As much as I’ve grown to appreciate Corsair products since they moved on from their overclocking-focused, enthusiast-grade memory days, I’ve always had reservations about some of their peripherals, and specifically their mice.
Still, I believe that their best days are ahead of them, and that’s easily demonstrated by the incredible K95 Platinum keyboard I reviewed a while back. At the time, it was the first Corsair peripheral that truly embodied what I had always hoped their peripherals would come to be. It’s a truly premium product that, in addition to its excellent functionality, boasts unmatched build quality, design and meticulous attention to detail.
The K95 Platinum ticks all these boxes, but there was no equivalent mouse or headset to pair with it. Or at least there wasn’t, until the Corsair Glaive showed up. It’s a purely FPS-centric mouse, and out of all the mice Corsair has produced to date, this is the one that speaks to me in the same way that the K95 Platinum does. There’s something to be said about first impressions and the Glaive, much like the K95 Platinum, makes quite an impression.
Forget the packaging and all that – what really makes a mouse stand out for me is how it feels in my hand. I’m already sold on the comfort and how well it fits my hand, but there’s something premium about it. Perhaps it’s the almost-rubberized plastic, but the truth is it’s something I have yet to define clearly. The Glaive’s premium build makes it a natural fit for the K95. All the other mice from Corsair have sold extremely well I’m told, and I’ve no reason to believe otherwise – but from where I stand, this is the first time Corsair has produced a mouse that’s worthy of what the brand has come to represent.
So what is it about the Glaive that makes it appealing, other than the nebulous, fluffy things I’ve written above? Well, we could start with the CUE software, as that’s where most of the power of Corsair peripherals is to be found. It’s a multi-layered software suite which will take some commitment to master, but it’s powerful, and extremely so. All the advanced features are hidden behind many nested menus and such, which means it won’t be to everyone’s liking, but I believe if you take the time to figure out the basics, you’ll come to appreciate it. It could stand to be a little simpler, at least in how you load and save profiles, and by more clearly stating which one is currently selected, but overall, I’ve grown to appreciate it and it’ll likely see further refinement with future versions.
CUE allows you to configure the basics, such as the LED colours, their lighting pattern (breathing, strobe, etc.) and their brightness. You can configure DPI steps, save and load profiles to memory, and do all the things you’d expect from a modern-day peripheral software suite. For those of you still enamoured by RGB lighting, you’ll be pleased to know that colours can be set to change based on the selected profile as well, so you can instantly tell which profile you’re using simply via the lighting used. It’s not an earth-shattering feature, but it’s vital these days in this tightly contested market.
There’s more to the Glaive and CUE than colours though, and what you’ll find is that it also allows you to configure the mouse for different surfaces. You can calibrate this fairly easily, but I’ve yet to take true advantage of it and test it in detail. Based on the two surfaces I did test (wood and rubber), there wasn’t much difference, but that could very well be because a), the configuration is working as it should, delivering a consistent result for me regardless of surface selected, or b), it actually makes no difference. Of course, I lean towards the former, but whatever the truth is, I’m glad there’s an option to adjust this.
There’s also a highly configurable optical sensor with the Glaive. Corsair insists this isn’t stepped or quantized in any way, so you can literally configure any DPI you want, in increments as small as 1 DPI per step.
The switches are, as you’d expect, from Omron, but they aren’t swappable, which is something you’d find on other, more expensive mice. The click is satisfactory, validated for 50 million presses and should be familiar to many of you. I don’t lament the inability to change switches, as I’ve yet to come across anyone who actually uses this feature – but then again, I don’t personally know any professional gamers.
The scroll wheel isn’t free-moving, but I prefer the type with notches in it because it helps me more easily do things like switch weapons and select inventory items. It doesn’t tilt horizontally either, but that isn’t something I’ve ever needed. If this is important to you, then the Glaive won’t do, but I’d like to believe that the usage case for this functionality is limited.
Talking about “limitations”, Corsair has also forgone a weight-management system, so the 122g mass is fixed. That may be on the heavy side for some, but I feel as though a heftier mouse gives me more precise and deliberate control over my movements. At a price point of around R1,100, it’s safe to say other brands may have managed to include both swappable switches and a weight-management system – but then again, you’d lose out on just about everything else.
One of the most important aspects of the Glaive is its swappable thumb grips. The mouse is sold with one already installed, but there are two more in the box. These have a significant effect on the Glaive’s ergonomics, and while I found all three to be generally useable, I stuck with the largest one, which includes a thumb-rest. It’s probably the most comfortable right-handed mouse I’ve used to date. These grips aren’t likely to make this mouse friendly to all the kinds of grips gamers use, and they won’t suddenly make this mouse ideal for claw grip. They can, however, fine-tune comfort levels for those who the mouse already suits. Best of all, these grips are magnetic, so there are no screws or clips to worry about.
Next to the other options from Corsair, I’ve found the Glaive to be vastly superior in just about every aspect, and as such I highly recommend it. At this price, I don’t believe a better option is currently available.