The Black version
The Steelseries Kana is a mouse for gamers, there is no mistaking this. Steelseries developed this mouse alongside several different kinds of professional gamers from all sorts of genres and titles. In the paragraphs below we will go into build quality, the drivers, and all sorts of tests through different games and just seeing what you get for your money.
So kicking off with the build quality, the Kana is made from plastic but is a strong mouse putting a lot of pressure on the mouse doesn’t cause any bending and it certainly feels the mouse can withstand tournaments and travelling from place to place. Having a matte finish to the top area makes a nice smooth and comfortable experience and the ergonomic design not only allows for ambidexterity but also means that long periods of play do not cause any sort of pains or strains. The pads on the bottom of the mouse whilst smooth there are certainly smoother feeling mice available out there.
Now let’s talk buttons. So the Kana mouse has 6 buttons, your standard left and right clicks, a scroll wheel button, 2 large side buttons (large is a keyword here) and a CPI button. Touching on CPI (counts per inch) this is Steelseries equivalent of DPI (dots per inch) as the measurement of distance and accuracy. Through the button there are 2 CPI options which you can quickly switch between. The usual affair of buttons like left and right clicking is responsive and easy for those intense moments where a quick click can make all the difference. The large side buttons are also very nice and although an optional feature through the drivers, they are a nice addition for anyone who likes to have multifunctional ability from their mice.
Moving to drivers the Steelseries engine may be the best software I’ve encountered. For those like me with other Steelseries products the Steelseries Engine is a go to for all your driver needs. Installing this mouse was as easy as plugging in the device and jumping straight into the Engine to get my preferred settings. Those without the Engine will find it really easy to download through the Steelseries site and navigating the software couldn’t be easier with plenty of option and the possibility to save different profiles for easy quick changes.
Now you came expecting a gaming mouse review and I’d hate to disappoint so here we go. The games I tested were Diablo 3, Super Monday Night Combat and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I’m going to go into these separately and try to cover all angles.
So Diablo 3 the frantic click-fest that requires some keen accuracy and a good response to movement. The Kana manages this awesomely, defeating foes in crazy action felt fluid and controlled not once did I find myself clicking more than once to achieve a single goal. Every click created an action and moving the cursor around the screen never required more than necessary for the sensitivity I’m used to which made the game a joy to play using the side buttons wasn’t so important to me here but I did have my health potions mapped to my thumb and quickly clicking to heal in battle was efficient and useful.
Super Monday Night Combat was a bit of a different tale. Although still useable I felt the Kana doesn’t survive to well at high CPI settings when trying to make smaller movements. Having a button to change CPI on the fly can in partly solve this problem, but in the heat of the moment finding that centre button doesn’t always prove to be the easiest of tasks. However utilizing the side buttons more this time round as the abilities for my character it was immediately clear these buttons are a useful thought out addition, familiar with thumb buttons I found the Kanas thumb easy to use but as my first mouse to have a button placed for the ring/pinky finger I found this one of the most useful additions to a mouse. It does take some getting used to and for a while can feel odd but once you have the feel for it you can deploy multiple commands and use your mouse for aggression whilst keeping your keyboard hand focused on movement and the other key features.
Lastly we have Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I saw this as the true competitive test for the mouse and although still suffering from the high CPI small movements after some more configuring game side I almost eliminated this issue. Now I’m not a true competitive player, but I can see why the pros would want this design whilst playing in pro tournament games like Counter-Strike. Sniping becomes so much easier thanks to the CPI switch. Configured correctly the mouse can turn you from a quick turning, surroundings aware soldier to a fine tuned really minor movement precision shot master. For those who are generally more medium ranged like myself the extra buttons allow you to have quick switching between grenades or even things like auto buying you weapons.
In summary for the price you pay this is an awesome mouse. A simple design with responsive buttons and a brilliant piece of software driving it means that you get a real quality product for a good budget price. Having a similar priced competing mouse before receiving the Kana I felt like I had a good reference point however the Kana has blown it away. If you’re looking for a new mouse make sure this makes your shortlist.
The White Version