Corsair has given its M65 gaming mouse more than a spit polish for 2021. The new M65 RGB Ultra is the latest in the brand's line of highly successful tunable pointers and it brings with it a whole host of new features.
At first glance, the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra looks remarkably similar to the models that came before it, with the same aluminium frame, eight programmable buttons, and protruding thumb shelf. However, under the hood there's a bank of new tech considering it's all squeezed into a $10 price increase ($69.99 for the wired model, $129.99 for the wireless) over the previous M65 Elite.
Corsair has added 8K polling support, a new grippy texture, quickstrike click technology, programmable tilt gestures, and upped the DPI to 26,000 compared to the Elite's 18K. That's a lot of extra toys to play with, so we spent some time seeing how the new model stacks up against the best gaming mouse options on the market.
You're getting the same squat design that we've come to know and love here, which can look a little small at first glance. However, it sits well in the hand and offers up a fairly lightweight experience that can always be adjusted with the inclusion of those additional weights.
I didn't find that I needed the weights to maintain a good level of control over the device, but if you do need a little anchoring it's nice that you're able to place each of the six pieces in various positions around the bottom of the device.
There's still a pronounced hump on the main body that works well to ensure the shorter length of the mouse is still comfortable. However, this is still a device designed for the medium-sized hand, and I still found a little too much extra space between the bottom of my palm and the edge of the body. It didn't impact on performance, but I never quite felt the same level of relaxed comfort as I do with a larger body.
The thumb rest on the left-hand side has been covered in a new grippy rubber that makes sweeping gestures feel a little more controlled and keeps the thumb from sliding up to the sniper button during more frenetic movements. As with previous models, this panel does jut out from the side of the pointer itself, but it still feels solid and durable - I didn't worry about throwing this into a backpack every day. Plus it's a little more sloped than that found on the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro.
You're getting RGB on the scroll wheel, logo, between the top DPI buttons, and peeking out of a grill at the back of the mouse. That last zone is downward facing, which creates a nice glow effect on the desk below it, though it wasn't as powerful as that of the Razer Basilisk V3.
If you're opting for the wired model you'll also receive a fairly thick braided cable that has a nice sense of 'give' to it to avoid dragging. However, there's also a cordless variant vying for a spot among the best wireless gaming mouse options as well.
Corsair has extended the spec sheet in its latest release, packing heaps of new tech into its M65 RGB Ultra. You'll find Quickstrike mouse click technology underneath each main button, making for a super-fast actuation with much shorter travel. These clicks are spring-loaded, with no distance between the actual button and the OMRON switches they are actuation. The result is a softer click, but one that's incredibly fast.
Strangely, I found that the right-hand click on the model I was using was ever so slightly more sensitive than the left. While the left had a good level of resistance so as to avoid unwanted presses, I was regularly triggering the right click accidentally, especially when moving the mouse in a downward direction at the same time.
This is likely due to the fact that I generally rest my scroll wheel finger slightly on the right clicker when not in use, so there's more force to be reckoned with, but it's definitely something to watch out for.
The next most notable feature is the six-axis gyro motion sensor hidden away in the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra. You'll have to dig around in Corsair's iCue software to notice it, but the fact that left, right, backwards, and forwards tilts can all be mapped to custom media controls, keystrokes, and macros is all incredibly fun to play around with. I mostly used this feature for skipping through songs, but tilting up to reload was particularly satisfying. This, and being able to personalize the centre of gravity through the three options for weight placement made for a more tactile experience than you might find in more basic devices.
The Corsair M65 RGB Ultra strikes a fine balance between speed and control. It's lightweight, but not as feather-like as something more directly tuned for fps gameplay like the Razer Viper 8K or the Roccat Burst Pro. Instead, out of the box, you're looking at 97g for the wired model and 110g for the wireless (compared to the Roccat's 68g, for example). That meant I was able to find a sweet spot of precision, which was only supported by the textured surface of the thumb rests and smaller design. While not fast enough to compete with some of the more professional-grade pointers, the balanced performance of the M65 RGB Ultra made for an impressive experience.
Perhaps one of the more underrated features of the M65 RGB Ultra, however, was its performance in lift-off. I found this to be a particularly responsive process, with movement snapping off as soon as I needed it to. I appreciated this during my wilder panic-spins in Borderlands 3 and Resident Evil 3, as such performance made chaotic manoeuvres feel tightly controlled.
While I had to watch out for accidental right-hand clicks during more intense moments, the softness and speed of the main buttons were incredibly satisfying. They felt snappy and responsive, and when working alongside that 8K polling rate and a tight lift-off setting, the overall experience felt all the more precise.
I did, however, struggle with the placements of the side buttons and the lower DPI switcher. These were positioned a little too high on the side of the mouse to comfortably rely on for split-second movements and required some shifting in order to hit. That's a little difficult to reconcile with the squat design and emphasis on control that Corsair seems to have focused on here, which is disappointing.
The side buttons are clicky and responsive, but the DPI switches feel a little too flat to quickly actuate - there's a significant level of force required to push these which is understandable considering their proximity to the main buttons. However, it added to the difficulties I had with accessing these functions quickly considerably.
Should you buy the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra?
The Corsair M65 RGB Ultra represents a big step up even for those who picked up last year's Elite model. The new gyro features, increased DPI, Quickstrike main clicks, and rubberized textured surfaces make for tangible improvements to the overall experience and offer up new ways of interacting with your games that other pointers simply haven't tapped into yet.
There's certainly plenty on offer here, though those looking for the best left-handed gaming mouse will be shut out by the right-handed, thumb grip design. Similarly, the clipped bottom of the mouse may prove uncomfortable for those with larger hands, and the placement of the customizable buttons does require a very specific grip type to work.
Overall, though, this is a nice compromise between the speed required for the latest fps titles and the feeling of precision and control that newcomers to the genre may prefer. This certainly isn't a tournament-ready pointer, you may have to look to some of the best Razer mouse models for that, but it's not really claiming to be. Instead, the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra is a solid all-rounder with a responsive feel, plenty of new tech to dig into, and a respectable price tag.