It has been seven and a half years from when I first saw the SteelSeries Xai at CES. A few months after that I had one in hand to review and from that point on I have been using a variation of that design, mostly Sensei’s on my main computer and/or other computers. It was never perfect, even back then I mentioned the sensor having a few issues but the overall shape and balance was great, so great in fact that it has spawned multiple mice from other vendors trying to capture that same design. But for a few years now the Sensei has been feeling dated with so many other mice getting great optical sensors so you can imagine my happiness when I found out that SteelSeries was introducing a new Sensei along with a new Rival, both with their new TrueMove3 optical sensor. Now after seeing some images of the design I was a little worried that they had messed with the shape and it might lose what made it so special. This is a huge moment for SteelSeries and given how particular about the mice I use when not testing, they will have to get this one just right for it to replace my old Sensei. So let’s see what the big deal is and then put them both to the test.

Product Name: SteelSeries Rival 310 and Sensei 310

Review Samples Provided by: SteelSeries

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE



Sensei 310

Rival 310

Form Factor


Ergonomic, Right Hand


SteelSeries TrueMove3

SteelSeries TrueMove3

Sensor Details

-12,000CPI, 350 IPS, 50G acceleration optical sensor

-Ultra-low-latency,rapid-response tracking for the most natural mouse movement

-True1-to-1 tracking up to 3,500 CPI delivers true esports performance

-Advanced jitter reduction delivers fast, natural movement at highCPI settings

-Custom PixartSROM reduces response time and increases accuracy

-12,000CPI, 350 IPS, 50G acceleration optical sensor

-Ultra-low-latency,rapid-response tracking for the most natural mouse movement

-True1-to-1 tracking up to 3,500 CPI delivers true esports performance

-Advanced jitter reduction delivers fast, natural movement at highCPI settings

-Custom PixartSROM reduces response time and increases accuracy

Programable Buttons




Silicon Grips on both sides

Silicon Grips on both sides


50 million click Omron mechanical switches

50 million click Omron mechanical switches

Onboard Memory




RGB Logo and scroll wheel

RGB Logo and scroll wheel




Cable Length





Because I’m taking a look a both mice today I figured why not open them up together. You can tell that the packaging was designed to be together. They both have a large top down photo of the mouse on the front with the same design in the background. Only they have flipped the black and white sections depending on the mouse. The branding is down in the bottom right corner and below that they point out that the Sensei is ambidextrous and the Rival is ergonomic. Then in the bottom left corner they point out the prism RGB lighting, the split trigger buttons, and the TrueMove3 sensor. On the back, they again have matching photos, even with the same RGB coloring. They touch a little more on the main features and then copy and paste them again in a few other languages.

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When you open everything up you will find a Rise Up message on the outside of the inner box with the SteelSeries logo on it. Then the cover opens up to show both mice in a foam tray cut to fit either design. The cord is wrapped up just above it and then they include a small information guide up under the foam tray.

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In the shipping packaging, the SteelSeries marketing team also slipped in a small card inviting testing and reviewers to abuse the mouse. Test it, Compete with it, Rage quit, Rage join, Then rage win. That’s a bold statement and I’m tempted to really beat the crap out of the mouse in my testing but I do have to be careful, they came in really late so I wouldn’t have time to get another in if I smashed it to bits.

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Photos and Features

So here we are, the pictures below have both the Rival 310 and the Sensei 310 together. Can you tell the difference between the two? So right out of the hole, you will notice that the modern SteelSeries styling that was introduced with the original Rival is now on both mice. This mostly consists of the small body line that runs from the triggers all the way to the back of the mouse and grips on the side of the mouse. I say modern because the Sensei, Xai, and Ikari all had a slightly cleaner look without grips or styling lines. They did update the look a little by adding gray in with the grips on the side where in the past, even as recently as the Rival 700 the grips were black. The SteelSeries logo under your palm is much brighter than in the past as well where they used to try to hide it with a grid design in the outside finish that would only really be visible when the lighting is on. Anyhow if you still haven’t figured out which mouse is which I can help. So the Sensei is an ambidextrous design like it always has been and the Rival continues to be a right handed ergonomic design. So you can spot the difference when looking at the shape, the Sensei is a little less wide and both sides are the same where the Rival 310 has a wide right grip area. Or you can keep it simple, the Sensei has buttons on both sides and the Rival doesn’t.

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So here is the Sensei 310, when looking down from above we can really see the ambidextrous design. The body lines that go from the triggers help us see that both sides stick out the same, a little more in the rear and getting smaller towards the front. Up on top, we have two main triggers, they have now been split off from the rest of the top. This is a current trend, people feel like it gives a more solid click. Under the triggers, SteelSeries went with Omron switches rated at 50 million clicks. Also on top, you have the scroll wheel sitting between the triggers. It has a new rubber grip, dropping the straight lines of the original Sensei for more random lines. Hopefully, the new design has an improved scroll wheel design, that was the main failing point for the original Sensei. Then last but not least, behind the triggers there is a small plastic button. The original Sensei had this as well only it was flush with the mouse, this design sticks up slightly. The button flips between your two CPI modes.

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For the sides, we might as well look at both sides of the Sensei 310 as they are the same. There are two side buttons on each side. From what I can tell the buttons themselves are the same size and shape as the original design with the rear button being thicker and longer. They did move them just a hair, lining up the gap between the buttons with the new break in the top for the triggers. Then on the sides, they added grips… I’ve never been a big fan of grips but this design is at least different. For starters, SteelSeries dropped rubber altogether. They had major issues with the rubber degrading and completely falling apart on the Rival due to body oils, moving to silicon should mean long life and a little extra grip. Then the design itself has changed as well, they used to use small circular bumps, now the grip has a three peg design that is now embossed into the grip, not out of the grip. I will talk more about this design in my performance testing, because grips have been a big sticking point for me in the past.

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Okay for the front and back point of views I put them together because I wanted to highlight the difference in size from the back of the mouse to the front. The back point of view has a mostly rounded design that is, of course, the same on both sides. The SteelSeries logo is up under your palm and is bright white and backlit with RGB lighting. From the front we can see that up under the triggers they left a big gap. The only thing going on in that gap is the mouse cord coming out. They did, however, add a rubber pinch protector where the cord comes in where on the original it went in without protection, I can only assume this will help with reliability as well.

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Okay up under the Sensei 310 we have a few things going on. As always there is a sticker with the model and serial number information along with all of the required certifications. The main two areas I was focusing on though were the gliders and the sensor. So for the gliders, they went with a new layout. You get two down at the base of the mouse in each corner and then a wide glider down under the triggers. Each has a defined area where you can get a tool up under them to remove them so I hope they plan on providing replacements in the future. There is a little less surface area than in the past, as someone with a heavy hand and a hard mouse pad I hope this won’t translate to accelerated wear.

As for the sensor, well frankly this is the main area that had to change with the original Sensei. Let's start with what the original Sensei had. Most of the models had an Avago 9500 and the MLG version had the 9800. This was a laser sensor and while it worked well it was known for having some acceleration issues. The 9500/9800 were popular sensors (as it used in a lot of mice) at the time but over the years things have changed. For starters, Avago sold their sensor division to Pixart. Also, there has been more and more of a push for better sensors and with that Optical sensors are now seen more. As a whole, they normally track better and people are finally getting over the marketing BS where laser is better than optical and higher DPI is always needed.

So what did SteelSeries go with on the 310? They didn’t just grab a standard sensor off the shelf. Officially they are calling this sensor the TrueMove3 and frankly I found that name a little confusing. For one it always makes me think of TrueMoo Milk but more importantly introducing the 3rd version first is confusing. From talking to SteelSeries they do plan on filling out their product line with more TrueMoo I mean TrueMove sensors so we can expect later on to see other sensors, the 3 is just the first one out. Moving past the marketing talk I did pester the product manager enough to find out if this was a Pixart 3360 based sensor and he did confirm that it is. The 3360 and its variations are extremely popular because of how well they perform. SteelSeries has worked with Pixart to tune the design slightly and rather than calling it something like a 3366 like Logitech did (come on guys 3369 was available!) they went with their own branding.

So what is different? Well, you may have seen them pushing the 1 to 1 tracking on social media ahead of this launch. This big goal was to raise up the 1 to 1 tracking to a higher CPI than other 3360 based mice. So the TrueMove3 will go 1-to-1 up to 3500 CPI and they are saying there is a lower response time. Overall the sensor specs are 12000 CPI, 350 IPS, and 50G of acceleration. IPS is the key here as that is the inches per second that you can move the mouse without losing information. A higher number here translates to better tracking with quick movements. The TLDR for those of you who skipped past my last few paragraphs of rambling would be SteelSeries upgraded the sensor to a highly improved design.

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Last but not least we have the cord. They made a big change here as well. They dropped the sleeving all together and went with a simple smooth rubber cord design. As much as I love the look of sleeved cables, this is a great call for a mouse cord. It moves around a lot and if it rubs on the edge of a hard mouse pad or your desk the cord will fray. In addition, without the sleeving the cord has more flexibility, so unlike my original Sensei that I had to train the mouse cord to sit a specific way, this cord lays down smoothly.

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Okay, next up we have the Rival 310. I will be touching on things a little less as a lot of the features on the Rival are the same as the Sensei. The top down look really lets us know what is different as well. We have the same split triggers, same new scroll wheel design, and the DPI button. Hell, even the body lines that run from the triggers back are the same. It's basically everything on the outside of those body lines that is different. This is an ergonomic design that is only for right handed users. We can see that because the two sides of the mouse are different and the right side really sticks out.

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So both sides have the new silicon grips on the sides for longer life and better traction. The Rival 310 though only has buttons on the left side because it doesn’t need to support left handed users. So the right side of the mouse has a much larger grip. That same grip also doesn’t have the coke bottle shape of the Sensei that allows for gripping, instead it is designed in a way that your ring finger lays across the grip and your pinky holds it down on the side. The side buttons on the left are also much larger, just like the original Rival design. It's interesting to me that these buttons also have forward and back arrows on them but the Sensei didn’t.

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The front profile of the Rival 310 shows how the entire mouse is higher on the left side, leaning towards the right. You can see it in the sly grin on the front. From the back, the middle area in between the body lines is mostly even, it's only when you get past that that the right side has a slow hill down, not the drop off with the slight coke bottle shape like the Sensei.

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So the different shape of the mouse does show on the bottom of the Rival but it didn’t change the location of very much. In fact, the gliders look to be a touch smaller even with the additional space on the bottom. Well, at least the back gliders are. The top one is larger. They still have defined spots to get a tool under them for replacement and we still have the info sticker as well. As for the sensor, the Rival 310 uses the same TrueMove3 sensor as the Sensei 310. Please scroll up a few paragraphs and check out the LARGE wall of text I wrote on the sensor. Now the original Rival was newer and had the Pixart 3310 sensor, an early variation of the 3360 that this sensor is based on so the change isn’t as drastic as it is from the original Sensei to the 310, but it is still an improvement.

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I couldn’t just talk about the new Rival and Sensei without digging out the originals for comparison. I took a few shots while checking them out. There were a few differences that I didn’t touch on up above. The picture below is the new Sensei 310 next to the Sensei RAW, not the original model but it has the same design. A few big differences here. The RAW has a rubber finish where the 310 has a satin plastic finish. This new finish is kind of a half way point between the raw with its soft grippy finish that was impossible to clean (as you can see in the photo, this was after cleaning it). The original Sensei, on the other hand, was glossy and would get oily. The new finish seems like a nice compromise. We can see that the DPI button is farther back on the 310. The shape is actually really close ignoring those body lines. The triggers aren’t as rounded as before but the overall length, width, and shape is closer than I expected.

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The picture below has the original Sensei in the background and the 310 up front. Look up along the top edge and you can see that they did shave a mm or two off the top crown of the shape but it is mostly the same.

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As for the original Rival to the Rival 310. Well, there were some changes to the Rival shape when they moved to the Rival 300 and I suspect that design is closer to the 310 but we can see a few changes here. The original Rival was noticeably taller for one. It also had that rubber finish that they have dropped. They dropped the name badges in the back of the mouse as well, as you can see I had done a few LanOC badges at one point. Most people didn’t use them though. Looking at the side profile there was more cut off the top than just a little height. Everything from the peak down the triggers was a little taller on the original and the 310 also sticks out a little at the back. Both changes lessen the overall arch shape. Then looking from the top down can see that the original Rival was also longer and has move curve to the side shape. The left side is now really straight where it used to curve in with a little of that “coke bottle” shape that I have mentioned to many times today.

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To finish things up I also got a picture of the old style rubber grips on the Rival. You can really see how they are bumps sticking out of the rubber, not into the rubber like the new design. It is also interesting that my mouse is most likely one of the only original Rivals that has been used that isn’t completely falling apart on the side rubber. After testing for my review it went up and wasn’t really used so it didn’t break down from hand oils like the others.

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So while this is a huge launch for SteelSeries the software didn’t really change. They did update it to support the two new mice but it is still the same SteelSeries Engine 3 that we have taken a look at a few times now. When you open it up it will list all of the devices you have ever had hooked up. I went through and cleaned out everything I don’t have currently hooked up so you can see the three mice and one headset. If your device needs a firmware update it will let you know with that red stripe and walk you through the steps, before testing the two 310’s I updated them as well.

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Once you click on one of the mice you get the main page with a photo of the mouse in the middle. Each of the programmable buttons can be clicked on and over 9on the left you can program them to do whatever you want. You can launch applications, run macros, set them to media buttons, mouse buttons, or keyboard buttons. You also have quick options to set if the button press is a toggle and to set one click or put it on repeat. Along with that you can set the number of repeats and set the speed that it does it. Over on the right, the first two options are the two CPI settings.

software 2

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There are a few more settings as you scroll through the options. Most you won't want to turn on like acceleration or deceleration or angle snapping. These are literally the things that they are trying to avoid with the new 1-to-1 tracking. So really the only option here is the polling rate but you should leave it unless you have issues with it running at 1000.

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The software for the Rival was the same, only with a different picture and fewer buttons to program but I did get a screenshot of that as well in case anyone needs it.

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Okay for performance testing, typically try to get two weeks of testing in to get a good feel for everything. Most of the comfort or tracking issues can be pinpointed right away but that additional time helps find any other issues. Sadly I didn’t get that time here, in fact, I didn’t get the mice until Friday so I had the weekend and Monday to get photos, test, and also do all of my writing. So my testing was extremely short. I did try my best to fit as much time with each of the mice in that time though and I do think I have a decent feel for everything.

Let's start with comfort and mouse specific stuff then I will talk about general things that apply to both models. Starting with the Sensei, like I said before I had some concerns with a newly redesigned model. Frankly, I would have been happy with the same old Sensei shell with the upgraded sensor, better switches, and a better scroll wheel. We did get all of those things, but I was worried that the new shell would change how the mouse feels, especially when it comes to the body lines that are on both sides of the mouse, running from the triggers back. I can say for sure that I don’t even notice those at all. In fact, I swapped to the Sensei 310 and shape wise it wasn’t really different at all. I was really happy for that but I then had to address the grips on the sides. As someone who picks up their mouse I do like having good traction on the mouse, but in my experience grips on the side are always worse than a good mouse shape and a decent finish. I like that the silicon grips have a little more traction than rubber right from the start and that silicon means that wear issues from hand oils shouldn’t be an issue anymore. As for the design itself, there is still a touch of the coke bottle shape that helps you hold on to a mouse so that is good. But the biggest thing for me was them dropping the bumps, the new design with the texture embossed into the grip not out of the grip makes all the difference. The grips are smooth to touch and aren’t really noticeable. My only issue was with the grips when my hands were oily, I did notice a big drop in traction that I didn’t experience with the rubber finish on the Sensei RAW. I will talk about the switches later but I did want to point out that even though the side buttons did seem to move, they were still easy to reach for me.

As for the Rival 310, they did make a few more changes to its overall shape. As someone who didn’t like the original Rival that much I’m not complaining but I am concerned for people who still want that same shape. They toned down the arch of the mouse and shortened it slightly. The left side also has a little less of a curve to it as well. As someone who prefers the Sensei, the new shape is actually much better for me. Switching between the two was still really noticeable, but I could see myself using the Rival 310. It fits my larger hands well even with the smaller size and the huge side buttons are easy to reach. The silicon grips are larger but like I mentioned on the Sensei, the new grip material and design is much improved. You don’t notice it now because they dropped the bumps and Silicon should hold up better. I would of course still prefer both not have grips, but this has to be the best implementation of them at least.

Now moving on to things that apply to both mice I wanted to start with the new triggers. For starters the 50 million click Omron switches feel great. They have a very solid click and they are consistent. The split triggers may have something to do with this as well. Overall I didn’t mind the new split design, it might attract dirt and grime so you do have to keep that in mind, but the triggers are solid. The scroll wheel also seems improved. With the Sensei, the rubber would over time collect a lot of oil and not perform as well, it looks like this is silicone as well so I’m hoping that means it will hold up better. The movement is smooth with defined bumps without being extremely loud like the Sensei would sometimes be. There isn’t a left right click action but you do have the button under the scroll wheel like always.

As for the new sensor, we do have to sort through some of the marketing fluff. For example, the TrueMove3 name is just SteelSeries way of naming their new and upcoming sensors. Personally, I think sticking with the well-known naming is a better way to go about it, but that is just me. Anyone who actually cares about sensors is going to know what the 3360 is so seeing a 336x variation would stand out more. But looking beyond that what are the claims. Well, the big push right now is the 1-to-1, SteelSeries has been teasing it ahead of the launch and it is all over the materials that they sent over about the mice. 1-to-1 itself isn’t really a new thing. People have been aiming for the perfect sensor for a long time now, what SteelSeries is claiming is true 1-to-1 performance all the way up to 3500 CPI and 350 IPS. I would argue that no one really wants to use a mouse with the CPI turned up that high and the level of acceleration they are promising is beyond what a person could actually do. BUT the counter to that is why not have perfect tracking all the way up to that point, just in case someone does use it.

In my testing I found the sensor to work really well. I tested mostly on my SteelSeries HD hard mousepad but I did bust out a soft pad just to confirm. Both mice glide better than I expected given the glider sizes and overall size. I did run a few quick benchmarks as well to confirm some results. We already know that the 336x based sensors perform well. I started with an acceleration test to confirm that was was 1-to-1 movement when moving quickly or slowly. The results came out good, you can see in the image below that I ended up back in the same spot other than me drifting the mouse down a little.

test 1

I then wanted to check out the overall update time with the mouse set to 1000Hz. The average result was right on the 1ms time but you do see a little bounce with one really high up there as well.

test 2

I also did an xCounts benchmark with me doing circles, that’s why you see the oscillation. This one I was especially interested in because SteelSeries has used a variation of this test in their marketing materials and on their blog. They took similar results and removed the oscillation to compare their results to a few other similar mice, what they were showing was that the TrueMove3 didn’t have much variation in its readouts, each result was close to where it should be. You can kind of see that it did perform well in my test as well though there is more of a gap at the peaks when the mouse would swing back around and start going the other direction.

test 3

The last test was just showing a readout of my circles. You can see just how bad my circles were but what did stand out to me was the drift. There does seem to be a little drift to the bottom right. This wasn’t me drifting as I was using the full mouse pad the entire test, I didn’t have room to drift down like this. This isn’t unheard of, even with good sensors, but I did want to note that it does seem to be there.

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Another area I wanted to quickly touch on was the mouse cord. I am loving the sleeveless design. It is very flexible so it went where I wanted it and without any sleeving, it didn’t catch at all on the edge of my hard mouse pad. Beyond that, I want to address the overall weight of each of the mice. For a while now it has seemed like SteelSeries didn’t care much about mouse weight like they used to. When the Xai and Sensei were launched the balanced distribution and low weight were big selling points. But with the Rival 700, they peaked with a heavy monster. So how are the two mice? Well, the Sensei 310 comes in at 92.1g and the Rival 310 is 88.3g. The additional weight is from the two additional buttons. I put together a small listing of other mice with 3360 based sensors from the main few brands for comparison as well as the original Sensei and Rival designs. Overall the weight of both mice isn’t ultra light weight, but it is an improvement. Especially for the Rival that was extremely heavy, the Sensei, on the other hand, gains a touch of weight compared to the Sensei RAW, most likely due to the side grips being added.


Weight without cord

SteelSeries Sensei 310


SteelSeries Rival 310


SteelSeries Sensei


SteelSeries Sensei RAW


SteelSeries  Rival and Rival 300


Logitech G502


Razer Deathadder Elite


Logitech G Pro


Then as always, I should bring up the lighting. I did get a few pictures of the Logo and scroll wheel lit up. It is really obvious in my photos but I’m not a big fan of just how bright the logo is now. I’ve mentioned it a few times but I really liked the screen door mesh effect on the old Sensei that hid the lighting when it wasn’t on and cut down on how bright it was. I joked about SteelSeries jumping the shark when they added RGB lighting back then, but looking back they were being a lot more conservative than they are now. Don’t get me wrong the logo when lit up looks great in person, I just would prefer it be a little more on the DL with or without the lighting.

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Overall and Final Verdict

Okay so at the end of the day I have written a LOT more about the Sensei 310 and Rival 310 than I normally do. Part of that is because both mice have made a lot of changes though I did also spend more time than normal because of how familiar I am with the old Sensei and I had extremely high expectations from the new design. Most of the improvements checked off what I would like to see in a new mouse. The new sensor is a drastic improvement over the original Sensei. I bashed the naming and felt like some of the marketing is a little crazy but the actual performance was solid with the only issue I had was a little bit of drifting, something you see a lot. They also went with quality Omron 50 million click switches on both mice and they split the triggers from the top of the mouse, giving a solid click and a good feel. They didn’t talk about it much but the scroll wheel also seems to be improved with silicon being used over the rubber grip we normally see.

But beyond those aspects, I was really concerned with the shape and feel of both mice. Both the Sensei and the Rival have dedicated followers so I was worried they would stray from the norm all in the name of an updated look. With the Sensei they did change up the look but it didn’t end up changing the feel of the mouse. The Rival, on the other hand, didn’t move as far on the look but they did change the shape to be a little more friendly for someone like me who likes a neutral design, hopefully, it still works for people who love their original Rivals. The silicon based grips on the sides were another big concern and if you look in the pro’s and cons below I actually complain about them and talk about how good they are at the same time. I don’t care for the gray color, black would give us a cleaner look and with the Sensei I would still prefer to not have any grips at all. But I will say these are the best mouse grips I’ve ever used. The Silicon should hold up better over time and the texture isn’t noticeable in hand. I did experience a little sliding when my hands got oily, but overall they did really well.

I don’t think I’ve ever listed a mouse cord as a major pro before unless it just didn’t have anything else going for it. With both mice though I really do love this new cord. It is very flexible and dropping the sleeving was a good call, it should hold up better and people who fight with their cord pushing back shouldn’t have as many issues with this design. My only other note was that I do wish they would tone back the lighting slightly. Actually, it's not even the lighting so much as the bright white logo that is there even when you turn the lights off. The hidden SteelSeries logo on the older designs was the best implementation of a backlit logo, in my opinion, it would be great here. I don’t need everyone seeing what brand I’m using, plus it is under my palm most of the time.

So… With all of that covered what’s the verdict? Well, I actually really like the new Sensei design and the Rival, although not my preferred shape, is a great mouse. SteelSeries seems to be listening to the community as well as the competition and this is the type of mouse they need to compete. They even priced both mice at a price point that I think is fitting. At $59.99 they aren’t going to break the bank. Dropping the laser sensor and the sleeving on the cord helped improve the design and lower the price all at once, talk about a win-win. I’m planning on keeping the Sensei 310 as my main mouse, it might actually finally replace my Sensei. If you like the Sensei and the Rival, I think the 310 version would be a good pickup. I hope we see the revival of the Kinzu as well as a maybe a wireless version of the 310 rather than just adding extra weight/features to make a high-end model.


Live Pricing: HERE



Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite:
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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