Looking for the perfect mouse can be difficult. With so many to choose from it’s challenging to find one with the right features, comfort and price. Today we are reviewing the SteelSeries Kana V2 mouse in black. The Kana V2 is aimed primarily at gamers and comes equipped with a variety of features such as a high performance optical sensor and changeable DPI settings. This review will evaluate the design, features and comfort of this mouse.
Design wise the SteelSeries Kana V2 looks beautiful. Our model is black and from the moment of tearing it out of the box we were pleased with the way it looked. The mouse is all black with a touch of orange and a sliver SteelSeries logo. The colours used help give the mouse some personality and to help separate it from the crowd. The orange side buttons and scroll wheel are surprisingly pleasant and the shade of orange used is not overpoweringly bright. The scroll wheel also has a light which gives off a nice glow, even during the day. The SteelSeries driver software lets you change the intensity of the LED scroll wheel light to low, medium or high. On the low setting the LED gave a soft glow during the day and was considerably bright in a darkened room. When we changed the LED intensity to high, we found it a little bright for our liking.
The material used on the top of the mouse is smooth though surprisingly has good grip. During several hours of gaming we did not loose grip with the mouse very often which makes the mouse very effortless and reliable to use in intense first person shooter games. The plastic on the top is fairly fingerprint resistant though after a few hours of usage we did notice the odd fingerprint however, it was hardly noticeable unless a light was shining directly upon it.
This mouse has six buttons which is not unusual for gaming mice these days. On the SteelSeries Kana V2 we see the standard left click, right click and scroll buttons however, two side buttons have also been included. Side buttons are a welcome addition to any mouse as they can make tasks, such as browsing the web, more comfortable since you can use them as browser navigation buttons. Lastly we see a single button in the middle below the scroll wheel. This button allows you to change your settings on the fly, which can be done through the SteelSeries bundled software.
The design work does not stop at the mouse itself as the cable has been braided with a continued black and orange theme which feels pretty durable. It does stand out from other cables which make it easier to identify what cable the mouse is when tangled with other cables around the back of your computer.
Compared to other mice, we found that the Kana V2 was comfortably light. It will not be to everyone’s taste, as some people will prefer a slightly heavier weight. We did feel that the mouse could benefit from a little more weight to make it feel more durable, though the weight of a mouse is mostly personal preference.
It’s incredibly important for any mouse to be comfortable. Whats the point in buying a nice new shiny computer if your mouse or keyboard are uncomfortable after a few minutes? Following the appealing design of this mouse we were really hoping for it to be comfortable. To test the comfort of the mouse we decided to spend two hours on Counter Strike: Global Offensive. As soon as we started using the mouse we were very pleased with the shape. The shape and size of the mouse made it comfortable for our hands and the side buttons actually provided additional grip to the mouse which is handy in games. We did accidentally click the side buttons a few times while playing Counter Strike though we are sure it would not still be a issue as we become more used to the mouse. The left click and right click buttons required little force to click which made it very comfortable to use in games.
Noise is a big factor to some buyers. Some mice have been known to have loud audible clicks (especially on the scroll button) which can be annoying when you are trying to use the computer quietly. Other buyers like a bit of sound on the buttons to give satisfying feedback when you click. The SteelSeries Kana V2 does have a fairly noticeable click on both the left and right front buttons. This click was fairly pleasurable and was not loud enough to become annoying overtime. The scroll button click sounds a little different from the two front buttons however, it does sound slightly quieter. The side buttons on the Kana V2 are the loudest though due to the force required to click these buttons, the sound was fairly satisfying.
Sensitivity in a mouse is a very personal thing as some people like the DPI (dots per inch) high while others prefer it low. SteelSeries has taken this into account and allows you to change the DPI sensitivity. The Kana V2 supports a DPI as low as 400 and as high as 4000. The ability to change the DPI is great as it means gamers can tune the mouse to make it most comfortable for them. In our testing of the various sensitivity options we preferred a DPI of 1600 for every day usage. If we used a setting higher than 1600 DPI, we found the mouse was rather difficult to control.
The bundled software, called the SteelSeries Engine, can be used to change various settings for the Kana V2. In this software you can change the DPI (though called CPI, Counts Per Inch in this software), LED intensity, assign macros and more. When bundled software is included with peripherals it’s often slow, buggy and difficult to use. Surprisingly the SteelSeries Engine was easy to use and had no glaring issues. We actually enjoyed using this software as it allowed us to easily change settings, such as the DPI, quickly. The button below the scroll wheel allows you to cycle through profiles set by this software on the fly.
In the end price plays a massive role. Even if the product was incredible, an unreasonable price can put many customers off. At the time of this review the SteelSeries Kana V2 is approximately £40. The price is fair though compared to the competition we feel that it could benefit from being a little cheaper. Feature wise the mouse does not stand out from the crowd though it’s high performance optical sensor is great if you like to play competitive games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
The SteelSeries Kana V2 is a wonderful mouse at an reasonable price. Offering a high performance optical sensor, six buttons and a comfortable design it can be tough to beat. The black and orange theme is used throughout and helps separate its design from other mice in the gaming category. The changeable DPI settings are welcome and allow you to find the most comfortable sensitivity from options ranging from 400-4000. We found the mouse comfortable to use even during extended gaming sessions, which is incredibly important considering this model is aimed at gamers. The Kana V2 offers six buttons which are likely to be regularly used by the majority of users. The side buttons can be used as browser navigation while the button under the scroll wheel can change mouse profiles set by the SteelSeries Engine software on the fly. The SteelSeires Engine software was surprisingly easy to use and offered plenty of configurable options. At the time of this review, the SteelSeries Kana V2 was priced at approximately £40.
While this product is very good it does have some areas we would like to see improved. Firstly, the material used on the top of the mouse overtime did pick up fingerprints though these were only noticeable if a light was shined on top of the mouse however, we would have liked to see it a little more resistant to fingerprints. In addition to this the weight of the device is rather light and could benefit from having a little more weight to make it feel more durable.