Superb wireless performance, excellent battery life and impeccable build quality - but it's shockingly expensive
Steelseries isn’t the first manufacturer to release a “gaming grade” wireless mouse, but on paper the Sensei Wireless looks like it could give the likes of Razer sleepless nights. Based on the excellent Sensei wired mouse, Steelseries has included just about every feature we would expect from a top-end gaming mouse – plus a few extras.
The symmetrical shape means the Sensei Wireless caters to both right-handed gamers and southpaws, with two buttons on either side of the mouse along with the standard left and right buttons, a clickable scroll wheel and a dedicated DPI setting to change sensitivity on the fly. Unfortunately the wheel doesn’t tilt scroll horizontally, but otherwise there should be more then enough buttons for most gamers. All eight buttons can be customised using the Steelseries Engine software, letting you bind keystrokes or macros based on the games and applications you’ll be using the most.
It might not be quite as comfortable to use as an ergonomic mouse shaped for a particular hand, but the soft-touch rubberised plastic creates plenty of grip; even after a prolonged gaming session we weren’t worried about the mouse flying out of our hand.
The glowing Steelseries logo built into the palm rest is a lot more subtle than other gaming mice. The scroll wheel lights up too, and both can be customised to suit your personal colour and pattern preferences. The chunky metal charging dock also has LEDs, which indicate how much charge you have left in the mouse; when it starts to run low, the lights change from green to orange. When you’re about to run out of charge completely, it turns to red.
The mouse sits flat on the cradle to charge, and it also acts as the wireless receiver; meaning you’ll need to lug it around if you want to take the mouse with you on the move. The proprietary microUSB connector can be detached and plugged directly into the mouse for wired play, however. It’s also braided so shouldn’t tangle.
We routinely managed 15+ hours on a single charge, with Steelseries estimating up to 20 hours of continuous play when using the battery saving mode which disables the LEDs in favour of more gaming time. You activate this mode within the software, which is sensibly laid out and refreshingly responsive, sending your changes to the mouse in seconds. It’s a big improvement over other gaming mice, which take up to 20 seconds to register any changes. It’s here you’ll be able to set the sensor DPI too, which can go as high as 16,400 – meaning it should be suitable for the twitchiest of FPS fans.
Naturally it has a 1,000hz USB polling rate, which has long been the standard for gaming mice, but it’s the 1ms wireless polling time that truly makes the Sensei Wireless shine. It’s fair to say we couldn’t tell the difference between wired and wireless modes, as there was absolutely no lag and our movements translated instantly to the screen. Our Battlefield 4 scores actually improved, thanks to the mouse’s smooth gliding motion.
If you can’t stand wires but insist on the best possible gaming performance, your choice of mouse used to be limited to Razer’s £120 Mamba, but the Sensei Wireless is a fantastic, if slightly more expensive, alternative. The symmetrical design won’t suit everyone, as it can be tricky to reach the side buttons with your ring and little fingers, but performance is fantastic. If you prefer a right-handed mouse the cheaper Mamba is still a great buy, but for ambidextrous gamers this is the ultimate wireless mouse.
|Vertical scroll wheel||yes|
|Mouse battery||integrated rechargeable|
|Extras||three lighting zones|