How do you differentiate a gaming mouse? Differentiation is a big concern when launching a new product, and it's particularly important in a market crowded with options. I might might argue that Corsair has already established itself as a market leader in gaming mice, however. In that case I think it could be more important to simply ship a solid product rather than packing it with gimmicks. Fortunately, I believe Corsair probably had that in mind for its new rodents. The question is, did the company succeed? Let's find out.
If you read the headline, you know that I'm reviewing two separate mice from the company: the Glaive RGB Pro and the Ironclaw RGB Wireless. We've reviewed former iterations of both of these models, namely the original Glaive RGB and Ironclaw RGB. If you haven't read those reviews, I strongly encourage you to check them out, as I'll be glossing over a lot of information that's covered there. Compared with their ancestors, seemingly little has changed in these mice. Let's dig a little deeper and investigate.
Right off the bat, we can see that this iteration of the Glaive changes things up a bit with a more robust scroll wheel, an updated sensor, and textured rubber pads on all three of its interchangeable side-grips. Meanwhile, the version of the Ironclaw on hand is wireless. While that's quite a change indeed, I'm personally more excited about the addition of three more buttons.
|Ironclaw RGB Wireless||Glaive RGB Pro|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||5.1" x 3.2" x 1.8"
(130 x 80 x 45 mm)
|5" x 2.75" x 1.7"
(127 x 70 x 43 mm)
|Weight||4.6 oz (130 g)||4.1 oz (115 g)|
|Max CPI||18,000 CPI||18,000 CPI|
|Sensor type||Optical (PMW3391)||Optical (PMW3391)|
|Switch life||50 million actuations||50 million actuations|
|Max polling rate||1000 Hz||1000 Hz|
|CPI switching levels||3+1 (sniper)||5+1 (sniper)|
|Cable length||6' (1.8 m)||6' (1.8m)|
|Wireless||2.4 GHz USB + Bluetooth||—|
I'm not going to spend a ton of time going over the looks of these mice as I might have in the past; if you want to look at lots of pretty pictures of them, Corsair has plenty on their respective product pages. Instead, I'm going to focus on their functionality. Input devices are little more than well-styled tools you use to accomplish tasks, after all.
Glaive RGB Pro
If you don't look carefully, you could certainly be forgiven for mistaking the Glaive RGB Pro for its less-professional predecessor. The mice are nearly identical; the only obvious difference is the extra button behind the mouse wheel. That's not to say it's the same mouse, though. In fact, it almost feels as if Corsair took Nathan's complaints in his original review to heart, because the new mouse addresses them all directly.
Where the original Glaive was just a touch too heavy for my colleague's taste, this one slims down slightly: 4.06 oz (115 g) versus 4.3 oz (120 g.) We remarked on the cheap-feeling scroll wheel with barely-there detents on the original; the new one one is beefy, has substantial stop to its steps, and even has a surprisingly responsive click when depressed. Nathan noted that he preferred the thumbrests that included textured rubber pads, and now all three included sides have said pads.
That does leave the Glaive in a bit of an odd position regarding the two thumb-rests that don't have a baseplate, though. At a glance, it's fairly difficult to tell them apart; the only difference is in the angle which your thumb rests against the mouse. After having used them both, I can't really say I prefer one over the other. On the other hand, I strongly dislike the wider shelf-like rest. Perhaps I have large thumbs, but that grip reduces the amount of space for your thumb to press against the mouse vertically, and I found it to be annoying.
Still, just as Nathan did, I found the Glaive to be exceptionally comfortable when using either of the other two grips. Ultimately I actually like this option more than I did the similar-but-more-complicated feature on the Razer Naga Trinity; the button allotment doesn't change with a different side pad, it simply allows you to select the shape you'd like to grip for your mouse. Like we said last time, the magnetic grips absolutely do not shift or wiggle in place, so you can't even tell you're not holding a mouse made from one solid piece of plastic.
The biggest change between the original Glaive and its Pro version is the addition of an extra button behind the mouse wheel. By default, this lets you control DPI settings in both directions instead of cycling through them, but fortunately, you can re-bind everything in Corsair's iCUE software. I'll talk more about key binding and macro editing on the next page.
Ironclaw RGB Wireless
Like with the Glaive RGB Pro, the new Ironclaw is pretty darn similar to its predecessor fundamentally. This model got more love than its cousin, though. For starters, it can be used in wired or wireless mode. Used wirelessly, it can hook up to the included 2.4 GHz RF dongle, or it can use Bluetooth—although I'd probably skip that option for gaming, an opinion I'll elaborate on later.
The Ironclaw RGB Wireless includes a rechargeable battery that Corsair says will do 16 hours of use with the lighting at full brightness, or 24 hours of use with the RGB LEDs off. I used it for an entire day of gaming and working, left it disconnected on my desk, and when I came back the next day and did the same thing, it still said the battery level was "High" afterward. In fact, in the week I've had the thing I haven't charged it yet after the initial overnight charge, and it still says "High". I've had the lights off, so take from that what you will, but it's still quite an impressive feat.
Corsair helpfully includes a long charging cable as well as a micro-USB-to-female-USB-A adapter that you can use to turn the charging cable into an extension cable for the dongle. I'm a little disappointed to see micro-USB on a device releasing nearly five months into 2019, but given the impressive battery life, you're probably not likely to plug and un-plug the Ironclaw too much, so I suppose it's fine. I would like to see the more durable USB Type-C connector going forward, though.
Besides the wireless function, the Ironclaw RGB Wireless got a few extra buttons shoved in. Two clickers beside the left primary button offer DPI control by default, while a third button bunched up with the forward and back keys serves as a sniper button. While I like the Ironclaw's shape overall, I'm not wild about the position of any of these extra buttons. I find the left-side DPI control buttons to be difficult to reach, while the sniper button is awkwardly placed—too far under my palm to press with my thumb, but too far outside to comfortably press with the base of my finger while also pressing the left mouse button. Despite my complaints about the positioning, I'm still more than happy to have extra buttons to program.