Corsair Vengeance M90 ReviewManufacturer: Corsair
UK price (as reviewed): £52.85 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $74.99 (ex tax)
If there is one company that knows what it’s doing when it comes to brand extensions, its Corsair. It wasn’t so long ago that the company solely produced RAM, but now you can almost build an entire PC from nothing but pirate branded parts - they produce cases, PSUs, CPU coolers, SSDs, speakers, keyboards, headsets and now, mice. Frankly we don’t know where they find the time - some companies find it hard enough to produce decent products for just one market, let alone nine.
So, joking aside, what about this new mouse? Well it’s called the Vengeance M90 and its one of two mice that Corsair has released, both of which have been designed from the ground up to target specific segments of the gaming market. The more expensive M90 goes after MMO and RTS crowd with its nest of thumb buttons while it’s sibling, the M60
, targets FPS die hards with its aggressive styling, adjustable weight and dedicated sniper button.
It’s a brave strategy too, as targeting specific segments of the market so brazenly can backfire if the product isn’t up to the task. Things start well for the M90 however as it really is a lovely piece of kit to hold - it’s solidly built and exudes a sense of seriousness. Part of this is down to Corsair’s clever choice of materials; the chassis of the mouse is made out of beautifully milled aluminium which gives the M90 a pleasing weight and keeps it’s centre of gravity low, making movement feel precise and sharp.
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There are a number of nice design touches too that mark the M90 out as a thoughtfully designed piece of kit, such as the six tiny but easily readable profile indicators set into the protruding aluminium lip on the left hand side of the mouse. The all important thumb buttons are also well located, with a central island for resting your thumb when you’re not using them - something that the Razer Naga Epic
Unfortunately it’s not all nifty design touches and elegant design though. We found the action of the mouse wheel to be very underwhelming, for instance, as it feels strangely divorced from the rest of the mouse; both its button and scroll action feel flabby, imprecise and casual. The thumb buttons aren’t perfect either as we felt they required slightly too much force to actuate them, a situation that left us hesitant to rely too much on them in the heat of battle.
One area where it’s difficult to criticise Corsair however is when it comes to the software that you can download for the M90. It’s got oodles of options for tuning the mouse such as the traditional DPI and lift settings and support for as many profiles as you could ever want to use. There is also a simple, intuitive and powerful macro editor that’s among the best we’ve seen.
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Interestingly Corsair also allow you to choose whether to execute any macros you create in either software or hardware mode. This is an important feature as some games can recognize software macro executions as hacks or cheats and disable them. The only disadvantage with using hardware execution is that you’re limited to the six profiles that can be stored on the M90’s internal memory, but realistically that should be enough for most mortals.
Clearly the M90 is a nice piece of kit then - its well built, has a number of thoughtful design touches and comes with some of the best support software that we’ve seen. It is by its very nature though a niche product - your average gamer simply isn’t going to scratch the surface of what the M90 can offer, making forking out the not inconsiderable £55 that Corsair are asking for it pointless.
This is an affliction that affects all MMO oriented mice though, and when judged against its peers the M90 looks far more attractive. It’s better looking and has better laid out buttons than the £100 Razer Naga Epic for example and is more grown up and has better software than the also more expensive Steelseries WoW: Cataclysm
. As a result we’d say that if you’re an MMO nut looking for a mouse to take your gaming skills to the next level, the M90 is ideal. If however you can’t tell your blood elf mage from your worgen rogue, there are less over the top options out there.