A couple of weeks back we reviewed the Diablo III Headset from SteelSeries. Since then, I’ve turned my eye to another of their Diablo offerings, the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse. Just like the headset, it takes a tried and tested SteelSeries design and adds a hint of Blizzard’s famous RPG. But where the headset is a little more expensive, and offers a couple of new features when compared to it’s sibling, the Siberia, the mouse is more like little brother — it’s got less features and comes in cheaper than the Sensei which it’s modelled upon.
Packaged in that same SteelSeries box, with that same funky, magnetic, flip-up front, we find as little as we’ve come to expect from SteelSeries. There’s the mouse itself, a brief manual/quick-start guide, and their equivalent to Bruce Forsyth’s cuddly toy, the mandatory SteelSeries sticker. As ever, there’s no driver disc, and that’s great because it means you’ll always be grabbing the latest drivers and software from their website in the form of SteelSeries Engine.
Once we plug it in, SteelSeries Engine takes on a Diablo skin (which can be disabled if you wish), and does its usual amazing job at allowing you to set things up the way you want. While also managing any other SteelSeries peripherals you’re using in the same window. You can track your button presses and lifetime clicks and adjust the actions of each button on the mouse (which are setup to work well with Diablo III from the start). The settings page itself looks a little more empty than with the Sensei, we can set two changeable CPI values right up to the mouse’s maximum of 5,700, adjust the polling rate to a maximum 1,000 Hz, and choose how the red lighting behaves by making it pulsate, stay on all the time, or illuminate each time you click the mouse, as well as being able to change its intensity.
I love SteelSeries Engine, and it’s by far leading the way with gaming peripherals’ software. But at this point I do want to mention this one thing for honesty’s sake; I ran into some sort of driver issue or something on my system with the first unit that SteelSeries sent us — and it ended up ‘bricked’ somehow. Having reviewed several SteelSeries products recently, I had been plugging in and unplugging a bunch of their peripherals in quick succession, and perhaps that caused the trouble. The replacement has been just fine, but I’d not be doing my job of reviewing if I didn’t at least mention the one issue I ran into.
Let’s get onto the actual mouse, though, shall we? I’ve said before that I think the SteelSeries Sensei is the best mouse on the market right now, and this one borrows a lot from it. The shape is exactly the same; truly ambidextrous, suits a variety of grips, and I can’t fault it. The Diablo design is also pretty pleasing on the eye. Black and red to match the headset, with the same grey highlights, it looks great — and the fact the top’s rubberised is good news for those who don’t like the gloss finishes. A black and red braided cable tops the look off in a subtle and unique way. They’ve also added a slight texture to the side-buttons, which I now wish were also on the Sensei as it helps a lot if you want to press them quickly.
The performance is also going to be just as good for most people. The lack of the on-board CPU and LCD screen means we lose the ability to program from and save settings to the mouse, as well as a lot of the driver options such as straight-line correction, but it also makes it a lot lighter — a matter of preference, but something to consider if you prefer a less weighty mouse. We’ve got the same 5,700 CPI laser sensor, though, which is one of the best around. And if you’ve ever played Diablo, you’ll know how much ‘clicking things’ is an integral part of the game, so we also get some super-durable switches in the left and right mouse buttons. They’re guaranteed to last for at least 10 million clicks, and are totally satisfying to press.
Whether the Diablo styling is something you want will, of course, be a huge part of whether or not you want this mouse. If you do, you can rest assured that not only does it look the part, but it plays the part. No matter what you’re playing or doing, this mouse will do it well — and SteelSeries Engine makes it as easy as anything to launch different settings profiles for different games. If you’re desperate for every single feature a mouse could possibly have, the Sensei still has it all. However, for around half the price of its big brother at some retailers, this is most definitely one to consider if you don’t have money falling out of your pockets.
If you’re on a bit of a budget or simply don’t want to spend too much cash on your gaming mouse, and don’t want to wait for the upcoming Sensei [RAW] Edition, this mouse will not disappoint.
- Connection: Gold-plated USB
- Seven programmable buttons.
- 5,700 CPI Laser Sensor
- 12,000 Frames per Second
- 2mm/0.08 Inch Lift Distance
- Adjustable Red Illumination (Steady, Pulse, Trigger, Off)
- Double-bradied 2m/6.5ft Cable
- UPE Teflon Feet