on March 26, 2012
I come from using Xai and Logitech G3 as my main mouse so I'll mainly use them as comparison in my reviews.
Kana has the perfect size because Xai was JUST a little to big for my hand. Speaking of Xai, Kana's buttons' clicks are louder and of slighlty less-quality feel to them. However, Kana's scroll wheel are much more smooth. I'd say the clicks in between scrolls are less obvious than average mouse. I like this so it's perfect for me but if you like very distinct clicks on your scroll wheel, stay away.
I really like the placement of the two size buttons because they are right where my fingers are and as they are flushed with the body -- unlike the side buttons on Logitech G3 which stick out a lot and Xai which stick out just a little. There really is little chance for accidental click.
Also if you like your mouse to have some weight, Kana may also not be for you. It is quite a bit lighter for me coming from Xai and even compared to Logitech G3, it feels just a bit lighter too but again the size is perfect in between Xai and Logitech G3 for me...
Now about the driver... First, I assumed Kana has built-in memory (coming from Xai...) which it doesn't and this means you need to have the Steelseries Engine installed and running on each computer you want to use the mouse. That's ok because shame on myself for not checking. No star taken away.
What I really have a gripe about is the that the CPI (DPI) a user can configure the mouse to is FIXED -- 400, 800, 1600, 3200. This makes no sense at all why they would restrict this... when other (uh... cheaper) gaming mouse allow you to freely set the DPI. I've been so used to a DPI settling just slightly above 1600. Why~~~ sorry.
Lastly, I want to point out the feet that come with Kana mouse is of a "cheap plastic type". However, just do a search for "Kana pedicure" and Steelseries offer to ship new good teflon feet to you for free.
I really like this mouse because it fits in my hand so well while the above point annoys me just enough. As the title said, this mouse has perfect size, buttons, scroll wheel, but not yet a perfect mouse (STILL).
on November 10, 2013
I've been a big fan of the old Microsoft Optical Intellimouse for a long time. In my opinion, the size, shape, and ambidextrous design with one button on each side of the mouse (as opposed to two or more on the same side), as well as build quality of that old mouse made it head and shoulders above quite a lot of newer mice, especially for business usage.
However, after a good 8+ years of usage, both of mine died, and I decided to take a chance on a replacement with this SteelSeries Kana Optical Gaming mouse. I have to say, that so far, I love the feel of it. Side by side the Kana is only millimeters less long than the Intellimouse, at almost identical widths and heights. The side buttons of the Kana have a nice groove near them for easy finding "by touch". This mouse feels solidly built, the white and black design fit in well with a business environment, and the dps button makes it easy to swipe the mouse across multiple screens, and then by hitting the button, slow down response for more finite control. The braided lines are also fantastic, as it means no more bunched up, twisted cords. Best part is, the mouse functions perfectly with or without the drivers from SteelSeries, so no need to install extra software if you don't need it. (From what I've found, the software allows for remapping of the buttons, control of the small white LED behind the mouse-wheel, and adjustment of the sensitivity. None of which are critical to mouse functionality).
Frankly, for business use, I think I've found my new favorite. This SteelSeries Kana.
on December 28, 2012
I have been using a Logitech G3 for years, which is a very small fingertip grip style ambidextrous mouse. It was always very comfortable in my hands and I just couldn't ever "upgrade" to the new style of ergonomic mice like the Death Adder or Logitech G500.
Recently my Logitech G3 started to show it's age and the left click wouldn't stay down consistently when dragging; so began my search for a small, ambidextrous mouse.
The first mouse I tried was the Logitech G9x, hoping that I could get used to the ergonomic design if the mouse was small enough. I just couldn't handle how WIDE the G9x was, and it was actually MUCH shorter in length than my G3, which made it sort of uncomfortable for fingertip grip and felt more like a claw grip mouse.
I then tried the Razer Deathadder, which felt alright for its size, which is rather long, but it isn't as ergonomic as some other mice on the market. The thing I liked most about the Deathadder was the side buttons. They are large, flat, and very well placed. What I didn't like, however, is that it was just too long with a big "butt", which made it more or a palm grip mouse than fingertip.
I needed to find something in between and a friend recommended I check out SteelSeries mice. After a ton of research I decided to try the "mid-sized" Kana. Kinzu being smaller (Like a G9x) and Sensei being larger (like a Death Adder); all with the same ambidextrous shape.
I immediately fell in love with this mouse and have only ONE issue: the DPI is not adjustable other than the pre-sets of 400, 800, 1600, and 3200.
- The orange LED is really stylish (if you like orange) and looks really good on my mouse pad (also SteelSeries, QCK).
- Single side thumb buttons matches my G3 and is MUCH more comfortable to press. It's in a fantastic spot for fingertip grip and sort of indents in to the mouse, making it feel intuitive and comfortable.
- DPI switch is in the same place as my old G3, which I like.
- Braided cable to prevent any damage.
- SteelSeries Engine software is simple to use and set up profiles, unlike Logitech software.
- Ability to set the led intensity via the software.
- Very smooth and light resistance scroll wheel that is also easy to click, although it sits a bit more forward than I'm used to with the G3, it's within easy reaching distance.
- Tracking is very precise and smooth.
- Lift off distance isn't anything amazing, but I found it to be better than my G3 and within a reasonable expectation.
- As mentioned above, the DPI setting can't be changed outside the pre-set options, but I'm ok with 800/1600 dpi as this is how i used my G3 (windows setting on center setting)
- Mouse feet that come with it are terrible and you NEED to go to this website: [...]
- I don't find this to be a major con, but some might: the clicks are loud and feel very mechanical. They take some force to push and give a good deal of feedback. I enjoy this specifically for FPS gaming, no accidental clicks while picking up the mouse or adjusting my hand.
My 10 year old son (whose favorite color is orange, even his PC has orange accenting) has taken this mouse for himself and demanded that I order one for myself, which I have!
My experiences with this mouse so far are FPS, RPG, and casual gaming. Some light work in Adobe Photoshop (dpi switch is outstanding here!) and a few other normal tasks.
Edit: Jan 08 2013, After my son took the Black/Orange Kana from me, I ordered the White Glossy for myself and I have to say I like it even more than the Black version. The top of the mouse is smooth, like glass, but the sides are the same texture as the Black version. The only issue with this new version was the scroll wheel is a little loose and rocks easily in place. The Black mouse didn't have this issue. Otherwise I'm still 100% happy with this mouse!
on August 26, 2015
I actually like the way the mouse feels in the hand -- it's light and tracks nicely, and is a good replacement for those who like the feel of the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical (the Kana is a little smaller than the Intellimouse, the Sensei a little larger). My only complaint about the hardware is that the L and R buttons take a bit too much force to click (I like a very light force). Supposedly this is corrected in the Kana V2, which uses a different brand of switch.
So why two stars? I did so to call attention to SteelSeries' striking misrepresentation of the functionality of their software. Before purchasing it, I checked SteelSeries.com to make sure the software would work with OS X Yosemite (10.10). According to the website, the Kana requires Engine 2 (they've not yet gotten Engine 3 to work with it), but the website assured me that Engine 2 works with "Mac OSX 10.7 or newer." Unfortunately, after purchasing the Kana I found that Engine 2 could not recognize the mouse. After some email back-and-forth with Brendan M at SteelSeries technical support, I finally got this piece of information in an email on August 26, 2015:
"Unfortunately none of our SteelSeries Engine 2.0 software or drivers are compatible with OS X 10.9+ yet.We are working diligently to release be ready for the release of the retail client. We are working around the clock to get these updates out to our customers as fast as we can to minimize the downtime our customers are experiencing. As soon as the software and drivers become available they will be posted immediately to our website in the download section.Thanks for your patience and understanding.Regards,
Now this is all very polite and apologetic, but the fact remains that, even after he sent this email -- clearly indicating that SteelSeries knew that the software didn't work with Yosemite, the website continued to claim it did (see attached screenshot, taken August 26, 2015).
The bottom line is that they're not being truthful, and as a result wasted a lot of my time. I returned the Kana.
on May 2, 2016
Bought this model for my roomate as a christmas present. He loves the ambidextrous feel like me, but his only complaint is how easily it tarnishes. The shell is made of a glossy plastic as opposed to the matte surface on the black one. Other than that, it's great
on October 14, 2015
Cord is not very flexible and has permanent kinks in it that i can't straighten out and the scroll wheel feel mediocre. The buttons and shape feel pretty good but the side buttons are positioned in a way that it is impossible to hold the mouse without accidently pressing them.
on April 1, 2015
Great lightweight gaming mouse. Glides really well on smooth surfaces without the gaming mouse mat that I've used for years. The fat rubberized mouse wheel has a satisfying roll to it. The mouse clicks are solid and fairly quiet. I don't use their software (drivers). Well made. My new base standard for computer workstations.
on July 30, 2012
This has to be one of the most narrow mice I have used, if not the most narrow. Additionally, there is little elevation or body on the sides to comfortably pick up and control the mouse. If I just palm it, then more width on the mouse provides more control. ALso, no X and Y independent settings also contributes to the difficulty to use this mouse. Really a basic feature of any mouse is the X Y Settings. The optics are very accurate as mouse optical mice are, and this one is without built-in accelleration.
on May 22, 2014
I got the very first Microsoft Optical Intellimouse some 15-odd years ago. Over time, as it broke down, I refurbished it myself as later versions of the same model came with a split circuit board, whose connections failed badly, so I'd buy them and do my own re-soldering work. My last one died about 9 yrs ago, and I've been searching ever since for something comparable. Rather simple, if you think about it, symmetry, one extra button on each side, as opposed to two on one side (something about being able to use both halves of one's brain, methinks). The Kana is almost identical, perhaps a tad longer, but pretty much as soon as I put my hand on it, I knew, FINALLY!! For anyone who loved that first optical mouse ever, this one's it's successor. That it comprises of heavy duty components (read abuse-absorbtive), with CPI settings, is just amazing. .
Now, I will add the caveat that I'm writing this within 4 hrs of my first use of it - one can see how excited I am...... Therefore the "heavy duty" remains to be seen. Watch this space.
on July 9, 2014
I need a good gaming mouse to go with my Imac, and I must say I like this mouse better than the Razer Death Adder it replaced that only lasted 7 months. Its more responsive, fits your hand like a glove. My only hope is it lasts more than the Razer.
I wish Steel Series mad a white gaming keyboard to match..Id pay top dollar for it!