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SteelSeries Sensei review: SteelSeries Sensei

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Need more macro control? Yes, we can see you nodding. You special folk can enter the advanced macro editor, which works exactly the same way as the usual one, except that it creates a secondary list in which you can now click on the entries and edit or delete them. Depressingly, you can't insert delays — you have to first record with delays, then edit by hand afterwards. You can't insert extra commands, either, or extend an existing macro — every macro has to be started from scratch. It's woefully inadequate for a device of this stature.

Flip to the settings page, and things get serious — and a whole lot better. SteelSeries is big on the fact that DPI is incorrect terminology; it prefers CPI, that is, counts per inch. The two numbers are equatable, though, and thanks to the ARM processor inside, the Sensei is capable of some gobsmackingly high numbers. Up to 5700 CPI within normal boundaries, and 11,400 CPI if you push things using the new Double CPI (DCPI) tech.

SteelSeries claims this to be advantageous to double-monitor situations, but we'd imagine it'd benefit those with ridiculously high resolutions, as well. The effect is quite odd with DCPI turned on: things still feel smooth despite the cursor speed, yet it also feels as if there's a delay between human movement and what's onscreen, almost as if the smoothness needs to be calculated in before the pointer moves.

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SteelSeries has a serious amount of customisation going on, and every bit of it actually works.
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

LED colour adjustment is found here, too, as is Freemove, allowing you to set whether or not the mouse attempts to correct your movements to what you intended, rather than what your hand actually did. You can also adjust acceleration settings, tweak your mouse lift-off profile so movement is more tailored to your mousing habits and fiddle with the USB polling rate and a fascinating technology called ExactAim. Fundamentally, it works in the opposite way to acceleration, meaning that as you slow down your mouse, it drops the CPI to allow for more accurate positioning. For those thinking sniping, you're on the money.

There's also a statistics page, which you can set recording, presumably to measure your actions per minute; but it only counts mouse clicks, not keyboard actions.

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Of questionable use is the stats page.
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

In game, the Sensei is every bit as accurate and deadly as the Xai, with more tweaks besides to hone things further. We caned through a level of Serious Sam HD at serious difficulty with little issue.

The Sensei is a phenomenal mouse. It's a testament to its performance that despite having woefully horrible button customisation and macro support, it's still one of our favourite mice. If SteelSeries can fix these problems, then it will have truly set the benchmark for all other mouse manufacturers to follow.

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