Mice are an interesting computer accessory. You spend so much time with your hand on them that you don't really have a choice - it must be comfortable to use. As such, they are one of the more subjective tools out there, but the SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Gaming Mouse felt right at home under my hand, and had some valuable features to boot.
First and foremost - this is a wireless mouse that displays no signs of lag. That is not a small thing as I know that there are discussions between people as to whether or not wireless can really give you the best gaming experience because of the potential for lag. The charging base acts as the transmitter, and I do admit I kept the mouse relatively close to it due to my computer station's layout, but the wireless worked flawlessly for me.
However, if you fall on the side of the fence that is against wireless mice for hardcore gaming, you will be happy to know that the Sensei Wireless has a cabled option as well. The USB cord has a braided cloth sleeve that is standard USB on one end and a micro where it plugs into the mouse itself. The docking station is simple enough, allowing you to charge the Sensei when it is not in use. It is stylish as it serves as a sort of outline to the mouse's contours, complete with customisable illumination.
Those who prefer more of a claw grip on their mice will probably not be able to appreciate the Sensei's design as much as those who use their palms to guide the mouse. As I fall into that latter category, that particular design choice suited me well. The casing for the mouse is an ambidextrous design, which is not my absolute favourite - I tend to use mice designed specifically for righties, but it was still plenty comfortable. The scroll wheel has a rubberised coating and the mouse itself is lightweight with a comfortable rubbery coating or finish that did not slip or chafe against the palm of my hand.
Another note about the design is the way the buttons are handled. The top of the mouse is a solid piece, which means that the corners of it are essentially what depress for left and right mouse clicks. It works well, I never had any detection issues. Additional buttons for changing the sensitivity and buttons on the sides are provided (up to eight in total), and all of them can be programmed. The clicks are not as loud or aggressive as some other mice I have used, but that simply seems to be by design as they all work very well. Still, it is nice not to hear my son clicking away madly from the corner of the room when he is playing League of Legends. The mouse itself has an illuminated spot as well, for those who like a bit of flash with their accessories. The Sensei certainly qualifies.
Like the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Headset, this mouse does come with some software that can be installed. The look and user interface of the software is pleasant enough, with sensitivity settings, sleep timers, battery saving features, and a variety of other settings to choose from. This is especially handy for people who like to store specifics to a profile and jump from one to another quickly. My son for example prefers a faster speed and a few other different settings than I do, so he and I can just go in and quickly change what our active profile for the mouse is.
The mouse itself tracks and response incredibly smoothly. At the highest sensitivity settings there can be a little bit of skip, but not much. At the lower to moderate settings it is spot-on with a variety of surfaces. I tried it on cloth pads, firmer surfaces and even just my desktop and the Sensei responded smoothly whether used wirelessly or when hooked up directly with the USB cable. Speaking of using the mouse wirelessly, it seems to run for at least a dozen hours without charging. You can even customise the colour patterns to reflect the charge levels, which is nice for an at-a-glance update.
The SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Gaming Mouse is all about options, while still offering professional grade gaming precision. You can use it wirelessly or hooked up directly too the machine. It can be configured with a wide range of settings. The mouse can even be used with either hand, which is great for folk who are left-handed and are looking for these kinds of options in a peripheral. For my tastes I do prefer a mouse that is specific to the right hand, but there is really very little else to complain about with it comes to the Sensei.
- Nick H.
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