Last year Ninjutso introduced their take on a classic mouse shape, delivering a wired version of the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical. Impressively they’ve taken what they learned from that model and made it wireless without adding any noticeable weight. At 60g the Katana Superlight is one of the lightest wireless mice on the market, let’s see how it stacks up to the market in terms of features.
Measurements (L x W x H)
125 x 60.5 x 39mm
Unboxing and Extras
The packaging and unboxing experience has been improved slightly from past Ninjutso products and it reminded me of the way Logitech does their boxing. The charging cables are tucked neatly insider a smaller black box inside the main packaging.
Design and Build Quality
The shape of the Kitano might feel instantly familiar to those who’ve tried the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical but if you haven’t tried it know that this is a larger ambi shape that will work better for larger hands. The shell is solid and light at 60g and for the shape the mouse feels exceptionally light when you lift it.
The minimalist design offers up a smooth coating that’s very reminiscent of that on the Superlight. The plastic has just a slight graininess to it that helps with grip. There is minimal branding with just a silver/grey logo on the bottom of the mouse. The shell feels very solid and offered up no flex, creaks or any signs of weakness. There’s no bottom flex present on my copy and the only sign of any looseness came from a light rattle from the wheel when the mouse was shaken hard. This was not an issue that I ever noticed in my day to day usage of the mouse however.
The shape itself lends itself to a claw or palm grip though larger hands might be able to still fingertip this as well. I was able to find a comfortable grip pretty easily although it was on the longer side for my claw grip. The polling rate and DPI can be switched on the bottom of the mouse which makes it easy to use this mouse on the go without having to install the optional software.
The bottom of the mouse features two larger mouse skates and a sensor ring around the PAW3370 sensor.
Buttons & Scroll Wheel
While the Kailh GM 8.0s are some of my favorite switches, I have to admit that the switch over to Hauno pink dot switches was for the best for this Ninjutso model. The switches will be instantly familiar to those who’ve used recent Zowie and Vaxee mice. The inclusion of these switches results in satisfying tactile click that feel better tensioned than on the previous wired version.
Mouse 1 and 2 have very slight pre-travel with a bit of noticeable post travel. There is minimal button wobble and the clicks don’t have a lot of side play in use. The clicks feel crisp, satisfying and accurate and you can easily spam the buttons without having to worry about accidental clicks as they do require a medium amount of actuation force. One caveat with the main clicks is that if you have a habit of clicking high up on the buttons , it’ll result in a bit of a clunky, creaky feeling click. I wish the button feeling was more uniform throughout the entire button but it wasn’t too much of an issue while actually gaming.
The scroll wheel is the same design as found on the Origin One X and it uses a TTC-gold core encoder. The wheel has nice grip and tactility and you can feel the individual steps easily as there’s some light tensioning present. The middle click feels especially nice with a satisfying feel and medium amount of travel and gives a nice sounding click. The mouse wheel feels slightly improved from past Ninjutso mice and reminds me of that on the Superlight but I like the added tactile feedback on this that you get from scrolling.
The side buttons are well placed and I found them easily to activate without changing my grip. Well positioned on the left side they have a similar shape to the ones found on the G Pro Wireless. They have a loud crispy response and have good tactility but there is noticeable post-travel that is noticeable in use. They do bulge out the side a bit and the buttons have a slight loose and hollow feel when clicked. The side buttons aren’t as snappy and crispy as ideal but in terms of actual performance they’re more than adequate.
Shape, Performance and Software
While I have tried the original Microsoft Intellimouse Optical it’s admittedly too long and large of a shape for my 18.5cm hand. The Katana felt quite familiar to me regardless as it’s almost the same weight as the wired version I tried last year. I don’t anticipate it will take most gamers too long to adjust to the shape The shape is really comfy over time once you get used to the longer length and center-hump. The shape feels great in hand combined with the light weight as it’s rare to get a larger mouse like this that is just THIS light. Especially when combined with the great wireless performance, you feel very free to aim with both your arm and your wrist. Even though it’s a gram or so heavier than the previous wired version, the wireless tech actually makes this mouse feel lighter in actual use.
I will say that hat this isn’t the safest shape that’s going to work for everyone, I really do recommend it for those with medium to large hands who DO NOT like ergo shapes. One thing that I did miss here were some fingertip grooves on the main buttons that would have helped with both grip and comfort.
In terms of performance, I have no issues with tracking, latency or the LOD on the mouse. It was well tuned right out of the box and I found my performance to be consistent and stable. While this isn’t my top performing shape by any means, it did meet my expectations and offer up a comfortable platform for me to focus on the game. I’d say this mouse is especially well suited for tactical shooters where crosshair placement and holding angles is important as I felt a lot of reliability and consistency come through in my testing.
The Katana has optional software if you want to adjust the LOD, debounce time and custom macros but it works just fine out the box for most users. You can find the software through the Ninjutso site.
Battery Life, Sensor and Skates
The sensor is the PAW3370 and as expected for a top of the line sensor it performs flawlessly. I didn’t have any problems at all with LOD, spinouts or skipped tracking. My usual DPI felt consistent and staple and did not require a large adjustment from other wireless mice I’ve been testing of late.
The mouse comes with 2 larger PTFE feet and a sensor ring. The feet have decent glide out of the box and feel fast and smooth. They are well rounded and not too scratchy out the box. Upon inspection they’re a milky translucent color and not just white PTFE. They actually feel a lot better than the ones on the wired Katana to me and in my opinion they’re great stock skates that don’t need replacing. I’ll commend Ninjutso on noticing these details and upgrading things on their mice where they can.
As for the battery life of the mouse the Ninjutso, it’s rated for 96 hours of use on a full charge. This is more than double of the Ninjutso Origin One X. Considering I already highly rated the battery life of that model, this one should last even longer. I think gamers can easily expect 1-2 weeks of frequent use on one charge without needing to plug this thing in which puts it in the same class as the GPX or Finalmouse Starlight-12. The magnetic cable was a slight concern for me as a normal USB-C port may have been a better choice for gamers who want to charge many devices with just one cable but I was relived to know that it does make charging really quick and easy. The cable itself isn’t going to be super comfortable to played with plugged in but luckily you’ll rarely have to worry about battery life given how long this thing lasts.
This is strictly a mouse for medium to larger handed gamers but given the feature set and build quality the Katana Superlight is one of the best values in the entire market right now.
Excellent all around build quality
Solid gaming performance with no fuss or hiccups
Best in class battery life
One of the lightest wireless choices on the market
Some click feeling improvements could be made to side buttons and if clicks at the very top of M1/M2
Non standard USB charging cable could be a turn-onff to some
The Wireless Katana Superlight is absolutely worth trying if you think it’ll fit your hand / grip style
Where to buy the Ninjutso Katana Superlight Wireless