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SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] Frost Blue Edition Review


SteelSeries does not provide an installation disc with the Sensei [RAW]. Instead, the mouse can be configured through SteelSeries’ excellent SteelSeries Engine which can be downloaded here.

senseirawconfig

The Buttons screen, as the name implies, shows an overview of assigned functions. Switching to Left-handed Mode is done with one simple click.

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Simply clicking one of the assigned functions brings up a menu at the bottom of the screen where you can define a new function or set up a complete macro. Hit save after you have recorded your macro and you are good to go.

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The Settings screen is where we find the CPI settings, polling rate and illumination settings.

To quote SteelSeries: “DPI is an expression from the printing world and has nothing to do with mouse movement. DPI is meant to describe that for one inch of distance you move your mouse on any surface, the equivalent number of counts are sent to the PC – resulting in movement on your screen. CPI is the correct term for this as it actually is consistent with what you seek to describe with the abbreviation.

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The Properties screen is where profiles can be assigned to specific applications or even all applications in a specified folder. Say, if you wanted to use a specific profile for all your Steam Games you would simply browse to the directory and have the SteelSeries Engine collect all executables. You could then also assign your browser and other applications to different profiles so you can simply work away without having to worry about switching constantly.

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Finally, the Statistics screen is where you can keep track of which buttons you use and how often you use over a specific period of time. This is particularly useful for users who are concerned their APM (Actions Per Minute) is lacking in some games or just to look at during the day to see how productive you are.

To test the Sensei [RAW] we left the settings at their default and extensively played several games, as well as using Adobe Photoshop over the course of several days.

Below 300 CPI we did notice some angle correction as we drew multiple circles in Photoshop. However, bumping up the sensitivity quickly resolved this issue and at CPI settings above 1000 we could find no faults with the tracking performance of the Sensei [RAW]. We could not detect any input lag in any of the games we tested.

It is worth nothing that CPI settings below 500 are extremely low and feel more like a work-out than comfortably using the mouse.

The choice of an all glossy finish is an odd one and we would have preferred to see a rubberized coating to improve grip. During prolonged gaming sessions the mouse would get slightly sticky as a result of sweaty palms. The good news is that the Sensei [RAW] is very easy to keep clean.

The sides of the mouse have received a very subtly textured finish and do offer better grip than the top. However, at times the sides can feel very smooth still. This has resulted in missing the thumb buttons on several occassions.

The lighting on the Sensei [RAW] is simple, yet effective. The soft blue glow from the scroll wheel and the logo at the back will not keep you up at night if you leave your PC on and are easily turned off if you would rather not have any lighting.

Because it is only possible to switch between two CPI levels at any given time there is no problem recognizing which setting is currently selected thanks to the LED in the middle of the mouse.

The scroll wheel is excellent. It has a rubberized coating and is light enough to move with a flick of your finger, but firm enough so you will not accidentally scroll too far. In terms of using the scroll wheel as your middle mouse button there is enough resistance to let your finger rest on the wheel without having to worry about accidentally clicking. At the same time, the resistance is low enough to allow you to quickly press it when you need to.

The location of the CPI button remains contentious. We feel that placing a button which offers such a useful feature should be placed in a more convenient location, rather than the middle of a mouse. As it is, the CPI button will require users to move their hands slightly back, meaning you cannot keep clicking in-game. As we said before, we hope manufacturers will follow in Logitech’s footsteps with their placement of the CPI buttons on the G500.

Being an ambidextrous mouse we initially had some concerns about long-term comfort. However, we are happy to say there are no signs of RSI and the mouse fits our slightly larger than average hands comfortably.

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