History still goes around in circles, and what was once in vogue is becoming popular again. This year in the field of gaming peripherals was marked by unexpected «returns of legends». The company SteelSeries did not stand aside, which decided to breathe a second life into the original version of its most sought-after mouse among gamers — Sensei. And they did it in the best way. They took the old form and added a new filling to it. And the prefix in the name Ten appeared in honor of the decade since the release of the first Sensei prototype, which was called Xai.
|Model||SteelSeries Sensei Ten|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor Model||TrueMove Pro|
|Permission, cpi||50 – 18 000|
|Number of buttons||8 buttons + scroll up/down (left, middle, right, resolution switch, four side buttons)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1.5mm|
|Maximum speed, m/s||11,43|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||–|
|Internal memory, KB||–|
|Cord length, m||2|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||We are oplyotki|
|Housing surface material||ABS Plastic / Soft touch|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, logo on the stern|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (SteelSeries Engine 3)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||126 x 68 x 39|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 x64 or higher / Mac OS X version 10.12 or higher|
|Average cost, $||80|
Contents of delivery
The packaging of the mouse is made in the «matchbox» format, where all the main technical and marketing information is printed on the outer cover.
Inside there is a box made in orange tones of the flight recorder. The white text on it suggests «bow before the master». Inside, the mouse is protected from damage by a soft form of polyurethane foam.
The package contains only instructions and nothing else. Respectable e-sports players will have to purchase interchangeable legs separately.
Appearance and design
The appearance of the updated Sensei Ten was carefully and in detail copied from its early predecessor. The case has a classic symmetrical streamlined shape with a teardrop-shaped elevation in the center. The coating of the top panel has changed — now it is a soft-touch material that is silky to the touch. Fingerprints accumulate on it slowly but steadily. Everything else is familiar. The panels of the left and right mouse buttons are solid. They are pressed clearly, without play. The key stroke is short and distinct, the left click is muffled, the right one is more sonorous. The triangular key in the center is responsible for changing the resolution, and in front of it there is a white indicator that blinks according to the ordinal number of the selected sensitivity level. The middle button is pressed quite easily and clicks with a distinct, but muffled sound.
The left sidewall is also covered with soft-touch material. Two additional buttons are light and quiet to press, made of rough plastic. On the front side, there is a Japanese character for «heaven» that sounds like «ten» which is ten in English.
The signal cable enters the housing in the center, at a height of 3 mm from the surface and is wrapped with a rubber anti-kink protection. The scroll wheel is rubberized and covered with subtle tactile notches. The locking positions are clearly marked with a ratchet, the noise of which is audible when turning quickly, although if turned slowly, the wheel is quite quiet. There is no backlash in the mechanism, the resistance to turns is weak, therefore the wheel can be turned a couple of divisions and by accident.
There are some issues with the USB cable. It is devoid of braid and has a length of 2 meters. But as for the «legendary» mouse, it is quite average in all respects — in thickness, in flexibility, in elasticity. Direct competitors Sensei — Dream Machines DM1 FPS and, in particular, the Razer Viper, things are much better with this. And under Sensei you will have to buy a wire holder.
The right side of the mouse is completely similar to the left, except for the absence of the ten symbol. Here, too, there are two additional keys. Especially for those few who play left-handed. Or developed the ability to use the ring finger productively.
On the back of the mouse is an illuminated SteelSeries logo.
The mouse has a completely symmetrical shape, and will be equally comfortable both under the right and under the left hand. But the body of the mouse is long and wide, so it will be comfortable only for owners of large hands. But suitable for all basic types of grip. The center of weight balance along the axes is exactly between the side keys. The weight of the manipulator is 92 grams without the cord and 130 grams with the wire. It’s a bit heavy in my opinion, though lighter than the original Sensei.
The base of the mouse is made of smoky, translucent plastic. Two large semicircular Teflon legs at the back and one at the front remained in their rightful place, another round leg is glued around the sensor window located in the center. The LED screen at the back is gone, and that’s even better.
The mouse has two backlight zones — a scroll wheel and a logo on the stern. Managed separately, they can show the entire RGB color palette and several visual effects. White color is displayed correctly. The resolution indicator behind the scroll wheel does not glow constantly and blinks only when switching the sensitivity level.
Let’s take a look at how Sensei Ten works from the inside. To open the mouse case, you will need to remove all three Teflon feet. Under the front there are two mounting screws, and one more is located under the rear stickers.
After unscrewing the screws, the case is easily divided into two halves. But do not rush, first of all, unfasten the loop of the top panel buttons from the main printed circuit board.
Beneath the main buttons are SteelSeries proprietary microswitches with blue pins and a claimed MTBF of 60 million clicks. The scroll wheel encoder is made by Kailh.
Because of the two blocks from the signal cable and from the scroll wheel encoder, I had to go to the trick and turn the right microswitch 180 degrees. Not surprisingly, LMB and RMB sound different when pressed and slightly differ in the nature of their operation. The wheel button is square with a blue pin. Probably also made by Kailh.
The optical sensor chip is really marked here as TrueMove Pro. So we didn’t manage to find out exactly which of the new PixArt sensor models it is a close relative of.
And this is what the additional top board looks like. It has four unidentified side switches (perhaps our readers will recognize the logo and tell you in the comments which manufacturer they belong to), a square resolution button switch (same as under the middle button) and a white sensitivity level indicator lamp.
The SteelSeries Sensei Ten software uses the SteelSeries Engine 3 universal driver (the current version is 3.16.1). It can be downloaded from the official site. The current mouse firmware version is 0.8.0.0
In the driver settings, you can select one of the 12 available interface languages, select the option to download updates — in automatic mode or with a request, select to turn off messages and autorun option. You also need to decide whether you need to send the application usage statistics to the company. In addition, it is possible to ignore Windows mouse settings, as well as disable settings such as increased pointer precision and pointer speed multiplier, which can cause sensor malfunctions. Moreover, if the driver determines that these options are enabled, it will offer to disable them automatically.
The main start screen displays a list of all connected SteelSeries devices, each of which can be quickly assigned a specific profile in the configuration tab. If there are problems with connecting or detecting peripherals, you can open the tab on the left, where you will be prompted to select a connection option and see answers to frequently asked questions. In the upper right corner there are keys for accessing notifications, settings and authorization in the program. In Applications, you can select a compatible application variant, to which you can link lighting functions by linking them to specific events in the program. And the «Library» contains all configuration profiles for all devices. They can be turned on manually, or set to start automatically when a certain program starts.
All available mouse settings are collected on one screen. In the left panel there is a list of configurations that are stored on the PC. Eight buttons and two scroll directions are available for reassigning commands. You can assign mouse and keyboard buttons, macros, or media commands. In addition, there is an option to use the key to switch configurations, launch an application, OS hotkeys, or quickly record a macro. Or disable the button completely. The sensor is adjusted to a maximum of five preset sensitivity levels in the resolution range from 50 to 18000 cpi, in increments of 50 cpi. Extra permission levels can be turned off, leaving only the ones you need. By default, the levels are set to 400, 800, 1200, 2400 and 3200 cpi. For the sensor, it is possible to set the level of acceleration and deceleration, the linearity of the trajectory, and the polling rate within 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz. But the separation height is not regulated anywhere and is not calibrated.
The two RGB lighting zones are separately adjustable. They have a palette of 16.8 million possible color combinations and lighting effects. Effects include steady glow, sequential change of the color spectrum, color ripple, activation of the backlight at the touch of a button, and complete backlight off.
The macro editor has not changed over the years and looks a bit primitive today. After the start of recording, mouse and keyboard commands are sequentially registered, taking into account time intervals. At the end of the recording, all this can be edited and saved under an individual name. Scroll wheel directions and mouse cursor movements are not recorded.
Ergonomics and testing
The SteelSeries Sensei Ten mouse was tested on the Mionix Alioth M mousepad. For those who held the original Sensei in their hands, Sensei Ten cannot offer any revelations in terms of ergonomics. The symmetrical shape of the case has not changed, all the buttons and the scroll wheel have remained in their places. The mouse does not fit perfectly in the hand, but it is comfortable enough to forget about its existence after a couple of minutes of use. The most comfortable will be the owners of large palms, in any type of grip. Significant differences include a new silky soft-touch coating (which gets dirty slowly but surely), slightly less weight and a slightly more comfortable cable (compared to the previous hard wire). There are no complaints about the nature of the switches and the scroll wheel. The weight balance along the axes is normal. The legs of the mouse are rather slippery, but for some reason there is very little inertia. The lighting is well done and of good quality. The software is generally standard for SteelSeries mice.
The main changes in Sensei Ten were not in appearance, but in the sensor. Instead of the laser Avago ADNS 9500, an updated optical TrueMove Pro is installed here, which is a further development of sensors from the PixArt PMW3360 family. The main problem of the old laser, in addition to artificially high resolution, was unpredictable acceleration. Now the sensor is very close to ideal. It has no smoothing, no acceleration, no other parasitic problems. Supports a very high surface reading speed with a high acceleration tolerance, in other words, it is almost impossible to cause the cursor to stall on this mouse. In order to somehow distinguish TrueMove Pro from TrueMove3 (Sensei 310) and TrueMove3+ (in Rival 600 and 650, with a liftoff height sensor), SteelSeries increased its resolution to 18,000 cpi and speed to 11.43 m / s, and the allowable operating range in 1:1 mode from 3500 to approximately 5000 cpi. There was also some marketing worth mentioning. So the Tilt Tracking technology used here is designed to solve a situation in which the cursor could be stalled when the mouse moves at high speed and is placed on the surface not evenly, but at an angle. True, I would like to remind you that such a problem was acute only for PixArt PMW3310 sensors, but not for 3360, on the basis of which proprietary TrueMove Pro are made. However, these are details. In real use scenarios, the mouse behaves perfectly. The only pity is that the liftoff height cannot be adjusted in the driver, on high-quality surfaces it could be lower.
The revival of the classic Sensei in the form of the Ten model is a very correct step from SteelSeries, which fans of this brand have been waiting for for a long time. The only pity is that it can hardly be called timely, because competitors have already launched similar, and sometimes better models in this form factor and with similar sensor parameters on the market for several years.
So, is it any better than before? Yes. The Sensei Ten mouse received an excellent optical sensor, reinforced main switches, a more wear-resistant coating and an adequate cable. The overall weight of the device has been slightly reduced.
What hasn’t changed? The classic symmetrical shape of the Sensei case, which so many players liked so much, remained exactly the same as it was.
Are there negative changes? The OLED screen on the base has disappeared (but this is more a plus than a minus). Otherwise, the Sensei Ten has no significant problems. You can find fault with the soft-touch coating, not everyone will like it. The sensor does not have a tear-off height adjustment, there are no spare legs in the kit. And SteelSeries should seriously think about the quality of the signal cable and make it softer, because this is a tangible moment for those who play closely in the competitive FPS genre.
For those who liked the old versions of this mouse, the new Sensei Ten will simply delight. If you are looking for a mouse of this shape for the first time, then Sensei Ten is a worthy offer, but before purchasing, you should first consider similar models of the closest competitors in order to make a balanced and optimal choice for your real needs.