SteelSeries Ikari Laser Gaming Mouse

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Product(s): SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse
Provided By: SteelSeries

Real-Time Price:

Introduction: 

The quest for the "perfect" mouse is a never ending task, if you're anything like me you've got a drawer full of mice that you've used over the years, and like to keep your eye out of the latest and greatest.

Today I'm going to look at the SteelSeries Ikari Laser mouse. This mouse is aimed at the high-end gamers, and according to the SteelSeries website is the result of 15 months of extensive research of ergonomics, technology, shape, motion, hand grip, and play styles by gamers.

Let's see how this mouse performs...

 

First Impressions:

When I first received this mouse, I pretty much just ripped it open and plugged in the mouse, and didn't bother to look at all the "features" this mouse had. Well, as soon as it's all plugged in, and you take a peek at the bottom, you're going to see that it has a built-in LCD on the bottom of the mouse, yes you read that right, a LCD that tells you what settings you have your mouse set at, that's something you don't see every day.

After I got it all installed, I did the "feel test", and at first feel, it felt very ergonomic and seems like it's going to be pretty comfortable to use.

Another thing I noticed right away was the cord was covered in a braided material, which gives it kind of a neat feel, and should help the durability of the cord during use.

Other than that, this mouse looks pretty normal, pretty standard layout and seems like there won't be any new weird/awkward buttons to try and learn, as you can see in the pictures below.

 

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Box Front

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Box Back

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Top View

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Top View

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Side View

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Side View

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Built-In LCD

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Side View

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Low Settings

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SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - High Settings


SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Specifications:


Specifications for SteelSeries Ikari Laser:

  • Samples per second: 40.000
  • Inches per second: 50
  • Counts per inch: 1 - 3.200  (1 CPI Steps)
  • Acceleration: 20 G
  • Sensor data path: True 16 bit
  • Lift distance: 0,07 inch
  • Buttons: 5
  • Cord: 6.5 ft (braided to improve durability)
  • Polling: 1000 Hz
  • Gold-plated USB connector
  • Measurements: 5,1 x 3,3in - height 1,4in
  • CPI high/low indicator
  • SteelSeries FreeMove Technology
  • Large pressure points that reduce friction for optimized glide
  • Driverless, plug-and-play feature for LAN gamers
  • Operating systems: Win XP/Vista/Win 2000/Win 98/Win ME/Mac OS

 


SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Testing:

Testing of a mouse is pretty straight-forward, you use it like you would daily for gaming, internet, etc, and see how it works. There is no way to "benchmark" it against other mice, so a lot of the testing is my personal experiences with this mouse.

Before I start the testing section of this review, I need to clarify a few things. As you may have seen in the specifications, this mouse refers to "CPI" and "SPS" in its specifications, what the heck are they talking about? Well, let me refer you to the FAQ on the Ikari website for a more accurate explanation:

Q: I'm confused. You use the term CPI (counter per inch) but every other mouse manufacturer uses DPI (dots per inch). Why can't you just use the recognized term?

A: DPI is an expression from the printing world and has nothing to do with mouse movement. DPI is meant to describe that for one inch of distance you move your mouse on any surface, the equivalent number of counts are sent to the PC - resulting in movement on your screen. CPI is the correct term for this as it actually is consistent with what you seek to describe with the abbreviation.

Q: I'm still confused. You use the term SPS (samples per second) but every other mouse manufacturer uses FPS (frames per second). Why can't you just use the recognized term?

A: Other mouse manufacturers use sensors that take “pictures" of the surface and compare them to each other. This is why referring to frames per second is correct here. Our technology only takes samples and is in this way a lot more efficient than always processing a bigger image. We're just using the correct term for our technology for the Ikari Laser.


Hopefully this clears up what those terms mean, now on with the testing....

I received this mouse just before our big LAN party, and was determined to get it all setup and get used to it before the gaming started..... Well, long story short, I was opening the box and setting it up while I was setting up at the LAN party. I was a little worried that I was going to have to spend some time setting up the mouse and software; however, I had the whole thing up and going in about 30 seconds. Installing the software was very simple, and the menus for changing options are very straightforward and easy to setup without thinking at all.


SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Testing - General Testing:

For testing, I basically just played games and did my everyday tasks using this mouse, and after about 10 minutes of getting used to the mouse, I never really thought about it too much, it seems like it's a very easy mouse to get used to.

I was also very interested to see how this mouse tracked on different surfaces, as normally I just use the top of my desk instead of a mouse pad. This mouse however tracked great on whatever I threw at it, I tried a few hard surface mousepads with great results, I tried some soft surface mousepads with the same results, and even while using just the top of my desk it also never skipped, so overall I was very happy with the tracking.

The on-the-fly sensitivity settings also worked very easy, and the button just below the scroll wheels allows you to easily alternate between high and low settings (which you can set in the software, or manually adjust using the scroll wheel), depending on how you like your setup, you can really fine tune the sensitivity very easily.

And that pretty much concludes the general testing section, in the next section I'll go over the software a bit more.

 

SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Testing - Software:

Let's take a closer look at the software

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SteelSeries Software - Main Meu

 

As you can see in the above screenshot, this is the main menu where you can very easily reassign keys to suit your gaming needs. You can setup different profiles for different games, and if you want to check out someone else's setups you can click on "Get More" and go to SteelSeries website where you can download other user's setups. Also in this menu you can setup Macro's if you like.

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SteelSeries Software - Freemove

 

In the above screenshot, you see the FreeMove menu. This option helps you correct your wavy mouse movement into a nice straight line, and you can adjust just how much movement this will correct. This is a very interesting option, and for some people it could be very handy, while others might find it a bit annoying. Personally I tried it out for a while, but eventually turned it back off just because it felt weird to me, but I can really see this being useful for some people. As you can see in the menu, you can really fine-tune this to have as much or as little assistance as you want.

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SteelSeries Software - CPI Settings

 

The last screenshot is the CPI settings menu, where you can manually setup what you want your low and high settings to be. You can still override these settings using the screen on the bottom of the mouse while playing a game if you want to, but these settings will be your "default" setting.

Overall the software is very good, it's very simple and works the way it should, no complaints about the software whatsoever.


SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse - Final Thoughts:

I've used quite a few mice over the years; personally I really enjoy getting a new mouse. Sometimes getting a new mouse can take a bit of adjustment, but that's not the case with the Ikari, other than the slightly different feel of the mouse, it's pretty easy to get onto, and thanks to the adjustable sensitivity, it's really easy to find a setting that works for you, especially since you can adjust the sensitivity 1 CPI at a time, unlike other mice that have "predefined" settings.

The LCD on the bottom of the mouse is pretty handy if you need to "fine-tune" some sensitivity while playing a game and the LCD enables you to make a quick change without having to exit out of the game, which is very handy if you want to just make a minor change. Other mice offer a feature like this, but most times your just adjusting the sensitivity up or down and almost guessing how much of a change you are making, but with the LCD on the bottom of the mouse, you know exactly what setting you are at, and it's very easy to make a very minor sensitivity adjustment accurately.

This is probably the most expensive mouse I've ever used on a regular basis, and when I first received it I was a bit skeptical of the ~$89.99 USD price tag, but after using it for a couple weeks, I wasn't so concerned about the price tag anymore. I've always been willing to pay for quality, and that's exactly what you're doing with the Ikari, it's a very solid mouse with some great features, and I think the price tag is reasonable for what you get.

I really have no complaints about the Ikari, it tracked well on every surface I tried it on, and it even tracked well without a mousing surface. Skipping is usually the biggest downfall of mice, but I tried half a dozen mousepads and never had it skip on me once. Software is usually the other big complaint with high end mice, but the SteelSeries software is great, and even lets you go online to download other user's setups, so you can use the exact mapping as professional gamers if you choose.

At the end of the day I was very happy with the performance of the Ikari, it's a great gaming mouse, as well as it does a great job with those everyday tasks. With features like an LCD on the bottom of the mouse to help you quickly adjust settings without exiting the game, it makes this a gamers dream, and it offers sensitivity settings for pretty much all games, no matter how you like to set your sensitivity at. Thanks to the great performance and features that no other mice on the market offer, we can very easily give the SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse our "Top Pick" award, and if you're a demanding gamer looking to upgrade your mouse, you're going to want to check this mouse out.

Pros:

  • Easy Setup
  • Excellent Performance
  • Adjustable DPI on the fly
  • Easy to Use Software

 

Cons:

  • Nothing Major

 

BCCRating

TopPick

 

I'd like to thank SteelSeries for sending me the Ikari Laser. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.