SteelSeries Sensei Wireless gaming mouse review - Unchained master

First Look

Sensei Wireless comes in a small, but heavy package. Opening the box, I am greeted by a black envelope with the SteelSeries logo, containing the manual, a sticker, and an "attention note." Under that, there's the mouse itself in a plastic, with the braided cable right next to it. Lastly, under the casing, there's another chamber for the charging station.

Now, while there aren't many accessories, the paperwork and the quality packaging manages to create the impression of a premium item.

SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Front side 

Sensei Wireless is a mid-sized mouse, with a simple ambidextrous shape. It has the same velvety surface like the Rival, with some glossy accents on each side. I'm not sure about them subtle sides, since glossy surfaces are usually dust and fingerprint magnets.

 SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Backside

The mouse is somewhat light given its nature. Yet, it's obvious the battery is placed at the back, since it clearly isn't balanced when it comes to weight placement.

As expected, SteelSeries has also added some backlighting options. You have the scroll wheel and the SteelSeries logo shining on the mouse, and a nice contour on the base station.

Top & Under

The rodent uses the Avago ADNS9800SE sensor placed right in the center. For each corner, there's a small PTFE slippy pad, with the backside ones being slightly larger. 

SteelSeries Sensei - Underside 

On its base you can see the 3 recharging contacts, the connect button & the on-off switch. 

Alas, there are no weight customization options enabled, so that means the "Master" is set at its 120g weight.

The clicky action is very similar to that of Sensei Rival, using the same proprietary switches for left & right click. The back and forward side-buttons are quite stiff, and they provide adequate feedback, also feeling very similar to those on the Rival.

SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Topside 

The rubberized scroll-wheel is considerably better than that on the Rival, though there's still is that overall mushiness present.

I tested the rodent on multiple surfaces, from easy-to-glide pads like CM Storm Speed RX, or TT eSports Pyrrhus, to rough ones like the SteelSeries QCK Heavy. The mouse glides better than the Rival, which is to be expected, since the undersides are similar in shape, and Sensei Wireless is lighter. 

SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Surface

Tracking is as one might expect it. It's the laser standard, with slight issues on rough surfaces, and behaving better on gliding ones. Yet, it's something that you wouldn't notice, unless you're actively checking to see if the mouse registers noisy data.

Sides

Since Sensei Wireless is ambidextrous, it's obviously symmetrical. Each side features the same velvety texture for the grip, and two adequately positioned buttons. Left side buttons are assigned back & forward, while the right ones are left unassigned.

 SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Left Side

This design is that of the Sensei from top to bottom, only that instead of a pure metal casing, it uses a plastic one, with only a few aluminum accents.

 SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Right side

Connectivity

As I previously mentioned, Sensei Wireless is both a wired and wireless mouse. The packaging contains a thick braided cable, ending in a micro-USB port.

On the rodent there's a small release switch at the front edge of the bottom, designed to lock the connection.

SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Cable 

The 2 meter long data-enabled micro-USB braided cable can also be plugged in to the base, so that the mouse can be used in wireless mode. In a way, I like the fact the mouse uses a simple micro-USB cable (no arcane or proprietary adapters), but at the same time I wonder why it couldn't use mini-USB since that version is not as notorious for connectivity issues as micro-USB is.

Charging Base

An important part of Sensei Wireless' appeal is represented by its charging base. A rather heavy, well-built piece of technology, which uses a nice amount of textured aluminum to match the metal finishing of the mouse itself. It features a fitted area, with three metal pins positioned for charging. Around the "cradle" is an LED contour, which denotes battery life, and even more, given that the lighting is fully adjustable in the Engine.

 SteelSeries Sensei Wireless - Base

Under the base, there's a massive rubber pad, which ensures the base will stick even to the glossiest of surfaces. Here, there's also the connect button, matching the one on the mouse.

 SteelSeries Sensei - Base Underside

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