by Ryan Perry on August 11, 2014 in Peripherals
Want a high-performance wireless gaming mouse that doesn’t have its battery-life measured in seconds? Well, SteelSeries has released its renowned Sensei into the wild, free to run and frolic in grassy meadows, without the need of being tethered to unsightly cables. Does the result live up to our high expectations? There’s only one way to find out.
Of course the first thing that a user will notice is how a new mouse feels in their hand. Unfortunately, this is purely subjective and what one person finds comfortable, another might find impossible to use. In my case, the Sensei Wireless fit like a glove for me, and this is coming from someone who has used a right handed mouse exclusively for over 4 years.
Each button was easily accessible, and I suspect that those with smaller hands shouldn’t have too much trouble either, thanks to the somewhat low and narrow profile of the mouse.
The left and right mouse buttons are solid, and have a nice, tactile feel to them. When it comes to the shoulder buttons, they’re a bit spongy, and seem to travel a fair distance before they register. This isn’t a make or break problem for me personally, but it would have been nice if these buttons felt as solid as the rest.
The scroll wheel features a bit of notched resistance, but for the most part remains nice and smooth. While clicking, the scroll wheel feels very similar to the left and right mouse buttons.
When it comes to performance, I noticed absolutely no lag or latency with the Sensei Wireless. It performed exactly the same whether it was wired, or left to run free. I’m sure we could have tracked down some sort of testing software, but I feel confident in saying that if there is any latency when running as a wireless mouse, there isn’t any real world impact.
There have also been mumblings around various forums due to acceleration problems with the ADNS-9800 sensor, but I didn’t observe any of that during my two weeks of testing. The pointer continued to track perfectly and move as expected, so instead of the sensor being the culprit, I’d imagine fault would lie with the firmware and internals of the individual mouse.
Battery life is also a prime concern when it comes to wireless peripherals, and we’re happy to report that the 20 hours quoted by SteelSeries wasn’t far off from what we found. From a full charge we managed to get just over 19 and a half hours when running in Power Saver Mode. Some might think 19-20 hours isn’t enough, but most of us aren’t likely to put in a solid 20 hours of use. The worst that could happen would be to forget to put the mouse on the charging base, in which case simply plug in the cable and use it as a wired mouse for a few of hours until it’s fully charged.
To wrap things up, SteelSeries has managed to carry over everything that made the original Sensei popular. The overall build quality of the mouse and the charging base is fantastic, the software is intuitive and easy to use, and the battery life is what I would consider excellent.
The biggest sticking point is likely to be the price tag, but in this case you certainly get what you pay for. At $159 US, it’s more of an investment in a solid, built to last product with well-designed software, rather than just something that will control your pointer.
As the name suggests, the biggest advantage here is the ability to have a high-end gaming mouse with the ability to be wire-free, which in my opinion is as liberating as cooking bacon without wearing pants.
Oh, the freedom. Does anybody else feel a draft?
SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse