SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Gaming Mouse Review
SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Performance
The little LCD display on the bottom of the Sensei Fnatic was bright and easy to read off of. By pressing the triangular button behind the scroll wheel, all the available settings were presented to me except for key programming and color options (you’ll need to download the driver for that). Changing settings on the Sensei Fnatic was painless, but I had to pull out the included instruction booklet to see what each of the settings did. After testing out all the ExactTech settings, I found two that are really worth mentioning. First is the ExactAim. With the ExactAim function enabled, the Sensei slowed down my mouse cursor when it’s not detecting fast movements. Having the ExactAim function set to 3 on the scale of 10, I still had near full control of my mouse but the deceleration was still evident enough to dramatically improve my aiming in Battlefield 3. The second is the ExactLift function which changes elevates or lowers the lift-off distance. I had it lowered from the default 15mm to 5mm and felt a huge difference in performance.
The ExactAim function was a hindrance in Starcraft 2, since I didn’t need to constantly zoom in and out of a gun scope. Thankfully, profile switching can be done through the mini LCD screen at the bottom of the mouse as well. All I had to do was flip the mouse over, click the button behind the scroll wheel, and select profile 2 as current, done. The whole process takes about 5 seconds to complete. Setting each profile was easy too as all the functions and settings can all be changed and saved directly using the LCD screen on the mouse.
The Avago ADNS-9500 sensor installed on the Sensei was smooth and stable at lower CPI, but as the CPI increased especially into the DCPI range (5700CPI+), the jittering became more and more pronounced. At the sensor’s actual maximum CPI of 5700 my mouse pointer had just a tiny bit shake to it, but it did not affect its functionality in any way. Since the embedded 75MHz ARM processor doubles the actual CPI, I decided to test out the mouse at the ridiculous 11,400DCPI maximum. At this point, the jittering was so terrible that the mouse pointer became uncontrollable. Otherwise, the sensor does have a fair bit of both positive and negative acceleration, so I’d recommend looking at something with an Avago ADNS-3090 optical sensor if you want a sensor with no acceleration.
The Sensei Fnatic has a unique shape despite being quite a standard looking SteelSeries ambidextrous mouse in appearance. The mouse sports a low height, typical of ambidextrous claw grip mice, but the overall shape of it caters to the palm grip. This way, the mouse can support all many different common grip styles.
My two primary grip styles worked great with this mouse (I have medium-sized hands). In the palm grip position, the large back section supported my hand fully and the matte rubber coating on the top part provided excellent grip. The same could be said about claw grip. The wide left and right clicks were easy to press and felt very responsive through my rapid clicks. The weight of the mouse is a bit light, but it’s very evenly distributed.
The increments on the ribbed scroll wheel was very precise, and it was quiet as a whisper during scrolling. The 4 side buttons are very nicely sized and easily pressed. The only downside about the mouse I noticed during testing was that the actuating force of the middle click was a bit light, so I accidentally clicked it several times while scrolling through websites. Additionally, it’s also worth noting that the side buttons are quite easy to actuate as well, so sometimes you might hit it while picking the mouse up.