Corsair Ironclaw RGB FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse Review

REVIEW

Corsair has been making massive strides in the peripheral world over the last few years, with each new iteration addresses issues of the previous generation and being an overall improvement on the last. Today we’re having a look at the Corsair Ironclaw RGB FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse which was revealed at the beginning of the year at CES 2019.

The first thing you’ll notice about this mouse is its size, being one of the largest around and ideal for users with a claw palm grip. At its highest, the mouse stands 45 mm (1.77 inches tall), 80 mm (3.15 inches) wide, and 130 mm (5.12 inches) long. It isn’t the lightest mouse around – while this is a rather subjective thing, the 105 g (3.7 oz) weight definitely gives it a solid feel. It is too big for all but the largest hands to use a claw grip, which is rather ironic given the name. It’s so large, in fact, that those with a claw grip might actually find that their standard grip becomes a palm grip, as was the case with me. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a taller mouse. The mouse is purely for right-handed use, so lefties are unfortunately left out (pun fully intended).

Inside, the mouse uses the PixArt PMW3391 optical sensor which has an adjustable polling rate of 125, 250, 500, or 1000 Hz (which translates to response times of 8 ms, 4 ms, 2 ms and 1 ms respectively), a resolution of between 100 and 18,000 CPI, and a maximum tracking speed of 400 inches per second. The resolution is adjustable in 1 CPI increments which allows for fine control, but on the other hand you have to wonder why there’s a need to choose 1,803 or 1,804 CPI. The primary buttons use Omron D2FC-F-K switches rated at 50 million clicks. In addition to that there is dual zone RGB lighting, which is controlled using Corsair’s somewhat confusing at first but incredibly powerful iCUE software. The scroll wheel has a Kailh red encoder.

Corsair Ironclaw RGB FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse
Sensor PixArt PMW3391
Primary Button Switches Omron D2FC-F-K
Wheel Encoder Kailh red
Size (L x W x H) 130 mm x 80 mm x 45 mm
5.12″ x 3.15″ x 1.77″
Number of Buttons 7
Weight 105 g (3.7 oz)
Polling Rate 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz
Resolution 100–18,000 CPI, 1 CPI increments
Cable Length 1.8 m (6 ft)
Warranty 2 Years

Finally, attached to the mouse is a 1.8 m non-detachable and braided cable which is rather stiff, so might take some getting used to. It does come wrapped in a Velcro strip, which is a nice addition and just something small to add to the premium feel you expect from Corsair products. Unfortunately, the cable is so thick and stiff that the mouse can be shifted around by it, and it also causes quite a bit of drag. As the mouse is already on the heavy side, a slightly softer cable would have been a welcome addition. I would recommend using a mouse bungee with the Ironclaw, and the cable is definitely the biggest downside I experienced.

The top surface of the Ironclaw RGB has a slightly rough, matte black finish without any rubberized parts, with rubberized grips on either side. These grips have a diamond texture, and with extended use it seems that your hand doesn’t get quite as hot as with others that have smooth grips. They also offer a decent amount of grip, eliminating any slippage even with the lightest of grips when picking up the mouse. The scroll wheel is also rubberized, while the two buttons below the scroll wheel have a glossy finish and the two on the left have the same texture as the top surface of the mouse.

The scroll wheel seems to have very little tactile feedback, lacking well defined steps. I would have preferred better definition between the steps, as when using the scroll wheel to change weapons I often scrolled too far. That said, I did more productivity work than gaming in the week that I used the mouse, and it definitely felt more relaxing. The middle button, however, requires quite a lot of pressure to press and you will find yourself scrolling slightly with each click. It will take a conscious effort to avoid scrolling at the same time, but in time muscle memory takes over and you shouldn’t have a problem. Keep in mind that I only used the mouse for a week and that was more than long enough to get the hang of the wheel. Again a subjective thing, but I welcomed the somewhat unusual (for a gaming mouse) feel to the wheel.

The two side buttons require a larger than normal amount of pressure to trigger, so accidental presses are unlikely. I would, however, have preferred if they were slightly easier to actuate as it’s very easy to nudge the mouse slightly when pressing them, which can be done simply by rolling your thumb upwards slightly. The two buttons below the scroll wheel have a different feel to them, being much easier to actuate. Logically, this makes sense as your fingers are normally nowhere near these buttons, whereas the side buttons sit directly above and very close to the thumb grip.

Flipping the Ironclaw over you will find a protective plastic film which needs to be removed before use. There are four feet, each with a different size and shape, but no replacements are included in the box. You will therefore have to look at third party replacements when they start to wear, but unless you’re using a hard and rough surface it should be a long time before replacement becomes a consideration. Even so, it would have been nice to see replacements included in the box as third party replacements may change the feel of the mouse.

The Ironclaw’s lift-off distance is adjustable in software, which you will probably want to change as the default is approximately 3.5 mm and far too high. This is done using the iCUE software, which we’ll cover in a minute, and is called Surface Calibration under the Performance tab. Once decreased to a more comfortable level of around 1-1.5 mm I fired up Quake III Arena. It might be an extremely old game, but it is still a game that requires some of the fastest and most accurate movements to date. It took me a few minutes to get the sensitivity to the level I was happy with, but once done the mouse was absolute gaming nirvana. The bulkiness was something I appreciated right away, giving a full feeling in the hand. I noticed no irregularities whatsoever during the dozen or so hours of gaming, and while I can’t say whether it was the shape or sensor that made the biggest difference, I definitely noticed an improvement in my aim. Angle snapping is disabled by default but can be enabled in iCUE should you so desire for design applications or the like.

As with most Corsair peripherals, iCUE is something that adds a lot to the experience rather than being a gimmicky addition. The software is very confusing to use at first, but if you’ve used other Corsair peripherals in the past you should feel right at home configuring the mouse just the way you want it. Being a central control point for Corsair’s products, you can control them all from a single place and even sync lighting effects between them if you so desire. If you can think of a lighting combination or macro, even if that entails typing a paragraph of text at the press of a button, iCUE can do it.

The mouse has integrated memory for profile storage, so once configured and saved to the device you can remove iCUE altogether if you want to avoid clutter. iCUE can be a bit memory intensive, but for most people it shouldn’t make much of a difference. The main advantage of the profile storage is that you can connect the mouse to a computer that doesn’t have iCUE installed and still have your configured macros and lighting effects available.

You can have up to three different CPI settings as well as three different profiles stored at a time, which can be changed by the two buttons below the mouse wheel. There are RGB LEDs on the left side of the mouse just in front of the thumb grip to indicate the currently selected CPI setting. These LEDs can be customized to colouring of your choice or even disabled altogether. Of course, the CPI buttons can be remapped to basically any function or macro you can think of if you’d like, as there is no limit to the amount of control you have over the mouse. This is not limited to the additional buttons, and every button and even the scroll wheel can be remapped just the way you want, whether it be a macro, opening a game, or even disabled altogether.

The lighting is bright and vivid with very smooth transitions as you’d expect from a Corsair product, and there are two individually controllable RGB zones. The first is up front at the scroll wheel, while the latter is at the Corsair logo towards back of the mouse. They’re not perfect, however, as the scroll wheel lighting seems buried deep in the mouse and the Corsair logo is small, and due to its position when holding the mouse your hand covers it completely. Seeing lighting running down the side of the mouse would have been preferable, and as you can disable the light zones independently if you find them annoying there would be no downside to having more visible placing to the second zone.

The mouse comes with Corsair’s standard two-year warranty, but the most surprising thing is the price. At US $ 59.99, the mouse is priced well below many of its brethren. One thing that I think could be a nice addition is included memory for the iCUE installation, as the software is not included in the box at all and needs to be downloaded from Corsair’s website. This is not a negative, however, as it is something that I have not seen included with any other mouse. It would just be another feature to set Corsair’s products apart from the competition.

Extremely comfortable Stiff and heavy cable
iCUE brings out the best of the mouse Replacement mouse feet not included
High quality, robust feel Second RGB zone could be larger or positioned differently
High end sensor results in extreme accuracy Scroll wheel and thumb buttons require a lot of force to actuate

Final Thoughts

It’s not hard to recommend this mouse, be it for general office use or gaming. The level of comfort is extremely high, and the sensor accuracy, which is normally a primary concern, almost feels like a cherry on top. If you can live with the stiffer-than-normal cable and the additional buttons taking some getting used to, the Corsair Ironclaw RGB FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse should be one of your top choices.

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