FirstLook: Sensei Wireless gaming mouse

FirstLook: Sensei Wireless gaming mouse

  • Company: SteelSeries
  • Model: Sensei Wireless
  • Weight: 1.6lbs
  • Price: $159.99
  • Website:


Steelseries is a cross platform peripheral company built by gamers for gamers. They claim to have solved wireless lag and dying batteries with their Sensei Wireless gaming mouse. With an accuracy of 1ms polling rate with readings of 150 inches per second and over 8200 CPI and a new style of charging dock keep you topped off and ready for your next gaming session. 


First Thoughts:

Let me begin by saying, I am a Mac user and like most hardware and specs just do not impress me. People seem to overlook software and how it affects one's experience.  Steelseries has supported Mac’s since the beginning and sold me with one of their more recent statements and I quote “Mac OS X users aren’t treated like second-rate citizens. Engine’s performance and functionality is basically identical on both Mac and PC.”

The cardboard box packaging was done very nice and clearly illustrated all features. Layout of the included parts were done well minimizing any extra space and keeping things secure. There were also three Steelseries stickers included, in addition to the instruction booklet which is a nice touch. 

The first thing I noticed upon removing the mouse from the packaging was how light it was. This is entirely subjective as I like heavy mice. I only want my mouse to move when I intend it to do so. With that said my old gaming mouse the R.A.T 9 sat at 200g/7.1oz where the Sensei Wireless sits at 115g/4.1oz a significant difference if you ask me. 

The Sensei Wireless has a rubbery texture over the mouse which felt smoother than I initially thought it would but still felt good in the hand.

I’m a big guy with big hands and I was presently surprised my hand and finger placement were dead on. I’m right-handed so the buttons on the right of the mouse I would sadly say I would never use. However, the buttons on the left hand side landed perfectly with my thumb tip right unadorned between them both.

The scroll wheel has a nice click feeling while scrolling and also has a nice rubbery coating. There are no side play or buttons, however the center click works very well.

Right behind the scroll wheel we have a gray button used to swap between CPI profiles and can be re-mapped if need be.

Steelseries also claims all their buttons are rated for 30million clicks.

Underneath the mouse we have an on off switch, which for me was a bit hard to move positions. Right undershoot we have a connect button used to pair your device with the base. Next to them we have our Pixart ADNS 9800 laser. You will also note three copper or brass connection points used for charging. At the very top, next to the cable there is a cable release switch for your USB cable.

The braided USB to micro cable included is a nice touch, allowing for better management of the cable when using it directly with the mouse if the need arises.

With the mouse and cable removed from the packaging it took a bit of wiggling and force to remove the top insert to gain access to the base. 

Right off the bat, pulling the base out of the box you can feel where the weight came from. Sitting at 1295g/10.4oz the base has some heft to it, but then again that's what you want. You don’t want the base slipping around your desk when inserting and removing your mouse. The rubberized bottom helps very well with this. We also have another connect button used for pairing like we mentioned earlier on the mouse. 

On the top we can also notice those 3 gold connection points for charging along with a nice concave inlay so the mouse can slide right into place. The inlays rim also lights up depending on the settings you chose, along with the SteelSeries logo and scroll wheel on the mouse.


Features & Specs:


  • 50 to 8200 Adjustable CPI
  • 1 ms Response Rate / 1000 Hz Polling Rate
  • 150 Inches Per Second (IPS)
  • 30 g Acceleration


  • 16 hrs Battery Life, Max 20 hrs
  • 8 Programmable Buttons
  • 16.8 M Color Illumination w. 4 Zones
  • Soft-Touch Coating
  • Cable Texture: Braided


  • 30 Million Click Durability


  • Weight: 120 g (0.264 lbs)
  • Height: 41 mm (1.61 in)
  • Width: 69 mm (2.72 in)
  • Length: 129 mm (5.08 in)
  • Cable Length: 2 m (6.5 ft)
  • Base: 165x100x24 mm, 208g

Software (SteelSeries Engine 3)

The Steelseries Engine 3 is perhaps the best mouse management software I've used. The Steelseries Engine 3 doesn’t just stop its a unified platform that supports all your Steelseries gear in a single low resource process minimizing its impact on your system.

Because of this unified platform all Steelseries devices are able to communicate directly to each other, allowing them to work more fluidly together. One could set up a mouse button so it could activate an equalizer setting for your headset that focus on the highs for better listening for footsteps.

You can also use the same inter-device communication with automatic profiles set for different games, giving you more detailed integration and controls. Then you mix in macro’s and binds and the possibilities become endless.

All these settings can travel with your machine to machine keeping it all in sync with Steelseries Cloudsync built right in.

Engine 3 will even keep an eye open for software and firmware updates for all your Steelseries devices and notify you of updates within the application, Knowing you will always have access to the most recent version with remembering to look

Steelseries has focused on Engine 3 to be intuitive for the most casual of gamers. Making it simple to customize the small things like 16.8 million colors, lighting effects to the most advanced of macros.


Final Thoughts: (after a week of use)

The Sensei wireless certainly hit all its marks and held true to its claims. But the real question is does it warrant its high price tag when you can get a top wired gaming mouse for a lot less does. Yes, it’s wireless and I love me some wireless. It’s true this mouse can certainly hold its own against it’s wired brothers.

I started this article by pointing out how software is a big part of a user experience. SteelSeries has nailed it. Everything works smoothly and intuitively on a Mac as it would on a PC. For me this pushed the SteelSeries Senesi wireless over the edge.

There could be a few things they could change but these are all personal preference. Like making a specific Right and Left handed models the buttons on the other side of the mouse are useless on an ambidextrous mouse. After a while I got used to not having a thumb rest built into the mouse, but it would be nice to have especially at this price point. The furthest thumb button while being accessible with my thumb I found myself shifting my grip to click it. I think this may be due to the curve in the mouse so rather straight in you end up kind of clicking in and up



Mr. Robot: A hacker show done right

Mr. Robot: A hacker show done right

Mac Tip: Find your screen resolution, through a command line

Mac Tip: Find your screen resolution, through a command line