The Corsair Vengeance M90 earned almost immediate equity with me thanks to its textured side grips and rubberized back side. I wasn’t sure how the interesting array of MMO (massively multiplayer online) gaming buttons would work out, but at the very least the M90 felt good in my hands.
And the M90 needed that equity, because it comes encased in nothing less than the very best hard plastic packaging Fort Knox has to offer. I nearly shivved myself with an Exacto knife in the process of liberating the M90 from its ‘Plastimantium’ shell. Thank goodness it doesn’t regenerate.
Here’s the quick report of the Corsair Vengeance M90 gaming mouse ‘by the numbers’ features (courtesy of Corsair).
- 15 buttons, 9 fully programmable
- DPI (Dots-Per-Inch): Up to 5700DPI, adjustable in 100DPI increments
- 4 DPI levels
- Stores up to 6 configuration profiles
- Polling Rate(s): 125Hz/250hz/500Hz/1000Hz
- Lift detection allows mouse to continue tracking (or cease tracking) based on the distance from the mousing surface.
- Omron switches (basically “extra tough” mouse switches to ensure a long life rated at 8 million clicks, or about 3 games of Diablo III.
Putting the hard in hardware
The bottom of the M90 is solid aluminum, which makes the mouse considerably heavier than your average gaming mouse. The M90 may be the first mouse I’ve considered adding to my list of PC gaming peripherals that could be weaponized in a Zombie Apocalypse. Whipped around at high speed I suspect the M90 could brain at least couple zombies.
The scroll wheel is also a little wider than the average scroll wheel, and it provides very firm and precise scrolling, which is perfect for gaming. It might prove a bit of a workout for a lot of scrolling, web surfing, etc. The left- and right- mouse buttons are powered by Omron switches, which are supposed to provide enhanced durability for a lifespan of up to 8 million mouse clicks.
Despite its weight, the M90 is as comfortable as it is heavy. The textured plastic construction feels good and stays cool under your hand. The M90 is a little larger than average too so it gives you a little bit of extra space to ‘stretch out’ your fingers or rest your palm comfortably.
Putting the hard in software
Unfortunately, although I really liked the M90’s solid construction and overall feel, it suffers from a number of deficiencies.
The first one is the M90’s software, which is unintuitive—particularly when it comes to programming macros and customizing the mouse settings. Corsair needs to do some serious homework and come up with a better user interface. Adding to the frustration is that the M90 comes with virtually no documentation.
Corsair’s mouse software also has some odd default settings. The DPI up and DPI down buttons are assigned to 2 thumb buttons, instead of the button behind the scroll wheel or the two buttons on the outside of the left mouse button—either of those locations is where you’d typically find DPI up and down functions on gaming mice from Razer, SteelSeries, and most other gaming mouse manufacturers.
Putting the hard in thumb wear
Aside from the M90’s software, however, the key problem with it lies in its most crucial feature: the 9-button thumb grid.
The thumb buttons are so stiff and difficult to press that even the M90’s extra weight not a sufficient counter weight to prevent the mouse from moving when you press a thumb button (unless you have an Iron Eagle Kung Fu Grip, anyway). The problem is most pronounced for the buttons along the top and bottom ridges of the M90. It doesn’t affect the larger, central buttons as much, but it does affect them.
Suffice to say my time spent with the M90 vengeance outside of games was good, but inside of any even remotely action-oriented games such as Tribes: Ascend or Smite it was less than thrilling. That’s not a good personality for a gaming mouse.
And yes, the same was true for DC Universe Online (an MMO I’ve always had a soft spot for) as well. Given that ‘action oriented’ MMOs are largely displacing the ‘turn based’ model, an MMO mouse needs to be equally adept at both.
I like the Corsair Vengeance M90’s overall shape, the feel of its textured plastic, and even its general design. I think the M90 has potential, but it needs considerable refinement to be counted among the best MMO mice from companies such as Razer, SteelSeries, Mad Catz, and Logitech.