esports [xplayn]ed

This review was not paid for, nor requested. However, the product was received for free as a gift from SteelSeries China. This review is the sole opinion of the editor.

Before leaving China this year, I was gifted this SteelSeries Sensei 310 Glossy Red Edition by a friend at SteelSeries. It has been sitting in a closet for the better part of the year, so I thought why not take a weekend and do a mouse review?

Before we start, it is important to note that this special edition of the mouse is different from the one you can actively buy outside of China. The difference being that the mouse housing finish is glossy on this edition. The one you can buy has a matte finish, so the ultimate texture is different than what you see here.

Table Of Contents

  1. Product Overview
  2. Unboxing
  3. Performance
  4. Durability
  5. Comfort
  6. Extras
  7. Value

Product Overview

I figured I would save you the trouble of looking up the product statistics. Below is the sensor that SteelSeries markets as the "first true esports sensor". Truth be told, most modern sensors have such high standards that a human being is unlikely to sense or see any form of flaw - unless there is a manufacturing defect or some kind of software bug. That said, it is always good to see companies like SteelSeries to continue to fund development of more reliable sensors capable of handling even the most erratic movements.

Sensei 310 Sensor Specifications
Sensei 310 Sensor Specifications

All other stats on the Sensei 310 are roughly the par for the course. There is nothing ground breaking here, and nothing you should be alarmed about either. The only thing that stands out is the composite material used - Fiber-Reinforced Plastic, for the housing. This makes for a far more durable mouse than what you are likely used to seeing.

The Omron brand of switch is also standard within gaming- and esports-marketed mice. You will be hard pressed to find a mouse using a switch rated any differently.

Sensei 310 Design Specifications
Sensei 310 Design Specifications

Unboxing

SteelSeries kept things extremely simple. Buy a mouse - get a mouse. The only other contents in the box are the user manual, which they are obligated to provide.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 Packaging
SteelSeries Sensei 310 Packaging

The packaging itself keeps the mouse safe. Everything was in one piece and worked out of the box. There isn't any room for the mouse to move around or get damaged. The only real thing it could improve upon would be to put a sticker/tab over the sensor so none of the packaging materials find there way onto the sensor - but it was clean, so no complaints.

SteelSeries 310 Package Contents (mouse & user guide)
SteelSeries 310 Package Contents

I would have liked to see SteelSeries provide an extra pair of feet for the mouse, especially given some design features they implemented (see below). Beyond that I don't expect too much when purchasing a mouse - from any manufacturer. I suppose stickers are a global standard, and I believe this is something SteelSeries used to do in the past. However, it might be for higher priced purchases, as the Sensei 310 is one of their less expensive mice.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 Out Of The Box
SteelSeries 310 Package Contents

Performance

Realistically, this is what you care about. The size, shape, and overall comfort are going to come down to personal preference. But how reliable is the mouse?

I tested it paired with a SteelSeries QcK Heavy. I played League of Legends and CS:GO. There were no performance issues in either game. Adjusting settings on the fly is also quite easy and seamless.

I didn't experience any miss-clicks or jitters. The only time I had an issue is when hair got onto the sensor itself. After cleaning that, there were no more jitter issues. Even after smashing the mouse multiple times, none of the buttons stuck or were damaged, nothing rattled or broke. The mouse just kept on mousing.

All buttons click distinctively, and I am eternally grateful that SteelSeries makes their mouse buttons mutually exclusive. I am a true believer in keeping all buttons mutually exclusive in order to prevent any unwanted clicks from occurring.

SteelSeries 310 Close Up View
SteelSeries Sensei 310

Durability

As mentioned earlier, the Sensei 310 features a composite material for the housing to give the mouse a stronger shell to help defend against rage quits. I used the scientific method to test impact durability. And by scientific I mean I smashed it against my desk over and over to "simulate" "raging". It held it incredibly well. Typically there would be issues with buttons sticking, or even internal components (ie, switches) breaking, bending, or fracturing. This was not the case, and the mouse just kept on mousing, despite the continuous abuse.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 (bottom view)
SteelSeries Sensei 310 (bottom)

As you can see, the mouse feet are actually interchangeable, so if you end up needing to repair them that is an option. Sadly, SteelSeries does not provide a spare pair of feet with the purchase of this mouse - you will have to order them when you need them. They are also flush with the mouse housing, which is ideal - especially for those of us with a cloth pad and pets. Hair and other debris often cakes against the edge of the mouse feet if they protrude from the housing; however, with the Sensei 310 you do not suffer any debris build up.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 (sensor view)
SteelSeries Sensei 310 (sensor)

I assume there were similar intentions for this elevated lip around the sensor house. Rather than make it easy for dust and debris to enter the sensor house and impede its performance, SteelSeries created a slight lip to reduce the area between the mouse and the pad, thus limiting the amount of debris capable of getting inside.

SteelSeries Sensei 310 (side view)
SteelSeries Sensei 310 (grip)

Additionally, SteelSeries uses a silicone grip to help with mouse maneuverability, which is ideal for anyone who has a latex allergy. The grip itself performed well beyond my expectations, which to be honest were zero. I assumed the grip would get slippery over time, but it remained cool/dry even after hours of play. It made manipulating the mouse much better given my issues with the larger design.


Comfort

The thing that makes this mouse comfortable for me personally is that it is an ambidextrous mouse. I cannot stand right-handed mice. I have only and will only ever purchase an ambidextrous mouse.

Right off the bat, the Sensei 310 stands out as a 100% ambidextrous mouse as it has the side buttons on both sides. The Logitech and other "ambidextrous" mice today tend to have only the ambidextrous shape and not the functionality. SteelSeries caters to both lefties and righties alike, which is good to see.

I also prefer smaller mice. Ive always been partial to the Kinzu and Diamondback mice as they were historically a bit smaller than the average "gamer" mouse. The Sensei 310 is slightly longer than my current Logitech, but not by so much I have a difficult time adjusting quickly.

The difference I do not like is in the wide butt of the Sensei 310 by comparison to my Logitech, and the slide height difference in the palm. It took me a lot longer to get used to the feeling of a "bulkier" mouse. I find it is a little awkward to hold considering I prefer much smaller mice. So if you are partial to small mice like myself, you will have about a week of a learning curve to get through before you begin to get comfortable using the bulkier design.

Another issue I had with the ergonomics was the forward placement of the side buttons. The back button is longer and requires more space, so it pushes the front button quite a ways ahead. It almost feels inaccessible depending how you hold your mouse. This made this button virtually useless for me, which was unfortunate as I typically use both side buttons on the left.

One thing I did not anticipate to make a difference was the glossy finish of the Sensei 310. Keep in mind, this is a limited edition run of the mouse made for China specifically for the 2019 Chinese New Year/Spring Festival celebration. I found it gripped a lot better than some of the matte and rubber paint mice I've used in the past, which I was surprised about. I figured it would induce sweating and become slippery, but it never happened.


Extras

As with any SteelSeries mouse, you also have free access to their software engine, which allows you to control and refine settings more precisely than using the preset profiles you can cycle through via the middle button.

You can control:

  • Sensitivity
  • Polling rate
  • Coloring for - SteelSeries Logo and Scroll Wheel
  • Acceleration
  • Macros

And much more...

Screenshot of the SteelSeries Engine and how it works for the Sensei 310
SteelSeries Engine (screenshot)

All of these settings can be saved to the mouse so when you bring your mouse to a new computer (such as competing on LAN) its settings remain consistent. Everything you expect the software to do - it does. Also, it doesn't bog down your system unnecessarily, so you shouldn't have any apprehension in using it to tweak your settings.

Screenshot of the Polling Rate, Angle Snapping, and Acceleration features of the SS Engine
More settings on the SteelSeries Engine (screenshot)

Value

Overall, the Sensei 310 is what you would expect from SteelSeries. The design, durability, and overall characteristics are staples from SteelSeries. The price ($50.00 USD) is fair when you factor in the durability and stability of the mouse. Feature-wise it could be priced lower with its competitors, but given the construction and what I put it through Im surprised the mouse still works, let alone came out without a scratch.

PROS

  • Good quality build - sturdy and reliable
  • Compatible with SteelSeries Engine - great features to customize the settings
  • Standard long mouse cord - good if you have to run it behind a desk to a tower

CONS

  • Side button placement - too far forward, makes for an awkward user experience
  • Glossy red edition is not available outside of China

FINAL SCORE: 88/100