Steelseries Sensei Pro Grade Laser Mouse Review

Hey there, internets! This is Liz Poisonkiss, altruistic gaming hedonist extraordinaire! Today I’m reviewing the bad-ass Steelseries Sensei Pro Grade Laser Mouse.

SteelSeries-Sensei-Pro-Grade-Laser-Mouse

First off, I want to just say, wow. For the last month I’ve been using this amazing piece of hardware to game, surf the web, edit pictures, write, and pretty much do everything I do on my desktop.  From the first moment when I tore the Sensei out of the box I was impressed by its ambidextrous shape and silver shine finish. It also feels good in my hand (that’s what she said!), the size is just large enough to let my hand rest on it but not so small I would get cramps after only an hour gaming. But looks and size aren’t everything (honest!).

SteelSeries-Sensei-Pro-Grade-Laser-Mouse

As I was about to hook it up I noticed the cord is well protected with a flexible protective weave that shields the cable from fraying. That’s why my last mouse started crapping out on me; I was thrilled to not have to worry about that. After I plugged it in, my new mouse just worked after about a minute. But this is no ordinary mouse, we’re just getting started!

Even though I enjoyed having a smooth responsive mouse to play with, I’ll admit I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I make this thing fit me and my style. So off I went to install the SteelSeries Engine on my PC. It was super easy to install and honestly this is when my jaw dropped. When I opened that control panel an ocean of customization options opened themselves to me! I was in heaven!

SteelSeries-Sensei-Pro-Grade-Laser-Mouse

Here are only some of the badass changes you can make to this mouse. There are three areas to change the color on it with, get this, 16.8 million different colors to choose from! Underneath, the mouse has an LCD display which you can customize with your own graphic and/or use to remind you which one of the tons of detailed macros you have active on the mouse at the moment.  You can customize the speed of your mouse to a blindingly fast 11,400 CPI because it has its own freaking processer in the thing! This mouse is more powerful than some of my first computers. The eight strategically placed buttons can be assigned to do anything you like although, just like any ambidextrous mouse, sometimes misclicks can occur while you get used to holding it. Seriously though, if I wrote about every way you could customize this mouse it would take too long! On the box it says, “the world’s most customizable mouse” and I’m starting to believe it. Suffice it to say this mouse can meet even the pickiest gamer’s needs.

SteelSeries-Sensei-Pro-Grade-Laser-Mouse

So how much is “the world’s most customizable mouse”? The Sensei Pro Grade Laser Mouse retails for $89.99. Can you believe it? A quality fully customizable professional gaming mouse for under a hundred dollars. I was really surprised at this because I know that the market contains lots of gaming mice with fewer features for more money. After using it and abusing it in my typical fashion, I think I can look forward to years of hard gaming with top performance using this mouse. I’m glad I got my hands on it and you’ll thank me if you do.

Tech specs:

 SteelSeries-Sensei-Pro-Grade-Laser-Mouse

SIZE AND WEIGHT:

Weight: 102 grams (0.22 lbs)

Height: 38,7 mm (1.5 in)

Width: 68,3 mm (2.7 in)

Length: 125,5 mm (4.9 in)

SPEED:

Default CPI range: 1 to 5,700 CPI.

Double CPI range: 5701 to 11,400 CPI.

BUTTONS: 8

FRAMES PER SECOND: 12,000

INCHES PER SECOND: 150+

ACCELERATION: 30G

SENSOR DATA PATH: True 16 bit

LIFT DISTANCE: 1-5mm

CABLE: 2m-6.5ft

SteelSeries – Pro Gaming Laser Mouse & Pad

SteelSeries logo
SteelSeries logo

I’m going to change things up a bit. Everyone has a way of doing a review or talking about something they used or liked and though there is a formula for doing so I say the heck with that. I will just tell you what I got, how I used it and what I think, simple enough?

I got my hand on the Steelseries XAI laser mouse and the 9HD mouse pad or gaming surface. Now right off the bat I realized I liked the thin flat mouse pads better because I don’t feel as if my hand and wrist are any higher off the desk than it should be. Also for curved desks it can prevent you from being pinched by the mouse pad which for some reason has happened to me a bunch of times.

SteelSeries 9HD mousepad
SteelSeries 9HD mousepad

Even though the pad is very thin it is well constructed the hard plastic is smooth on the top and has great grip on the bottom. Now the 9HD has thousands of light reflecting points and what this does is insure that if you flail your mouse around like a child thrown into the pool for the first time you don’t lose your tracking on screen. Ever see some World of Warcraft plays spaz out while PVP’ing, this is why having that and a wide surface is important.

Now let’s talk about the mouse. First off like the mouse pad the XAI is constructed very well. The mouse has a good size and weight and feels like it can take a pounding. It has seven programmable buttons for you MMO and RTS gamers and you can even download profiles used by pro gamers so you can use their setup. The size is just about perfect so if you have large hands or small ones you can still use this mouse without issue and with its slip resistant covering you won’t have your mouse flying out of your hand in the middle of a battle.

Left or right handed it doesn’t matter thanks to the ambidextrous shape. It feels comfortable on the hand which is important for long gaming sessions. One of the really cool things is the LCD menu system on the bottom of the mouse. You can configure your XAI for aim, report rate, speed and even hardware acceleration. Right above the scroll wheel you can toggle between two customizable CPI settings for adjustments on the fly. Even the mouse cord is braded so it does not tangle and it’s long enough for those keeping their desktop under their desk.

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

In the real world, or at least in mine I found the XAI to work well be it surfing, FPS, RTS or MMO’s. I think the key is it functions well out of the box even if you don’t do any custom setting, but if you want to get specific it has the means to do so that makes it good for gamers of all sorts. I personally needed a mouse that moved fast and glided well across the pad and the XAI combined with the 9HD does just that. From twitch moves in first person shooters to click fests in W.O.W the combo worked well for me.

You can check out more on the XAI gaming mouse and 9HD mouse pad on the Steelseries website.

Here are the specs:

Specifications for SteelSeries Xai Laser:

– Frames per second: 12.000

– Inches per second: 150+

– Megapixels per second: 10.8

– Counts per inch: 100 – 5.001 (one CPI Steps)

– Max. Acceleration: 30 G

– Sensor data path: True 16 bit

– Lift distance: ~1mm (auto-adjusting)

– Buttons: 8

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Cord: 2 m / 6,5 ft (braided to improve durability)

– Polling: 125 – 1000 Hz (1Hz increments)

– Gold-plated USB connector

– Measurements: 125,5 x 68,3 x 38,7 mm / 4,94 x 2,69 x 1,52 in

– CPI high/low indicator

– SteelSeries FreeMove Technology

– SteelSeries ExactSens Technology

– SteelSeries ExactRate Technology

– SteelSeries ExactAim Technology

– On mouse acceleration Technology

– On mouse LCD display for tweaking above technologies thru menu system

– Large pressure points that reduce friction for optimized glide

– Driverless, plug-and-play feature for LAN gamers

– Built-in memory for 5 profiles

– Operating systems: Win 2000/XP/Vista/7 / Mac OSX

*Configuration software only available for Windows operating systems

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Material: Hard plastic

– Surface treatment: Heat

– Dimensions: 270 x 320 x 2 mm / 10,7 x 12,7 x 0,08 in

– Size: Medium

– Glide: Rough

– Compatibility: Optical, laser, ball