Corsair’s Harpoon RGB Wireless gaming mouse reviewed

This is the second review in the three-part CES 2019 Corsair review extravaganza. Corsair’s new Ironclaw RGB gaming mouse was the front runner, and now we’re going to take a look at a wireless spin on Corsair’s Harpoon RGB gaming mouse. The final review will focus on Corsair’s M65 RGB Elite gaming mouse, where the MM350 mouse pad will also make an appearance.

Besides the RGB LEDs, the Harpoon RGB Wireless is clothed in black. The top of the mouse is adorned with a lightly textured plastic and is designed to help you maintain your grip even while sweaty. A slight rubberized texture coats the sides of the mouse, also helping increase the grip. The Harpoon RGB Wireless, as a whole, feels rock solid, though the scroll wheel rattles very lightly if you give the mouse a good shake.

It’s a big jump down in size from the Ironclaw. It’s small, though not tiny, measuring 4.6″ x 2.7″ x 1.6″ (LxWxH). I found the shape to be comfortable, but because of its small size, I tended to grip the mouse in a kind of pseudo claw grip. I prefer larger mice that I can grasp firmly with a palm grip. Even so, I can see it as a great companion mouse for gaming laptops, because its small size and wireless capability make it quite portable.

I was hopeful when I saw that the Harpoon RGB Wireless had a different scroll wheel than the Ironclaw, and my hopes were mostly upheld. It has a slight rattle if you shake it, but the scroll wheel feels solidly secured into the mouse. I’d prefer more pronounced detents, but that’s just a personal preference. Unfortunately, the scroll wheel doesn’t have side scrolling functionality.

The Omron switches under the left and right mouse buttons, CPI cycle button, and side buttons feel pleasantly clicky. The side buttons are pretty well positioned, but they’d be pretty much perfect if the back button was moved downward just a little.

The Harpoon RGB Wireless comes with a six-foot braided cable with a micro-USB connector on one end and a USB Type-A connector on the other end. You can keep it plugged in and use it as a wired mouse while it charges. When it’s time to go wireless, pop open the small compartment on the bottom of the mouse that stores the small, 2.4GHz wireless USB receiver.

The mouse has 2.4GHz Bluetooth capability, as well. However, there seems to be a problem with devices recognizing the Harpoon RGB Wireless in Bluetooth mode if they’ve connected to it before using the USB receiver. I had this issue with multiple systems, so if you plan to use this mouse in Bluetooth mode with a particular device, I advise keeping the wireless receiver away from any of its USB ports. Hopefully, this connectivity problem is just a software or firmware blunder and can be fixed with an update in the near future.

Harpoon RGB Wireless
Dimensions (LxWxH) 4.6″ x 2.7″ x 1.6″

(116 x 68 x 40 mm)

Weight 3.5 oz (99 g)
Max CPI 10,000 CPI
Sensor type Optical (PMW3325)
Switch type Omron
Switch life 50 million actuations
Programmable buttons 6
Max polling rate 1000Hz
CPI switching levels 4
Shape Right-handed
Cable length 6′ (1.8 m)
Battery Life 40hrs w/ lighting and 60hrs w/out
Price $49.99
 

The sensor

The Ironclaw’s PMW3391 sensor is presumably a variant of Pixart’s PMW3360, and the Harpoon RGB Wireless seems to have a PMW3360 variant as well, but not the same one as the Ironclaw. The sensor in the Harpoon RGB Wireless is designated as the PMW3325 and has a max CPI of 10,000, as opposed to the PMW3391’s 18,000 max CPI. However, unless you’d like to set your CPI higher than 10,000, the PMW3325 shouldn’t let you down.

When using a wireless mouse, you have to consider the sensor in conjunction with the speed of the wireless connection, but the Harpoon RGB Wireless served me well in the twitchy, high-adrenaline FPS, Ironsight. I never noticed any kind of delay or connectivity issue at all. Both the sensor and the wireless connection seem to be reliable.

Unsurprisingly, I was unable to make the sensor lose tracking or spin out. The PMW3325 also showed itself to have zero innate mouse acceleration in my one-to-one tracking test. When moving back and forth between two books, the crosshair consistently targeted the same two bullet holes in the CS:GO training grounds. I use CS:GO for this test because you can enable raw input and disable mouse acceleration in the settings.

If there’s anything strange going on with the data coming from a mouse, MouseTester is a handy way to sniff it out by mapping raw data onto comprehensible graphs. The data collection process involves speedily sweeping a mouse back and forth. Impressively, while connected wirelessly, the Harpoon RGB Wireless’ PMW3325 produced smoother curves with fewer irregularities than the PMW3391 in the wired Ironclaw. Even on the millisecond scale, the mouse’s wireless connection doesn’t seem to hinder the sensor from shining.

The data we collected with MouseTester also shows that the sensor’s max polling rate is 1000Hz, as advertised.

Quickly free-handing lines and curves in MS Paint can be used to test for angle snapping. Thanks to the prevalence of human error, suspiciously straight lines, as well as angular curves, are a giveaway that angle snapping is occuring. As you can clearly tell from the image above, no angle-snapping has messed with the curves or corrected my failed attempt to draw straight lines. The PMW3325’s lack of innate angle snapping and mouse acceleration makes it an ideal sensor for building muscle memory.

Software

The gist of my comments on iCUE in my Ironclaw review is that iCUE gets the job done, but it’s somewhat clunky. It may take a bit of searching and a couple of extra steps to accomplish your goal.

Conclusions

The Harpoon RGB has been in Corsair’s lineup for a while, but the addition of wireless connectivity makes it a compelling option in the portable mouse space thanks to its small size. The Bluetooth connectivity issue needs to be addressed, but the Harpoon RGB Wireless is otherwise pretty much perfect. I’m grasping at straws when I say the back side button could be moved down just a tad. Small mice can be cramped and awkward, but the Harpoon remained pleasant to use over extended periods of time. The sensor is top notch, and the wireless connection is lightning fast. The buttons are reassuringly clicky, and the USB receiver compartment on the bottom of the mouse is super handy. If you turn off the LEDs, you can bring the battery life all the way up to a solid sixty hours. You will have to deal with the kind of unwieldy software in order to turn the lights off, but you can set it and forget it.

Harpoon RGB Wireless

January 2019

The build quality, shape, sensor, and side buttons all set it apart from the great many chintzy portable mice out there. I think the Harpoon RGB Wireless is a fantastic option for people on the go who value a well-built, portable mouse that’s comfortable. It’s become my personal go-to portable mouse. You can pick it up for just $50, but if you’re just a fan of small mice and don’t care about the wireless functionality, you can snag the wired version for $30.

Comments closed
    • mudcore
    • 10 months ago

    [quote<]The mouse has 2.4GHz Bluetooth capability, as well. However, there seems to be a problem with devices recognizing the Harpoon RGB Wireless in Bluetooth mode if they've connected to it before using the USB receiver.[/quote<] This got me thinking. I have a Corsair Dark Core RGB wireless mouse and I went with that because it was the only mouse I could find that had a rechargeable battery PLUS the dual wireless connectivity options of the proprietary USB receiver and Bluetooth. The latter gives the mouse the ability to connect and switch between two PCs easily. That's huge for me and my workflow. And similarly I bought Corsair's K65 wireless keyboard because the exact same reasons (plus TKL, a must in a keyboard for me). But to get at the line from the review... when I use both the keyboard and mouse in Bluetooth mode I get bad latency with the mouse. Lots of pointer lag. If I flip the keyboard back to using the USB receiver that goes away completely. And even more confusing sometimes I can do the connectivity dance and flip the mouse/keyboard between wireless modes and somehow get a latency free BT experience with both. Also, it doesn't matter if the keyboard/mouse are talking to the same PC over BT, i.e. I tried splitting it up to no gain. Just food for thought. And that line from the review makes me concerned Corsair still has BT implementation problems. I had none of these issues when I tried Logitech's wireless mechanical keyboard and their mouse (G603) in terms of BT but those products have other bigger design issues (like... I hate full size keyboards and the G603 doesn't have built-in charging capabilities).

      • EzioAs
      • 10 months ago

      Even Logitech’s isn’t that good. Sometimes the BT on my wireless Logitech mouse just flat out doesn’t work and sometimes it stutters.

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