SteelSeries Ikari Laser


To start the testing, I decided to test SteelSeries’ claim about the 1000Hz polling rate. By using this program, I was able to determine that it polls at 500Hz. That’s half of the claimed polling rate, however that’s the difference between 1ms (1000Hz) and 2ms (500Hz). With that said, I couldn’t get a fully installed (drivers set to 1000Hz) Lachesis to show above 500Hz. I tried a different program and different computers and it wou
d peak at 1000Hz, but the average still stuck at 500.

SteelSeries Ikari Laser
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To let you know what setting you have the Ikari in, there is a white LED that shines through either the high or low hole.

The first test was general Windows usage, involving using Photoshop, Word documents and navigating folders. The first thing that annoyed me were the two side buttons by your thumb.

They are – for my hand size – in a position where they are easily pressed when your hand is relaxed, i.e. Windows usage. As a result, I found myself clicking them while viewing a webpage which would either send me back or forward. This is ridiculously annoying when you are watching embedded content, as when you come back to the page, it has to load all over again. To remedy the situation, I simply popped open the ‘driver’ configuration software, and disabled the buttons.

Apart from this, the mouse performed perfectly, and switching between the high and low profiles was quick and seamless. The shape of the mouse is nearly perfect, and it feels like you are holding a bar of soap rather than a mouse. I would say it’s easily on par with the Deathadder for comfort which has been my favourite mouse for some time now.

I tried the mouse with the SP gaming pad from SteelSeries and while it works, there is just something that makes me think that it’s not tracking 100% perfectly. Every now and again it looks like the cursor had jumped, but each time I couldn’t recreate the issue. In the end, I decided to use a NO.ID cloth pad instead which are some of the best cloth pads I’ve used.

SteelSeries Ikari Laser

The first game I tested the mouse with was Crysis. I set the two thumb buttons up to be crouch and prone, allowing me to quickly change my stance. However, I soon discovered that this was a minor luxury rather than something useful as I didn’t use the button instinctively throughout combat, and instead I had to think about it, which didn’t improve my gameplay; others may find more use out of them. The accuracy and glide however left me on par with the Deathadder and was a very enjoyable experience with my movements being exactly what happens onscreen.

However, the scroll wheel seems to grind against something if you scroll at an angle and makes a muted scrapping sound but feels far worse. It only happens if you are pushing the wheel to the right, and not the left, and is more prominent when you are closing windows in Firefox, or frantically trying to change weapon. Other than this, the scroll wheel has just the right about of force required to move it and has the muted clicking sound when you move it just like any other mouse.

During Crysis, the best part of the Ikari was the fact that I didn’t notice it. To me, the perfect mouse is one that does its job i.e. it doesn’t feel like I’m using one, more of an extension of my arm. At no point was I frustrated with it, they weren’t any parts that I thought were wrong with the shape or function; it’s a mouse that does its job perfectly.

The on-the-fly CPI changing function is genius. For Windows I changed between 800 CPI and 1600 CPI depending on what I was doing, but in Crysis I needed a minimum of 1600 up to 3200 CPI. So while the loading screen for Crysis appears, I quickly set my required sensitivity and by the time the EA logo was done with its propaganda, I was ready to teach the KPA how to play.

For sniping, I changed down to the lower sensitivity, so that I could quickly pop some heads, while normal combat saw me flick back into 3200 CPI. There was no negative deceleration no matter how hard I tried to cause it and there was literally no point where I thought that the mouse had let me down.

As I used the Deathadder before, there was no real leap in score in any game, but if you are still using a lower-end mouse, the jump will be pronounced and you will notice it. If not for the accuracy, then for the glide as it provides near-frictionless movement on the right mousing surface.

While the mouse features a ridiculously small 1.8mm lift-off distance, as you can crank the accuracy way up to 3200 CPI, it makes little difference. Lift-off distance is the point where the mouse stops sensing movement away from the surface you are using it on. This is important when you come to lift your mouse up and recenter, as there is a possibility that the mouse could detect the entire movement if the lift-off distance is too great

For any other game I tried, the results were the same, so I’m not going to bore you with more flowery expressions of how much I like this mouse, and instead point you towards the Extreme award on the next page…

1 response to “SteelSeries Ikari Laser”

  1. […] SteelSeries Ikari Laser Review XS Reviews :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 “We’ve seen high-end mice for a while now, with most gamers either opting for a Razer or Logitech branded mouse to do their fragging. SteelSeries have recently added a third vendor to the list with their Ikari Laser mouse, which I have here ready to be put through its paces. […]

  2. Nice review man!

    You’re one of the few good writers out there…

    All the others are about looks, features and warranties. You actually said something useful.

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