Just over a year ago, I reviewed the Legendary Edition World of Warcraft mouse from SteelSeries. I was superbly impressed, most of which came simply from the shape, which it my hand unlike any mouse I’d held before. Now, SteelSeries have released the World of Warcraft Wireless Gaming Mouse — it takes that very same shape, adds some new features, and a brand new look.

Once you open it up, taking it from a box that’s slightly larger than the usual SteelSeries packaging (due to the wireless cradle), the new appearance is certainly up to World of Warcraft standards. It’s a bit more classy (and far less glossy) than the fire-covered Legendary Edition that was inspired by Cataclysm, with a black and silver colour scheme that’s accented by a faintly overlaid map of Azeroth. The illuminated World of Warcraft logo sends a faint blue glow across the upper body of the mouse.

The thing that possibly make it look so awesome, though, is the charging cradle. Keeping with the design ethics of the game for which it was created, it almost resembles some sort of sacrificial altar, and when the glowing heiroglyphs around its circumference are lit provides a suitably epic pedestal, upon which to place the mouse during charging. The first few times you sit at the computer and grab the mouse from the cradle, it’s almost as if you’re unsheathing a giant battle sword as you go into a game.

But battle swords have to be constructed of the right materials, and one of the most notable places whereupon this new model steps above its predecessors is with the new sensor. The last offering had a somewhat underwhelming 3,600 CPI optical sensor, where the new wireless model packs a laser sensor that can achieve up to 8,200 CPI. It makes a huge difference, and greatly increases the range of tasks this mouse performs well in.

Then there’s the rather obvious fact that it’s wireless by nature. SteelSeries very first wireless mouse offering, in fact. I’ve been skeptical about wireless mice ever since I first experienced a very old and unreliable one, but SteelSeries’ 2012 wireless engineering quite obviously surpasses that greatly. The 2.4GHz wireless never posed an issue; it never randomly dropped connection with the cradle/receiver, I never had trouble pairing the two together. I just turned the mouse on with the little switch on its underbelly (that didn’t come out how I expected it to), and it connected and stayed connected. It does turn itself off after a period of no use, but click a button and it’s up and going again in milliseconds.

Battery life is good. SteelSeries say on their website that it will last for 16 hours of intensive gameplay, and more for more casual use, and while I didn’t play 16 hours straight to find out I’d say it pretty much reaches those numbers. On average I found it lasting two or three days of general computer use, with a few hours of gaming thrown in here and there. If you get into the habit of throwing it in the cradle whenever you walk away from the PC, it pretty much always has life in it.

There was one extremely frustrating moment during testing it’s longevity that it died in the middle of a game of StarCraft, but it had to die at some point. You can then run it and charge it at the same time via USB using the cable that’s usually connected to the cradle, but it is actually just a standard micro USB cable, so having a spare one around to quickly connect if it does run out isn’t an issue. It’s also great to know that if the cable breaks for some reason, you can just use the one that came with your phone or something instead. It’s definitely time that more manufacturers jump on this idea of using a standardised cable for such things. Some may be concerned that the batteries can’t be swapped out like some other mice using standard rechargeable AAs, but there are positive trade-offs that make it a very subjective choice, and today’s batteries will go a very long way before they start to show deterioration in lifespan.

As the shape is exactly the same as the Legendary Edition, as far as I can tell, it still sits as the mouse comfortable mouse shape I’ve used — provided your right-handed, and like the grip style that this shape leads to, you’ll likely agree. It’s not just that my fingers seem to mould perfectly to its shape, but the button positions make it even more ergonomic. Every one of its  eleven buttons can be pressed essentially without adjusting your grip at all, and you definitely don’t have to almost dislocate a finger to reach any of them as with other mouse — this layout has been very well thought out, using the right number of buttons in the right places, and it’s no surprise that it remains unchanged from the last version.

Despite being the first wireless mouse from SteelSeries, it manages to jump straight in there as one of the best wireless gaming mice on the market.

Even the software moves forward, now being based upon SteelSeries Engine rather than a separate piece of software. This is great for anyone using multiple SteelSeries products, and while there the powerful sensor isn’t accompanied with the customisation options of something like the spoils of the Sensei, there’s enough for more than a vast majority of users — and it naturally comes into its own for World of Warcraft players. Activating an in-game mode allows for WoW to recognise all of the mouse buttons directly, meaning you can program them straight from the in-game menu options. I wish there was still an option to choose the illumination colours, though; a rather small and practically solitary complaint.

I said before that the last version was the very best mouse available for World of Warcraft players, and the new wireless version improves in most every way to take its ancestor’s throne, justifying the fact it’s more expensive time and time again. The new sensor makes it a top choice, no matter what you’re playing — and despite being the first wireless mouse from SteelSeries, it manages to jump straight in there as one of the best wireless gaming mice on the market.

Score: 4.5/5 (5/5 for WoW players)

Images:

Specification:

  • Right-handed design
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion Polymer battery, 16 hours battery life
  • 2 metre/6.6 feet micro USB cable
  • 2.4Ghz wireless with 3 metre/10 feet effective range
  • Laser sensor: 100-8,200 CPI, 12,000 frames per second, 1,000 Hz polling rate in wired and wireless modes
  • 10 programmable buttons (plus a CPI selector button)

Unboxing Video: