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Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro review

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro review: "Excellent across the board"

(Image: © Corsair)

Our Verdict

The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro is one of the company's best mice in years.

Pros

  • Comfortable for long sessions
  • Smart button placement
  • Responsive connections

Cons

  • Rubber design looks worn down
  • Two extra buttons on left click take some getting used to

Wireless mice always face an uphill battle against concerns that they won't be as fast as wired alternatives, but the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro puts those worries to bed. Incredibly responsive and cleverly laid-out, it's comfortably the best wireless gaming mouse I've gotten my hands on recently.

Essential Info

(Image credit: Corsair)

DPI: 18,000
Sensor: Optical
Interface: Wireless/USB/Bluetooth
Buttons: 8
Weight: 4.69oz (133g)

Features

As a follow-up to the original Dark Core RGB mouse, the Pro arrives at the table with a handful of flashy upgrades. There are still three connections to choose from - wireless, USB wired, and low-latency Bluetooth - but this update utilizes Corsair's ultra-fast Slipstream technology. That allows the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro to offer sub-1ms responses. In much the same way, it also increases the optical sensor to 18,000 DPI and provides a polling rate that's twice as fast. 2,000Hz, to be specific. This enables a more accurate reading on where your mouse is at any one time, and Corsair's website claims that it's "twice the speed of standard gaming mice". Lag? Forget it.

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

(Image credit: Corsair)

Elsewhere, the original's interchangeable side-grips have returned (you can swap out the right-hand flank for a comfortable finger rest that also hides storage space for the USB adaptor), eight programmable buttons are present and correct, the battery life has been boosted up to 50 hours, and multiple onboard profiles can be tweaked via downloadable iCue software. Out of the box, our copy of the mouse featured the ability to increase or decrease DPI sensitivity on the fly swiftly and easily via two buttons perched on the left click.

Design

The Dark Core is an interesting beast when it comes to looks. Generally, I'm a fan. It's a more rounded shape than other grill-heavy entries like the Corsair Nightsword, and the RGB strip-lighting down one side is utterly mesmerizing. The dot-lights representing DPI are also cool and very user-friendly. As before, Corsair has also opted for a more subtle, bumpy look on the rubber grips. 

In other words, it hasn't changed too much at first glance. The alterations are a bit more subtle. To get specific, the unusual side button panel design of the last Dark Core has been replaced by a more standard two-button approach. In addition, the scroll wheel has been given a makeover with the same bumpy rubber as the chassis.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this grip-style. Although it looks great, it does give the impression that this mouse has been well used for years. It's as if those ridges have been worn down over time. That's particularly off-putting for the scroll wheel. 

Performance

Luckily, those concerns were hurled out of the window as soon as I started playing with the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro. Despite their worn appearance, the rubber sections are incredibly grippy and I always felt in full control - even when hurling the mouse across my mouse mat. That's true of the scroll wheel as well, even if it is a little noisy in use. 

It's really comfortable, too. I've happily used the Dark Core for gaming and work over dozens of hours, and it's still as comfortable now as it was at the beginning of my tests. Sure, it's slightly more geared toward palm-grip users, but that's no biggie. 

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

(Image credit: Corsair)

The click-action is excellent across the board, too. The left and right buttons are crisp, the side-buttons are snappy, and the whole thing strikes a balance between resistance and ease. That's particularly useful when it comes to the extra programmable buttons. As I mentioned above, one mode allows those two buttons on the left click to increase or decrease your DPI sensitivity by barely moving your index finger. This is beyond helpful in shooters like Apex Legends where you need to quickly switch from low sensitivity for a sniper rifle to hip-firing spray-and-pray SMG that requires twitch responses. It takes a bit of getting used to, but you're laughing once you've got the hang of it.

As for the wireless functionality, I noticed absolutely no difference between this and a wired mouse. In some ways, it's actually better than a lot of the competition. The battery life is great, too, and can be upgraded with the (slightly more expensive) Dark Core RGB Pro SE version that features wireless charging. 

While it's a shame the sensor doesn't match Razer's new 20,000 DPI threshold in the likes of the Razer DeathAdder V2 - our pick for the best gaming mouse overall - it's more than enough to see you through many tough battles. It was easy for me to select new targets in Gears Tactics and then twitch back to my squadron to issue more orders, for example.

Overall

This is a superb entry to the Corsair stable. In fact, the Corsair Dark Core RGB may be one of the company's best pointers in years. If I had to describe it in one word, I'd choose 'impressive'.

That worn rubber look may have put me off at first, but the mouse's performance saw to any worries I had. It's one of the best gaming mice I've tried recently.

The Verdict
4.5

4.5 out of 5

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro review: "Excellent across the board"

The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro is one of the company's best mice in years.

More info

Available platformsPC
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As a staff writer for our Hardware team, Benjamin looks after many of the buying guides, board game features, deals, and tech reviews you’ll see on GamesRadar+.