Corsair Sabre RGB Pro Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

When I was first introduced to the Sabre RGB Pro, I was told Corsair expects this mouse to be a big hit. I love their enthusiasm, but at first glance, you probably will have a hard time figuring out why. This is because most of the stuff is under the hood, which we will take a closer look at in just a moment. As far as design is concerned, the Sabre RGB Pro we are looking at today is a nearly symmetrical mouse that can generally accommodate multiple gripping styles. The reason why I say it is "nearly symmetrical" is due to the shape of the shell, which is tilted slightly higher on the left than the right for right-handed users. Meanwhile, its surface material is composed of pretty much only matte hard plastic. There are no special grips or surface patterns, which reminds me of a generic office mouse. I have used mice that are more comfortable to touch and provides better grip, especially if you have sweaty hands.

Measuring in at 29mm deep and 70mm wide, and 43mm tall, the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro is pretty standard when it comes to physical dimensions. You can see the mouse is built for small to average-sized hands based on these numbers. I am a palm grip type user myself, and the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro fits quite well. Just for fun, I gave it a claw type grip and it is not bad to use it at all. My hand size is pretty average, so this is good news for majority of the users.

The 74g weight of Corsair's pointing device is not adjustable, so you will need to deal with whatever the company think is the best for you if this ends up on your desk. 74g is really light, which makes a lot of sense for what this mouse is designed for -- first person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena games -- especially if you want something for quick, swift movements. It is not as light as the ROCCAT Burst Pro, but this is not meant to be a featherweight mouse. The Sabre RGB Pro's center of gravity is near the middle, which almost lines up with the sensor at the bottom.

The Corsair Sabre RGB Pro does not come with a whole lot of buttons, but it does come with what most people will use every day. Combined with the previous image, you can see besides the standard left click, right click, and clickable scroll wheel, there is a forward and back button on the left -- which is arguably standard nowadays -- and a sensitivity cycle switch on top. The mouse allows five sensitivity settings to be saved per profile, so pressing this button will cycle through the configured sensitivity steps in ascending order. I would much prefer a separate increase and decrease button, but there is only so much you can ask for in a $60 mouse that has most of the budget allocated for the hardware inside. An array of three RGB LEDs on the side indicate the current active sensitivity setting, where the colors are user configurable.

Beneath the buttons, the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro features Omron switches that have a rated lifetime of 50 million clicks. To enhance its response, the buttons are pre-tensioned using a downward spring-loaded force to make sure there are no gaps with the switches. The result is fast travel, responsive clicks, and rapid rebound and is marketed as Quickstrike Zero Gap. Obviously, these wordings are paraphrased from Corsair's product description, the real question is, are they any good in real life? I would say so. The clicks are reasonably quiet yet audible, giving it a substantial feel to it. The switch's response is distinct, and can be considered to be very clean. The audible tone is still higher in pitch than the best from SteelSeries. Furthermore, switches underneath flagship performance mice like the Rival 650 Wireless is crisper with better response, if only by a small margin.

The Corsair Sabre RGB Pro features a two-zone RGB illumination system. These zones include the Corsair logo and wheel. The color of the LED light can be configured to virtually anything in software by a custom color palette; more on this later. You can also choose from four different lighting effects and adjust the intensity of the LEDs.

A shot at the bottom of the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro optical mouse. Keeping the plastic base gliding above your mousing surface are four PTFE feet in total; also known as Teflon to the common person. If you use the super wide pinky grip, make it five PTFE feet in total. In organic chemistry, ethylene/ethene indicates a carbon-carbon bond with two carbons and a double bond (C2H4). Tetrafluoro replaces four hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms, making it C2F4. In non-scientific terms, poly just means a bunch of them linked together.

The Corsair Sabre RGB Pro is powered by a PixArt PMW3392 optical sensor capable of sensing up to a jaw-dropping 18,000 DPI sensitivity, but can drop as low as 100 DPI at 1 DPI increments for those who want it. It promises true 1:1 tracking with zero hardware acceleration, 450 inches per second tracking, and acceleration of up to 50G. No sensor rattle is noticed. 1000Hz polling rate is standard, but can be lowered to 500Hz, 250Hz, or 125Hz. One unconventional feature is you can boost the polling rate to a whopping 8000Hz thanks to what the company refers to as AXON Hyper-Progressing technology. 4000Hz and 2000Hz is also available. There is a powerful system-on-a-chip inside the mouse to enable this level of data generation. Corsair recommends a recent generation Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 CPU when using 8000Hz polling rate.

A 1.8m ultralight braided paracord cable leads out from the front of the mouse via a short cable guide. The light weight of the cable is immediately noticeable and it being braided is preferable, because beside aesthetic purposes, it also has lower friction than rubber-coated cables for performance benefits. The Sabre RGB Pro connects to your computer via a non-gold-plated USB connector. When we bring about the question of whether gold plated connectors are actually useful or not, let us just say if it was the actual pins, then possibly, since gold offers better conductivity than other metals. This theoretically establishes a better connection with your computer, but on a digital signal level, we must understand it is a discrete one or zero. If anyone tells you they can tell the difference, you can defeat their theory with a double blinded test. Additionally, if you are referring to the gold part of the connector you see on the plug, I would like to point out it is used for ground and does not make any physical contact electrically with your computer. In other words, it is nice to have, and it is pretty to look at, but it is not anything significant on a practical level. The lack of a gold-plated USB connector will not have any performance impact on the Sabre RGB Pro.

The Sabre RGB Pro works along with the latest version of the Corsair iCUE software, which is a 741MB download from Corsair's website at press time. This program unifies all your Corsair peripherals into one application. After selecting the Corsair peripheral you want to configure at the top, the graphical user interface is basically separated into three sections; the left side allows you to select the configuration category, while the right side is usually a live preview. Options are found along the bottom.

The Key Assignments tab is where you can control the function of the buttons on your mouse. Options include text, media, launch application, disable, profile switching, or macro for each button on the Sabre RGB Pro. Key remaps can be set to keystroke, language keys, mouse buttons, or keyboard buttons. The Lighting Effects tab is where you can play around with the... well, lighting effects of the Sabre RGB Pro's two independent illumination zones. Corsair's iCUE is designed to configure the colors by layer, where each layer can only be in one color or effect at a time. To get them to display different colors, you will have to create multiple layers. Lighting effects include options such as rainbow, color pulse, color shift, visor, rain, or temperature. Hardware Lighting allows you to set what the Sabre RGB Pro will do when iCUE is not running, such as when your PC is locked or off. In the DPI page, you can configure the mouse's sensitivity to go from 100 DPI to 18,000 DPI at 1 DPI increments with five different sensitivity presets plus a sniper option. As a visual cue to the active sensitivity preset, an array of three RGB LEDs on the left side of mouse are used to indicate current sensitivity. It starts with one LED at the bottom, and additional ones illuminate in ascending order to indicate the current active setting.

In Surface Calibration, the sensor can be calibrated based on the tracking surface it is on by you dragging an icon around in a quick, circular fashion. Device Settings is where you can change your polling rate and toggle button response optimization. This is where some Windows mouse options are configured as well, such as setting the pointer speed and enabling the Enhance Pointer Precision option.

Overall, I found iCUE to be powerful, straightforward, and reasonably easy to use. The latest version is quite a GUI change, but the overall experience remains very positive to me.


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