SteelSeries Rival 710 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

If you compare the Rival 710 to the original Rival 700, you may think not much has changed, at least in terms of shape. It follows a relatively conservative contour with a hump forming on the right side of the mouse to favor right-handed users. SteelSeries has kept styling relatively minimal with a matte black finish on all surfaces. The matte finish is relatively good at hiding fingerprints, but more oily stains will appear on the mouse. This finish also represents a departure from the stylized top plate we saw on the Rival 700. Due to this finish, the mouse becomes relatively easy to hold onto. The sides are also textured on the side with a bubbled pattern to give some contrast and make the Rival 710 easier to hold onto. A SteelSeries logo can be found on this backplate of the mouse, which will illuminate by the lighting underneath. This backplate is part of the modular design SteelSeries gives on their 7-series of mice. You can purchase different top covers from SteelSeries. Otherwise, some RGB elements can be seen through its translucent edges on the scroll wheel too.

In terms of dimensions, the SteelSeries Rival 710 measures in at 124.8mm in length and peaks out at 41.7mm in maximum height. Its width at the middle is 56.3mm, but the back hump widens out to 76.2mm. The maximum height is located slightly more to the back with its curvature dropping more quickly here. As for the scales, the Rival 710 weighs in at 135g. There are no additional weights included, so what you see is what you get. This mouse should be accommodating for most hand sizes, but obviously your mileage varies based on your grip style. The balance of the weight is mostly towards the middle, but this does not line up with the placement of the sensor. This could adversely affect performance when lifting up and placing down the mouse, but we will see later in our performance tests. As for cabling, you can see the two cables provided, which plug into the bottom of the mouse. It is nice to see two different measurements, especially since the shorter one may be beneficial in more mobile setups like with gaming laptops where you may not want the extra cable length. This 1m rubber cable is quite flexible and reminds me of the one attached to the Sensei 310. The longer 2m cable is braided. It is not the most flexible and can catch on the edge of the table, so I would make sure you allow for some extra slack. At the end, both of these cables have gold-plated connections to connect the mouse and the computer.

On the left side of the SteelSeries Rival 710, you can see all of the secondary buttons on the Rival 710. However, the image also shows off the top primary buttons too. The left and right primary buttons are separated from each other and the rest of the body. The switches underneath are marked by SteelSeries and are actually an upgrade from the previous Rival 700, as the lifespan has been doubled to 60M clicks. I like the tactile response and weight in the press, but I also like the fact these buttons are separate from the rest of the body. The scroll wheel is a notched wheel that scrolls vertically. The wheel is stable and does not shift or rattle about. Under the scroll wheel, we have a single thin rectangle button. This lets you swap between the two DPI levels by default. These values can be altered in the SteelSeries Engine software.

On the left side of the mouse, we have three buttons near the thumb rest area. The two at top of the side are the standard forward and back buttons. The third button is a triangular one near the front, right behind the OLED screen. Both the Forward and Back buttons offer a good tactile and audible response, but I find them clickier and harder to press than expected. At least they are not mushy like some other side buttons. I however did not like the placement of the front button, as I found it much too forward to press easily. Finally, the monochrome OLED display on the front is covered by a glossy plastic. You can adjust what shows up on this display in the included software and we will explore what that looks like later on. The screen still keeps its 128x36 resolution from the previous Rival 700.

The bottom of the SteelSeries Rival 710 is a bit more interesting than most mice, because we can see the modular parts of the mouse. At the front of the Rival 710, the micro USB input is where you can plug your desired cable into it, but I would have preferred USB Type-C instead. A plastic tab underneath the cable holds the cable as an additional stopper to secure the attached cable. The plug is flanked with polytetrafluoroethylene feet, commonly known as Teflon, to give the mouse a smooth glide. In the middle of the mouse is the sensor module, held in with four screws. This sensor is the SteelSeries TrueMove3, a sensor we have seen in previous SteelSeries mice. This is also an upgrade on the original Rival 700, though technically both of these mice are using a Pixart PMW3360 or a variant of it. The PMW3360 is said to track at high speeds of 250 IPS with acceleration up to 50g, though it is not enabled by default. Polling rate is set to a minimum 1ms, or as a maximum frequency of 1000Hz. While this is removable, the sensor is firmly attached to the body of the mouse and exhibits zero sensor rattle. Specifically to the TrueMove3, SteelSeries says this sensor is capable of true 1 to 1 tracking. Otherwise, if you do want to swap out the sensor, you can also purchase the Pixart 9800 laser sensor separately. Another Teflon strip can be found near the back. One more item to note is the rubber stopper at the back. This is marked with the "Rival" moniker, but SteelSeries offers a 3D printing template so users could print out their own. I am not certain how many others will actually modify this nameplate, especially since it means you will need access to a 3D printer, but it is an interesting way to customize your mouse.

From SteelSeries' website, you can download their Engine 3 software, which is a 125MB download. This may sound big, but I should note this is not a huge deal if you have other SteelSeries devices, since they can be configured through the Engine 3 utility as well. Using the software was overall an excellent experience, as the layout was intuitive and easy to navigate.

Speaking of navigation, all the options to modify the SteelSeries Rival 710 can be seen on the image above in one window page. The left side holds the Actions menu, where users can assign all of the buttons to the actions. This includes the standard mouse buttons, media controls, keyboard actions, or even application shortcuts. You can also record macros with the Macro Editor, and then assign it to a button press. In the middle, we have a live preview of the mouse, where you can adjust the illuminated colors here. Just like most of SteelSeries' mice, there are two areas to change the RGB lighting, which are on the sides of the scroll wheel and the SteelSeries logo. You can also synchronize these effects with the rest of your SteelSeries gear. On the right side of the utility, we have a few more settings to change including the two saved sensitivity settings, acceleration, angle snapping, and polling rate settings. Interestingly, there is no way to change the lift-off distance sensitivity, but it is not a huge issue since the lift-off is quite low on this mouse. In addition, I would have liked to see a few more sensitivity settings being saved to the mouse rather than only two on the Rival 710.

Two features unique for the Rival 710, which was brought forward from the Rival 700, are the tactile cooldowns and the OLED screen. Inside the mouse, we have a vibration motor which lets you to setup a vibrate pattern that goes off after you press a certain key. It is pretty interesting to see, especially since cooldown management is pretty helpful for all sorts of games in various genres. With some of the game integration, this can also respond to different game events, such as in Counter Strike: Global Operation, where you can set the motor to vibrate based on different game events. As for the OLED screen, this lets you set a static image or a GIF. It can also be integrated with games to show different stats such as your health or Discord notifications. Furthermore, it can be used to display current mouse settings, which can be done by holding down the middle rectangular button under the scroll wheel.

Internally, SteelSeries has provided an unspecified amount of onboard memory to store all of the saved profiles. We have already well-documented the SteelSeries game integration they have with their peripherals and various games, such as DOTA 2 or CS:GO. Lighting can also be integrated with different applications such as Discord. The SteelSeries Engine is already an excellent experience, but I really enjoy it for its integration with many games and other applications.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion