I know how my previous Sensei’s have performed but things change sometimes, so with the Sensei Wireless I still had to put it through all of our testing, especially to test the wireless performance. I jumped right into testing the Pixart ADNS 9800 sensor in game and out of game to test its tracking. It performed exactly how I would expect it too. There was a slight amount of positive acceleration as well as the negative acceleration when using a soft mouse pad. It wasn’t really noticeable until I tested for it, but this is standard for the ADNS 9800. Otherwise, performance in and out of game was amazing. Where I noticed a big change was with the scroll wheel. With previous Sensei’s some scroll wheels would have an extremely loud click sound, it seems they have worked this issue out on the Sensei Wireless, it scrolls perfectly.
Considering the shape and size of the Sensei Wireless was just about the same as the other Sensei models I wasn’t expecting any changes in comfort. I wasn’t disappointed, the Sensei Wireless is comfortable over extended gaming sessions. Going with the rubber finish was a good choice, a lot of people aren’t a fan of the metal finish of the original Sensei. The side buttons are well placed as well, I could reach both with my thumb, swapping to my left hand I can say the same about the other side for lefties as well. Adding batteries into the mouse didn’t seem to add much for weight as well. There is a slight difference, but even as someone who prefers no weights, I didn’t notice it in use.
I did notice when toying with the lighting settings that the colors are a little washed out compared to what the software shows. Setting to a proper LanOC orange gave me the orange pictures previously, to get it to look how I wanted it I had to go into the reds.
So what about the wireless performance? Well the only differences I saw while using the Sensei Wireless was the lag to get the sensor to turn on when you leave it idle for a while (a power saving feature that can be turned off). In game or when actually using the mouse I didn’t notice any input lag, it is obvious that the technology has improved, this is most likely why SteelSeries has finally jumped into the market. Not having a cord is the most notable thing, you don’t have to worry about it catching on anything and causing a miss click.
The other concern with wireless mice is their battery life. SteelSeries says to expect around 16 hours of use with the max being 20 hours. In my testing, I did run the battery down a few times. A few times this was because of me forgetting to put the mouse on the charger and other times it was from me working at this PC all day and then gaming into the night. You aren’t going to have any issues with battery life when gaming, but working all day then gaming all night is just too much partying for the Sensei Wireless to handle. This is why they gave the option to unplug the USB cord from the charger and plug it directly into the mouse. Trying to do this mid game is actually really hard. The cord is very hard to unplug and when you hook it into the mouse it turns it into a wired mouse, so you have to wait for windows to pick it up and install a driver. In this specific case I would prefer the magnetic charging cord that Microsoft used on their Sidewinder X8. That being said, I’m happy they at least give the option rather than just being SOL when your battery dies.
The wired option does work out great when you take the Sensei Wireless to LANs. It turns the mouse back into a wired mouse, avoiding interference issues that pop up when you have that many computers in one room. I just wish it came with a second USB cord that I could use to take with me and leave the one plugged into the charger.