Steelseries Sensei Ten Review
Published: 22nd October 2019 | Source: Steelseries | Price: £69.99 |
If history teaches us anything it is that it's always hard to follow on from someone or something which blazed so brightly that they are burned into our consciousness. Most bands get compared to The Beatles, racing drivers to Senna, films to The Godfather, overclockable processors will always make us think of the Intel 8400, graphics cards have to wow us in the same way the first Voodoo card did. Heck anyone who has an older sibling will know how it is to be constantly asked why you aren't as successful as they are. The original Sensei unquestionably has that effect. It combined simplicity with blistering performance. As Steelseries have released a Sensei which deliberately harks back to the original but has been stuff with the latest technology that is a big shadow to step out from. Does it manage it?
The design is what strikes you the most. We had to laugh at the boldness of having the packaging ask you to "Bow to the Master" just before you reveal the Sensei Ten. Sure it could be considered cocky, but we admire the risk Steelseries took in such a hubristic approach. Once you've freed the Sensei Ten from its sturdy cardboard and foam protection it instantly reminds you of the original. So many mice these days use creases and indents and concave sections to look modern and stand out from the crowd that the smooth, understated design of the Sensei Ten grabs your attention. It feels perfect in the hand being neither too big nor too small. The ambidextrous nature of it is something that is all too rare in modern gaming mice. Without any odd shapes to it it's also comfortable no matter what grip style you might have. Naturally it works perfectly for both palm and claw styles, but if you have developed your own unique way of holding the mouse then it will work here too. The finish of the Sensei Ten is ultra smooth and soft, like a pebble that has been shaped by years of sand and waves, but despite any obvious textured, rubberised elements it remains firmly in your grasp at all times.
So far then the Sensei Ten has all the qualities of the original. Times have moved on though and it needed to have a sensor that kept the Sensei Ten up there with the best on the market and with the TrueMove Pro it has exactly that. For a while the only way to get high CPI numbers was to use a Laser sensor, but they had their drawbacks. Thankfully some advances in optical technology have meant that nearly all modern sensors have the benefits of Optical sensors but also some staggeringly high CPI numbers. The Sensei Ten is no exception boasting a sensor that goes from 50 CPI to 18000 CPI in steps of 50, with no hardware acceleration at all. Hardware acceleration is the bane of accuracy after all, so any chance to get a pure CPI figure is one to be applauded. We tested the Sensei Ten on a few different surfaces - both cloth and hard, plain black and printed - without coming across any negative impact to the accurate tracking of the TrueMove Pro sensor. The lightness of the mouse only enhances this accuracy, and the buttons have a very short throw and crisp click. One thing is for sure and that is that if you do perform poorly in your gaming exploits it cannot be blamed on the Sensei Ten.
We approached the Sensei Ten with some trepidation given the high opinion we hold of the original, but we needn't have been concerned. It's exactly what the original Sensei was. The very latest sensor technology backed up by highly configurable software wrapped up in a very comfortable body with great RGB lighting. If the Steelseries Rival 710 is the hefty, OLED, haptic take on what a gaming mouse can be then the Sensei Ten sits as high in the gaming mouse pantheon, but in a light, comfortable, ambidextrous body priced just below £70.
Maximum comfort meets maximum performance.