Steelseries Ikari Gaming Mouse
By Doug Berner
A few months ago the folks at Steelseries were kind enough to send us several of their products to look at. Generally speaking we have been very impressed with the entire lot and you have heard Ed and I talk about our experiences with the Sibeira V2 headsets, the series 7G keyboards, and the Sensei mouse. One item yet remained, the Steelseries Ikari Optical mouse. Never fear I have been putting it through its paces over these past few months and the time has come to talk about the experience.
I’m not going to get heavily into an “unboxing” description here, those who listen or read here regularly know what we think of those long droning descriptions of opening a box. Suffice to say Steelseries never skimps on packaging. A few pictures are included here which should tell you all you need to know about that.
Included in the box are a manual and setup guide and a book showing you other Steelseries products, and of course the Ikari itself.
The product information tells us that the Ikari is a five button mouse that features driverless plug and play operation handy for those who may need to move between computers. Also the Ikari has a fast toggle switch to change between two CPI settings on the fly.
Upon first glance I was intrigued by the glossy finish on the body of the Ikari. The center of the body, including the primary and secondary buttons positively glowed with a high gloss finish. Easy on the eye I thought but I bet its to slick to hold onto. The cord is a respectably heavy weight braided specimen two meters in length so I should never need an extension. Two thumb buttons ride high up on the thumb side of the mouse. It appears to be a right hand only item. Sorry lefties you will have to adapt or get left out on this one. The wheel of course accounts for the fifth button. Ok so let’s plug this thing in and see what she can do!
The Plug-and-Play instillation was perfect and I found the Ikari to be very responsive right out of the box. But I went ahead and downloaded the latest software so I could configure the CPI settings. Two things struck me right away in comparison to my previous mouse.
First: The travel distance on the primary left and right mouse keys seemed to be shorter. This threw me off for a while as I found myself accidentally double clicking a lot. It was not an error of the mouse but a reflexive reaction from my fingers. They were used to traveling farther and when I bottomed the mouse out I seemed to reflexively click again. It took me a few days of constant use to get past this and retrain myself.
Second: Though the Ikari sports a high gloss finish on the main part of the body and buttons it was not slick at all. In addition each side of the Ikari is coated in a black rubberized finish that insured a solid grip during my entire experience.
Installing the software I was struck by how simple it was and at first glance I was concerned that it seemed a bit limited. A photo here shows just how simple the configuration is. Three settings are available each with a low and high setting. 400-800, 400-1600, and 800-1600. Now for some folks this may not seem like enough customization and I admit that at first glance I was looking for more options. Finding none, I settled on the 400-1600 and began to put the Ikari through its paces.
I soon found that for everything I do which is a everyday blend of office work, browsing and MMO and RPG style gaming the 400-1600 setting did everything I needed when I needed it. The on the fly switching was instant and flawless. I played around with the higher and lower settings but found that my initial choice was what I kept coming back to.
Overall with hundreds of hours of work and gamming the Ikari performed perfectly. The shorter travel distance on the buttons took me a bit to get used to but ended up being more comfortable to me once I did. Those of you who are shooters out there will understand what I mean when I say its like a firearm with a good trigger job to get rid of the creep in the trigger pull. As a product designed not just for gaming but competitive gaming I can see where this would be an advantage over the competition. I tested the Ikari on several different moussing surfaces both conventional and unconventional and it track smooth as glass on everything from a basic cloth mouse pad to desktop to wood to leather.
It is obvious to me that a lot of thought went in to the physical design of the Ikari. It is large enough to fill most large handed palm gripper’s needs, while still being contoured in the right spots for a claw grip or a smaller hand to be comfortable.
In fact the only shortcoming I found in my use of the Ikari is its weight. The Ikari is fairly large as mice go and so I picked it up expecting to feel some heft to it. It is in fact lighter that many other gaming mice I have used. I double checked on a digital scale and while two of the other gaming mice in my office weight in at 4 ounces the Ikari tips the scale at only 3.5 ounces. I know that does not sound like much but it is noticeable and I was a bit let down by the fact that it was not a bit heftier. It does not reflect on the quality of the Ikari at all because in fairness those other mice get some of that heft from weights added in for just that reason. Now in fairness this is a subjective thing and others may like the lighter feel to the ikari, I for one would like to have that extra half ounce.
And finally I am pleased to report that high gloss finish which I liked so much has proven to not only be durable but it does not show smudges and finger prints!
- Nice size and shape to be comfortable for many users with different grips
- Flawless performance over months of use on many surfaces for business and gaming
- Fast response time on the buttons improves game performance
- Beautiful high gloss finish is not slick and does not show finger prints
- Some may wish for a higher and more versatile CPI range or other setup features
- Too light for some. The ability to add some weight for a more solid feel would be welcome
The Ikari Optical Gaming Mouse from SteelSeries is a solid performer. It is versatile, dependable, fast, light and durable. At 50.00 it is right in line with the competition and offers enough features for most gamers and non-gamers alike. Its unique design is comfortable in nearly any size hand with any grip which is a monumental achievement in itself. The Ikari is definitely worth checking out and will be near the top of my recommended list when someone asks me what mouse they should be looking at.