Truth be told, this critter is not the newest one on the market. Released in the first quarter of 2016, coming from California USA with a 12.000 DPI optical sensor, built with an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, including a weight tuning system, macro programmable buttons and of course customizable three-zone RGB backlighting: the Corsair M65 Pro RGB! Nonetheless, the M65 Pro RGB is still around for good reason even though his FPS gaming mouse brother, the Glaive RGB, was launched in the second half of 2017.
With the short summary out of the way, let’s have a closer look at them. We’ll start with the most subjective of all things: the looks.
design & ergonomics
The Corsair M65 Pro RGB has a slightly futuristic look to it, caused (most likely) by the separate panels and the open metal frame which you can see from the front or the back. I could try to explain it in more detail, but I think it works better if you just have a look at the pictures and videos. The shape of the M65 Pro and the location of its buttons make it a right handed mouse. It suggests it can held with a palm or claw grip. With a length of 11,8 cm I dare call it relatively small.
The top panel is shiny white and made from plastic with a nice, translucent Corsair logo where the RGB lights shines through. Taste cannot be disputed, but I really like the design. The two main buttons and a rubberized, clickable scroll wheel are where one would expect them. Just below the scroll wheel there are two buttons with an RGB light in the middle. These two buttons are used to switch up or down between 5 predefined DPI settings, with each of the 5 settings having its own colour.
The side panels are made from aluminium. I have no clue how I would be able to identify it as aircraft-grade (or whatever that means anyway), but it definitely feels very solid and high quality. They are rough to the touch, a bit sandpaperish. It doesn’t sound comfortable, but it actually is and it gives it an amazingly solid grip. However, there is no pinky rest.
The bottom is very clean and modern. Unlike other mice, there are no stickers on it. So we only see a black, brushed aluminium bottom with 5 PTFE glide pads and 3 weight screws. The weight screws can be used to adjust the weight (what a surprise) of the mouse. You can reduce the total weight up to 20.5 grams. Making the mouse weigh somewhere between 115 and a 135.5 grams. At its max it feels hefty, but very solid, increasing the feeling of high quality.
The black cable is sleeved and looks great. It’s not specifically stiff or flexible, just proper. There is a small Velcro strap attached to it to tie it all together when necessary (or in other words, make transporting easy). The USB plug is a rather bulky black and grey one, which would not be my preference, but I’m sure it’s also close to indestructible. In case it matters to you: it’s not gold plated.
Button-wise it is not specifically elaborate. Apart from your basic left, right and scroll button, the M65 has an additional 5 buttons. This includes the two aforementioned sensor switch buttons. In the thumb area there is a big, metallic red sniper button and two smaller buttons can be found near the top of the thumb area. That’s it. Without a doubt a mouse focussed on FPS games.
Last but not least, there are the two RGB lighting zones and an additional RGB light. The first RGB zone is at the back. The open metal frame allowing a decent bit of light spreading out from the bottom of the mouse onto the surface it is on. As mentioned, the logo on the back is translucent so the colour also shines through nicely. The second zone is on the front where you can see the RGB light around the scroll wheel area. On the top we can see a small lit up button that changes colour depending of the sensor’s sensitivity you currently have.
under the hood
The shape and external design of mouse are important, but the parts on the inside might even be more important. So let’s open up the M65 Pro RGB. It’s not particularly hard to open it up. You do not need to remove any labels, stickers and / or glide pads. I personally hate having to remove the glide pads as sticking them back properly is always a b***h, so thumbs up to Corsair for that!
There are two steps to opening it up. Step one is to unscrew the two screws on the bottom. Step two is to separate the white plastic top from the case. To achieve this we need to gently wiggle something small and flat between the plastic top. It’s easiest with a flathead screwdriver, but you will probably cause a little damage to it, so a small and flat plastic object might be less dangerous. Be careful not to rip the top off as soon as it gives, because there is a small cable connecting the top to the bottom part.
The M65 Pro’s main switches are the Omron D2FC-F-7N(20M). Omron switches are known for their high quality and are widely used switches in high-end gaming mice. As you can deduct from the part number, it should last 20 million clicks and need 75g to actuate them.
The switches on the side are different, but I couldn’t pin down their origin. The top switches on the side are different than the Sniper switch. You can see the Sniper switch has a blue part sticking out opposed to the white ones in the other switches. It also requires more pressure to make it click. I have reached out to Corsair but I did not get feedback yet.
Let’s have a look at the sensor. Corsair uses the 12.000 DPI Pixart PMW336x optical sensor. According to Corsair, it is largely identical to the Pixart PMW3366 which is exclusive to Logitech and is more or less regarded as one of the best sensors currently on the market, even until today. What the actual difference between the PMW336x and the PMW3366 is remains a small mystery though as we are told that the PMW336x just has a slightly different feature set, but what this different feature set entails remains unknown.
The term surface-tuning technology is also mentioned. It’s a piece of software to calibrate your sensor for the surface you are using the mouse on. When using a high quality mouse pad this feature will not improve anything, but on less optimized surfaces it can improve responsiveness although I doubt whether some would actually notice this.
Nonetheless the M65 Pro RGB is impressive with its 12.000 DPI optical sensor, surface-tuning technology and a 1000 Hz polling rate. It is without a doubt one of the top mice based on its specs.
The Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) is an elaborate piece of software that enables you to synchronize and tune all Corsair RGB peripherals. The CUE software is very visual. The graphic aids make it impossible not to understand what you are doing. It personally is my favourite peripheral software as it has both a basic and an advanced interface. For this review I was using Corsair CUE version 2.19.65.
It is possible to reassign and / or reprogram all the buttons on the M65 Pro. And yes, this includes macros. For the extravagant gamer the RGB lighting options are at least equally important. You can change the type of lighting (rainbow, colour shift, colour pulse, static color), with each type having its own properties. But I have to be honest here, the M65 Pro only has two significant RGB lights. So, you simply don’t have that many options. If you own other Corsair RGB peripherals, you can link all of them and their lighting patterns. This looks very cool and is best shown in a video. So have look below.
As mentioned the M65 Pro has 5 DPI intervals which you can switch between. The CUE software allows you change these intervals and the RGB colour that reflects them. You can store up to 10 different DPI interval presets. I would say it is a bit much, but ah well… Why not eh?
Two additional aids that can enabled or disabled are Angle Snapping and Enhance Pointer Precision. To briefly explain these settings, Angle Snapping makes your movements more straight when you move the mouse in a single direction and Enhance Pointer Precision is a different name for Mouse Acceleration, meaning that a quick short movement of the mouse would make the cursor move more than a slow short movement would. Both aids are based on predicting your movement to make it smoother. In a productivity / office setting these features can be useful. However, since these features basically correct your movements, gamers prefer to have these aids disabled.
Obviously the CUE software allows you to have multiple profiles so you can create a profile for every occasion. It also allows you to “upload” one profile to the mouse. This means you can use that specific profile without the need of having the CUE software installed in case you take your mouse to a different computer.
This part already became much bigger than I intended, but long story short: the CUE software is a great piece of software giving you full control of the M65 Pro’s (and other Corsair Peripherals) potential.
With these specs, it is not surprising the M65 Pro does a great job. The sensor works like a charm whether you are playing a FPS like CS:GO, an RPG like Mass Effect, a strategy game like Endless Legend or a point-n-click adventure game like Oxenfree. The M65 Pro responds to the tiniest movements you make.
The M65 Pro has a very comfortable design and it’s nice to hold, as long as your hands are not too big. My hands are relatively small ([add length here]), and even when I use a palm grip it still feels like half of my hand is empty (or half full for the optimists amongst us). This causes the bottom of my hand to drag over the mousepad, which is rather uncomfortable. In other words, I am sure you will need a claw grip with this mouse. Not being a preferred claw or palm gripper, I have the luxury to adjust my style according to the mouse. After hours of use it is still comfortable to hold and use it.
I do want to emphasize that the solid grip of the side panels is ridiculously good. There is no way you will lose grip with these rough side panels no matter how sweaty your hands will get. An extra pro is that it is made out of metal, meaning the roughness will not wear off.
The top buttons are what you can expect from top notch Omron switches. They are not too light, not too heavy, crispy and give a proper, clicky feedback. The scroll wheel is balanced between smooth and rigid. It is rigid enough to accurately scroll slow and the accentuated notches in the wheel make it very precise, but you can also yank it around without having the feeling you lost control.
The buttons on the side do a proper job. The Sniper buttons is placed right where the middle of your thumb will be. This gives it easy access. Although there is a risk of accidental pressing due to its location, the more rigid Sniper switch prevents this from ever happening. I can imagine some elite competitive gamers might actually find it bit too heavy to press, causing them to miss a click or lose too much time. That’s just my guess however and not based on any actual feedback from a top competitive gamer.
As I have said before, the M65 Pro is something like a classic in Corsair’s already impressive line-up. The materials used are great, it has a top notch sensor, the switches are up to par, the non-essential but very hip RGB options are cool, the CUE software does a decent job and most importantly: it’s a gaming mouse that responds well, is accurate and basically does not do anything wrong.
The only feedback I could give in terms of specs is: why not use 30M or 50M Omron switches? They are available these days. Although a somewhat insignificant argument, failure of the switches is one of the prime reasons why mice break down.
The black version is available in the Netherlands for around €50 while the white version comes at €60. In the segment of high-end gaming mice, this not cheap nor expensive. But it’s serious money for a mouse nonetheless.
However, it is not a must-buy for everyone. The M65 Pro is actively promoted as an FPS mouse. So I can’t mark the lack of extra buttons as a con. But in case you require a mouse with more buttons (handy in some MMORPGs), I would suggest considering different mice. Also, if you are a palm gripper, have big hands or are left-handed, than this mouse is physically not suited for you. In all other cases, you cannot go wrong with choosing the M65 Pro.
- top notch optical sensor
- high quality Omron switches
- adjustable weight
- great construction with solid grip
- RGB is nicely integrated
- right-handed only (obviously only a con if your left-handed)
- quite small, so claw grip only unless you have really small handss