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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
Back STORY: I am a hardcore gamer and programmer. I have been gaming on my PC since the first FPS games that supported a mouse. I have been playing Quake competitively for 10+ years, I've owned dozens of mice since then. Every time I wore out or broke one of my beloved Intellimouse Explorers I would try one of the well marketed mice from other companys (Razer, Logitech, Etc) and I always found myself going back to the Microsoft. nothing could come close to the simple driverless bliss that was microsoft.

A couple of weeks ago my Intellimouse explorer 3.0 wheel started acting up, so I went online to find a replacement, only to discover that microsoft had finally discontinued the mouse (Sad day, I thought...) I had seen mice from steelseries, but they were very gimmicky mice covered in pictures of world of warcraft crap. (booooooo) I then discovered the slimmed down RAW edition Sensei mouse and knew this was perfect for me. Let me be clear, ALL the features stripped from the Sensei to make this raw are CRAP! There is NO reason to have the computer take the input you provide, and modify it! If you can't move your mouse in a straight enough line, then you should practice more, if your game requires your mouse to do something that your hand is not capable of, get the full version of this mouse, if you aren't a baby, step up your game and play with the RAW edition. I've tried almost every gaming mouse under the sun and found the manufacturers spent more money on gimmicks and marketing than Development. Steelseries Knows gamers better than anyone else and it shows in their products.

PROS:
Perfect ambidextros shape
Perfect Weight / Weight distribution
No fuss driver install, no restart required (Saves time when setting up on a lan competition computer) Simple settings
No BS mouse "enhancements" (Prediction, acceleration and all of that is a bad habbit)
BEST sensors, BEST buttons
Tangless cord really works and feels great
Rubberized texture feels amazing and doesn't get slippery with sweat
Button provide great tactile CLICK
simple on the fly sensitivity adjustment button and indicator is great

CONS: None
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2012
If you use a computer 12 hours a day like i do, you want your tools of your trade to be perfect. I purchased this mouse as a replacement for my xai.

PROS: My biggest complaint about other mice is how they feel in your hand. A mouse should perfectly fill the void of a cupped palm but no more than that. Most high-end mice like the G500 and the razers are all too bulky. I prefer the contours of this mouse over the Xai.

Also, a mouse should be light and slide effortlessly across your computer surface. After wearing a hole in my desk i started using mouse pads. I went from a neoprene mouse pad, to an aluminum and now i have a plastic steel series pad. The stock mice feet work really well, however if you're hard core about if you can also buy 3rd replacement party teflon (PTFE) feet. I just put some of these on my backup Xai.

Additionally, by setting the polling rate to 125hz (a little known peculiarity) this mouse becomes MacOSX compatible.

The cloth cord also maintains a shape/memory so you can position it so that it never obstructs movement. IMO, there is just the right amount of buttons.

I play alot of Dota clones and I kill mice pretty quickly. I destroyed the right mouse button on my 1st Xai in like 8 months but the warrantee covered it. Steel series support is excellent.

CONS: As another review mentioned, this mouse has a cheap scroll wheel which is a legitimate complaint. The wheel has less granularity than my Xai (more rotational intervals). Also, what's up with the glowy light? Trying to irradiate my palm? Some Unze Unze Unze for the night club in my house?

SETTINGS: I disable pretty much all the smoothing and acceleration, use 850/1200 dpi. i prefer things a little on the slow side for top scrollers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
As with most input devices, a mouse's efficacy is largely dependent upon its planned use case(s). I bought this for my office laptop, so I'll mostly be using it while programming (and writing Amazon reviews, naturally). Side uses will include some Photoshop and opportunistic gaming (MMORPG / FPS).

I'm very old fashioned. I've stuck with the MS Intellimouse/Basic Wheel Mouse Optical for easily the past 12 years. Not because it was ever the best mouse, but because it became familiar and comfortable over time. I'm also left-handed, and it's hard to find a good ambidextrous mouse (one with lengthwise symmetry). Finding a good, reasonably priced, left-hand specific mouse is also difficult.

One of the reasons I bought the SteelSeries Sensei Raw is because of its similarity in shape to the old MS mice. (I'll upload a couple of pictures showing the comparison). The Sensei is slightly taller and longer, and is actually more comfortable for my big paws.

Tracking is smooth on my faux-mahogany desktop, both in the sense that cursor movement matches mouse movement accurately, and in that the coefficient of friction to the desk is low.

The Sensei isn't particularly heavy, but it's also not so light that the relaxation of the cord can push it around (a problem with very low end mice).

The braided nylon sheath on the USB cable is a nice touch of quality, though I've had no problems in the past with typical mouse cables. The cord is still kinked up from the packaging so I'll have to reserve my judgement on it. So far it's fine. The cord doesn't sway me either way as to my overall verdict on the mouse.

My only gripe (and it's a minor one) is that the left- and right-click buttons are fairly loud. I'm certain that with my office door open the people sitting outside will have no doubts about when I click. The scroll wheel is pretty quiet, though. It does click audibly, but barely so.

I have the LEDs set to their default glow/pulsation setting, and it's not distracting at all. However, I'm in a well-lit office; If I buy one for home I might opt to turn them off or dim them significantly, because I like working with low ambient light.

The rubberized texture is pleasant, and neither too slippery nor too sticky. It has almost a silky feel to it, which I find to be surprisingly pleasant.

The build seems solid: I know it's not a top-of-the-line mouse, so I don't expect it to be perfect. But there is almost no flex in the body, though it does creak slightly when pressed hard at the palm rest.

I have an objection to this being called a "gaming mouse", though. While it should be more than adequate for basic gaming, I think that it's neither ergonomic enough for marathon sessions nor does it have enough buttons to effectively manage inventory/weapons/etc. (Though it has a pair of buttons on the left and right sides, you can realistically only use the pair on the thumb side unless your pinky is specially adroit). I would consider this to be a higher-end general purpose mouse.

The SteelSeries Engine (the configuration software) is pretty straightforward and has a user-friendly design. Immediately upon opening the software it's obvious how to change button assignments, adjust mouse sensitivity and LED brightness, and create/modify profiles. The button assignment functionality supports the use of keypress macros, including the optional recording of delays between key presses. You can also assign buttons to launch applications, issue text macros, or disable them altogether.

Overall I would rate the software as "excellent". I should note that the software isn't included in the packaging, but it can be downloaded from SteelSeries' site. I give them credit for their bandwidth as well -- the software is 45MB (not sure why it needs to be that large), and on my internet connection it took a matter of a few seconds to transfer. I had no issues at all with software installation or the firmware upgrade in my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit environment.

I'd like to note that it shouldn't be necessary to install the SteelSeries Engine to use the mouse (in Windows 7 at least). The OS was able to install the correct drivers for basic functionality without my involvement.

In conclusion, this mouse is comfortable, accurate, smooth, and has great software. I haven't owned it long, so my 5-star rating will stand up so long as this mouse stands up to regular use.

The good ol' Microsoft mice to which I've become accustomed lasted me for YEARS of heavy use, so the Sensei has big shoes to fill as far as reliability goes. (I think my oldest MS Wheel Mouse Optical is from 2002 and still works great!)
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
Great design, great features. It responds nice, its light & fits in your hand perfectly. Unfortunately, the scroll wheel will fail on you in the first year. The scroll wheel problem surfaced with my first Steel Series Raw within the first few months so I returned it for a replacement since it was still under warranty. Chalking the problem up to back luck, I purchased two more for my work computers.

Being a hard gamer at home and CAD engineer at work means that I absolutely need an accurate & reliable mouse. At first, this mouse fit my requirements perfectly. How I wanted to love you, Steel Series. But again, all four of these mice had the same issue, each of them, not a year old and the scroll wheels ALL failed.

Do yourself a favor. Shop elsewhere.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2013
I was in the market for a new mouse and had my eyes on the Perixx MX-2000B, which is a little more than half the price of this mouse. I needed something that would play nice with PC and Mac as well as be suitable for gaming as well as Adobe Illustrator (Illustrator really benefits from an accurate, high-performance mouse with a CPI toggle - all those tiny anchor points...). After reading a few recommendations to invest in a symmetrical, ambidextrous mouse as the ergonomics of many radically designed gaming mice may or may not fit one's specific hand shape, I investigated the Sensei Raw. The design was much simpler and aesthetically pleasing than the MX-2000B, and I dug the less-is-more philosophy. Plus, SteelSeries is a reputable brand that is much respected by professional gamers.

The first thing I noticed was the build quality. This mouse looks really nice. I expected it to look cheap from the pictures, but that is definitely not the case. The rubberized coating is very sleek and feels silky smooth to the touch; I found myself just wanting to rub this mouse it was so pleasingly tactile, like a puppy. The nylon sleeved cable is very attractive and sturdy and holds its shape, keeping it from interfering with mouse movement. I feared the lights would be obnoxious, but they are quite classy and subtle, even at the brightest setting. Although I prefer to have the light steady, I do feel the pulse settings would look nicer if the light didn't dim to completely off in the pulse cycle and instead dimmed to very low before brightening again.

The ergonomics of the mouse are excellent. I could not have asked for a more comfortable mouse for long periods of use. It pretty much disappears beneath your hand. I expected the mouse to be on the small size, but it is quite big - not too big - and comfy. The weight is exactly what I expect from a mouse, with just a little weight so your know it's there without too much heft bogging it down. It fits in the hand perfectly with a palm grip and all but 2 of the buttons are conveniently placed. The two buttons which cause problems are the ring-finger on the right-hand side of the mouse. The only reason they are not perfectly ergonomic is because this mouse is ambidextrous and they are there as thumb buttons for left-handed users, so I really can not count it as a detriment. Other reviews complain that the side buttons are too easily pressed, this really only applies the the ring finger buttons. The thumb buttons are situated comfortably above the thumb and easily and quickly pressed. If the ring finger buttons cause problems for the user, they are easily disabled through the driver front-end, as are all the buttons.

The buttons are clicky, but not too loud, and provide the perfect amount of feedback. If you are a twitch gamer, you will appreciate the very minuscule amount of travel in the left and right mouse buttons. The only button that feels any bit mushy is the scroll wheel button, but this seems to be the case with every mouse I have ever used. The scroll wheel does provide a satisfying click once it has been fully depressed. The scrolling function feels perfectly adequate, however. There could be some more definition between the thumb buttons, but I had no problem distinguishing between the two nor any issues accidentally pressing both at the same time. The CPI button is in the expected, industry standard place, but I wonder if CPI buttons wouldn't be more ergonomic in front of the scroll wheel, rather than behind.

The guts of this mouse are top-notch. At 1000 MHz polling rates, everything is buttery smooth and there are no hiccups. I have also tried it at 500 MHz and it is extremely smooth as well. I haven't pushed it to the highest CPI settings to see if as I only have 1 monitor and no need for 5700 CPI, so I can not comment on it's performance at such high settings. I currently have mine set to 990 cpi (LED on) and 1800 cpi (LED off) for my 1920 x 1200 monitor.

While on the subject of CPI, one limitation I begrudge is that the user can only define two cpi settings to toggle. I found myself initially wanting a 3rd option, however that would add complexity to the mouse buttons and I don't realistically see myself using more than 2 and potentially ignoring the 3rd setting. In the end, I am happy that SteelSeries opted for simplicity in this regard.

Another minor setback is the lack of horizontal scrolling. When using Photoshop and Illustrator, it is nice to be able to quickly scroll left and right. There is absolutely no better mouse for this purpose than the Apple Mighty Mouse (now simply called Apple Wired Mouse) with it's scroll ball. However, I (not so) simply edited the hand shortcut in these applications to use one of the thumb buttons and all is right in the world. It would be easier to adapt if I could set multiple profiles to the mouse that could detect what program I am using, but it's not a big setback.

The driver front end works well and has access to all the settings one would need. The user can record macros or program their own. Every button can be remapped to any macro, key stroke or other mouse button. It does take up a fair amount of memory for a "driver," but one can save the settings and close the program as most essential information is stored on-board the mouse itself, freeing 100 MB or so of memory. Macros will not be saved, including keyboard functions. DPI, polling rate, and the light settings will be saved.

Did I mention how good the surface feels? It's a tiny kitten, resting beneath the palm of my hand. I highly recommend the rubberized variant.

This a mouse that performs exceptionally well, keeps things simple and intuitive and that I am not embarrassed to have sitting on my desk like I would many other "gaming grade" mice. One can tell the engineers were thinking like engineers before they were thinking like gamers.

PROS:
+ Sleek, attractive. Dare I say "beautiful?"
+ Feels wonderful and comfortable
+ Simple features keep it intuitive
+ Highest-grade materials and components
+ Straight-forward, yet flexible customization

CONS:
- Inconvenient to switch profiles
- Lacks a third CPI toggle for those that need it
- If a multituted features is important, there are mice in the same price-range (or cheaper) with many more buttons and settings that you may or may not ever use
- Bloated driver
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2014
Great purchase. I really like the rubberized texture. The two buttons on the left are very well positioned. The ones on the right require some adjustment of my hand position, but nothing major.

You can also download a little software from SteelSeries's website that allows you to control the DPI and mouse lighting (glow, intensity) settings and save them to different profiles.

Good stuff!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
Claw-gripper, prefers fingertip hybrid over palm hybrid.

So I've owned Razer Copperhead (5.5 rating), DA 2013 (9.0 rating), MX518 (9.4), G400 (9.2), G700 (7.2), all intellimouse (8-9.1), Logitech G3 (8.1), and numerous cyber cafe mice. I'm not stubborn when it comes to mice, so all of these top notch models never left me truly complaining. With that said, I never found a mouse that just fit, and the closest was (as most of the community agrees) MX518/Intellimouse 3.0. But still, never clicked like a perfect fit.

This Frost Blue Sensei mouse will always and forever be my favorite, go-to mouse. Its comfort is just unmatched. I know this gets tossed around, but it truly is the most versatile mouse I have ever held. Palm, fingertip, claw, it seems like the mouse is engineered to perform ideally for all three grips. Talk about innovation!

It is about the same length as a Zowie FK/AM and a Razer DA 2013, but carries a lower profile that arches closer to the bottom of your palm. Being ambidextrous, I was skeptical of its palm grip, but the pushed back arch just slides into your palm.

I loved the DA 2013, it had a flawless sensor and it was great to control and direct, but it never felt that comfortable. Sure, I could get the crosshair where I wanted, but I was never excited to use my mouse (excessive, but still). It simply didn't fit my hand, so it's my personal opinion. Not with the Sensei, I could not ask for more, and that is complete truth.

One thing I particularly noticed was the scroll wheel. While the DA 2013 has the best scroll wheel out, this one holds its own. Honestly, it is fairly loose in a lateral direction, so it isn't as stable as you would like. However, it is very easy to click down, which I find is very uncommon in gaming mice. It is about the same pressure as the left and right click, as well as the side buttons, but it doesn't have as much of a click. This can be a problem just while transitioning, because I find myself really jamming down the scroll wheel to a point where it could be broken. Just a note, and not really a gripe. My muscle memory has just been trained to push that scroll wheel as hard as I could every time I needed to.

You know when you find a product that just blows your expectations? Like the PlayStation 2, or the original iPod back in 2001? And then you get those gimmicks such as an Xbox 360 at release, or a pair of Beats headphones? Big brand names, but it's always a coin flip on whether that product will be sensational or just flat out dysfunctional. This mouse tips entirely in the quality/comfort/performance/value spectrum, whereas other mice just slightly lean towards it. The DA 2013 side grips are so pointless in comparison to the material they use for the Raw, it's remarkable. You don't see Sensei marketing these!

Just buy this mouse, it's cheap now, and if you won't like it for gaming, you will like it for just simple browsing and editing. It's a quality mouse, and has really outshone all the other mice I have used. Get it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2015
The scroll wheel broke after about 8 months. When I scroll down, the page goes up again after a few clicks of it going down making it impossible to use.

For a $50 mouse, I expected reliability to be given. I've used sub $15 mouses that have lasted over 10 years. This thing is all flash and marketing with no substance.

Here are some other observations:

-The rubber coating comes off if it scratches something
-The sensor is sub-par compared to the Deathadder.
-Personal opinion: The click on the Deathadder feels much better with its mechanical switch. The click on the Sensei needs pretty heavy pressure.
-The braided cord is pretty thick and low to the pad so it gathers dust on my mouse-pad.

Overall, this thing is not worth it. Not only is the scroll wheel guaranteed to break down early (look up other long term reviews), this mouse also feels cheap. The click and scroll wheel feels the same as a $10 mouse. In fact, the only thing it has over a $10 mouse is its higher dpi and fancy glowing logo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2014
I got this mouse particularly because its ambidextrous. It had good reviews on amazon compared to the other similar mice I was comparing. People were reporting no issues, so obviously I decided on getting a reliable mouse. Indeed it was a solid mouse until it messed up my browsing and most importantly my gaming experience, where precision is key. That started after a couple of months of moderate usage (~6 months). Now whenever I scroll down (the wheel) during browsing it goes down and then up. In games its my jump for down, and change weapon for up. I lost so many games just because of this issue happening almost every time. I will definitely steer away from steelseries products on my next PC related purchase. This mouse is utterly useless for me. I play games occasionally so it had no abuse whatsoever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
I was looking for a replacement for the famous Logitech MX518. This looked like a pretty good bet, even to having the forward/back buttons on the left. They make a bit of a thing about it also having them on the right. That's the catch - the ones on the right get in my way! I find it difficult to hold this mouse without inadvertently pressing the forward/back buttons on the right side. Apart from that catch, it's a good mouse.

I ended up happier with the Logitech G400s - it's very similar, but it doesn't have those two buttons.
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