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SteelSeries Sensei RAW Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 21, 2021 at 10:39 am
SteelSeries Sensei RAW Picture
7.1
Office/Multimedia
8.1
Video Games (FPS)
8.1
Video Games (MMO)
8.0
Ultra-Light Gaming
5.3
Travel
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is an impressive wired gaming mouse. It feels sturdy and has a true ambidextrous shape with two side buttons on either side. Our unit has a glossy plastic body, but a rubberized variant is also available. Its shape makes it ideal for a claw grip, regardless of hand size, though it's suitable for those with larger hands using a fingertip grip and medium or large hands with a palm grip. It also has good latency, a low lift-off distance, mouse feet that glide well on mousepads. Unfortunately, it has a stiff cable, and you can only adjust the CPI by steps of 90.

Our Verdict

7.1 Office/Multimedia

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is decent for office use. It feels well-built and has a great number of programmable buttons. It's ideal for all hand sizes using a claw grip, but it's also suitable for those with larger hands using a fingertip grip or medium and large-sized hands using a palm grip. Unfortunately, it's a wired-only mouse, and the scroll wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
  • All buttons are programmable.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Mouse wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.
8.1 Video Games (FPS)

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is great for FPS gaming. It feels well-built, has good click latency, a low lift-off distance, and mouse feet that glide well on mousepads. It's ideal for a claw grip, regardless of hand size, but it's also suitable for those with larger hands using a fingertip grip and medium or large hands with a palm grip. Unfortunately, it has a stiff cable, and while you can adjust the CPI using the software, it uses an unusual slider, and you can only make adjustments by increments of 90.

Pros
  • Good click latency.
  • Feels well-built.
  • All buttons are programmable.
  • Fairly lightweight.
Cons
  • Fairly stiff cable.
8.1 Video Games (MMO)

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is great for MMO gaming, but it doesn't have as many side buttons as dedicated MMO mice. Despite this, it feels well-built, has a pair of side buttons on either side, and all buttons are programmable using the companion software. It also has good click latency and a low lift-off distance. It's best suited for claw grip, regardless of hand size, but it's suitable for those with larger hands using a fingertip grip and medium or large hands with a palm grip.

Pros
  • Good click latency.
  • Feels well-built.
  • All buttons are programmable.
Cons
  • Not as many side buttons as dedicated MMO mice.
8.0 Ultra-Light Gaming

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is a very good mouse for ultra-light gaming, but it's heavier than most dedicated ultra-lights and has a fairly stiff cable. That said, it has a good click latency, it feels sturdy, its mouse feet glide well on mousepads, and it has a comfortable, ambidextrous shape ideal for a claw grip for all hand sizes. It's also suitable for a palm grip for medium or large hands or a fingertip grip for larger hands.

Pros
  • Good click latency.
  • Feels well-built.
  • Fairly lightweight.
Cons
  • Fairly stiff cable.
5.3 Travel

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is inadequate for travel. It's fairly bulky and likely won't fit into most laptop cases. It's also a wired mouse, which can be cumbersome in tight spaces like trains or planes. On the other hand, it feels well-built and has companion software compatible with Windows and macOS.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Fairly bulky; may not fit in most laptop cases.
  • 7.1 Office/Multimedia
  • 8.1 Video Games (FPS)
  • 8.1 Video Games (MMO)
  • 8.0 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 5.3 Travel

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color Orange
Design
Shape
Length 5.0" (127 mm)
Height 1.5" (38 mm)
Width 2.7" (68 mm)
Grip Width
65 mm
5.6
Design
Portability
Volume
20.14 inยณ (330 cmยณ)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
126 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
88 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
88 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality
8.0
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
No
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
Yes
Coating
Glossy
Finger Rest
No
Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
No
Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
No
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Use When Charging
No
On/Off Activation
None
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator No
7.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length 6.2 ft (1.9 m)
Cable Type
Braided
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
No Port
Port Type: PC End
USB
8.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Good
Material
PTFE
Extra Included
No
Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Sensei RAW mouse
  • User documentation
  • Stickers

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Laser
Sensor Model
ADNS9500
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
90 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
5,670 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
90 CPI
CPI (DPI) Variation
-4%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The polling rate options on the SteelSeries Sensei RAW are 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz.

7.9
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
8
Number Of Side Buttons
4
Number Of Programmable Inputs
10
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No
Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
24 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel
Control
Noise
Click Noise
Loud
7.8
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
16 ms
Operating System And Software
10
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name SteelSeries GG
Software Windows Compatibility
Yes
Software macOS Compatibility
Yes
Account Needed
No
On-Board Memory
Yes
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
Yes
Polling Rate Adjustment
Yes
Profile Configuration
Yes
RGB On/Off
Yes

Note:The SteelSeries GG software is currently only available for Windows. However, the older SteelSeries Engine 3 software is compatible with macOS and provides the same functionality, so we've chosen to indicate the software is compatible with macOS.

10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is an update of the original SteelSeries Sensei. The unit we tested is the Heat Orange variant, but it's also available in Rubberized Black, Glossy Black, and Frost Blue variants. This mouse was replaced by the next entry in the Sensei series, the SteelSeries Sensei 310. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is a stripped-down update of the original SteelSeries Sensei. While it's still marketed broadly towards the esports community, it's also aimed more at everyday gamers than its predecessor. Compared to the original, it lacks some customizability, but it offers an updated sensor and either a rubberized or glossy surface texture. This mouse is now discontinued but remains a niche option for fans of the original Sensei shape.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best mouse, the best wired mouse, and the best gaming mouse.

SteelSeries Sensei Ten

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW is an earlier version of the SteelSeries Sensei Ten, and the two have nearly identical shapes. The Sensei Ten has a wider CPI range and a set CPI that you can adjust more precisely. On the other hand, the Sensei RAW has a lower lift-off distance. Both mice are ideal for claw grip and suitable for larger hands using a fingertip or palm grip.

Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT

The Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT is a significantly better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. It connects wired or wirelessly with its USB receiver, feels sturdier, and is much lighter. It also has a wider CPI, a more precisely adjustable CPI, and better click latency. On the other hand, the SteelSeries is wired-only and has two additional side buttons. The Logitech is suitable for nearly all grip types and hand sizes, while the SteelSeries is best-suited for a claw grip for all hand sizes.

Glorious Model D

The Glorious Model D is a better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. The Glorious is ambidextrous, significantly lighter, and has a much better cable. It also has a wider CPI range and better click latency. Comparatively, the SteelSeries feels sturdier and has two extra side buttons. It also has a lower lift-off distance, and its software is compatible with Windows and macOS, while the Glorious software is only compatible with Windows. The Glorious is well-suited to all grip types and nearly all hand sizes, while the SteelSeries is best-suited for a claw grip for all hand sizes.

Logitech G Pro Wireless

The Logitech G Pro Wireless is a better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. It feels sturdier and connects wired or wirelessly with its USB receiver. It also has a much wider CPI range, a more precisely adjustable CPI, and much better click latency. The Logitech is well-suited for all grip types and nearly all hand sizes, while the SteelSeries is best-suited for a claw grip for all hand sizes, a palm grip for medium-sized hands, and a fingertip grip with larger hands.

Razer Viper Ultimate

The Razer Viper Ultimate is a significantly better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. It connects wired or wirelessly with its USB receiver and is much lighter. It also has a wider CPI range, a more precisely adjustable CPI, and better click latency. Unfortunately, its software is only compatible with Windows. On the other hand, the SteelSeries has software compatible with Windows and macOS. The Razer is well-suited for a fingertip grip for larger hands and a claw or palm grip for smaller hands, while the SteelSeries is best suited for a claw grip for all hand sizes.

SteelSeries Sensei 310

The SteelSeries Sensei 310 is an updated version of the SteelSeries Sensei RAW. It has a slightly different shape, feels more sturdy, and has a wider CPI range. On the other hand, the Sensei RAW is lighter, has a lower lift-off distance, and a more consistent sensor. Both mice are ideal for claw grip with any hand size and suitable for larger hands using a fingertip grip, though the Sensei 310 is more suitable for smaller hands using a palm grip.

Endgame Gear XM1r

The Endgame Gear XM1r and the SteelSeries Sensei RAW have visually similar shapes, but the Endgame Gear is a better ultra-light gaming mouse. It's significantly lighter, has a more flexible cable, better mouse feet, and much lower click latency. Unfortunately, it only has four CPI presets. It's well-suited to all grip types, but small hands may struggle with a palm or fingertip grip. The SteelSeries has two additional side buttons, a wider CPI range, a more adjustable CPI, and companion software. It's ideal for a claw grip but suitable for a palm grip for medium and large hands or a fingertip grip for larger hands.

BenQ ZOWIE FK1-B

The SteelSeries Sensei RAW and the BenQ ZOWIE FK1-B are very good wired gaming mice with similar shapes. The SteelSeries has two additional side buttons on the right, a more flexible cable, a more consistent sensor, a lower lift-off distance, a wider CPI range, and a more adjustable set CPI. It also has companion software for customization. Comparatively, the BenQ has a significantly lower click latency and only four default CPI presets. Both mice are well-suited for a claw or palm grip for almost all hand sizes and a fingertip grip for larger hands.

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