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SteelSeries has built a strong reputation in the gaming peripherals market, especially when it comes to mice and headphones. To maintain its reputation, the brand has constantly renewed its best products, as is the case with the SteelSeries Sensei Ten that we are reviewing today.
This mouse was first released in 2009 under the name SteelSeries Xai, but in 2011 it received an update in the form of the Sensei. It’s one of the most iconic mice ever produced, so we were curious to test out this new version, released 10 years after the first one (hence the name, Sensei Ten), and find out what the brand did to improve it.
The old Sensei was in fact a great gaming mouse, but in the present time would not be able to measure itself at all to today’s mice. The form is the same, but the sensors and switches received a much-needed upgrade. The question is, is it any good?
Available for (Check on Amazon.com), the Sensei Ten is far from cheap and will, therefore, face fierce competition.
SteelSeries Sensei Ten – Design
The trademark of the original Sensei was its design. As SteelSeries likes to point out, its specific form was highly appreciated by many professional gamers and this is precisely what motivated the company to release an updated version of its legendary device.
SteelSeries has retained its ambidextrous design, making it one of the most versatile mice on the market, since it can be used by anyone. It sits perfectly in the palm of the hand and the user can choose any kind of grip between Palm, Claw or Fingertip. Whatever your choice, the Sensei feels top-notch and is perfectly balanced.
The design is also quite minimalist but elegant. It is built using a high-quality polymer that feels great to the touch. The fact that there are no rubbery inserts on the sides makes it easy for the mouse to slide underneath your hands when the movements get frenetic. On the other hand, this increases its durability, since, the rubber sides tend to suffer noticeable wear and tear with intense use.
Fans of the original model must be wondering what happened to Sensei’s characteristic metallic finish. It turns out that such an option no longer exists. The metallic finish wore out fairly quick, thus SteelSeries opted for a much more durable black finish.
The Sensei Ten doesn’t forget its gaming DNA. Both the logo on the back and the wheel sports RGB lighting that can be configured with the SteelSeries Engine software.
This new version is 10% lighter than the original, weighing at 92 grams (without counting the weight of the cable), which makes the mouse relatively light and easy to glide.
Being an ambidextrous mouse, it features 2 thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse. These side buttons have a very shallow profile. By default, the buttons on the left are used as Forward and Back, and the buttons on the right as Up and Down. However, all buttons can be reprogrammed.
The two main clicks, right and left, use SteelSeries mechanical switches guaranteed for 60 million clicks. They have a distinct click and the responsiveness is flawless.
The same is true for the clickable scroll wheel, which is notched but very smooth and reactive. Just behind the wheel, we find a DPI button that scrolls between the different DPI settings.
As for the cable, this is where we found the first flaw. It is a normal rubber cable that is very malleable and offers virtually no resistance, something very important in a gaming mouse. However, it is not braided and this means that this will be the first part to fail if you treat it harshly.
Finally, in terms of design, underneath the Sensei Ten, we find 4 generous feet that let it glide effortlessly on virtually any flat surface.
SteelSeries Sensei Ten – Features
In order to take full advantage of the features and customization settings of the Sensei Ten, you will have to install the SteelSeries Engine software suite. The Engine 3 is one of our favorite customization and configuration programs since it has the most user-friendly interface.
All parameters are accessible in a single tab where you can manage everything: you can change the sensor’s sensitivity (from 50 to 18,000 DPI) and/or the polling rate (125/250/500/1000Hz). You can also configure the angle snapping and the acceleration and deceleration speeds.
It is, of course, possible to remap all mouse buttons and create and assign macros. All these settings will obviously be saved in profiles that you can associate with your games and applications. Up to five of these profiles can be stored in the mouse’s onboard memory.
It is within the same interface that you can customize the RGB lights and synchronize them with all your SteelSeries peripherals.
SteelSeries Sensei Ten – Performance
One of the most important aspects of any mouse is its sensor. The Sensei Ten uses SteelSeries (developed in collaboration with PixArt) TrueMove Pro sensor. It features a maximum DPI of 18,000, a maximum acceleration of 50G and an impressive tracking speed of 450 IPS.
I used the Sensei Ten as my main mouse both for work and gaming and the sensor behaved in an exemplary way in all kinds of situations. Especially in gaming it is very precise and accurate and can easily adapt to your preferences and abilities thanks to its vast DPI range. It excels in eSports, however, its intended playground.
Trying to distinguish its flagship mouse from the competition, SteelSeries focused on tilt-tracking, but although there were no issues when I tried to lift and reposition the device, the Sensei Ten didn’t behave any better than most gaming mice I reviewed lately. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference between the performance of the Sensei Ten and the Razer Viper Ultimate (Check on Amazon.com) or Logitech G Pro Wireless (Check on Amazon.com) that I use on a daily basis. But being able to measure oneself with the best of the best is also a compliment, right?
In any mouse review, the verdict is the most difficult. There are just too many good gaming mice nowadays. For the price of the SteelSeries Sensei Ten (Check on Amazon.com) you can buy a Razer Basilisk (Check on Amazon.com) or a Logitech G502 Hero (Check on Amazon.com).
But, the Ten is what every true Sensei fan always wanted. It maintains the iconic design of the original, but the quality of the materials and the hardware have evolved to create a modern wonder.
In the end, it’s hard to find real flaws; the Sensei Ten turned out to be an excellent gaming mouse. Its ambidextrous design makes it suitable for all gamers, regardless of their favorite hand, grip or title.
It offers exactly what it promised, especially considering its excellent sensor, which has behaved admirably throughout all our tests.
If you’re looking for a good gaming mouse, without many bells and whistles, but with a solid spec sheet and easy-to-use software, then the Sensei Ten is a great choice.
And if you are looking for an ambidextrous gaming mouse that ticks all the boxes above, then the SteelSeries Sensei Ten should be an automatic buy!