gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

SteelSeries Kinzu V2 Mouse Review

Gaming mice are great, but they’re called gaming mice for a reason. They’re geared heavily towards gaming, tend to be bristling with buttons and are often quite bulky and not overly suited to a family computer. As us gamers grow up we have to face the fact that our gaming rigs of yore and old become the living-room bound family computers of the present, and thus we need to equip them with suitable peripherals.

I’ve tested a lot of such mice in the past, and my wife has consistently complained that they’re simply too large and unwieldy for her to really be comfortable using.

Enter the Kinzu V2. It’s no professional gaming mouse, for sure, but it’s a high quality, entry level offering from SteelSeries that should satiate the mousing needs of all but the most hardcore of gamers, whilst being diminutive and uncomplicated enough to serve the rest of the family.

The Kinzu V2 is significantly smaller than its Sensai, Xai, Kana and Ikari cousins, and is thus a little lighter too. It’s optical, but still feels every bit as responsive as a laser mouse ( honestly I’m not terrifically discerning, despite playing twitch FPS games ) and does away with the side buttons which are so often easy to accidentally click.

Speaking of side buttons, perhaps I’m alone in my neglect of these almost ubiquitous inputs; but I really don’t use them often! World of Warcraft is probably the only game in which I ever bothered to set up additional buttons, and only then because having quick access to abilities is almost essential to survival. In FPS games I find it hard to find a use for them, but I digress. The Kinzu V2 doesn’t have side buttons, so if you make heavy use of these then this mouse is not for you.

What it does have, however, is a good-ol’ CPI toggle switch. An essential piece of an FPS gamers’ armada, this switch allows you to toggle the CPI or “Counts Per Inch” on the fly. A lower CPI will slow the mouse down, which is great for taking long-range slots where greater accuracy is required. The two CPI settings which the mouse will switch between are configurable in software, dubbed the SteelSeries Engine. Unfortunately for Mac users, the OSX version of this software doesn’t support a vast majority of SteelSeries mice and works only with those that are Diablo III branded.

The presence of the CPI toggle cements the Kinzu V2 as an entry level gaming mouse for the masses. For most of us, it does the job, but if you need a larger mouse, extra buttons or ludicrously awesome features like customisable colour LEDs and LCD displays with the capacity to display Trollface icons then the Sensai is probably going to suit you better.

Setting the Kinzu V2 apart from its other entry-level cousins, apart from its stellar responsiveness and one-button CPI toggle, is a high quality double braided cord that promises to be tangle free ( I always tie mine up anyway ) and extra durable.

As far as tactile response is concerned, the Kinzu V2 is great. The buttons have a reassuring click, and the mouse wheel has a good solid notched effect to it that allows for precise scrolling or weapon switching.

Make no mistake, this is a cute little fingertip mouse that you’re not going to be able to get a firm sweaty death grip on, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. It fills a necessary gap in the market for those of us with smaller hands or simply less exacting requirements and what it does, it does well.

In addition to the black which I reviewed, it’s also available in Red, Orange and Yellow. Combine it with a SteelSeries mouse surface for best results. I highly recommend their larger fabric mouse mats like the NP+. You can never have too much mousemat!

If you want to go a little more premium, the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition features ultra responsive and durable “Omron” button switches, giving it a better tactile feedback and making it that little bit better for gaming. It’s also available in multiple colours; Black, Red and Silver.

Saturday, February 4th, 2012, Computer Gaming, PC.