SteelSeries Sensei RAW review

SteelSeries sensei raw
The SteelSeries Sensei Raw rubberized version

  • PC/MAC
  • 7 programmable buttons
  • 5700 DPI laser sensor
  • 12,000 FPS
  • 1 on-board profile
  • macro support
  • glossy and rubberized version

Want to compare the Sensei RAW to other gaming mice?

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW, as its name implies, is intended to be a cheaper more basic version of their popular Sensei mouse. Its form and ergonomics remain the same along with the amazing laser sensor and macro editor, but gone are all the bells and whistles like the LCD screen on the bottom and the ability to customize the LED color. Furthermore the amount of profiles that you could use to save your configuration on the mouse itself have been reduced from five to one.

Performance

The tracking remains unchanged from the default Sensei, it still uses the Avago ADNS-9500 laser sensor that can support anything in between 90 and 5700 DPI. The sensor is aimed at those who play with medium to high DPI but it still performs well with lower DPI resolutions. The mouse prediction has been cut which isn’t a big loss since you shouldn’t be playing games with prediction on anyways since it doesn’t track accurately.

While the SteelSeries Sensei’s sensor does track well, know that it does have a minor problem with positive acceleration which can’t be turned off. This is barely noticeable but it’s still worth mentioning for those who care.

Design

The Frost Blue edition.
The SteelSeries Sensei RAW Frost Blue version.

The Sensei RAW has a very clean and uncluttered design philosophy; less is more. Its symmetrical shape is made for both left and right handed people, with two thumb buttons on both sides. Lastly there is a DPI selector below the scroll wheel. The total amount of programmable buttons is 7 (not counting the dedicated DPI selector which cannot be reprogrammed.)

The concave design fits well into your palm and your thumb rests comfortably below the two side buttons. The bottom of the mouse is transparent oddly enough, allowing you to see the insides. I find this to look pretty ugly, but then again it’s not like you’ll ever see this part of the mouse when you’re gaming anyway.

There are three different editions that you can choose from available, all of which have the same ambidextrous design and sensor as the original. The SteelSeries Sensei RAW rubberized version replaces the metal surface in favor of a rubberized one whereas the Frost Blue version has a white/grey color scheme with a blue light emanating from the logo, CPI indicator and scroll wheel. The other ones have a white light instead of a blue one. These are some fairly nice options, usually when a gaming mouse has different versions the only thing that’s different is the color, here you can choose between a metal surface or a rubberized one; whichever strikes your fancy.

Software

steelseries_sensei_raw_software

The software that comes with the Sensei RAW is called the SteelSeries Engine. This is where you can change your settings and store them on your profile. That’s profile as in singular, there is no support for more than one. Customization isn’t anything too stellar, the DPI has two settings that you can use and the polling rate can be adjusted. The macro editor is simple to use and you can choose whether to record delays or not.

You can change the intensity and pulsation of the light if you’re interested (although sadly you can’t change the color itself.) Finally there is a fun little gimmick that you’ll find within the software, a “statistics” panel where you can see which buttons you use the most. It doesn’t have too much use, besides figuring out if there is a button that you never utilize that you should maybe reprogram.

Verdict

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is designed to be a Sensei without all the extra features.  Despite this it still remains a great mouse with great tracking and ergonomics, next to the lower price point of course.

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