Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
Just over two years ago, we were given the opportunity to have a look at the SteelSeries Sensei [RAW]. Though the Sensei [RAW] mouse received a ninety percent rating from us, we did find it to be one of those mice that grew on you the more you used it. In fact, ever since that review, the Sensei [RAW] has sat next to the laptop we use for everything but gaming and writing reviews; all of our web surfing, IM-ing, emails, and everyday BS was done with that mouse. That was up until about a month ago, when the Sensei [RAW] just up and gave the ghost. There was really no explanation as to why it died, but we enjoyed our time with the Sensei [RAW] so much, that we replaced it with the SteelSeries Rival, hoping for much of the same feel and accuracy we were used to.
We had some bad firmware flashes on both mice, and we love that they always seem to come back from the dead, but when we gave up the Sensei [RAW] for the Rival, we lost that thin, centered design that comes with most ambidextrous mice. We are in no way here to trash the Rival, as it is a great mouse, and has worked like a champ since we first pulled it out of the box. The Rival is great for gamers, and would be better suited for a rig with that sort of use. However, as our daily driver for all around use, the Rival was slightly too tall for our long-term comfort, and since it is slightly longer than the Sensei, reaching to click smoothly all of the time got a bit old.
Today we have the opportunity to move back to a Sensei mouse as SteelSeries delivers the latest mouse to take on the Sensei naming. We are about to have a very up-close and personal look at the new Sensei Wireless, which has quite a lot going on. The Sensei Wireless is a wireless mouse that follows the latest trend of allowing for wireless, as well as wired usage. It is ambidextrous in design, and it also offers a really cool charging base that will plainly show the level of remaining battery life in the Sensei Wireless during usage. This design incorporates a few other handy features that we will cover soon enough, but as for now, we do believe we have your attention. We strongly urge you to continue reading about the new SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Mouse to see if it is the next must-have mouse for you.
On SteelSeries' webpage for the Sensei Wireless there is a good amount of information to be cherry picked as you scroll down the page, but we found the chart provided does offer all of the basics, and we will help along the way with specifics that are not mentioned in the chart.
The chart starts off with the specifications of the laser sensor, which in this case is the Pixart/Avago ADNS9800 that offers users a Counts per Inch range from 50 to 8200 in 50 CPI increments. The laser also offers a 1ms response rate, can track movements of up to 150 Inches per second, and can accomplish this with up to 30Gs of acceleration too. Since both of the latter specifications are near humanly impossible, you can be assured it will handle more than the tracking of average humans like us. Just off to the right is the last bit we want to cover here, and that is the fact that SteelSeries installed their own branded switches with a thirty million click lifespan in this ambidextrous design, rather than opting to use Omron switches.
Other features to note that are built into or onto the Sensei Wireless are things like battery life, and here SteelSeries claims to offer a mouse with at least sixteen hours of uninterrupted gaming, and up to twenty hours of life if the software is used to extend its life beyond the default settings. The cool part about this design is that it also ships with a base to provide a place for the mouse to charge that is free of any cables. However, the same UBS cable that powers the charger base can also be used to charge the mouse, or for continuous play when the battery has died.
We also see in this section that there are eight programmable buttons. There is mention of 16.8 million color choices, which is true, but the mention of four zones is contrary to the three we will see in the software section. We also see that the Sensei wireless keeps the rubberized coating we find on most SteelSeries mice, and the six and a half foot USB cable is braided from end to end.
Since the intro image shows what the Sensei Wireless looks like, let's just stick to the physical dimensions of the components for now. The Sensei Wireless Laser Mouse is 41mm tall, 69mm wide, 129mm long, and weighs in at 120 grams without the cable attached. As for the charger base that comes in the kit, it is 165mm from front to back, 100mm in width, stands 24mm at the highest point, and weighs in at 208 grams. The Sensei Wireless is definitely a light mouse that is easy to travel with, and it's truly for those on the go; all you need to grab is the USB cable if you think your computer usage will outlast the battery life, and just leave the base at home.
The one part of this that sort of takes the whole excitement surrounding the features down a notch would be the pricing. Now, at this point we are not yet saying if the cost is worth the investment, we will save that for the end of this review, but this may come as a bit of a sticker shock. Upon visiting the SteelSeries website, we saw that you can buy this mouse direct from SteelSeries with all the bits and bobs you are about to see here, but it will set you back $159.99 U.S. dollars. As we looked around elsewhere, we noticed that no matter the retailer, that pricing is pretty on point with the in-house pricing. There are some initial deals to be had on the base pricing, but after investigation we found all pricing averaged out at this level once shipping was applied. No offense intended with this statement, but at this sort of a price point: SteelSeries really needs to provide us with one hell of a mouse for this sort of an investment; let's see if they are able to do that.
PRICING: You can find the STEELSERIES SENSEI WIRELESS LASER MOUSE for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The STEELSERIES SENSEI WIRELESS LASER MOUSE retails for $152.07 at Amazon.
Canada: The STEELSERIES SENSEI WIRELESS LASER MOUSE retails for CDN$159.99 at Amazon Canada.
Australia: The STEELSERIES SENSEI WIRELESS LASER MOUSE retails for $236.99 AUD at Mighty Ape Australia.
New Zealand: The STEELSERIES SENSEI WIRELESS LASER MOUSE retails for $249.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.