Steelseries has established itself very well in the gaming arena with the Rival optical mouse so they decided to expand the selection. Now there is the more budget friendly Rival 100, the Rival 300 that is actually the old Rival mouse, and now we got our hands on the flagship product – the Rival 700.
Just looking at the box itself you get the impression that this is a luxury model. Their boxes are usually more oriented to functionality than the visuals but here the situation is different – everything is top notch, even to the extent that it opens in a special way. Opening the box I found myself completely baffled – the mouse has no cord? Now I know nobody told me that this was a wireless mouse so I was quite surprised! When you open the other part of the box you find out what is really going on, the mouse actually has two cable variants to choose from. There is a braided one and a more standard rubberized one so the player can choose which one he likes better. Personally, I always prefer the braided one in gaming gear, so my test was done with this variant. The cable connects to the mouse via standard micro USB port that is angled at 90 degrees so once you attach it you will instantly get the feeling that it was always supposed to be there like that, no obstructions whatsoever. The cables differ in length too, the rubberized is only 1 meter long, while the braided one is two meters, more suited to connecting it at the back of a desktop computer case.
The Rival 700 is slightly smaller than the original Rival which I quite liked because I got the feeling that the old one was a bit too big for my hand, but that comes down to preference and how large your hands are. The shape itself is quite comfortable, a bit stylized compared to the previous models but still kept all of the interesting details like the back plate with Rival logo which you can exchange for anything you like if you have a 3D printer (you can download the model from the Steelseries website). I particularly liked the back side of the mouse that is covered in some carbon like material and is very nice. For those that want more customization Steelseries offers a bundle of two additional backs for the mouse – one completely glossy and the other one completely rubberized. The rubber that sits under your thumb (the mouse is not ambidextrous) is very pleasant and has two red dots made of plastic in the middle. At first I couldn’t figure out what they are for but later I found out that it is much easier to orient where my thumb is relative to the mouse using them. Seems like a really small thing but quite handy once you get used to it. The left and right mouse buttons are made from special reinforced plastic which adds durability but also gives you better feedback from a click.
The Rival 700 has a PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor with a maximum accuracy of 16.000 CPI and can track movement of up to 50G. It communicates with the computer at a pooling rate of 1.000Hz. It also has absolutely no hardware acceleration and Steelseries proudly stated that the tracking of the pad is always 1:1. Of course you can adjust the CPI in the range from 100 to 16.000 through software and even add acceleration if you want.
A totally customizable mouse
And now we come to one of the great new features of the Rival 700 – this is a first mouse that has an OLED display on it. In the front left there is a very well incorporated black and white screen. As soon as you connect the mouse it will display a Steelseries logo but you can change that through the software and download some of the graphics from the website (they can even be animated) or create your own. It also supports integration with CS:GO and Dota2 where you can display vital in-game information on the screen like the score, health or ammo status and the like. I must admit that to me it isn’t logical to look at the mouse while concentrating on the game, I will get the necessary info from the monitor, but maybe someone can get accustomed to this. I was just amused that I could make and upload our logo and have a personalized experience. Also you can change the illumination of the mouse in all colors of the specter but that has become more or less a standard on any high end gear.
The other important customizable thing on the mouse is that you can set haptic feedback – the mouse can vibrate at specific events in the game you set it to. For example you can set it to vibrate twice when cooldown is completed in Dota or vibrate in CS:GO when the reload is complete, when you score a headshot, the bomb is defused or anything you like, the options are really diverse. The problem at the moment is that Gamesense technology inside the Steelseries software works only for Dota 2 and CS:GO. There is a large number of players that will get this mouse just to play one of those two games but the number of supported titles is really small at the moment and we hope it will increase over time in order for the haptic feedback option to make more sense. Generally I must admit that I liked the haptic feedback option very much.
So this mouse has a lot of customization options – you can change the cable, the name plate, the back of the mouse, there is a screen and eventually it vibrates according to your wishes. But maybe the craziest thing about this mouse is that you can actually change event its heart: the sensor. There is an option of buying a different laser sensor marked Pixart 9800 with a maximum sensitivity of 8.200 CPI and tracking movement of up to 30G with zero hardware acceleration. Now why would someone buy an optical mouse and later replace it with a laser one? Why not buy a laser mouse from the start? The only thing I can think of is that the sensor is really easily replaceable so you can change it if you switch mouse pads or even go back and forth depending on the game you are playing at the moment.
The Steelseries Rival 700 has a lot of different features that we encounter for the first time in a gaming mouse. Starting with the personalization options, screen, vibrations to even changing the sensor itself. However it is up to the player to figure out what he really needs and with what he can do without. Keep in mind that the additional backs of the mouse and the laser sensor are sold separately. Of course the optical sensor with the sensitivity of 16.000 CPI promises top notch precision gaming but there is still a question of whether we need it or could we do with a cheaper Rival 300 or Rival 100 option? In the end this is a question that every person must answer for himself but the fact remains that if you choose the best option you will certainly get a remarkable piece of hardware and that is why it gets our “Ultimate gaming” award.
|Model||Steelseries Rival 700|
|Extra||Adjustable CPI, adjustable lightning, OLED screen, vibration|