Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by Greg0
SteelSeries Gaming Gear, Part 1: Mouse And Pad
It’s been a good summer for gaming so far- with Watch Dogs forcing us to upgrade our computers, from the motherboard and processor to the video card and RAM in order to get decent performance (and prepare for the new-generation console titles coming soon). And while we’ve taken a look at a lot of audio gear- and part 2 of this series will be a brand new headset- more important for daily use are your peripherals, like your mouse and keyboard.
We’ve been training for the past few weeks with a Sensei- the SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Mouse. This is the cordless version of their famed Sensei wired model, and is the rare wireless mouse we would actually recommend for serious gamers. The issue is always latency, and though most decent mice today offer excellent, precision lasers and thus solid performance both inside and outside of gaming, wireless mice generally suffer from lag. But thanks to black magic- or the highest polling rate on the market at 1000 Hz- we noticed very little latency no matter what we were doing (they claim around 1ms, comparable to the wired version). This is a big deal, really- since cords=trouble.This is a big deal, really- since cords=trouble. DPI specs don’t matter much anymore, but this one can max out at an impressive 16400.
The other side of the equation is battery life, since that can often be the big downside of other wireless accessories. The Sensei Wireless features a 16 hour lifespan, plus a very cool charging mat- not a cradle thankfully- that made it effortless to use. The company also lists what they call an industry-leading lifespan for their durable buttons (30 million clicks), and gamers love some customization options, in this case with built-in lights that offer three zones and 16 million color options. Unfortunately, there aren’t any changeable weights, but the mouse did feel ergonomically comfortable and well-balanced, slick, fast, and responsive- it’s also fine for lefties as well as right-handed folks. We’ve seen more buttons than the eight available, but frankly didn’t miss them. Oh, and did we mention the wired mode? Coolest of all is thae ability to charge while playing, using the mouse with the cable connected. If we had any complaints, it’s that the mouse felt a bit too smooth; consensus here was that more texture would have been nice for a little better grip. Available now for around $190, the SteelSeries Sensei Wireless had to be quite good to live up to that price tag, and it succeeded admirably- it’s a lovely piece of equipment that improves upon wireless mice in several great ways.
And every good mouse deserves a good mousepad- the SteelSeries QCK is flexible and a nice companion piece. The non-slip rubber base kept if from sliding around on our desk, and picky customers can opt for different thicknesses and sizes. The cloth surface offers “guaranteed glide”, and while we often opt for a firmer, metal base merely for stability, the QCK is capable of easy travel and can hang off an edge as needed unlike rigid pads. Plus, they start at a very competitive price point making grabbing one an easy call- a bargain at $10 or so, online and in stores!