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Round-Up: SteelSeries TrueMove Mouse

SteelSeries just recently released three new gaming mice – the Rival 110, the Rival 310, and the Sensei 310. Each mouse is packed with SteelSeries’ brand new TrueMove sensor, which promises true 1 to 1 tracking. That means when your mouse moves on your desk it’s reflected in exactly how your cursor moves onscreen. Obviously, this is huge for competitive gaming, where total control is critical and can’t suffer lag, smoothing, or otherwise inconsistent mouse movement.

We’ve tested all three of these SteelSeries mice, and prepared a quick rundown to help you find the one that works best for you.

Rival 110

The Rival 110 is SteelSeries’ entry-level mouse, available for $39.99 on Newegg. It’s the smallest and lightest of the three mice, weighing just 3 oz. and measuring 4.7 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1.5 inches high. I found it a bit small for my hands, but I’m sure people that are smaller than 6’5” won’t have this issue.

Other than the diminutive size, the Rival 110 felt great to use. It’s clear that SteelSeries put a lot of design work into this mouse. Both sides have a textured grip, which at first seems curious on a right handed mouse, but makes sense for those that prefer a claw-style grip. The semi-rough matte finish feels good to the touch, and I didn’t notice any fingertip oil or residue stuck on the buttons after a day of use.

Spec-wise, the Rival 110 has a CPI (counts per inch, essentially the same thing as DPI) range of 200 to 7,200, and a max tracking of 240 IPS (inches per second, or how many inches on the screen the mouse can track). In-game, this translates to fluid and precise mouse movements, proving the TrueMove sensor isn’t just marketing hype. While the CPI is less than you’ll find on more expensive gaming mice, I personally never felt wanting for more.

Rival 310

The Rival 310 is SteelSeries’ slightly pricier option, at $59.99 on Newegg. The biggest difference between the Rival 310 and the 110 is the shape of the mouse. This is a larger and heavier peripheral, weighing 3 oz. and measuring 5 inches long. While you might think that small increase in heft wouldn't make a difference, but I immediately felt the difference in my usage. It has a fatter bottom than the Rival 110, which made the mouse feel slightly less jumpy and erratic, and its ergonomic shape felt more comfortable in my hands. Despite being heavier, it felt much smoother and more pleasant to use than the 110, and I felt less hand and wrist fatigue after a day’s usage than I did with the 110.

Internally, the Rival 310 uses a TrueMove 3 sensor, with a CPI range of 100 to 12,000, and a max tracking of 350 IPS. These are better numbers than the Rival 110, but I didn’t perceive a ton of difference between the two mice. Both performed flawlessly for me, and I couldn’t spot any perceivable latency using either mouse. Unless you’re really obsessed with the latest and greatest or need that extra CPI for teeny tiny ultra-precise movements, you’ll probably be happy with the performance of either.

SteelSeries hit it out of the park with all three of these gaming mice, and providing options for a variety of consumers is always a safe bet.

The switches on the Rival 310 are also guaranteed to be good for 50 million clicks, versus the 110’s “mere” 30 million. You’ll probably never hit this limit before you want to get a new mouse, (unless you play a lot of Diablo,) but if you’re constantly clicking, it’s something to consider.

It also has a 32-bit ARM processor, allowing you to save your settings directly to the mouse so you don’t need to install the Steel Engine software if you take the Rival 310 on the go.

Sensei 310

In terms of design, the Sensei 310 splits the difference between the Rival 110 and 310. It’s got the same symmetrical shape of the Rival 110, but is larger and heavier like the 310. Surprisingly, the Sensei is actually the heaviest of the three, weighing 3.2 oz. and 4.9 inches long, seating it somewhere in between the Rival 110 and 310.

The Rival 310 has the exact same TrueMove 3 sensor as the Rival, so expect the same top-level performance in the Sensei. The big difference between the Rival 310 and the Sensei 310 is the Sensei 310 is an ambidextrous mouse, making it the only mouse of the three useable for lefties. It also has 8 buttons, as opposed to the 6 on the Rival 310. They’re located on the right side of the mouse.

If you aren’t right handed and don’t need the extra buttons, the big deciding point between the Rival 310 and the Sensei 310 is how you’d like your mouse to feel. I prefer the Rival 310’s ergonomic design, as it sat better in my hand. Still, the Sensei was very comfortable to use, thanks in part to the excellent silicone side grips and large trigger buttons.

Common Features

On all three mice, you can adjust the CPI with a button on the top of each mouse. Unfortunately, there’s no visible RGB trigger to let you know what setting you’re currently on. The RGB lighting is simple but attractive, located around the mouse wheel and on the SteelSeries logo on the base of the mouse. You can change the lighting for each individual zone via the Steel Engine software. You can also remap buttons, too, should the defaults not be to your liking.

Rival vs. Sensei

While I enjoyed all three mice, my favorite was the Rival 310. If you don’t like the Rival 310’s design or need more buttons, the Sensei 310 is  a great pick. If you're budget conscious, I don’t think you’ll notice the technical inferiority of the Rival 110, especially if you aren’t competing in huge cash tournaments.

SteelSeries hit it out of the park with all three of these gaming mice, and providing options for a variety of consumers is always a safe bet.