SteelSeries Sensei Gaming Mouse Review
Published: 30th September 2011 | Source: SteelSeries | Price: £90 |
Testing and Conclusion
SteelSeries advertise the Sensei as "The Worlds most customisable mouse", and it's tough to argue with that claim.
There have been a raft of mice that enable the user to customise the buttons, or the colours. Record complex macros. Store multiple profiles. However we can't think of any that have done it so brilliantly as the Sensei. The SteelSeries Engine software has always been a user-friendly framework, and the Sensei elements are clear, concise, and laid out with such brutal simplicity that even somebody who didn't know their multifunction delayed macro from their elbow would be able to get things exactly as they want them in a very short time indeed.
The creation and application of specific profiles couldn't be simpler. Merely dragging and dropping gets your settings saved onto the firmware of the Sensei and ready for use. The speed in which it is capable of changing profiles and saving and loading settings is exceptional too. One thing we really loved, and there is much, is the quick change CPI button. It makes a huge difference to have two different sensitivities available rather than having to have two identical profiles but with different CPI settings.
Having such a level of customisation would be naught if the execution was lacking. The Sensei most definitely isn't lacking at all and the major thing it gets right, which has plagued even the finest mice around, is the colours. So often we either have a choice of maybe 8 colours, or a choice of them all, but only perhaps 10 or so are readily distinguishable. Such is the saturation and clarity of the Sensei solution that you really can tell the difference between light blue, ice blue, blue, navy blue, sea blue etc etc. Certainly if you require the very palest colours they can be difficult to notice, but we think everyone will be able to find an exact match for the one they seek.
Even if you have all the lighting off, and we know those who prefer it that way, the Sensei still looks amazing with that metallic-looking cover. Being able to be used with equal efficiency by both right and left-handed gamers is something that the market has long been lacking. There have been great ambidextrous mice, but we can't recall any other genuine top-of-the-line mice. The Razer Lachesis and Roccat Kova are both epic, yet have the Mamba and Kone respectively, above them in the product line. This is the best that SteelSeries does.
Often names are dreamt up for features that sound great in advertising blurb, but don't necessarily translate into anything meaningful in the Real-World™. That claim cannot be levelled at the ExactTech that exists within the SteelSeries Sensei. It's not only how useful they are, but the adjustability of them. You aren't stuck with anything as coarse as on/off, but rather a very fine level of adjustment, with a graphical representation of what exactly your changes are doing. Things like ExactLift might not be as brilliantly useful as the epic ExactAim, but any control that is given to the user to tailor their experience is only a good thing.
All this without even mentioning the main course, that lunatic sensor. 11400 CPI. Now we're good here at OC3D, but we're fairly certain that at full whack that is speedier than even the most hardened gamer will ever require. It's mind-blowing. Of course, like everything on the Sensei, it can be dialled back to something approaching sensible for our talent level, but it's nice to know it's there if you need it. If you're getting fragged to the dark side of the moon you certainly couldn't blame the Sensei.
Now the tricky bit. What don't we like about the Sensei? *insert very lengthy pause*. If you juggle grease for a living then perhaps the top coating might not be as grippy as some of the rubbery rodents out there. The LCD on the bottom is an odd placing to put your clan logo unless you plan on having the Sensei upside down all the time?
Those two hilariously minor points aside, this is a staggering piece gaming mouse. It looks the business, works flawlessly and has customisation options coming out of its ears. This is currently our favourite mouse on the planet and it will take something very special to knock it from the top spot. The SteelSeries Sensei deserves nothing less than a highly-polished Gold Award.