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Wireless Mice And Their Wireless Charging At CES 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Although CES 2018 wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a mouse with wireless charging--Logitech beat everyone to it last year when it released Powerplay--it was the first time we saw it from many manufacturers. It seems we have a veritable trend on our hands (well, under our hands), as this year Corsair, Razer, and the newly revived Mad Catz all showed off their own flagship mice featuring wireless power and connectivity. What’s more, they’ve all taken their own strategy with it.

Corsair

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Corsair used CES 2018 to launch the finalized, production version of its earlier-previewed Dark Core mouse with Qi wireless charging. Like Logitech’s Powerplay, this mouse is wirelessly charged, so it still has an internal battery. Qi charging differs from Powerplay, however, in that it can’t work if the mouse is moving. The Dark Core will have to be parked over a specific spot on the Qi mouse pad to charge. The advantage of Qi, beyond being able to charge the mouse faster than Powerplay, is that it can also charge other compatible devices, such as phones. Corsair is pushing this advantage by including a Qi charging dongle with its Qi mousepad.

Mad Catz

Mad Catz returned from the dead to reveal its wireless R.A.T. Air. This one is similar to the Razer Hyperflux in that it’s wirelessly powered and has no battery, so it can’t leave the pad without a cable (although it will remain powered for 20-30 seconds, so lift-off won’t be an issue). Like the Razer, the Air’s mousepad is proprietary, dual-sided, and RGB-lit.

Disappointingly, it loses a lot the old R.A.T. mice’s customizable parts--only its palm grip is adjustable for length. Mad Catz’s argument for getting rid of the battery is not convincing; it claimed the battery adds unnecessary heat to the mouse. There’s a simpler reason, though: The revived R.A.T. series needs a wireless flagship, so why not make it a wirelessly powered one?

Razer

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Razer revealed the Mamba Hyperflux, and it’s a totally different beast. In an effort to reduce weight--those batteries do tend to add some heft--as evidenced by the Corsair Dark Core’s 128g weight--Razer got rid of the battery altogether. The Mamba Hyperflux, then, doesn’t charge; it only works when it’s on top of its proprietary Firefly Hyperflux mousepad (which uses inductive charging). The mouse still has about 10 seconds of power buffer in case of lift-off, though.

If you’re not into lightweight mice (at 96g, the Mamba Hyperflux is definitely on the lighter side), then there doesn’t seem to be any advantage to this. On the other hand, if you want wireless connectivity and charging without dragging around a heavy mouse, then this is going to be one of your only wireless options.

ProductDark Core RGB SERazer Mamba HyperfluxR.A.T. Air
SensorPMW3367 (Optical)Razer 5G opticalPIXART PMW3360 (Optical)
ResolutionUp to 16,000 DPIUp to 1,6000 DPI, 450 IPSUp to 12,000 DPI
AmbidextrousNo (right-handed only)No (right-handed only)No (right-handed only)
SwitchesOmron (main mouse buttons only)Razer mechanicalUnknown
Polling Rate1,000HzUp to 1,000HzUp to 1,000Hz
Lighting3-zone RGB 16.8M colorsRGB 16.8M colorsNone
Buttons9910
SoftwareCorsair CUERazer SynapseMad Catz Flux
CableWirelessUSBWirelessUSBWirelessUSB
Dimensions (H x W x D)126.8 x 89.2 x 43.2mm124.7 x 70.1 x 43.2mmUnknown
Weight128g96gUnknown
Price$90$250 (Firefly Hyperflux mousepad included)Unknown