The latest range of products from award-winning manufacturer SteelSeries has left gamers from all corners of the industry in no doubt that this is a serious play for total domination at an affordable price by the critically acclaimed team. The Sensei Raw Gaming Mouse is a perfect example of design and durability combined with form and functionality, and all at a wallet-friendly fee. Let’s take a look into this ambidextrous delight a little closer as we bring you the low down on the high points of SteelSeries’ newest addition to their gaming family.
Following up on the success of the original Sensei mouse was never going to be an easy task for any product designer. It’s user-friendly, ergonomic curves were beautifully balanced against the excellent positioning of additional feature buttons and their undoubted practicality. Well, let us rephrase that statement a little, shall we? ‘ Following up on the success of the original Sensei mouse was never going to be easy for any other design team’. Fortunately, the men and women at SteelSeries are no ordinary ‘techy types’.
Moving away from the glossy finish of the elder statesman of the Sensei range, the ‘Raw’ comes in with a more down to Earth and gritty approach as it takes on a decidedly more rubberized matte finish. Of course the pleasing aesthetics do not end there as those gamers who are found of a more ‘futuristic’ feel to their peripherals will be pleased as punch, no doubt, with the pulsating SteelSeries emblem beaming its logo out from the hand plate of the mouse like some kind of technological timing of a cybernetic heart beat.
Naturally the easy on the eye looks of the Sensei Raw are not the only good-looking things abut the latest mouse from SteelSeries, as once again the sheer practicality of its design marries perfectly with its functionality. Unlike a good many other gaming mice on the market the Sensei Raw has opted for the simplistic and uncluttered approach, as opposed to some of the more multi-buttoned monstrosities of the less ‘cultured’ of the peripheral manufacturer’s out there.
Although the Sensei Raw has dropped the on board ARM processor unit of its older brother, something that users will not bat an eye at, it does at no time ever dampen its performance or hinder the player in any shape, way or form. Just as the Sensei Raw now has only one colour throbbing in its chest, unlike the many millions of shades of grey of its predecessor, the Sensei Raw still outshines the original in all area’s thanks to the dazzling list of specifications as shown below:
Features & Specifications Here are the basic SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] features and specifications by the numbers, courtesy of SteelSeries.
- 7 programmable buttons. Practically speaking it’s 2 (the 2 thumb buttons).
- White LED lighting: DPI indicator, scroll wheel, and the SteelSeries Logo
- Black glossy or rubber coating.
- 125/250/500/1000Hz polling rate
- Up to 5760DPI (dots per inch)
- 2 DPI modes (“High” and “Low”)
- Support for programmable macros and multiple profiles
- APM (Actions per minute) measuring system
- Weight: 90 grams (0.2 lbs)
- Height: 38.7 mm (1.5 in)
- Width: 68.3 mm (2.7 in)
- Length: 125.5 mm (4.9 in)
As is clearly demonstrated by SteelSeries, with their detailed coverage of the innards and workings of the Sensei Raw, this latest gaming mouse is more than capable of standing up against any one of the heavily muscled MMO specific ‘uber mice’, whilst at the same time being easy enough for even the mot novice of PC gamer to take advantage of as they blaze a trail through something as basic as Angry Birds.
It is in this universal appeal that best describes the Sensei Raw’s true potential, as whether you are a gamer, or not as the case may be, the Sensei Raw is more than capable of stepping up to the plate for even the most busy of hands.
During the actual testing of the review unit we put the Sensei Raw through its paces with a lengthy bout of League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DoTA, Battlefield 3 and even ARMA 2. To say that this sexy little unit performed admirably is to totally understate the ease with which the Sensei Raw took care of every task and trial thrown at it, even during the more tense moments of a particularly raucous firefight in Battlefield 3, as well as a fractious assault during League of Legends.
The Sensei Raw then went on to prove its worth in the practical arena as we then adapted its functions to the more mundane and every day tasks required by millions of people in businesses and offices around the globe every single day. The ‘Raw’ coped with this particular ‘challenge’ with the rightful disdain it deserved as its handily placed additional ‘programmable’ buttons, which are situated along the mouse on both the left and right side panels, brought the same kind of instant easy access to imperative commands to make extremely light work of everything that was asked of it.
Of course, the extremely controllable scroll wheel, and handily placed additional ‘wheel button’ just below it, make for fast, sharp movements that are complimented by expansive sensitivity zones of the two main mouse control buttons at the fore front of the unit.
It is rare in this day and age to find any kind of product, especially one that has been targeted at a particular market, that operates at the same optimum performance in anything outside of its designated area, but the Sensei Raw has managed to not only break the mould of this stifling tradition, but to reshape and rework it to its own ends, and in doing so SteelSeries have managed to produce a gaming mouse that can be used by the customer at any time, and for all tasks on their PC.
Again we point out that it is because of this ease of use that the Sensei Raw should be the first port of call for not just the more avid and experienced PC gamer, but also the casual and novice players, as they are able to become better acquainted with its handling and performance as they use the mouse for the more day-to-day requirements of a PC user before they break off for a quick round or three of DoTA or Call of Duty.
Before we venture further, however, we simply must point out the second to none performance offered up by the unification of the QcK mousepad and the Sensei Raw, as the two peripherals produce a staggeringly wide range of movement of the cursor for what is, in effect, barely a tweak of the wrist or the touch of a hand as users are greeted with a panoramic approach to the gameplay area to be affected by even the slightest of player movements.
This is complimented greatly by the sheer pinpoint accuracy and delicate precision that the two SteelSeries items produce when used together. Because of this we cannot recommend them both highly enough.
When used in conjunction with the simply supreme SteelSeries QcK gaming mousepad it becomes blatantly obvious, to even the first time user of a SteelSeries product, that the two work in perfect harmony with each other. This is thanks in no small part to the beautiful finishing of the QcK and its specially designed non-slip rubber base and intricately woven cloth top section. But when you add to that the sheer silky smooth glide of the Sensei Raw, with its High performance UPE material covering a huge proportion of the underside base area, then the Raw becomes easier to handle than any other mouse we have covered to date.
Everything about the Sensei Raw screams ‘user friendly’ at you from the top of its rubberized lungs. Macros become a walk in the park as the Sensei Raw shrugs them off with relative ease, allowing the player to create and control even the most complex of command tree’s with the merest of button depressions or flicks of a non-sweat slicked digit. However, if you are the type of person who thinks that racing stripes really do make cars go faster, and that more buttons really do make you a better MMO player then the Satsuma Twunt Funster FX Behemoth is out there on Amazon somewhere just awaiting your £250 checkout.
This brings us nicely to the crust of the biscuit, the cost of the Sensei Raw. SteelSeries have done the unthinkabkle, in terms of manufacturing in the videogame industry at the moment at any rate, in that they have managed to make a simply spectacular product even better as they revise their original Sensei into the peripheral powerhouse that is the Sensei Raw, and then giving it a jaw-droppingly amazing £47.99 price tag! Simply outstanding by anyone’s reckoning.
So, then. We come to the final summary, and where to begin? Do we mention that the Sensei Raw has removed unnecessary features in favour of a more slimmed down and sleeker machine? Or do we opt instead for the fact that this new design has totally revamped an already stellar reputation and taken the orbiting respect of SteelSeries even higher into the realms of the stratospheric? Perhaps we should mention that achingly gorgeous range of movement and precision again, or maybe the eye-opening price tag in an age when every penny counts?
Truth be told…it is not one ‘single’ thing about the Sensei Saw that should be outlined or highlighted as a ‘deal maker’, as what the unit does it does to the very best of its abilities, and far in excess of even some of its far pricier rivals we hasten to add. Rather it should be pointed out that it is all things combined that make this gaming mouse by far and away the stand out choice that see’s the Sensei Raw towering head and shoulders above the competition, as well as becoming the clear favourite in the 2013 Editor’s Choice Awards for the more discerning PC gamer.
It is the design, it is the form and functionality of this beautifully and painstakingly crafted mouse, it is its accuracy, range of movement, pricing, additional features, specially crafted materials and purpose designed features that make the Sensei Raw the stand out product of a highly competitive market. But what it isn’t, however, is about doing one thing better than anyone else, it’s about doing all things equally to deliver a flawless performance, and Steel Series have cracked it with the Sensei Raw gaming mouse and QcK mousepad. But more so, it is the in the way that the guys and girls at SteelSeries have managed to bring all of these highly practical functions and facets together in one perfectly built peripheral, ‘that’, good GmP readers…THAT, is why the SteelSeries Sensei Raw, as well as the SteelSeries QcK mousepad, score a truly justified perfect 10 out of 10