SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] Gaming Mouse Review
Published: 3rd September 2012 | Source: SteelSeries | Price: £45 |
As is always the case when a company releases a version of a premium product that is aimed more at the average consumer, our most abiding question is always; has the company kept enough of the essence to make it a worthy purchase, or have too many features been removed? The importance of buying in to a brand identity cannot be underestimated. Businesses throughout the world rely upon creating a highly desirable product, and then selling bucket loads of a more affordable variant. A Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster is hugely expensive and awesome, but a Squier by Fender Stratocaster is easily within the budget of anybody yet of such middling quality that it is sold almost wholly on the brand association as opposed to any logical 'value for money' ideals.
So that rather lengthy preamble brings us to the question, is the Sensei [RAW] trading on the Sensei name, or a worthy model in the line-up? It's worthy. It's most definitely worthy.
Nearly everything about the Sensei that we adored is replicated here. It's supremely comfortable to use, and a perfect size for gamers large or small. Although it's available in a black gloss coating, we have the rubberised model on test today and we love how soft and grippy it is. In fact, whisper it, we prefer it to the coating on the full Sensei. The buttons have a nice quality feel to them when depressed, and there is none of that hollow click that can plague cheaper mice.
Although the sensor hasn't got the double CPI option that the Sensei has, the reality is that for 90% of users the 5670 CPI available on the Raw will be more than fast enough. Similarly it's lacking in the infinite colour options, but as the amount of onboard profiles has been reduced to one, it's much less important. Of course aesthetics, especially of your peripherals, is important. We all want them to blend in to the chosen colour scheme of our main rig, so your mileage may vary upon how much of a deal maker/breaker the "white and only white", lighting is.
The SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] is the Sensei stripped of bells and whistles and given a purposeful black coating, alongside a decent price cut. About the only thing we can complain about is that the Sensei itself is a year old now and the prices have fallen dramatically from the MSRP. So for about £15 more than the Raw you can get the multi-colour, multi-profile, insane DPI model itself. But don't be put off of the Raw. The coating is better, the sensor just as good for nearly everyone, and only the lighting, which is a matter of taste anyway, really separates it from its bigger brother. For £45 we definitely have to award the Sensei [RAW] our OC3D Gold Award. It's not so much stripped of features, but instead it's had the fat trimmed and is leaner and meaner.