The Vengeance Mice in Action

Given their reasonably different shapes and designs, the Corsair Vengeance M60 and M90 have noticeably different feels. Both enjoy the same soft touch plastic shell and Corsair's default sensitivity of 2600dpi was surprisingly close to the mark (for me at least), and both use Corsair's Dashboard. Yet the shapes and grips of the mice felt noticeably different, and their functionality proved a little more fraught in practice than it was on the page. Tracking and response were excellent, but when you get into the features are where things fall apart.

In Productivity

For basic browsing and productivity tasks, there's still really no substitute for a wired mouse. Responsiveness of both mice was fantastic and well ahead of even the best wireless mice I've used (including Logitech's classic MX Revolution). Yet the mountain of buttons on the M90 proved to be a hindrance for basic web browsing; on the M60 the back and forward buttons are right where they should be, just the right size, and have a reasonable amount of travel and resistance. The M90, on the other hand, configures those navigation buttons far to the rear of the button cluster. Honestly, to look at the M90, you'd be hard pressed to even figure out which buttons would make the most sense for those.

Over time I also found the soft plastic surfaces of both mice would cause the palm of my hand to get clammier than normal. This is an issue I've had with every Razer mouse I've used, including my old Microsoft Habu (which was developed with Razer); my primary mouse before testing these was a Logitech G500, and the smooth but textured plastic surface felt a lot better and didn't cause me to sweat as much.

In Gaming

The responsiveness carried over to my gaming experiences with both mice, where I had little trouble getting the proper amount of precision. If you're not married to using any of the functionality of either of these mice, they're actually excellent just in terms of the basics.

Once again, though, problems creep up when you do start to try and use their features. The "Sniper" button of the M60 (and assignable in the M90) is a useful function in theory, but in practice it feels like something I'd have to get used to. I had friends try out the mice as well and the response was similar: it's a great idea but something you would have to adapt to. That's not unreasonable. There's also the placement of the "Sniper" button. On the M60, for my hands and the way I grip the mouse, it's just too far up the left side. The button needed to be lower to be under where my thumb usually rests. Again, time to adjust is the name of the game, but whether you're willing and able to do so will vary by user.

The M90's button cluster would probably be awesome for die hard MMO gamers, but I found the placement and resistance of the buttons ever so slightly off. Oftentimes it felt like I would have to press the buttons too hard to get them to register, and I never did find a way to configure them exactly how I wanted them, even for basic internet navigation much less gameplay. Where I could actually find myself adapting to the Sniper button on the M60 given enough time, the learning curve for the M90 feels substantially steeper and I'm not sure I'd ever get fully comfortable with the mutlitude of buttons and their locations.

Corsair's Software

If you read my review of the Vengeance keyboards, this is going to be pretty familiar to you. You can configure the functionality of either mouse in software, but you can also program macros and functionality directly into the hardware.

The macro functionality and button assignment configuration is just as unintuitive as the keyboard's software, and once again I find myself lamenting the lack of media controls. I have my G500 configured to control media playback; the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment buttons are used to skip tracks forward and back, and then the third thumb button is used for play/pause. None of this is possible with Corsair's software. It's a small nuisance and one they can hopefully easily rectify. The unusual and unintuitive nature of the button assignment screen is a little more troublesome, though. In the screen above, you'd expect the box next to "Assign Button 1>" to be the function the button performs. That's actually not true; that box is just a label, it's the long box beneath it that lists what the button does.

The "Manage Performance" tab is much less of a headache, though, and is actually very useful. I don't have any real complaints here; this is pretty much as simple and easy to understand as they could conceivably make it, and I appreciate them actually listing the DPI numerically instead of just having the slider. Now instead of saying "about...there is comfortable" you can know "about...2400dpi is comfortable."

My biggest complaint about Corsair's peripheral software is that it's not unified. For each mouse and for the Vengeance K90, you actually have to download and run three completely separate installers, with the irony being that eventually they all do tie in together. You can see from the screenshots that on the top right there's a toggle between peripherals, so why isn't there just one download package for all of the Vengeance peripherals? This is one place where Logitech has an edge; SetPoint's interface may be bloated, but you only have to download the one application to manage all your Logitech peripherals and it keeps them fairly separate and orderly.

The Corsair Vengeance M60 and M90 Gaming Mice Conclusion: A Matter of Taste
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  • Azethoth - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Oh yeah, and full disclaimer: I use RAT 7 MMO mouse + Vengeance K90 keyboard. They are no longer for actual MMO use though, I use the extra buttons for programming.
  • Watwatwat - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I find the best solution is logitechs g9/g9x with the auto profile switching sofware
    The mouse only has a few buttons, but the software makes the most of it, you do have to associate each profile with the executable, but most nerds probably can handle that. The main thing for thumb buttons is reachability in games, it has to be right there, not a reach or it becomes useless for quick access. There are also more buttons than you expect once you find out you can bind the wheel tilt to whatever you like as well, some wheels don't have feedback on tilt or are loose, the g9 series have a subtle click so its still useful in games.

    The r.a.t. looked interesting, but the main thing other mice lack is the speed scrolling wheel of the logitech...hard to go back to other mice once spoiled. I have several wireless but yes like the revolution they aren't as smooth, the performance mx is the best of the lot but its clearly not for gaming, the thumb buttons are a big reach away as they jut out over your thumb...
  • Shinobi_III - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    Oh look! It's an Logitech G9!
  • realjetavenger - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    "There's also the placement of the "Sniper" button. On the M60, for my hands and the way I grip the mouse, it's just too far up the left side. The button needed to be lower to be under where my thumb usually rests."

    Totally agree. Have been using the M60 or a few weeks now. Generally really like the performance of the mouse and the size fits my hand well. But find that the placement of the sniper button is just a litle too far forward. And as stated in the article it should be placed to fall under the thumb instead of having to move your thumb forward to use it. For me to hit it correctly, I have to cock my hand sideways a little to get my thumb forward enough to hold the button. This is self defeating as it now makes it more difficult to be precise with the mouse movement which is the whole point of the sniper button in the first place.
  • Whiskey Mike - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I use, and am happy with, a Razer Naga (Molten). Lots of buttons (16 at quick count) some well placed, some not so much. I only use the ones that feel natural / are well-positioned. If macroing, you could use more. Decent software for mapping the mouse keys. I use it with a couple of different MMO's/games. I also use the Razer eXactMat, which is metal, two sided (control/speed), helps a lot. Downside is I have to clean the sensor window once a day, a blow off. I would buy it again were this one to fail.

    Keyboard used is the Zboard Merc Stealth now sold by Steelseries. KB feel is okay, used it daily for maybe 4 (?) years now. The main attractions are the backlit keys (variable intensity and 3 colors) and the dedicated gaming-oriented integrated pad located to the left of the main keyboard which adds roughly 30 keys, very nicely arranged so that the left hand can easily span all of the keys; natural, quick, well placed for me. All are programmable, and are amenable to function shifts. I like this keyboard. I use two, and have bought a spare. KB downside is it is big, really big. Another downside is the right keypad area is poorly laid out.
  • Sulik2 - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I rest my thumb at the bottom of the mouse on the left and I have never found a mouse puts the buttons at the bottom. I always have to raise my thumb which never feels natural. Are there any gaming mice that put the thumb buttons at the bottom of the left side of the mouse?
  • kevith - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I think grip-wise you can divide mice in two categories. Palm-grip mice, designed for resting your whole hand on the mouse, and claw-grip mice, where you rotate the mouse inside your palm with only the fingertips resting on the surface of the mouse.

    Mobile mice almost always fall in the latter category, given the need for small size. That´s my preference in mice, since my hands are wide with short fingers.

    Would it be possible to divide reviewed mice into one of these categories from the start?

    As a lot of the comments here, quite truly, state, that it´s almost impossible to know if a mouse is the right one for you, without actually holding it in your hand. But a division of particular mice like that might give a slightly better hint.
  • jadawgis732 - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I'm surprised to see this statement on Anandtech: "For basic browsing and productivity tasks, there's still really no substitute for a wired mouse." I thought it was proven not to make a discernible difference. I always defer to AT's general knowledge of all things tech, but in this case I think you may be disseminating false information.
  • Sufo - Sunday, February 26, 2012 - link

    I was a longtime g5 user - imo it was the pinnacle of understated yet powerful gaming mice. Sadly it started to die on me and it's basically impossible to replace them these days. The g500 was not an option as I don't want a free wheel, or a wheel capable of free wheeling (the click, when enabled, is not nice).

    I thought nothing would be able to replace my g5 but in the end i settled on the m60 and I must say it's great. Build quality is excellent. The pads are even smoother than my g5, and the weight of the mouse (at its maximum) is adequate. m1/2 press is lighter than the g5, but crisp and distinct (maybe not appropriate for those that rest heavily on the mouse). The wheel click is muted but solid. I was unsure of it at first but i've come to enjoy it. I do not use the sniper button - as mentioned in this article it's poorly placed, and its benefits aren't all that useful to me at this stage anyway (if i could reassign it i might use it, but sadly this is impossible). the thumb buttons are ok - a bit springy tho, and they could have taken a leaf out of logitech's book in terms of positioning. I find it to be the right size, and the fact that the back falls away a bit results in plenty of room for me to pivot from the table.

    Overall I'm happy with my purchase.
  • Vril - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    the problem with these is that they use a 2009 laser: Avago ADNS 9500
    it`s like using an older engine on a new car...

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