It’s important that your mouse be comfortable and perform well when using it. Both of those requirements have a whole list of small things that have to go right in order for your experience to be good. In the case of comfort for example, it needs to fit your hand properly, give you a good grip, have buttons that are reachable, ect. Because the Sensei RAW shares the same shape with the original Sensei and the Xai, I already knew that I would love the shape of it. SteelSeries managed to create a shape that looks like a basic mouse while having small details that set it above everyone else. One of the keys to this are the slight concave area’s under the buttons on each side of the mouse. You can hardly even see it in photos, but this gives you a proper place to put your thumb and your ring finger. It is just concave enough that if you lift your mouse like I do, you won’t drop it. Combined with the two side buttons on each side that are reachable from said thumb and ring finger and you have a great mouse design.

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The Sensei RAW’s scroll button has a nice rubber finish that helps your finger grip. With groves cut into it as well to prevent issues with greasy fingers, something that anyone who has gamed with a bag of potato chips would know all about. The single button behind the scroll wheel is used to switch between high and low CPI modes with a white LED lighting up to show you what mode you are in. I love how simple this is, this is much easier than having to flip through four or five modes like on other mice. SteelSeries has a way of dropping most of the features that are only there to one up the competition and just give you, the gamer, what you need.

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One of the key features the RAW changed also effects comfort as well. To help drop the cost they lost the metallic finish of the Sensei and went with two different options. You can get a rubberized finish or glossy. Just like Henry Ford said, “you can have any color you want as long as it’s black”.  Both glossy and rubberized versions come only in black. For us the only way to go is with the rubberized. When moving from the Xai to the Sensei I really missed the grippy finish and felt the metallic finish was a little too slippery. But it is nice that SteelSeries still gives you the option for the glossy as well.

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As for the rest of the mouse’s performance, we have to start with the sensor. In this case SteelSeries stuck with the Avago 9500 that we saw on the Xai and the Sensei but dropped the ARM powered controller for a slightly cheaper option. What this means is the Sensei RAW performs exactly like what we experienced with the Sensei and Xai. If you are using a hard mouse pad you will have a great experience, some people with soft mouse pads have noticed some acceleration or in the case of a few pads, negative acceleration. For me this is not an issue at all as I prefer a hard mouse pad. But it is something to take into account if you prefer a soft mouse pad. Only the most sensitive of gamers will ever even notice.

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With the price cut SteelSeries also dropped the built in LCD for the RAW edition. It’s interesting that I seem to be the only person who really enjoys the built in LCD. When talking to others who own the Sensei and others who avoided the Sensei due to cost. The first thing that suggest is dropping the LCD to save money. In my case I put it to use on a regular basis. Between my main rig, laptop, and LAN rigs I spend a lot of time switching between PC’s. One thing I keep with me a good portion of the time, especially when planning on gaming, is the Sensei. Being able to adjust my CPI on the go alone is worth it for me. I hate keeping mouse software installed all of the time, this allows me to make small adjustments as needed without having to fuss with having the software installed on three different PC’s.

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As I said before the Sensei and Sensei RAW as very similar, here are a few photos of the mice next to each other. Beyond the finish and the LCD the only other change they made was with the color of the plastic used for the bottom of the mouse. This time around, going with a clear plastic giving you a peak at the guts of the Sensei RAW. I also love that they went with black PCB’s inside to match everything. There was a small change with the cord as well, they added specs of color into the cord, similar to what they did on the Diablo 3 mouse. 

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garfi3ld replied the topic: #26210 16 Jul 2012 23:10
SteelSeries introduced a cheaper version of the Sensei

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