SteelSeries Rival Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Performance Tests

After installing and properly configuring the SteelSeries Rival to my likings using the software, I have put the SteelSeries Rival through our series of standard tracking performance tests. This includes normal office usage in the Windows environment, as well as gaming within first person shooter games such as Counter-Strike: Source. Graphics work is done in addition to the regular office usage with Adobe Photoshop CS6. Mousing surfaces used includes the Func F-Series 10 L and XTracPads Ripper XXL. Please note that these are subjective tests, but we attempt to make it as objective as possible with our cross reference testing methods.

Personally, when I use my mouse, I prefer to establish a palm grip rather than a claw grip. What this means is that I prefer to cover the whole mouse with the palms of my hands, therefore a comfortable ergonomic fit is a priority preference. The SteelSeries Rival, being designed mainly for users like me in mind, is perfect for the occasion. For those who like claw grips, or a semi-claw-palm-hybrid grip, the Rival will accommodate you. Furthermore, its lightweight design makes it excellent for first person shooter games, especially for those who commonly engage swift, quick actions. This, in conjunction with its wide sensitivity sensor -- 50 CPI to 6500 CPI -- caters perfectly to all the different scenarios and game play strategies FPS gamers will encounter in the real world. The fact is, many laser sensors can meet or exceed 6500 CPI, but dipping as low as 50 CPI is definitely not something you will see every day.

During usage, I have never accidentally pressed any buttons I did not intend to click. Obviously, there are not a whole lot of buttons on the SteelSeries Rival in the first place, but at the same time, this is only made possible considering the few that are there are very well placed in the first place. At the same time, any feature I need is always well within reach, so props to SteelSeries coming up with a great design. I am also a fan of the soft touch paint and molded rubber grip. The SteelSeries Rival is very comfortable to use, and always grips well in my hand.

The primary purpose of SteelSeries' Rival is intended for the performance enthusiast crowd. It is primarily made for gaming, but this does not exclude graphic professionals and office users demanding the edge in tracking precision. Unlike some gaming oriented products, I found the SteelSeries Rival to be excellent for both everyday office work in addition to performance demanding applications. The sense of control and the smoothness of its glide over most tracking surfaces are excellent, and the pointer goes exactly where I want it to go combined with the precision I want. At 1000Hz polling rate with the optical sensor, the Rival is a very precise and quick responding mouse, just as we would expect from a performance gaming product. Its lightweight build and excellent grip only enhances the capability of the electronics. No 'oil slick' delay is noticed; response time is consistently excellent from the lowest sensitivity setting all the way to its upper 6500 CPI limit. The SteelSeries Rival is highly customizable for user desired tracking resolution, highly responsive, virtually lag free, and razor sharp handling characteristics. It glides very smoothly thanks to its PTFE feet too. This is everything you can expect from a gaming product.

One issue I have faced when using the SteelSeries Rival is it has some trouble with my Func F-Series 10 L mousepad. Initially, it was unable to track properly over the grey patterns, resulting in the cursor not moving at all. It worked fine on the black portions of the mousepad though. After the firmware update, the SteelSeries Rival can now track over the entire surface, but at very slow movements, the cursor will still get a bit jumpy. I have tried various sensitivity settings and polling rates, but this problem still occurs. On the other hand, the SteelSeries Rival has no problems at all on my XTracPads Ripper XXL. I think the issue I have with the SteelSeries Rival can be fixed by a future firmware update, and they should look into it as soon as possible.

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