[Review] SteelSeries Sensei MLG Edition Mouse
I recently received a review copy of the SteelSeries Sensei MLG Edition pro gaming mouse, and it’s taken me a while to explore all the features and try the mouse on a variety of games and applications. Without diving too deep into technical details that would be incomprehensible to most gamers, I’ll say this about the mouse: it is completely accurate- as accurate and precise as you can be. The hardware ensures this (and remember, a good mousepad is just as important to accuracy as your mouse).
You can customize any aspect of its software to your exact specifications- sensitivity, path correction, acceleration, lift distance, the button mappings, the colors- you can macro them to buttons to change all of these on the fly if you want. The only issue is that many gamers may be ill-equipped to take full advantage of these features, unless they know exactly what sort of acceleration/speed they need to be most effective in a given scenario. Fortunately, the default settings feel intuitive to me, (and to most gamers, I expect). Despite the software enabling you to modify the software, it is all onboard- no PC/Mac drivers necessary. You can even store multiple customizations (profiles), and trigger a different profile when a given application is active (increase sensitivity when Counterstrike is active, glow blue when Starcraft II is active).
Like all worthwhile pro gaming mouses, it has a button that lets you swap between low and high sensitivity. These can be modified through the accompanying software package, but the default specs were more than refined. Unlike my previous mouse (Logitech MX518), I didn’t find the high sensitivity setting to be uncontrollable. It is definitely the setting you’ll want to use on a twitch shooter, and you will be used to the higher sensitivity in 5-10 minutes. You’ll find it fairly easy to stop your cursor on small targets across the screen- don’t rest your palm on the mouse when accuracy is important; I recommend a bit of a claw grip for highest accuracy.
You can tell that a lot of thought went into each component of the mouse to maximize effectiveness; the shape conforms well to your hand without favoring righties like many high-end mice (it even has a left-handed mode built into the software). the weight is well-balanced, the material is smooth, and the bottom enough friction to keep it from slipping on smoother pads, but not enough to inhibit movement. The scroll-wheel is grippy and precisely notched, and the double-braided cord is unlikely to break under the yanking force of even the most angry gamer.
It has a few visual perks that some may be interested in; the leds on the scroll wheel & body may not be necessary for most people, but they’re tasteful and customizable- you can change the colors or turn them off. Personally, I was planning on immediately turning them off, but after switching to a deep purple hue, I find that I kind of like it. The LED screen on the bottom is slightly overkill- it’s unlikely most people will see it, but I suppose it might be a desirable place for would-be pros to put their gamer tag. That being said, it certainly doesn’t detract from the mouse in any way- it can also be turned off if a gamer isn’t interested in the extra bling. However, several of these perks could certainly contribute to the price point.
The price is the “make-or-break” point of the device. At $99, it is at quite a high price-range for mice. However, it consistently ranks near the top for gaming mice in its class, and is well-under the most expensive mice out there. However, it is likely that many of the features may not be necessary for most gamers, and thus the price point may not be justifiable. However, unless you want a weightier mouse at the extreme end of the ergonomic spectrum, this mouse will do everything you want it to do. If you are a gamer who feels bottlenecked by his hardware (and can afford a hundred-dollar mouse) I give the Sensei my full recommendation.
[+Optimized Hardware] [+Extremely Precise] [+Great Customizability] [-High Price Tag]