, the mouse is covered in a smooth plastic body, which is perfect if you gather big blotches of sweat on your mouse buttons. It is, however, prone to scratches like any plastic casing, so never take it under the light after you have used it for a few weeks. Trust me, you don’t want to see it.
It’s has a four-button setup – left click, right click, scroll wheel/middle click, and a DPI changer below it. The changer switches between two DPI presets, both of them recommended by professional players as the most effective way of moving about in a battlefield. The mouse is devoid of everything else, including two thumb buttons, which is quite a bummer since they have become an integral part of the gaming experience and it thoroughly feels odd to not have them at your disposal.
The Kinzu V2 uses the Steelseries Engine front-end to deliver tweaking opportunities, however limited and basic they may be. You can create multiple profiles but you have to use the software to change from one to another. You can also set the DPI but they are customizeable in 400, 800, 1600 and3200 flavors only, missing the Steelseries awesome tracking engine that allows users to set their DPI with 1 increment. This would certainly be a feature worth an extra bit of dollar.
Performance & Comfort
What it lacks in glamour, it more than makes up for it in performance. It can do 3,200 DPI and is incredibly precise on most surfaces thanks to its super-smooth UPE Teflon pads. Of course, it cannot help you rack up that K/D ratio but it will certainly be the last thing you can pass the blame to for your lack of proper skills.
Using the mouse, for me personally, has been a mixed experience, however. It’s quite small which my large palm immediately starts rejecting like an alien organ of the body. Due to this, I often found myself relaxing my palm or cracking knuckles to relieve stress. This was quite apparent in the long late-night sessions of Mass Effect 3, where it would get intensely sweaty and difficult to continue using the mouse without taking a short break.
But its lightweight and its fantastic optical tracker is so sharp and accurate, I have yet to revert to my regular mouse in the hopes that I will eventually get used to it and continue using it till I can.
The Steelseries Kinzu V2 Pro Edition is indeed about “no frills, more kills”. It dumps everything conventional about a gaming mouse and heads straight for the most simplistic look and rudimentary features. It’s not exactly “entry-level” at its price, which then warrants at least two thumb buttons not present. But it serves its purpose, and it’s a premium you pay for high-quality hardware and incredible performance. There are better gaming mouse to be had at its price, but this one would be the most basic of them all.