SteelSeries Kana and Kinzu v2 Pro Review

Conclusion

SteelSeries Kana and Kinzu v2 Pro Review

Conclusion

Last year we ended up with two mice that we really took a shine to. At the very high-end we had the SteelSeries Sensei, which these two ape in design if not features, and at the bargain end of the scale was the CM Storm Xornet which was, just like the Kana and Kinzu, an exceptionally low-priced mouse that wasn't lacking for much that your average user would require.

Whereas the Xornet was a 2000DPI model for £20, the Kinzu and Kana both come with 3600DPI sensors for £30 and £35 respectively. This definitely moves them from the market of a person who plays games now and again that the Xornet inhabits, and into the territory of the serious gamer.

The Kinzu has a shiny coating and grippy sides, very similar to the Sensei. Although the top is shiny it's actually got a fine texture to it which ensures that you wont lose control in frantic moments. The most immediately surprising thing is the complete lack of side buttons. All you have are the standard left and right ones, a central scroll click, and the CPI changer just behind, for switching the sensitivity on the fly. When you consider that a large proportion of games, and certainly most of the FPS' and RTS ones, don't take advantage of more than two buttons in their default control scheme then this seems like less of an oversight than it might otherwise be. We do have to point out that we've got so used to at least a 'back' button on the side that after years of muscle memory we were constantly hitting a button that didn't exist.

The Kana is a bit of an inverse of the Kinzu. We have a very soft grippy top surface, and shiny sides. More importantly, or at least bringing it up to something a bit more customisable, is the inclusion of a couple of side buttons. These are fully programmable with the excellent SteelSeries Engine software. You still get the excellent sensor, and the scroll-wheel, as well as the underneath, both light up in a soft orange glow.

When the pricing is so close it's difficult not to come away thinking that the Kinzu is a little overpriced and the Kana is spot on. For about a fiver more with the Kana you're getting a couple of extra buttons which not only help your gaming but make browsing the net and general usability more pleasant, but also a bit of lighting and the whole thing just feels like a higher-end product. The Kinzu in contrast is probably the ultimate in a minimalist gaming rodent, but the loss of those two buttons seems a bit too much for only a small drop in price.

This is especially true when comfort, sensor capabilities and quality of the cable are near identical on both mice. Such is the white-hot competition in the gaming mouse marketplace that we can really only recommend the Kinzu v2 if you're desperate for a great sensor and don't mind losing everything else, and for that we award it our Bronze award. The Kana on the other hand has that same great sensor as well as a couple of the bells and whistles that make a difference without over-egging the pudding. For £35 you're getting a lot of mouse that will serve you for a long time and for that we're happy to award it our Gold Award for being the best value in this very crowded price-bracket.

SteelSeries Kinzu v2 Pro

   

SteelSeries Kana

   

Thanks to SteelSeries for supplying the Kinzu v2 Pro and Kana for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

12-03-2012, 08:52:09

tinytomlogan


Fancy all the benefits of a bonkers sensor but don't need all the multi-button frippery? SteelSeries might have just the ticket.

Continue Reading

12-03-2012, 09:05:51

MaXiMiZe
Nice review. Steelseries mice are top notch as I own a Ikari laser

12-03-2012, 09:06:32

Umzok
Do you think Steelseries will ever do a left-handed mouse?

12-03-2012, 09:39:09

dipzy
Being a owner of both Kinzu V1 and V2, i can say the sensor is an improvement over the V1. Glides very smoothly over my mouse mat, allowing me to improve aiming in FPS such as BF3 (slowly improving my aim)

12-03-2012, 10:26:16

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umzok View Post

Do you think Steelseries will ever do a left-handed mouse?
This are both ambidextrous which I think is as close as you'll ever get. I can't think of a single left-handed only mouse off the top of my head.

With the ability to swap the buttons over in the SteelSeries Engine software, it's as left-handed as you could hope for I believe.

12-03-2012, 11:30:46

Umzok
A good 90% of left-handed gamers I know have a DeathAdder. Not saying it's a bad mouse but that it has literally zero competition which I find odd!

13-03-2012, 17:53:56

911^NEmeSis
I thought that the Xai, Kinzu and the Sensei were all good for left handers?

Didn't the Deathadder have some sort of DPI problems when you configured it to 1600DPI or something along those lines? Don't remember to well.

14-03-2012, 00:25:50

CocaCola
Always delighted to see your reviews Bryan. Thank you so much.

I think I would have liked to see at least more consistency for the Kana, like a 'soft grip' on the sides as well. That would have been very nice. This is probably digressing from both the mice, nit does anyone think Steelseries will release another version of the Ikari Laser?

14-03-2012, 05:46:22

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by 911^NEmeSis View Post

I thought that the Xai, Kinzu and the Sensei were all good for left handers?

Didn't the Deathadder have some sort of DPI problems when you configured it to 1600DPI or something along those lines? Don't remember to well.
I thought the problem with the southpaw Deathadder was a bugged 'on the fly' dpi changer, where pressing the change dpi buttons actually did nothing. But that was ages ago and something like that seems like a software issue that can be patched, so it should be fixed by now, but I'm not 100%.

As for gaming mouse for lefties, the Deathadder is the only dedicated ergonomically left handed gaming mouse. So the best you'll get is an ambidextrous mouse. I use my right hand for mice, but I find the Steelseries ambidextrous mice to be extremely comfortable, but that's just me. Based of that, I assume they should be fine for lefties as well.

@Umzok. I doubt Steelseries will make a left handed mouse, because 90% of people are right handed, so it's a significantly smaller market to develop a product for. Also many lefties use their right hands for mice anyway, which decreases the market even further.

14-03-2012, 15:53:29

911^NEmeSis
@Zeals,

Yeah, something along those lines mate. The SteelSeries mice just looked pretty ambidextrous to me and I think it said so on it's packaging or somewhere...

The Deathadder is certainly a good mouse, but personally I would just prefer a Xai or Sensei, though I don't even own one myself. Sensors on the SS mouse seem pretty decent as I hear.

I use an old school MX518 myself so yeah
Reply
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