Corsair Katar PRO XT Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

At first glance, the Corsair Katar PRO XT reminds me of a generic office mouse, being compact in size and having a simple design. It sure does not look like something with a PixArt PMW3391 sensor packed inside, but we will talk about that in just a moment. The mouse has a symmetrical shape, suitable for both right- and left-handed users. Both sides of the mouse has textured grips, making it relatively easy to hold. On a side note, the texture Corsair opts to use resembles the triangular pattern seen on the retail box. I enjoyed how this felt in my hand when holding the mouse, as it made holding it very easy. The mouse shell is covered in a smooth black plastic with the Corsair logo located at the back and a KTXT logo just barely visible on the top of the left primary button. There is a hexagon-shaped button in the middle of the mouse to toggle the sensitivity. I found the presentation to be very standard for a computer mouse that will not break new ground, but is perfectly adequate from my experience.

The Corsair Katar PRO XT has smaller physical dimensions compared to an average gaming mouse. Coming in at 64.2mm in width, 115.8mm in length, and 37.8mm high, this device is definitely on the smaller side. Corsair has described it as “a lightweight mouse with a suitable grip style”. I agree with Corsair’s claim of the Katar PRO XT being a lightweight mouse, as it weighs in at 73g. This weight is very light for a mouse -- only a few more grams than the ROCCAT Burst Pro -- and I really felt that when using it in various applications. Like most mice today, the weight is balanced to the center, meaning it will feel balanced when you lift it up. When using the Katar PRO XT, I found that I was most comfortable using a claw or finger grip due to its small size. Being a person who prefers using a palm grip, I still found this mouse to be generally comfortable to hold for short to moderate periods of usage.

A braided cable is fed out from the center of the front end of the mouse, likewise to pretty much everything I have used in the past. Aside from looking nice, the braided cable also provides less friction than a regular rubber-coated cable, allowing for smoother mouse movement. On top of that, braided cables offer a better build quality when compared to regular cables due to having greater structural integrity. The 1.8m length is industry-standard and does the job well if you like to keep your PC off your desk or somewhere at a reasonable distance. The mouse connects through a USB Type-A connector with the Corsair logo placed on the end. While adding gold plating would have looked nice, it would not affect performance. Not having a gold plated connector makes sense in this case as it adds no benefit, but raises the cost. The cable is very flexible, making it easy to run through difficult areas when connecting it to a USB port.

The Corsair Katar PRO XT comes with the common buttons you would expect on a standard gaming mouse, including the forward and back keys on the left side and the sensitivity toggle in the middle. The primary buttons have Omron switches that are rated for fifty million clicks. Both mouse buttons feel very crisp when pressing them, although the left mouse button takes more pressure to press, which ultimately does not affect performance, but can be noticeable at times. There are three sensitivity settings that can be preset that increases the sensitivity every time you press the middle button. Since there is only one adjustable DPI button, the sensitivity will only cycle in ascending order, which is not as nice as having two DPI buttons to increase and decrease the DPI, but I cannot complain as this is still a budget mouse. The buttons are close enough to each other such that your fingers will not have to stretch much to reach them, but also far enough away from each other to avoid accidental clicks. I do realize that this could be different for people with larger hand sizes. All the buttons feel very nice to click with good travel and response times.

Continuing on with the scroll wheel, I began to see a theme with Corsair's triangular pattern. The grip on the wheel was good as I found no problem with the scrolling when I browsed the web. The scrolling performance was adequate and comparable to any other mouse I have used. While the RGB LED lighting only illuminates the scroll wheel of the mouse, it is still very well-lit. The RGB LED backlight will briefly change color whenever the DPI button is pressed, which I think is a good detail that allows the user to be more aware when they have cycled to a different sensitivity level. The lighting comes with a variety of modes that can change the display of the light. I tried all the different colors combinations through iCUE to see how it looked on the mouse wheel, and every color I tested looked accurately represented.

At the bottom of the mouse, the feet and sensor can be seen. The pads are made of PTFE, commonly known as Teflon. This is fairly standard across mice in general, so you know what it is. The two Teflon pads allow the mouse to glide smoothly when being dragged across any flat surface. The big highlight is the Corsair Katar PRO XT uses a PixArt PMW3391 sensor capable of sensing up to 18,000 DPI, which is simply astounding on paper as this is a budget mouse, but we will see how this sensor actually performs in our subjective performance tests. A bit of spoilers here though -- those who are familiar with this sensor will know this is a high-end unit found on many products like the Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite. It is also pretty much the same sensor as the PMW3389 found in the ROCCAT Burst Pro. When adjusting your sensitivity, you are able to adjust the DPI by intervals of 1, which is as precise as it gets. The Katar PRO XT runs at a polling rate of 1000 Hz, which can be adjusted at three other settings of 125 Hz, 250 Hz, and 500 Hz. Lighting and sensitivity settings can be saved on to the mouse itself. Macros or key remaps cannot be saved, but I found it surprising to find any onboard profile storage at all on a $30 mouse.

The Corsair Katar PRO XT is compatible with the company's iCUE software, which can be downloaded from Corsair's website at about 420 MB. iCUE works with all Corsair products to adjust performance settings, customize features, and synchronize RGB lighting effects. As seen in the image above, the left side displays a tab where various configuration tabs can be accessed to change the lighting and performance of the mouse. The main display in the center allows the user to implement those changes based on the tab that is currently selected.

The Actions tab allows users to change the function of the mouse buttons. These actions include macros, text, media, launch application, timer, disable, and profile switching. Users can save configurations they might find themselves coming back to in the Action Library, which is a sub-tab found directly under the Actions tab. The Lighting Effects tab, as the name implies, allows users to adjust the RGB lighting on the mouse. In the case of the Corsair Katar PRO XT, you will only see the lighting change on the scroll wheel, as that is the only lighting zone available. There is a large selection of lighting effects to choose from under the three sub-tabs; those being predefined, custom, and lighting link. Users can save a lighting effect in the Hardware Lighting tab for when iCUE is not running, with the option to select a rainbow or static lighting effect. The DPI tab gives users the flexibility to adjust the sensitivity settings on their mouse in 1 DPI increments. Furthermore, there are three different sensitivity presets that users can save. These presets can be activated by clicking the sensitivity button on the mouse, which will scroll through the sensitivity settings in ascending order.

Under the Performance tab, users can adjust the pointer speed of their mouse along with an option to enhance the pointer precision. Finally, the Surface Calibration tab allows users to calibrate the mouse for their surface of choice. This is done through a test where users drag their mouse pointer across the screen for a set period at a constant speed, which will calibrate the sensor to that surface for the best performance. On top of all that, one onboard profile is available on the Corsair Katar PRO XT, which can save DPI stage color, DPI settings, and the scroll wheel backlighting effect on the mouse itself. Overall, the iCUE software is a very effective tool that gives users the freedom to customize their Corsair product with ease. The user interface is quite clean with aesthetic graphics that make for an engaging customization experience.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion