SteelSeries Kinzu V2 Pro Edition Gaming Mouse Review

Meet the Kana Black's little brother, the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition in Special Black Edition attire!

Manufacturer: SteelSeries
8 minutes & 32 seconds read time


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I am pretty positive that during my discussion with SteelSeries at CES I actually had this mouse in my hands as most of the "wow's" and "where the rest of the mouse" comments derived. Now, I am a guy that I think has larger hands, and I have been told I even have sausage fingers. So for the junior model of the three piece series to fit in my hand so well, I was surprised to say the least. Since we are stepping down the overall size from the Kana we just looked at, I have a bit of bad news, more of the buttons are gone as well. What you are left with is the most basic of devices to run through the environment with as little confusion as possible, while still delivering top level performance even the most recognized gamer would like to have in their hands.

Keeping the family familiarity, a lot about this latest submission will remind you very much of the Kana Black V1.1, but there is enough other than the size to set it apart. I already covered that this contender drops a few of the buttons found on the Kana, but keeps the Pixart sensor and works with Omron switches this time and this is what helps set it apart from its original version.

The IPS of the this mouse has been lowered as well to 65 inches per second from the 130 of the Kana, but it is still more than plenty of tracking for even the fastest spins. The most beneficial part of the SteelSeries selections that I find is that this mouse is even lighter then the Kana, making it even more unnoticed in your hand as it just functions effortlessly.

The gaming mouse we are about to get in depth with today is the Kinzu V2, but this time it is the Pro Edition and is themed as a Special Black Edition as well. SteelSeries already did a job on impressing me with my use of the Kana Black V1.1 and my hopes are high that the Kinzu is exactly what I think it is, a smaller version of the Kana with less buttons, gets turned down a bit and sells at a lower price point.

If this mouse is 90% as much fun to use as the Kana is, I can see this selling very well. For those who need the best for the FPS head shots, or the programmability of multiple Macros for your favorite MMO, without all that flash and over complicated designs, keep reading, I think SteelSeries did it again with the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition gaming mouse.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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The chart starts off with what makes the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition what it is with the use of Omron switches for "best-in-class" performance and feedback for the user along with reliability. Moving to the next section we start to get into the dimensions and weight of the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition and yes they are the same as the standard V2. The last section on the left discusses what the Pixart sensor inside of the Kinzu is capable of with the 3600 FPS and 65 IPS of tracking ability. As I mentioned there are three buttons, the wheel click and the scroll of the wheel in either direction. Three of those are programmable leaving the fourth to function specifically for the dual CPI toggle. This toggle will allow you to switch on the fly between two predetermined settings of your choosing via the SteelSeries Engine.

The right half of the listing starts with the development and who they were working with to develop this simple yet sophisticates mouse. The mouse is indeed shaped for comfort and for both right and left handers! Under the mouse it gets supported with and slides on three UPE Teflon feet applied directly to the bottom of the mouse. It then finishes the third column discussing the near unlimited surfaces that the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition will track on with the jitter-free and optimized Pixart optical sensor. Finishing up the list with the far right column, SteelSeries discussed the USB 2.0 connection attached to a two meter, double braided cord. It then finishes off with the compatibility of both Windows and Mac OS X and the finer detailed specifications of the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition.

Since the Kinzu V2 Pro edition is in fact a bit smaller than the Kana and offers a few less buttons, we should expect to see the Kinzu selling at a much lower price point. This rings very true with the latest submission from SteelSeries. Looking around it is easy to find many locations to buy this mouse. What is surprising to see, is that on the low end of the pricing, I can get this mouse shipped to my door for $45.19! This is the most wallet friendly solution I have yet to test and from what I have experienced with the Kana, my hopes are high for what the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition in the Special Black Edition coloring from SteelSeries offers users. Hang around through the images and see what I think about it!

Packaging and Contents

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The packaging on the Kinzu V2 Pro edition is all black and uses red to highlight the mouse name and a ring around the cut-away to direct your eyes to the mouse. The packaging also stated that this is the Special Edition Black version versus the red.

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Both sides of the packaging offer the same naming at the top with an image of the Kinzu in the middle and yet another image of it at the bottom just above the SteelSeries name.

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On the back it starts out with the basic specifications and moves into the mouse and the button layout. The bottom half contains a brief description of this Kinzu version and five key features in four languages.

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On the top of the packaging SteelSeries wants to let you know that they worked hard with teams like SK Gaming, Fnatic, Evil Geniuses and Natus Vincere to bring you the best gaming mouse they can.

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Opening the outer packaging is simple enough and then you slide out this inner packaging. The mouse is contained in a layer of plastic that requires you to unfold the cardboard and it comes out through the back along with the two meter, dual braided USB cable.

SteelSeries Kinzu V2 Pro Edition Gaming Mouse

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In a sea of shiny plastic for the palm of your hand to rest upon, the white SteelSeries logo jumps right out at you. This is a bit smaller than the Kaza we just looked at, but not by that much. It is more about what the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition doesn't have.

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The right side of the mouse is contoured to fit the ring and pinky finger here, or if you are a lefty, this is also where your thumb would go. It is rubberized and does offer a good "feel" when gripping the Kinzu in your hand.

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Up front you get the basics, plus a CPI, on the fly, switch behind the scroll wheel. On both sides of this matte finished plastic is the right and left click buttons backed with Omron switches. There we just covered 75% of the layout!

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The left side of the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition is a mirror image of the opposite side and this is due to the ambidextrous design that SteelSeries offers in these mice.

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Under the Kinzu, it gets supported and glides easily on the three large PTFE feet applied to the toe and heel of the mouse. Under the sticker you will find the same Pixart optical sensor that was used in the Kana.

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Simplicity is the key with the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition mouse. When the unit is plugged into the USB port, the only way you know it is working is to lift it and look for the bright red glow of the Pixart sensor.

Paperwork and Software

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The included paperwork is much like what we saw with the Kana, but with the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition the cover page has obviously changed. Here you get the title of the mouse and the company name, but not an image of the mouse like we got with the Kana.

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On the inside however, the findings are exactly the same. It covers the system requirements, where to get the drivers, what the software offers and getting it connected to your PC. All you need to know, really!

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Once the software is installed you can open it to see what I have pictured here. Under the buttons tab, you can see there are only three buttons that you can program to do other things by creating profiles on the left.

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When you actually highlight one of the buttons, the Macro screen opens at the bottom and allows you to program them with delays, something it seems I missed with the Kana review, so both of them actually allow for delays in the macro commands.

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Under the heading of settings, you can now control the level from 400 CPI to 3200 CPI for each of the two options of CPI with that on the fly button behind the scroll wheel. You may also adjust the polling rate here which goes from 250Hz to 1000Hz.

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Looking at the properties section you can see that this is where you go to either hand pick the profile to activate at the moment you may need it, or you can also add the game .exe location to auto load the configurations from the profile list.

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Just like we saw with the Kana, the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition also has the page to test both your reflexes and how fast you can click, but also verify that the mouse is in fact functioning if you seem to have an issue in game with it. You can always go here and prove you were too slow to react, the mouse still works. You can also use this page for gaming statistics to see how much aiming versus shooting you are doing during game play as well.

Final Thoughts

You know, I really like these ambidextrous mice! It makes games all sorts of messed up as I try to maneuver and attempt to shoot at things as I aim left handed. For a right hander, I find most mice to just feel funny in my left hand, but with the mirrored design concept of the SteelSeries mice, both right and left handed users can have the same advantages. With the Kinzu V2 Pro Edition, those advantages are the Omron switches giving you accurate responses over the long term use of the mouse. Then you have a similar Pixart sensor that comes in the Kana, but it has been tweaked with some features being listed as less, but is still plenty for an enjoyable time at the desk with this mouse.

For my personal usage in games and while writing and surfing the web, I prefer a mouse to at least offer a back page button; yes, I am that lazy to not want to move up to the arrow. That being said, the Kinzu fell short from being a mouse I will personally use day to day. However, the hours in game and doing basic things was no less enjoyable, I just had the retrain my brain to remember there is that arrow at the top of the browser window. While in game I loved the simplicity of the design as I found myself fumbling around trying to remember which button is my knife and which button is for my grenades. Just having basic fire controls, scoping ability and the on the fly CPI adjustment will make it enjoyable for most users that are into what matters in mice.

The two things that make me the happiest about recommending that you get your hands on your own Kinzu V2 Pro Edition so you may better enjoy your gaming experience, are the pricing and the ready to deliver now availability I am seeing. There will be no waiting other than the time it takes from the purchase to when it arrives to your door. As far as the pricing goes, for around $45, I don't see how you are going to find one that is this comfortable, easy to use and program, ambidextrous for all those lefties out there and still get top-end components included with that rock bottom pricing!

SteelSeries offers those on a budget a very versatile and useful tool to improve their gaming on a level very close to its larger brethren.

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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