|SteelSeries Kinzu Optical Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Joey Peng - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 18 April 2010|
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Closer Look: SteelSeries Kinzu
The SteelSeries Kinzu comes in an recyclable environment friendly cardboard box. Design is fairly good for a thirty dollar mouse. However, first impressions of the Kinzu through the see-through plastic wasn't all that great. It was a little plain and just didn't seem capable of anything outstanding.
The contents of the SteelSeries Kinzu is exactly what anyone purchasing it would expect: Mouse and Manual. There was no expectation to find any secret compartments that contained additional goodies, which is how SteelSeries manages to sell the Kinzu at such a low price.
The instruction manual explains basic mouse usage and features. The Kinzu has the capability to store three different profiles, default settings can be adjusted by downloading and installing the configurator from the SteelSeries website. Press and hold the auxiliary button to toggle between three profiles, and click to toggle between two CPI settings for each profile. This is essentially the on-the-fly adjustment feature for the mouse.
The back of the box lists the features and instructions for the Kinzu. Note that SteelSeries points out on their website that DPI is not the correct term for measuring sensitivity and they prefer to use the abbreviation CPI. A more neutral stand is to think of DPI as natively how small a movement can be detected by the laser/optical sensors, thus triggering a signal to move the mouse (Razer's definition for their "true" DPI specifications), and CPI for each inch of movement how many times to tell the OS to move the mouse. These two abbreviations are used interchangeably and for many products that leads to slight ambiguity. For most users DPI/CPI corresponds to sensitivity settings for the mouse, with a higher number simply meaning a pixel of movement on the screen for a shorter movement range.
SteelSeries should consider printing the explanation of using CPI on the box in future products to eliminate confusion since unfortunately the majority of other companies use DPI as their form of measurement, not always correctly too. SteelSeries is not incorrect in their interpretation of CPI, except their interpretation seems to lead to possible inflation of the number since algorithms can be applied to increase sensitivity without the sensor actually being able to pick up smaller increments of moving.
Generally speaking, all basic functionality we expect in a gaming mouse is present in SteelSeries Kinzu. Programmable buttons are not included with the Kinzu as it's a value mouse. Next Benchmark Reviews will take a look at the details of the mouse itself.