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Nathan Edwards

Aug 29, 2008

Steelseries Ikari

At A Glance

Ika

Screen makes adjusting sensitivity easy. Perfect for tournament players. Silky smooth action thanks to large feet.

Uni

Our hand was sore after an extended session. Only two sensitivity settings available.

Steelseries delivers a one-two punch of awesome with its first mouse—the Ikari, a standard five-button, right-handed design suitable for gamers who use either the palm and claw-style grips. With its low-profile design, the Ikari doesn’t provide sufficient support for folks who like to rest their palm on the mouse; our palm-gripped tester had a stiff hand after a few hours of play. Nonetheless, the Ikari’s other features and kick-ass sensor make us almost willing to ignore the less-than-ergonomically perfect shape.

We love the Ikari’s tournament-friendly, driverless design. Using the screen on the bottom of the mouse, you can tweak the sensitivity of the mouse on any PC, without any dependence on drivers. The settings you create are stored in the mouse’s flash memory, so they’ll work on any PC you use, even a tournament rig that you’ve never even played on before. Once you configure the mouse’s high and low sensitivity settings, you can swap between the two using the sensitivity button directly below the scroll wheel. A pair of white LEDs on the side of the mouse light up to show you which sensitivity you’re using.


The Ikari’s most notable feature is the bottom-mounted LCD display,
which you can use to adjust the sensitivity settings on-the-fly, sans driver. Tres cool!

Now let’s be realistic: The sensitivity indicator lights are really just a gimmick. In the heat of an online firefight, you’d have to be suicidal to glance down to make sure you’re on the proper sensitivity! Harmless gimmicks are forgivable, but the real problem here is that the Ikari only lets you switch between two sensitivity settings, on-the-fly. It’s not a deal-breaker, but on the sensitivity front, we hate having to choose just two sensitivities. Hell, three settings is barely enough! But aside from this quibble, the Ikari’s six-button design is positioned for quick and easy access, even in the most heated of battles. The button layout includes two top buttons, two thumb buttons, a single button on the scroll wheel, and the sensitivity adjustment button.

With a sensitive laser sensor and a driverless approach designed to appeal to hardcore tournament players (who play their most important matches on machines not their own), the Ikari Laser leaves us undeniably stoked. With a few tweaks for comfort and one more sensitivity setting, this mouse could easily reach Kick Ass territory.

THE VERDICT

Steelseries Ikari

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