SteelSeries Sensei 310
The perfect pointing device for any paw
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.
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