The angry Japanese
The idea behind the Ikari is for it to be used by professional gamers who are looking for accuracy and comfort, and don’t want to either pay or have to put up with any other pointless features. In SteelSeries’ collective mind, any lights are completely unnecessary and as such the Ikari comes with none. This mouse does not contain any gimmicky features that have no place in the pro gaming world; it should be noted that some people game as a profession, and so a professional peripheral is necessity.
The Ikari comes in a rather ominous black box with bright orange text. The windowed front has vacuum formed plastic allowing you to feel the shape of the mouse before you buy; a very clever idea. The rear of the box explains the statistics of the mouse in several different languages and in fairly random units. For example, you would expect the polling rate to be explained in either milliseconds or Hz, but SteelSeries have decided to go for ‘Samples Per Second’ with a value of 40000. It sounds like polling rate, but the manual itself explains the mouse to have a polling rate of 1000Hz. The DPI is measured in CPI (counts per inch) and ranges from 1 to 3200. There is also the fairly pointless ‘Inches Per Second’ which you’d normally find in spam email message…
In the box there is the mouse itself, a manual, a set-up CD, a sticker and a small pamphlet explaining the other products that SS have to offer.
Out of the box, you get to see the Ikari (Japanese for ‘anger’) in the flesh. It’s pieced together with three shades of grey plastic, with the darkest for the sides, the mid-tone for the main body and the left/right buttons and the lightest for the scroll-wheel. Each piece feels like the rubbery finish on the Deathadder or Lachesis mice and is definitely the right material for a sweaty gamer’s hand.
The buttons are made of the same piece of plastic that the top of the mouse is made of, using the natural flexibility of the plastic to enable the buttons to be pressed. This allows for a seamless finish and a more comfortable position for your hand to be in. The sides of the mouse are made of a smoother feeling plastic that makes a skirt around the made body, which props your thumb up on the left side and you ring finger on the other. Your pinky is given a small indentation which doesn’t provide any support but makes holding the mouse more comfortable.
There are two side buttons which are meant to be used by your thumb, and are made of a nearly-glossy plastic. These two buttons sit just above your thumb, so you can constantly feel that they are there. Next to these buttons, at the front of the left side is a tiny read-out that tells you whether the mouse is in high or low CPI/DPI mode. To change which mode that you are in, you’ll have to use the triangular button behind the light grey, opaque scroll-wheel.
The shape of the mouse is completely different from any others that I’ve seen. It cuts a very thin silhouette and seems almost streamlined. Perhaps drastically changing the shape is what’s needed for a new innovation in the mousing market, as pretty much every high-end manufacturer offers mice with high DPI.
The rear of the mouse features a white SteelSeries logo along with the name, and looks pretty sweet; perfectly complimenting the overall colour scheme that SS have gone for.
While the top of the mouse looks different, it doesn’t seem to offer anything new. Fortunately, all you have to do is flip the mouse over and you’ll find something a little out of the ordinary. Here you’ll see four large mouse feet that apparently have been positioned in places where the most pressure is put on the mouse allowing for reduced friction. Whether this works remains to be seen.
The other interesting part about the bottom of the mouse is the windowed box near the bottom, just above the indented SteelSeries logo, which is actually a CPI readout, letting you know what setting you have the mouse at.
At the front of the mouse you’ll see the cable that stretches for 2m. While it’s a wire, it’s not plastic but braided giving it the appearance of a piece of string. This is similar to the cable used on their headsets, and the Speedlink Styx mouse. There is no real point in doing this, but it does feel much nicer than the usual plastic.
The cable terminates in a gold plated USB connector and just before you’ll find an EMI reducer which is basically a lump of iron that gets rid of interference from powered items.