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Long Term Review of the Corsair Dark Core RGB V1 (and some redesign opinions)


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TL:DR Good till the battery dies

In December of 2018 I took the plunge into the world of Corsair mouses. I came from a really large mouse (Armaggeddon G17, imaged here) and I was looking for a similarly sized mouse to replace my failing 4 year old trooper. I stumbled across the Corsair Dark Core RGB which came with a wing on the outside to stop my pinky finger from dragging on my mouse mat making it more comfortable to use for long periods of time. So I took the plunge.

 

I really enjoyed the mouse. It fit well in my hand and the wireless features (although I didn't use them much) were pretty seamless. I struggled a bit with iCue to sync between Voids and Dark Core colours but that we subsequently fixed in a patch.

Wireless Mode: As mentioned before the wireless setup on the mouse was top class and I couldn't tell if I was plugged in or wireless (see range issue) but I didn't use it because I am sitting at a desktop and I can't even remember to plug my phone in to charge let alone my mouse.

Range Issue: Unfortunately due to my PC being on my left side underneath my desk (only about 2M direct distance) I ran into a random issue where the mouse would not disconnect but it would have packet loss at the most random of times. It was not consistent on what I was doing to make it lose connection but after these issues I resorted to using it exclusively in wired mode. To my knowledge this issue was fixed in subsequent models 

Durability: For the first 23 months of daily use I ran into no problems with build quality but 13 days before my warranty ran out the mouse wheel started to fail. This would have been a return of the product but I was on holiday out of the country at the time so I couldn't return the product. So I just lived with a faulty scroll wheel which progressively got worse every month to where in early 2021 I resorted to middle clicking to scroll on web pages. Battery life at this point was not too great (about 3 hours) but the battery had been plugged in almost continuously for the past 2 years so I wasn't too salty about it but by mid 2021 the battery life was minutes long at best. Little did I know that the battery dying would be the cause of the mouse failing. Over time the mouse began turning off whilst plugged in which was annoying but it would turn back on when it was unplugged and plugged back in but the issue would get worse and worse. In May 2022 I was playing Tarkov (so my stress was high) and in the middle of a fire fight my mouse turned off, not a big deal just cycle the power, it turned on and turned off ~40s later. That was the moment I accepted that the battery issues that had been plaguing me for the better part of 2 years broke me. I was done with the battery issues so I pull up Google and search "Corsair Dark Core battery replacement" and two things popped up, a video by Snipey and this thread where both Snipey and @Corsair Albertstrongly did not recommend taking the mouse apart to replace the battery. In the video by Snipey he shows that the battery is almost the last thing that you can remove. I decided against even attempting to open my mouse to attempt a repair. 

 

Possible design changes

The mouse is really well designed minus the two parts that failed on my unit.

1. Battery access: It would be really neat if it was possible to replace the battery without totally tearing the mouse apart. Having a more easily sourced battery (such as a laptop battery cell) would make it easy to repair and reducing e-waste. In terms of placement it would be nice for it to be under a panel at the bottom of the mouse similar to a conventional wireless mouse but with fasteners (screws or hidden tabs) to reveal the battery compartment. 

2. Scroll wheel: The current design (much like all mouses) makes it very easy for dirt and hair to be trapped inside the scroll mechanism causing wheel slip and eventually in my case failure. There is not much that one can do about the access to this (other than through the charging port location or to the panels either side of it) but that would also add to the complexity (and in turn cost) of the mouse

Both of these design changes are unlikely to be implemented due to PCB layout within the mouse but it is worth a shot

 

I do plan on replacing the mouse but at $100 (shipping and import to SA) is a bit of a tough pill to swallow if I am going to have the mouse start to fail after 2 years

If anyone can advise me if these issues have been fixed I would greatly appreciate it

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Hey KangarooMike,

I appreciate you taking the time to write up your long-term review of the DARK CORE RGB. Is the mouse no longer working even when plugged in? I suggest opening a ticket with our support here, even if you're out of warranty - our support can help troubleshoot.

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