For most PC gamers, there are two peripherals essential to their experience. A keyboard, and a mouse. These tools allow us to control our world-in-a-box, our rigs, in which many have invested countless hours and large amounts of cash. Yet so many skimp on these key components, settling for budget base models from their local supermarket or whatever is going cheap at their local computer store. What so many fail to understand is the jump in quality that comes from laying down the cash on a quality product, and with so many Gaming mice to choose from at varying price points, it can be hard to pick. So when SteelSeries released a price-conscious follow-up to their wildly successful Sensei design, the RAW; mostly the same but without the top-end extras, it seemed that they were targeting the point in between quality and cost, with a “pure and focused form”. Having already released a base model RAW, their latest version follows the Orange trend seen in their other peripherals of late. Does this new colour scheme justify an upgrade, or will it just burn a hole in your pocket?
Firstly, let’s look at what you get- The RAW has an Ambidextrous shape, with a glossy top, rubberised sides, a braided anti-tangle cable, seven programmable buttons (Four excluding the basic buttons) and a DPI-toggle button. A CPI of 90-5670 and bright LED illumination completes the package, weighing in at just 90 grams. What’s missing from the original Sensei Package? Well, the RAW only has a single on-board preset as opposed to five, and sacrifices both the 32-bit ARM Processor and the LCD menu system of the original. The three-zone illumination also comes in a single colour; in this case Heat Orange.
But how does it feel? The shape takes a little getting used to, but after a little use feels generally secure. It’s not overtly ergonomic, but allows flexibility for those of both dexterities. The only issue which comes from the generic shape is the positioning of the four side-keys. With two on each side, problems arise in utilising all four, with the outside two feeling difficult to access most of the time. The inner pair is nicely positioned to the thumb though, so I find that generally programming the outside two for lesser-used functions works better than trying to use them all the time.
There’s a nice glide, with 16% of the underside covered with high-grade Teflon feet. Also contributing is the weight of merely 90 grams; it’s on the lighter end of the scale, especially for a 7-button mouse, packing a huge punch into very little mass. Despite this it still manages to feel substantial, with a high build quality over-all. I was sceptical about the glossy plastic at first, but after extended use it still looks and feels clean and shiny with the slight rubberisation of the sides giving excellent grip.
Button feel is also good with satisfying clicks and return feedback, though the mousewheel itself doesn’t reek of quality. It’s better than most cheaper alternatives, but lacks the panache of other similarly-priced models. The braided cabling feels secure and tangle-proof, and allows a bit of give and take; generally well suited to fast gaming action.
The Sensei RAW Heat Orange looks great, pure and simple. The mouse itself is black, with orange illumination when plugged in. The hue is well-chosen and cleanly executed, brightly glowing from the lit zones in a warming, pleasant tone. Very in-your-face, but in a good way. The scheme goes well with my blue-glowing rig, and I can imagine it also fitting with most colours; for those aesthetically inclined.
Despite this being a stripped-down version, performance is not compromised, in fact the lower weight actually seems to improve general performance. Most gamers like myself wouldn’t be bothered by the lack of colour-changing lights and a bottom-mounted screen anyway. The lack of multiple programmable presets is disappointing however, and problematic if using a rig without the SteelSeries Engine software.
The software integration is the same as every other recent SteelSeries product; plug and play, with a piece of well-designed HUB software for customisation of buttons and light brightness. It’s easy to use and allows for plenty of macro flexibility across multiple peripherals. Definitely one of the better solutions in a world where every peripheral has it’s own program.
At £47.99 on the official SteelSeries shop, the same price as the original Sensei RAW, this mouse is well designed with an emphasis on raw power and performance. Despite not having the extras and gimmicks of other gaming mice, the basics are all covered in style and with a high build quality. The Heat Orange variant bring extra style to the base model, bridging the gap between functionality and style. Highly recommended for those desiring a simple, powerful Gaming Mouse without the frills.
For technical Information check click HERE
- Very Light.
- High build quality for the price.
- Orange is HOT and well implemented.
- Ambidextrous design makes full use of all buttons difficult.
- Lack of on-board preset switching.
- Feet wear down relatively quickly.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.