SteelSeries Sen­sei 310

The per­fect point­ing de­vice for any paw

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB -

HANDS, EH? Weird things. Even if you’re not un­der the in­flu­ence of mind-bend­ing drugs, look­ing at your hands for any length of time will con­firm just how strange those wig­gly flesh-ten­ta­cles truly are. Ev­ery tried to draw a hand? It’s im­pos­si­ble—for good rea­son. And ev­ery­one’s fin­gers are dif­fer­ent, so it falls to mouse man­u­fac­tur­ers to cre­ate point­ing de­vices shaped in such a way that they will suit as many de­mented digit de­signs as pos­si­ble. Most opt for thumb-friendly mouse molds that slot into the right hand. Some, how­ever, are aware that the world is not made en­tirely of right­ies, and while we’re un­likely to see many man­u­fac­tur­ers ca­ter­ing solely to the world­wide left­handed 10 per­cent, there is such a thing as a mouse for ev­ery hand.

And so we have the Sen­sei 310, far from the first both-ways pointer ever re­leased, but di­rectly mar­keted as an am­bidex­trous es­ports mouse. As you’d ex­pect, it’s com­pletely sym­met­ri­cal, though this doesn’t re­ally af­fect its feel ap­peal in ei­ther hand. The two main but­tons, each equipped with Om­ron me­chan­i­cal switches, are split from the case it­self, rather than be­ing part of the overall lid struc­ture, with a slight ridge to pro­vide a tac­tile buf­fer be­tween them and the notched, rub­ber­ized scroll wheel. Each edge car­ries a pair of thumb but­tons above a grippy sil­i­con pad, and there’s a DPI switcher be­hind the wheel— it’s all fairly stan­dard de­sign, al­though SteelSeries has man­aged to make some­thing that feels as at home in reg­u­lar grip as it does in claw.

The am­bidex­trous­ness is a sell­ing point, sure, but its real pur­pose here is to bring a bun­dle of su­per-high-end mouse tech to as many hands as pos­si­ble. The core of this pack­age is SteelSeries’s TrueMove 3 sen­sor, which prom­ises true one-to-one track­ing. This means there’s no smooth­ing, snap­ping, or ac­cel­er­a­tion added to your move­ments to com­pen­sate for lag, and what you move is what you get. The counts-per-inch level you’re us­ing is pre­cisely what the mouse sends to your PC, and you can set this any­where from 100 to 12,000 cpi in 100 cpi in­cre­ments, with a nom­i­nal 1ms polling rate.

ARMED SER­VICES

What­ever set­tings you choose are stored in the mouse it­self, which also sports its own 32-bit ARM pro­ces­sor, pre­sum­ably to keep tabs on that ul­tra-ac­cu­rate sen­sor. The stor­age ex­tends to the light­ing, pick­ing out the wheel and palm logo with SteelSeries’s ex­cel­lent syn­chro­nized RGB sys­tem. SteelSeries En­gine driv­ers are re­quired for ini­tial con­fig­u­ra­tion, but not once you’re all set up, so you can cart the Sen­sei wher­ever the gam­ing urge takes you.

In prac­tice, and cer­tainly in terms of desk­top use, you may not no­tice the sen­sor’s skills. Hon­estly, we couldn’t tell the dif­fer­ence even through ex­ten­sive use; while gam­ing mice have been great for a long time, a com­plete lack of ac­cel­er­a­tion does not, sadly, make this feel like a brand new hori­zon of point­ing, though it does re­move at least one source of blame if you lose an on­line fire­fight. The sen­sor it­self is also part of a rather sim­ple pack­age, at least in com­par­i­son to many of its mar­ket ri­vals. There’s lit­tle light­ing and not much to speak of in terms of but­tons, as qual­ity as the switches clearly are. But per­haps that’s the point.

This is a raw, un­fussy, highly func­tional mouse. It’s not out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive by any means. It has a sen­sor that’s ver­sa­tile enough to suit you, what­ever your pref­er­ences, a shape that will work for your pe­cu­liar hands, but­tons that feel great, and light­ing that you can con­fig­ure to your lik­ing. The Sen­sei 310 re­ally has been built for ev­ery set of fin­gers out there. And, hey, if you’re picky and like a more molded feel, SteelSeries’s Ri­val 310 is the same pack­age mashed into a curvy right-handed con­fig­u­ra­tion in­stead. –ALEX COX

SteelSeries Sen­sei 310

POINTER Uni­ver­sal de­sign; su­per sen­sor; high-end switches; af­ford­able.

DISAPPOINTER Sen­sor po­ten­tially makes lit­tle dif­fer­ence.

$ 60, http://steelseries.com

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