Steelseries Kana review – Lightweight champion


By Yolanda Green on Thursday, December 6, 2012
"The Kana’s brilliance lies in its simplicity."

I find myself in a kind of love – hate relationship with the Kana mouse from Steelseries. I love the functionality, but don’t quite love the design as much, although it has kind of grown on me.

The Kana is obviously manufactured by Steelseries and very reasonably priced at about R440 locally. It’s actually an awesome price for the gaming mouse you get. If you’re struggling to find one, check out the black and white versions at ComputersOnly. 

Design

The Kana has a very simplistic and elegant design. Yes, I know that sounds all chick-like but I don’t care mkay? It is,  as mentioned available in a sleek black and orange colour as well as a cool white. I’ve gotten the black mouse to review. It’s covered in a tough black matte like plastic, Although I love the matte look, it doesn’t last very long, soon after using it frequently, the matte rubs off where your finger tips touch and it just looks like some one’s been eating KFC before touching the mouse with their greasy little monkey fingers.

The mouse’s ambidextrous design took a while to get used to. It’s got one big button on either side with identical indents where your thumb would be. Needless to say that this makes the way you grip the mouse, a bit uncomfortable. After using the mouse for a couple of days, you get used to it though. The mouse is extremely light, which may be suitable or preferable for some, I found it to be a tad too light, especially when playing an FPS game. It would have been awesome if you could insert some weights, like with some other mice to make it just the right weight for you as an individual. I find it easier to snipe or use an assault rifle more accurately when the mouse has a little bit of weight to counter the recoil and improve control. But that’s just me. The Kana is a “thin” mouse and definitely something to be gripped with the finger tips instead of resting in the palm of your hand, this might not make it the best mouse for gamers with bigger hands.

In size, the Kana is something between the Kinzu and the Sensei, its 124mm high and 64mm wide. I love the gliders placed on the bottom of the mouse, it covers about 16% of the bottom with one placed at the top half and two at the bottom, it really makes the mouse smooth to use. Although it doesn’t really help the light weight issue, it assures that the mouse has better control. The Kana is easy on the eye and the double braided cord makes it look just that more attractive. It just screams quality. 

Functionality

The Kana is best suited to use for MOBA, RTS and FPS games. If you’re as fussy as I am, you won’t like it for MMO use. Once again, its simplicity makes it perfect, eliminating the extra button clutter when you’re in those intense moments in-game. The probability of accidentally pressing all the wrong buttons on the mouse with your thumb is just about zero.

You have six buttons, each with its own purpose, the right and left side buttons to be programmed as you choose.

  1. Left click
  2. Right click
  3. Scroll wheel / Middle click
  4. Right side button
  5. Left side button
  6. CPI toggle

What makes this mouse perfect for FPS games is my absolute favourite feature, the CPI toggle. You can preset two different CPI settings using the SteelSeries engine, making it perfect to swap on the fly. You can set low CPI settings for when you need a steady aim and high CPI settings for when you want to sprint. For example, the Kana that I’m using is programmed to have one setting of 800 CPI with the LED sensitivity off for sniping or steady aim in-game (low sensitivity) and 1600 CPI with the LED sensitivity turned on (high sensitivity) for when I need to sprint or move around or react fast.

The mouse is accurate, very responsive and suitable for any surface. The optical sensor was designed to eliminate jitter and optimize stability and really does its job well. 

Optical sensor numbers:

Frames per second: 3600
Inches per second: 130
Mega pixels per second: 3.7
Counts per inch: 400 – 3200
Maximum acceleration: 30 G
Sensor data path: True 16 bit
Lift distance: ~2 mm
Maximum polling: 1000 Hz

The verdict!

When it comes to lightweight mice, the Kana is definitely the way to go. It’s simplistic design and precision makes it the perfect mouse for the task at hand. When playing a MOBA or RTS, you’ll find your responses to be fast, thanks to the gliders and when playing FPS games, you’ll find that the CPI toggle will optimise the way you play. The Kana’s brilliance lies in its simplicity.  

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Author:Yolanda Green

I like bacon and games, and occasionally I say something coherent about it. I'm not old or cynical, and I'm not the Dork Knight. I AM SHE-RA! Wait, what?

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