Corsair Harpoon Wireless Gaming Mouse Review
When Logitech released their beloved G305 wireless gaming mouse a few years ago at an affordable price, it changed the whole PC peripheral market. Now, every company has to make a competent wireless mouse model that costs less than sixty dollars just to stay competitive.
Corsair’s Harpoon Wireless is perhaps the worst current example of this trend…though that doesn’t mean it’s a total train wreck. It has just enough going for it that it might still become your favorite, but you’ll have to put up with a lot of things that put it firmly at the bottom of the proverbial ladder.
Note: I bought this mouse myself at Best Buy. I don’t receive any money or incentives if you decide to buy one, and I don’t use affiliate links in any of my online content. For more about my monetization and reviews policy, please click here.
The Corsair Harpoon Wireless sells for a standard price of $49 dollars (official site here) and sometimes receives discounts. This puts it right in the same price category as a bunch of other popular budget wireless models, including the G305, Razer Basilisk X, SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless, and Corsair’s own Katar Pro Wireless.
Inside the box, you’ll get the mouse itself and its Slipstream Wireless dongle (stored in a handy compartment on the bottom of the device), a USB cable for charging and optional wired connection, and some literature. Most other lower-priced wireless mice use replaceable batteries, giving you some additional flexibility. With those other models you can use lithium batteries for a lighter weight or your own rechargeable ones, but the Harpoon can only use its internal battery or the wire so it’ll always weigh 99g.
Unfortunately for this mouse, it has a weird shape, an unusual coating, squishy buttons that don’t have the same tight responsiveness of other popular modern mice, and a sensor that could charitably be described as outdated.
The shape of the Harpoon is awkward, with an ergonomic frame at the front and a back end that abruptly drops off into the table instead of hitting your palm. In spite of being a bit larger than the all-grip-style-supporting Razer Orochi V2, the Harpoon’s blunted rear means that it’s only suited to fingertip or claw grips. A full palm grip just doesn’t feel comfy or right.
Once I adjusted to a lighter claw grip, I then had to contend with the coating. It’s a very rough, cheap-feeling matte surface that seems like it was dripped onto the plastic. In fact, this is one of the most unpleasant coatings I have experienced in a long time. The grippy top and rubberized sides are no doubt great for keeping your hand in place, but they do a terrible job at hiding the low price of the mouse.
Although the buttons have an ample amount of soft springiness to them that’s not at all in line with the quick snappy response expected of today’s mice, I love them! They’re especially great for menu-driven games and things like Diablo III with a lot of repetitive clicking. You can feel the heft of the spring tension under the buttons with every click, and once I adjusted to them they were great — but if you’re used to pretty much any other model, they’re going to feel weird.
Sensor performance is disappointing, which is a weird thing to say in a world where good optical sensors are basically the norm. The Harpoon uses an ancient PixArt 3325 sensor, with a meager 5,000 DPI rating and some detectable liftoff distance issues. Corsair markets it as a 10,000 DPI sensor, but they’re just fudging it and doubling the values in the internal processing to achieve that speed.
Granted, 5,000 DPI is still more than you’d realistically need, but Corsair’s competitors all include much nicer sensors in their budget wireless models. And while I had no significant tracking issues, I did frequently notice the larger-than-normal liftoff distance.
The scroll wheel looks cool at a glance, with its weird fully-exposed design, but it rattles some on my copy and I suspect that this will get worse over time since it’s not held in place by much of the frame. The side buttons are at a steep angle and both rest under the front of my thumb, making the rear button harder to hit than it should be. And while I guess it’s cool that the mouse has its own internal battery, the charge cable has a proprietary shape on the mouse side and a huge chunky piece of Corsair-branded plastic on the PC side, meaning that finding a replacement is essentially impossible.
It sounds like I hate this mouse, but I don’t — it’s just worse than every other wireless mouse in this price range I’ve ever tried. It has two standout features though: Slipstream wireless and RGB. The wireless system is very good. Everyone claims in their marketing that they’re fast in some specific way so they can look like the best option, but my limited ability to test this and reading independent measurements both make it clear that Razer’s system is faster.
Where Corsair gains some ground back is with its recently-launched multipoint pairing, which works better than any other take on this I’ve ever used. I was able to seamlessly pair my Corsair Virtuoso and the Harpoon to the same dongle, and neither performance nor range were impacted in the slightest. If you already have a headset or keyboard that supports Slipstream multi pairing, it really does work and might make the Harpoon a better choice for you.
The RGB lighting is also great, with two zones on the logo and the DPI switch button. Again, if you’ve already got other Corsair gear, it might be worth it to you to easily sync the lighting. It’s also not that common to see RGB lighting on a wireless mouse at this price.
Still, the Harpoon Wireless carries the burden of numerous outdated design decisions that leave it in the dust compared to the market. The Basilisk X, Rival 3, and G305 all offer much better sensors, shapes, and button feel while going for around the same price. And although they don’t have the benefit of a cool multipoint system (at least not yet), they all do also have fast wireless performance.
I can’t recommend the Harpoon Wireless unless you’re a die-hard Corsair fan who loves to claw or fingertip grip and doesn’t mind paying for an outdated sensor. Even then, you may wish to consider the cheaper Katar Pro Wireless instead. It offers a more traditional shape, the same internal components as the Harpoon, a replaceable battery…and costs $10 dollars less.