Steelseries Sensei RAW Frost Blue Review

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Many companies these days either have a gaming brand, or focus primarily on gaming.  With many different products, with many different designs and colour combinations available, there is always something for everybody in this huge market.  One such company is Steelseries, founded in early 2001, they have been at the forefront of competitive PC gaming for over a decade and have helped the competitive gaming community get where it is today.

With many different products ranging from gaming mice, to mechanical keyboards and everything in between, you can most likely guarantee if there’s a peripheral you need, SteelSeries manufacturer one.  With teams on their books ranging from Fnatic, Natus Vincere and even the Copenhagen Wolves (SteelSeries are a Danish Company), some of the world’s top gamers not only endorse SteelSeries products, but swear by them.

Today, I will be taking a look at their limited edition Sensei RAW Frost Blue Illuminated Gaming Mouse.  Will it swim or sink? Let’s find out, starting with some specifications…

General:

  • 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)

Sensor:

  • Frames per second: 12000
  • Inches per second: 150
  • Mega pixels per second: 10.8
  • Counts per inch: 90-5670
  • Maximum acceleration: 30 G
  • Sensor data path: True 16 bit
  • Lift distance: ~2 mm
  • Maximum polling: 1000 Hz

This Sensei RAW comes packaged in a predominantly black box, with an illustration of the limited edition mouse on the front.  As you can see the mouse is white, with a frost blue LED.  Also on the front is the brand, model number and the Steelseries logo in the bottom right hand corner.

On the rear, we have a detailed list of specs in 4 languages (English, Spanish, French and German).  It would have been nice to see Chinese, which is the most widely spoken language in the world, but not to worry.  There is also a guide of the mouse which pin-points where certain features can be found on the mouse in the way of a diagram.

Bundled with the Sensei RAW, there is a small instruction booklet and a sticker courtesy of Steelseries.  One thing that is missing and I’m quite shocked to see, is the lack of a driver disc, obviously you can download the drivers/software via the Steelseries website, but not everyone has the internet so it is slightly disappointing, but it’s not a biggie.

Taking a look at the Sensei RAW, the first thing you can notice is the white glossy finish.  Also worth noting are the 2 thumb buttons which are pretty common on gaming mice these days, but always a good thing to see.

Here we can see the Steelseries logo in all its glory, which has a pixelated effect.  Again you can see how glossy the white finish is.

Here we have the pinkie buttons, which gives this mouse versatility for those who may be ambi-dexterous.  It’s not often companies who manufacture gaming mice take these types of issues into consideration and it’s a pretty big deal in my opinion.

Looking at the Sensei RAW head on, we have the rubber mouse wheel and also a button for changing DPI.  There is only one button so this only enables you to cycle through 2 different settings as opposed to flicking back and forth.  This mouse also has a two tone effect of glossy white and a subtle grey.  This is a nice effect and I will touch more on that later on in the review.

On the base of the mouse, we have the laser and although it doesn’t have the double CPI of the Sensei, I feel this would be plentiful for the majority of gamers.  There is also information displayed such as the product number, that it was designed in Denmark and that it was also made in China.

Here I have demonstrated the illumination of this limited edition Sensei RAW mouse.  As this is the frost blue edition, you can quite clearly see the frost blue colour.  Although photographing illuminated products is usually quite difficult, here you can clearly see the illumination.  This can be altered via the software if needed.  There are also rubberized grips which not only improve grip on surfaces, but protect the mouse from underside damage.

To demonstrate the Steelseries software, which is named the Steelseries Engine, I took the liberty of illustrating the menu’s and decided to briefly explain it, so people looking at purchasing this mouse can see what the software is capable of.

Starting with the main screen, there are numerous options available.  They range from selecting already made profiles consisting of the default settings, fast and slow, I advise you give these a try first to save you time.  Time saved in software equals more time gaming.  As you can see, there is a left handed mode, which is due to the ambidextrous design of the Sensei RAW.  There is also a guide for the mouse’s button assignments.

With the settings menu, it allows you to change the CPI (Counts per Inch).  What the LED on/off means is when you press the DPI button, it has 2 states which are self-explanatory, LED on or off.  Also present is polling rate and being able to set the intensity of the LED lighting levels.  Although there is one colour, it is a limited edition mouse after all and judging by the name, it is the Frost blue edition mouse.

In the properties menu, it allows you to add games where you can set custom settings via a game as opposed to a pre-set.  This is a good feature if you play games at semi-pro or even professionally.  When the desired games are automatically loaded, the Steelseries engine will automatically switch to the desired pre-set.

On the final menu setting, statistics, this is a really interesting addition.  What this allows you to do is record the number of key presses during games, applications and even general browsing.  Once you start the timer, it will record each button click.  This is useful if you’re looking to find under used mouse buttons, or where your hand is used to clicking so you can assign buttons accordingly.  I really do like this feature and believe this sets the Steelseries software apart from the rest.

To keep testing consistent, for every mouse I review personally, I plan to use the same methodology when it comes to game choices etc.  This keeps results fair and means I can express my personal opinions on a comparable level. My games of choice are no other than DOTA 2, which is a fantastic MMO style game where 2 teams of 5 champions battle it out in an arena.  The other is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for some fast paced FPS action.

Beginning with DOTA 2, my first port of call like every time I review a new mouse, is to head over to the software to change my profile.  This was painless via the Steelseries software; it’s apparent the majority of companies have this right.  While dominating the feeders who kept coming my way, the Sensei RAW was perfect in providing accurate mouse clicks, accurate pin point precision on the screen with the cursor and was very comfortable throughout.  Although an ambi-dexterous feature, the pinkie buttons came in handy a couple of times, as I decided to map them to give them a whirl.  My overall experience on DOTA 2 was a good one and didn’t find any flaws in the Sensei RAW so far.

Moving onto a different type of game altogether, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, I changed my profile once again via the Steelseries software and set about on my quest to not only become top of the leader board, but to help rise my poor K:D ratio.  Like DOTA 2, I had no issues with responsiveness and everything seemed to be in order.  The clicks were defined, not to loud but not silent, they felt good to click and I have no concerns that they would fail anytime in the distant future.  As always Nuketown is my favourite map, so I set about killing noobies and blowing people up with bouncing betties.  One issue I did encounter was the fact the Sensei RAW only has one switch for changing DPI settings.  This still allowed me to switch from sniper mode to all out sub-machine gun warfare.  Having just 2 options to cycle through makes it slightly limited, but how many gamers out there use more than 2-3 different DPI settings in a game anyway?

General browsing was another delight, just with the majority of mice I test; I had no problems in navigating around web pages or my desktop.  Obviously I had to tone down the DPI setting slightly as I’m not a fan of having my cursor buzzing around all over the place with the slightest of movements, although some people with very high resolutions would like this.

Now it’s time for my final thoughts…

It’s time for the conclusion and my overall opinion on the Steelseries Sensei RAW – Frost blue limited edition gaming mouse.  Is it any good?  Is it bad?  Does it do the job?  Well let’s find out…

Starting with the design of the mouse, Steelseries have done a fantastic job with this particular model.  The sleek glossy white combined with the frost blue LED, make this mouse one of the best looking I have ever had the pleasure of using.  Obviously colour is down to personal opinion and although I love the white finish, this wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste.  Aside from that the mouse is built very well, doesn’t feel too clunky and the ambidextrous nature of this mouse make it a winner in this respect.

Another aspect of the Sensei RAW is that it’s comfortable to use.  I have big hands and can sometimes have trouble finding a mouse that’s suitable, but this one in my opinion would be suitable for those with hands in all shapes and sizes.

The software is a really nice addition, compatible with all the current Steelseries products, it is very diverse and the addition of the statistics option, it makes this software appealing to professional gamers, which Steelseries themselves align themselves with.  It is easy to use and I found no bugs while using it.

In terms of performance, the Sensei RAW also does very well.  As for accuracy, this mouse is fantastic and the clicks are well defined.  While testing in both my chosen games, the overall experience was good and would certainly recommend this mouse for FPS games and MMO’s etc.  I had no relative issues in my gaming sessions so this mouse is pretty good in my opinion.

Coming in at £55, I do feel Steelseries are charging a little bit too much for this mouse.  In the same price bracket we have mice like the CM Storm Havoc, which really does give you a lot more for your money, but that isn’t to say I wouldn’t pay £55 for this mouse.  The aesthetics alone give this mouse appeal and combine that with Steelseries Frost blue Siberia V2, you’re one step closer from having a full match; there is no frost blue keyboard and I’m not sure if they will be making one, but I would buy one if they did!

Do I think Steelseries could improve on this mouse?  Yes but not majorly, the aesthetics look as good as they are going to get, but I would love to see a Steelseries mouse with adjustable weights, as this mouse is a tad on the light side compared to others, giving games the option to change the weight is more important than some people think.  The pricing could be a little lower, if this was sub £50 then this mouse would be a clear choice for a lot of people I feel, given what’s already on the market around the same price point.

Overall the Sensei RAW Frost Blue Limited Edition Gaming Mouse (try saying that after a barrel of ale) has been a pleasure to use, from its gorgeous look all the way down to the software that allows you to really customize this mouse.  Steelseries are onto a winner and although I feel they could improve on the price, every other aspect is good.

Thanks to Steelseries for the sample and I look forward to seeing more of their gaming range in the future.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

The Frost blue Sensei RAW is a serious contender in the £50-60 price range, if your looking for a solid overall gaming mouse with a fantastic software packaging, make sure you consider the Steelseries Sensei RAW mouse.

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