SteelSeries Xai Laser Gaming Mouse Accessories
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SteelSeries Xai Laser Gaming Mouse Product Details
SteelSeries Xai is a tool - not a gadget. The SteelSeries Xai Laser Mouse features state of the art technology and groundbreaking technical specifications. The technology, shape, size, weight and surface of the SteelSeries Xai were designed with one purpose: to enhance the users performance. Research and development was done in close cooperation with fulltime professional gamers from USA, Europe and Asia.
The sensor offers huge improvement over current laser mice, processing 12,000 Frames Per Second at movement speeds of 150 Inches Per Second. This level of performance results in completely reliable tracking even during the most frantic and fast-paced games. SteelSeries Xai can be fully configured via a LCD menu system on the back of the mouse, while supporting advanced macro capabilities of up to 200 strokes per button programmable through the lean software.
Expert users will appreciate the SteelSeries FreeMove, SteelSeries ExactSens, SteelSeries ExactAim, SteelSeries ExactRate, the automatic lift distance calibration and other sensor innovations from SteelSeries.
Ali gets to grips with new Tech
Before I begin let me fill you in on my gaming mice background. I have a Sidewinder mouse at home and a Razor at work. I love them both equally for not only their precision gaming settings but also for their shape and fundamentally their lights.
When I was approached to trial the Xai Laser Mouse I was sceptical at best. So I completely understand that most people reading this review will be thinking “well the specs sound great but it doesn’t look like a gaming mouse”. If you are one of these people you have two choices. Either give up now and go back to your visually stunning mouse or take a gaming leap of faith and see what can be achieved with the Xai.
First lets look at the specs. Most PC gamers will be familiar with DPI and ambidextrous shape but the Xai has a host of other features which will have you scratching your head to comprehend let alone use on a daily basis.
Take a gaming leap of faith and see what can be achieved with the Xai..
Most normal mice have some level of correction built in. This basically helps normal people draw straight lines with their mouse. FreeMove allows you to choose how much the mouse helps you. So when you are surfing the web you might like it but when you are trying to get a headshot and it’s holding you back you can turn it down or off completely.
This is what most gamers are looking for when they choose a gaming mouse. Normally you would see DPI but SteelSeries have determined that using an acronym developed for printing isn’t really worthy of the Xai Mouse so they have switched to CPI. This is counts per inch, so how many times the mouse communicates your movement to the PC within an inch of space. The important thing to take from this is that it controls how fast your cursor moves when you move the mouse.
This determines the smoothness of your movements. Normal mice are locked to specific figures like 125, 500 or 1000Hz. SteelSeries recommend that you synch this with your monitor or in-game settings so that as the monitor resets your mouse does too.
The mouse calculates your raw movement based on what a sensor reads from the surface your mouse is on. Basically if you are using a clean gaming mouse mat then you can turn it right down. If you don’t have a gaming mouse mat or you are using one that’s dirty or your mouse movements are appearing jittery then you can turn it up and the mouse will compensate for you.
Right now the technical bit is over let’s find out about the mouse.
Remember I was quite sceptical about the Xai laser mouse so when it arrived I was expecting something that looked boring. I was very shocked when I opened the parcel and found a very sleek, clean looking mouse. I opened the box to find that it felt really good to hold. The non-slip coating wasn’t the tacky plastic I imagined but felt soft and comfortable. I took it round the office to test some different sized hands and found that everyone had the same reaction. It’s genuinely comfortable to use which fundamentally means less wrist ache after a long gaming session.
Then I made a Rookie error. I assumed that like most mice I could just plug it in, install some drivers and go. I went to use it and found it completely uncontrollable. I quickly found the on-the-fly sensitivity settings button on top of the mouse, hoping it would be my salvation. Instead I found that moving the cursor at all was like moving a mountain. I was thoroughly unimpressed but soldiered on determined.
The Xai mouse feels completely smooth to move across the mouse mat and the cursor matches where I want it to go perfectly. .
Basically this is no normal mouse. You can’t just pick it up and play with it anymore than you could a space shuttle. It requires tuning to your specific needs.
I took it home that night and tried the same trick on World of Warcraft. After being called a noob once too many times I decided to spend some quality time with the Xai. It took 20 minutes total to customise the mouse but now that it’s done it’s a totally different experience. I turned ExactSens down from 5000 (Yes it has up to 5000CPI!) Put FreeMove in the middle, Synched ExactRate to my monitor and turned ExactAim off as I was using The SteelSeries 9HD gaming mouse.
After setting the Xai mouse up so it understood my needs it was a completely different mouse. I spent most of the night WoWing (no longer at Noob standard) and went to bed without a single crampy wrist or finger. Also my mouse hand wasn’t all sweaty from holding a plastic surface for 6hours straight. The Xai mouse feels completely smooth to move across the mouse mat and the cursor matches where I want it to go perfectly.
The profiles which are stored on the mouse are fantastic as I can tweak my settings and I don’t need to open up anything on the PC. It’s all dealt with using the LCD display on the bottom of the mouse. This means no matter which PC I use it on it’s already set up for me.
The more that I have used the Xai mouse the more I have come to understand that it’s not a gaming gadget with flashing lights and a bizarre shape to make it unique. It’s unique because of the technology that’s inside it. It’s a gaming tool and not a toy. You need to respect it and then it will dramatically improve on you accuracy in-game.
I’m converted and I’m sure you will be too.
- +Great host of features.
- +Profile created is stored to the mouse.
- +Very comfortable to use
- -Took sometime to get used to
- -Fine tuning may annoy some
Review by: Alison "Mousey" Worrow
Version Tested: PC
Review Published: 24.02.10
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