CES is upon us once again, which means we’re in for a flurry of product announcements all vying for attention. Corsair has taken the offensive this year by preemptively shipping out samples of its new products so reviews can be readied to go up during the show. This strategy works out for great for us here at TR, because it saves us from having to hastily throw together yet another product announcement post in the midst of the mad CES rush. In this particular case, we actually have three reviews on deck. Corsair sent a care package that contained three mice and a mousepad. Each mouse is getting its own review, with the mouse pad making its debut within that mix.
The first mouse to run through our labs is Corsair’s new Ironclaw RGB gaming mouse. Make sure to check out our reviews of the other two mice, the Harpoon RGB Wireless and the M65 RGB Elite (coming soon), as well.
The Ironclaw is primarily composed of plastic, but like the Glaive, it has an aluminum plate molded around its front bottom and left side. However, the Ironclaw’s aluminum is much less obvious since it’s the same shade of black as the rest of the mouse, as opposed to the shiny silver present on the Glaive. The only visual indicator of the aluminum’s presence is the seam between the metal plate and the plastic body. The Ironclaw’s aluminum plate is also a bit thinner than that of the Glaive, but the Ironclaw seems no worse for it. Its body feels assuredly solid, and there’s no rattling whatsoever.
Corsair was able to keep the Ironclaw’s weight down as well, to just 105 grams. Some hardcore FPS players prefer sub-100 gram mice, but right around 100 grams is a great weight for most users. The textured, grippy sides are comfortable and help keep your hand in place. As much as I praised the shape of the Glaive, I think the Ironclaw’s is even better. I found that it works great with all grip styles, but it’s specifically designed for those who like larger mice and use a palm grip.
The scroll wheel was the weak point of the Glaive, and unfortunately it’s no different with the Ironclaw. The scroll wheel is totally passable for everyday use, but it just seems a little cheap compared to the rest of the mouse. It feels a bit loose inside the housing, and it makes a rattly noise when you use it. It also doesn’t have well defined detents, but that’s a matter of personal preference. My last complaint regarding the scroll wheel is that it isn’t capable of scrolling side-to-side.
The left and right mouse buttons have Omron switches underneath. The two CPI buttons behind the scroll wheel don’t feel as high quality, but they’re plenty sufficient for the limited use they’ll likely receive. You can program them for other uses besides CPI switching, but there’s little reason to do so since they’re almost impossible to actuate without lifting your fingers off the right and left mouse buttons. I’ve recently become a fan of Roccat’s tilt buttons, which can be comfortably activated with the inside of your fingers. I’d like to see more companies implement similar tilt buttons for increased ease of use.
The CPI buttons are complemented by three LEDs on the side of the mouse. The LEDs indicate which of three customizable CPI profiles are currently selected. You can customize the brightness and color of the LEDs as well, including the option to turn them off if you so desire.
Two more buttons jut out the left side of the Ironclaw. Sometimes, companies cheap out on mouse side buttons, but Corsair has apparently not. The Ironclaw’s side buttons actuate like quality, clicky switches. Corsair actually got a little overzealous when designing the Glaive, resulting in side buttons that are a bit awkward to use. Thankfully, when deciding upon the position of the Ironclaw’s side buttons, Corsair stepped back to take a look at the bigger picture and put them in a spot that much better contours the mouse’s body. Rather than being an adjustment for the user, the side buttons feel natural to use, given the resting place of your thumb.
Speaking of which, I have a small gripe with the thumb rest. The thumb rest cuts off and swoops downward in order to accommodate the CPI indicator LEDs, which makes the mouse look somewhat striking. However, the cutoff leaves the tip of my thumb hanging out in empty space, rather than resting on the body of the Ironclaw. The amount of my thumb extending into empty space varies with the forwardness of my grip, though enough of my thumb remains grounded that my grip never feels too uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it’s just a tad awkward. There is also somewhat of a lip on the back edge of the mouse that can run over the bottom of your palm if you grip the mouse far back. I initially had this problem myself, but have since adjusted my grip a little farther forward.
A six-foot braided cable ending in a USB connector links the Ironclaw to a computer of your choice. It’s much thinner and considerably more flexible than Corsair’s keyboard cables. It should suit your cable management needs well.
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||5.1″ x 3.2″ x 1.8″
(130 x 80 x 45 mm)
|Weight||3.7 oz (105 g)|
|Max CPI||18,000 CPI|
|Sensor type||Optical (PMW3391)|
|Switch life||50 million actuations|
|Max polling rate||1000Hz|
|CPI switching levels||4|
|Cable length||6′ (1.8 m)|
It’s worth noting that the Ironclaw’s price point is ten dollars lower than the Glaive, which puts the Glaive in a bit of an odd position. The Ironclaw and the Glaive are both large mice suited especially for palm gripping with almost identical proportions and similar shapes. However, I’d say the Ironclaw has the better shape and less awkward side buttons. The Glaive’s only leg up on the Ironclaw is its swappable side grips.
The Ironclaw is equipped with a PMW3391 optical sensor, which seems to be a Corsair-specific variant of Pixart’s PW3360 that goes all the way up to 18,000 CPI. Every version of the PMW3360 I’ve tested has shown itself to be a top notch sensor, and the PMW3391 is no different. The sensor served me well in high-intensity matches of Unreal Tournament 2004 and Ironsight. My shots connected just as expected, and nothing felt off. I was unable to get the sensor to spin out or lose tracking, even when slamming the mouse down onto the mouse pad at odd angles.
The sensor passed my mouse acceleration test without a hitch. The test consists of moving the mouse back and forth between two books and checking to ensure that the crosshair returns to the same spot whenever nestled against one of the books. I perform the procedure in CS:GO with raw input enabled and mouse acceleration disabled. The crosshair moved smoothly between the two points without any noticeable built-in mouse acceleration. One-to-one tracking is needed for building accurate muscle memory, so it’s important to use a mouse without any mouse acceleration for gaming.
The PMW3391 produced fairly smooth curves in MouseTester, which is a good thing. There are a few more irregularities in the curves than those produced by some other PMW3360 variants I’ve tested, but such small imperfections at the millisecond level shouldn’t be problematic during use. I certainly didn’t notice any issues while gaming or editing photos.
The sensor’s max polling rate is listed as 1000Hz, and MouseTester confirms that number. The update period is about once every millisecond.
My attempts to draw smooth lines in MS Paint show that the sensor doesn’t have any native angle-snapping. Angle-snapping is another inhibitor of one-to-one tracking, so its absence is greatly appreciated.
I took a look at Corsair’s iCue software recently in my review of the K70 MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire gaming keyboard. I had some issues with the software that are only heightened when it comes to mouse settings. iCUE tries hard to look slick, and it does look better than previous iterations, but unfortunately the usability is not ideal. The interface is more cluttered than it needs to be, and settings are divided up into superfluous tabs. The functionality is there, but it can sometimes be confusing or somewhat of a chore to accomplish what you’re trying to do.
Corsair’s new Ironclaw RGB gaming mouse is solid all around, but I have a few nitpicks. The scroll wheel feels a little cheap, and the thumb grip is somewhat short. iCUE can also be a bit of a pain in the neck, but once you fine-tune the mouse to your liking, you can ignore the software. Otherwise, the Ironclaw is fantastic. It’s large and sturdy, with a shape that has broad appeal, and Corsair kept the weight down to 105 grams. The buttons are satisfyingly clicky and well placed, the braided cable is malleable, and the sensor is reliable and devoid of built-in features that hinder tracking. If you like bigger mice good for a palm grip, the Ironclaw RGB is a great choice for $60.