SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Review

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ikari-laser-mouse-boxThe high end gaming mouse nowadays have been dominated mainly by Razer. So when I heard people talking about a SteelSeries gaming mouse in a forum, I was making a funny expression on my face. I’ve never heard of SteelSeries before and never see a product of it here in Australia retail shops.

Looking at how many people were arguing in the forum whether the Razer DeathAdder mouse is actually better than the SteelSeries Ikari mouse, I decided to give the SteelSeries Ikari Laser mouse a try (I was using the Razer DeathAdder before).

So how does it compete with the other gaming mouse in the market?

SteelSeries Specifications

Specifications for SteelSeries Ikari Laser (from the official product page)

  • Samples per second: 40.000
  • Inches per second: 50
  • Counts per inch: 1 – 3.200  (one CPI Steps)
  • Acceleration: 20 G
  • Sensor data path: True 16 bit
  • Lift distance: 1,8 mm (0,07 inch)
  • Buttons: 5
  • Cord: 2 m / 6,5 ft (braided to improve durability)
  • Polling: 1000 Hz
  • Gold-plated USB connector
  • Measurements: 130 x 83 x 36 mm / 5,1 x 3,3 x 1,4 in
  • CPI high/low indicator
  • SteelSeries FreeMove Technology
  • Large pressure points that reduce friction for optimized glide
  • Driverless, plug-and-play feature for LAN gamers
  • Operating systems: Win XP/Vista/Win 2000/Win 98/Win ME/Mac OS

SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Packaging

Before we go into more details about the mouse, let’s have a look at what’s inside the box.

Steelseries great packaging

Ikari laser mouse packaging

The packaging contains:

  • The Ikari mouse itself
  • A SteelSeries sticker (I still haven’t found out where to stick it to yet)
  • A CD case containing the software (more on this later)
  • A short manual on how to use software and the mouse
  • A few small marketing materials

CPI vs DPI

Before I go any further with the review, I need to make something clear first. SteelSeries has been using the terms CPI (Counts Per Inch) rather than DPI (Dots Per Inch). What’s the difference between CPI and DPI? Well they are practically the same thing but the term DPI is supposed to be used in the printing industry and shouldn’t be used to measure a mouse movement. So if you are used to seeing the term DPI on mouse specifications, just think of CPI as DPI everytime I mention CPI on this post.

If you really want to know more about what CPI actually is and how it affects the accuracy of a mouse, have a look at this article from the SteelSeries development team.

SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse look and feel

The mouse looks huge and kinda unique at first glance.

ikari-laser-mouse-look-and-feel

Designed for Comfort

Upon a closer look, you’ll find that the mouse is highly designed for comfort. You will be amazed at how all your fingers (even your pinky)  are fit nicely on its contour. The mouse is definitely designed for the right handed, though.

From the SteelSeries product info page:

The SteelSeries Ikari mice are the result of 15 months extensive research of ergonomics, technology, shape, motion, hand grip and play styles by gamers

I’d definitely give a big nod to the statement above as I can really feel the comfort even when my hand uses this mouse for a long time (I spend like a whole day in front of my computer playing games, browsing, chatting, and blogging).

Overall look of the mouse

The mouse doesn’t have any glowing surface or other gimmicks (apart from the cool SteelSeries logo at the bottom). It’s simple yet attractive enough to sit on my computer desk.

The Buttons

The Ikari mouse has several buttons: the left, middle (scroll wheel), right, and also the low-hi CPI toggle button (can also be used to set the CPI manually). The clicking noise is a little bit too noisy for me but it gives a real sense of a click, if you know what I mean.

LED indicators and LCD screen

The Ikari Laser mouse has 2 indicators to let you know whether it’s currently on the low or high CPI settings. You toggle through the low and high CPI by pressing the lo-hi CPI toggle button I mentioned before (which is located straight under the scroll wheel for a quicker access).

The LCD is located at the bottom of the mouse and will display the profile that you are currently in. More on the profile will be explained later on this post. Very rarely you’ll have to see the screen which is probably the reason why the LCD is put at the bottom of the mouse.

SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse Features

The Ikari Laser Mouse is “driverless”

Yup that’s right. Just plug-and-play the mouse and you can use it using the Windows’ default mouse driver. It will not degrade the quality of the mouse movement or reducing its capacity. This is crucial if you have to bring your own mouse to a LAN party or to a different computer. Carrying a driver CD around is so old in the past.

The Ikari Laser Mouse saves your profile &  settings inside it.

Yes, INSIDE the mouse. You set the profile, macros, and other features using the included SteelSeries software but the settings will be saved to the mouse. Once saved, you can confirm it by looking at the LCD screen below the mouse. This is another plus if you want to bring your mouse to a gaming competition since the mouse will retain its settings no matter where you plug it to.

You can have different profile for different games. For example, I set a profile for playing CS Source and switch to it when I wanted to play that game.

steelseries-ikari-laser-profile

You can only save 1 profile on the mouse however, which is a pity. To switch between profiles, you have to use the software to load the other profile and then use the “Apply to Mouse” button to “inject” it to the mouse.

Ikari Laser Mouse buttons are programmable (using macros)

This is why there are 2 extra buttons on the mouse. You can program the buttons to any combination of keystrokes and mouse clicks using the software. Since you can have different profile for different needs, you can re-program the buttons on different profile.

ikari-laser-menu-400

So for example you can program Button 4 for a quick throw of a grenade and a quick switch back to your main weapon in CS:Source easily by recording: a keyboard #4 press, a left mouse click, and a keyboard #2 press. It’s a great feature although I think it’ll slowly make you a lazy gamer :)

Or for example I can program my Button 4 in Warhammer Online to detaunt my target (using a Detaunt skill on my keyboard #9) and then running away (on my keyboard #0). This will let me to escape quicker and *hopefully* unharmed.

Ikari Laser Mouse lets you adjust the CPI by 1 increment

As if the 2 settings (the low and high) are not enough, you can even change the CPI setting manually up to 1 increment. You do this by pressing and holding the lo-hi-CPI toggle button and then using the scroll wheel to quickly change the CPI.

steelseries-ikari-laser-dpi-increment

Ikari Laser Mouse’s Freemove

Some mouse manufacturers design the mouse so that it corrects some movements. This may be good for designing works but bad for gaming. In gaming, you want to be as accurate as possible. SteelSeries allows you to set the amount of the correction you want on the mouse (and yes, you can also save different settings on different profile).

ikari-laser-freemove

Ikari Laser Mouse Problems/Issues

I was wondering whether there could be any problems with the profile being saved inside the mouse constantly (when switching between profiles). It reminds me of the big warning sign that we usually get when we try to flash our phone’s ROM. That pessimistic feeling came true when I stumbled into a problem once (I was trying to save a profile into the mouse). The mouse went to a sort of a freeze; the cursor is no longer moving and any button clicks did nothing anymore.

Looking at the LCD at the bottom of the mouse, it was obvious something went wrong:

ikari-laser-mouse-problem

I panicked a bit because restarting the computer didn’t seem to do any different. Thankfully by re-plugging the mouse back into the USB slot cured the problem. To avoid this problem from happening to you, try to avoid pressing that “Apply to mouse” button too quickly (which was what I did *whoops*).

Conclusion

The SteelSeries Ikari Laser mouse is a great mouse overall. It looks sleek and elegant. However, it’s not just the looks that counts. It’s very well designed for comfort but also for gaming (the reason why SteelSeries tested the mouse with professional gamers). I never experienced any tearing when moving the mouse quickly during my gaming session. It’s accurate and supports a very high CPI for high sensitivity style gamers.

The Ikari Laser mouse is also the best gaming mouse that you should carry to a gaming competition because:

  • It can save your low and high CPI settings inside the mouse.
  • You can adjust CPI settings on the fly which is crucial if you don’t know what kind of horrible lie in the computer you are playing at.
  • The Freemove feature allows you to accurately point your mouse where ever you want it to.
  • You don’t need to carry a driver CD around since the mouse is driverless.

I now use the SteelSeries Ikari Laser mouse and put my Razer DeathAdder on my cupboard, ready to be sold away :) I find that the Ikari mouse is much more comfortable than my DeathAdder.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried a product from SteelSeries and looking at the quality that the mouse has, I’ll certainly have no problem in trying their other products and also recommend them to my friends.

Pros:
– Ergonomically designed for comfort and long hours
– Accurate, as tested by professional gamers around the world
– Supports a very high CPI (or DPI, if you are still being stubborn with the term)
– “Driverless”. Simply plug and play.
– Profile is saved on the mouse so you can use the same settings on any computer.
– Freemove. Move the cursor wherever you want it to without being “smartly” corrected.

Cons:
– Specialized for right-handed people.
– Can only save 1 profile on the mouse.
– Quite pricey for a mouse.
– Doesn’t include a mouse pad (okay, I’m just being too greedy!)




Gaming, Steel Series Ikari Laser
List Price:$79.99 USD
New From:$140.00 USD In Stock
Used from:$60.00 USD In Stock

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A technology enthusiast, blogger, gamer, and reviewer. Proud owner of Craving Tech
  • http://blog.going2oahu.com Going2Oahu

    Most mice have some sort of mouse correction that lets you draw a straight line even even if you didn’t draw it perfectly. When you draw a line with the Ikari it shows the exact motion you made including all the little jitters. I understand that there are reasons you might want mouse correction, but for steelseries to claim that it has wonky tracking is untrue

  • http://www.laserlipoguide.com Laser lipo

    hello…………….all
    Another high-end right handed mouse………. If I was right handed I might be interested……………………..thanks

  • http://www.pcgametrek.com PC Game Trek

    Hey thanks a lot for the great information. SteelSeries is a fantastically looking mouse with a sleep low-profile and metallic finish.

    PC Game Trek´s last blog post..Braid Game (PC)

  • http://riteshsanap4u.blogspot.com/ Ritesh Sanap

    I will try to get this mouse i like it but i dont think my dad will give money for this mouse.

    Ritesh Sanap´s last blog post..RGB-to-Hex Conversion

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      I guess you have to wait until you can get your own pocket money then lol

  • http://betterbloggingforbloggers.blogspot.com/ Liane

    Sounds pretty neat! I’m not a gaming mogul but I know this is a big sweat thing! Can internet freaks buy one even if they don’t have any gaming gene attached to their systems? Would love to get my hands on that. Great review!

    Liane´s last blog post..Part I: Tips on Making Easy, Effective and Quality Reviews

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Sure, why not? The comfort of the mouse itself is a win :) But I guess there are other cheaper mouse out there if you don’t need the gaming nifty features

  • Philip

    I bought the Ikari Laser awesome mouse!! Just have problems with changing weapons using mouse scroll(All games). Funny enough it works well in browser format. Any suggestions to fix it??

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Hm I haven’t got that kind of problem so far and I’ve used the scrolls to change weapons in a number of FPS games… Have you tried re-plugging the mouse back? I’d suggest to contact the SteelSeries tech support too

  • Sigidi

    Strange. Me and a collegue both bought this mouse. His did not work from the start and never has since (he’s to lazy to send it back though). Mine works, but I have a big problem which I find strange that nobody mentions it in their review. As soon as I lift the mouse up more than a few milimeter, the cursor jumps to a different position on the screen. As you can imagine this is far from perfect when playing (FPS) games. I really would love the mouse if it wasn’t for this problem (and the fact that my computer already has had a couple of hard crashes when plugging in the mouse, but that may be a power consumption problem).

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Hm that’s weird. I’ve been using the mouse for weeks and never encounter your friend’s problem or yours. Have you tried plugging the same mouse to a different computer? It can also be your Windows (or your friend’s Windows)

  • Bsten

    I have the same problem as Sigidi. When I’m playing games, I lift up my Ikari and the cursor would jump a few centimeters in a random direction, but I think it’s usually to the upper right/left. But the strange thing is that I don’t know when it’ll happen and I can’t replicate it whenever I want. So when I’m playing it’ll randomly happen and I’ll try to do the same thing again to see what’s wrong but I can’t seem to do it again.

    I’ve had this mouse for a while now. It didn’t happen before, but I recently built this computer and after a few weeks this started happening. I’ve plugged it into a different computer but since I can’t replicate the symptoms whenever I want, I really don’t know if it’s the mouse or the computer that’s at fault.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Usually if it works fine on a different computer, then usually it’s not a gadget (or a mouse in this example)’s fault. Windows get more rubbish registries, spyware, viruses, and who knows what else every single day.

      But if it happens on different computers, it’s probably a faulty hardware. I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead with this mouse and so far no problems whatsoever in getting the top kills ^^

    • Bsten

      Hmm. Well I just ran CCleaner to clean things up and it still has that problem. But one thing I forgot to mention; I bought the Puretrak Talent mousepad about 2-4 weeks ago. In case you don’t know about it, it’s a large cloth pad similar to Steelseries QCK Heavy. I previously owned the QCK mousepad, but I compared to the Talent, the Talent seemed to me to be a lot better.

      I don’t know if it’s because of the laser not reading on the pad or not. I really don’t see why that would be the problem considering that it’s a cloth pad that consists of a pattern of a dark blue background with light blue hexagon outlines on top of it. From my understanding, patterns are supposed to help mice read the surface better because of the texture being consistent and such. It may be the material since I think the Talent is smoother but since it’s still a cloth pad, it shouldn’t be a problem…

      For now I’ve just placed my QCK on top of the Talent since it’s a lot smaller. Strangely I’ve been using it for about half an hour and it hasn’t jumped yet. I don’t know if it’s because it’s random like normal and I just haven’t gotten to that point yet, or whether or not it’s because of the pad that it jumped. I guess I’ll try using this pad for the rest of the day and see.

      If it’s because of the pad I think that’s pretty stupid. I thought laser mice were designed to be able to read faster movement and were able to be used on almost all surfaces. If their mice can’t work properly on other companies’ pads, that’s pathetic IMO.

    • Morgan

      It’s the same with all laser mice. If you lift your mouse up off the desk, but keep it close, you can still move the cursor around on the screen. The reason the cursor seems to go in a random direction when you lift up the mouse is because you’re not lifting up the mouse level to the desk. There will always be a slight angle to it.

  • Bsten

    Wow my comment disappeared. -_-

    Anyways, I forgot to mention that I also got the Puretrak Talent a few weeks ago. I don’t know if that’s the issue but I think it’s stupid if it is. I used to use the Steelseries QCK pad. They’re both cloth pads, but I think the Talent is a lot smoother. I think the only difference between them are the materials and the fact that the Talent has a pattern on it. It has a dark blue background with a small light blue hexagonal patterned outline on top. I thought patterns helped mice read the surface…

    I think it’s a huge problem if their mice can’t function properly on patterned/textured pads.

    For now I’m just using my QCK on top of the Talent. I’ve been using it for about half an hour and it hasn’t jumped yet. I don’t know if it’s because it’s random like always and I haven’t gotten to that point yet, or it’s because it is in fact because of the pad. I really hope it’s not the pad’s fault since I really prefer the Talent. I’ll use the QCK for a bit longer and see if that’s really the problem.

  • Bsten

    ._. Looks like both of them appeared. Do longer comments take a while to appear? Now I feel silly.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      No problem. Sorry, I installed a caching system on this blog. So sometimes you have to wait for some minutes to be able to see your comment. It’s to protect this blog from massive traffic spikes :)

      I use a Razer Goliathus mousepad and it works great. Maybe it’s the clothing on your Talent pad?

  • http://dummybanker.com Haryanto

    Looking forward to get it since I’m now only using Razer DeathAdder (which you have discarded) and Logitech MX Revolution.
    .-= Haryanto´s last blog ..Logitech MX Revolution vs Razer DeathAdder =-.

  • Adhi Hardiansyah

    Hmm nice review. I know my comment is very late. But, I want to ask if this mouse (Ikari Laser) still the most comfortable mouse this time. Or is there any other better in comfort?

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      So far it’s the only mouse with contour shapes for every finger on your hand :)

  • Adhi Hardiansyah

    So Ikari is better than Razer Imperator? ;)

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Hm..it’s hard to say. Imperator has 5600dpi laser, unlike the Ikari Laser. Comfort wise, I’d pick the Ikari Laser though, although the Imperator has a nice thumb rest too :)

      Don’t think you can go wrong either way

  • Adhi Hardiansyah

    I think 5600dpi is pointless still most gamer won’t use it, am I right? :D
    My friends said that Razer is fragile compared to Steelseries, and every Steelseries is built like a “tank”. Is it true?
    I play FPS, RTS, & RPG, what mouse can you recommend me(about $80 price range)?

    Btw blazing fast response! Are you make a living by operating this site?

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Well I’ve been using 4300dpi to play games and I’m sure some use 5600dpi. Just make sure that you turn the in-game sensitivity to 1 for the best accurate results (so you are using the mouse hardware acceleration instead of a software).

      Some Razer users complaint of broken devices. So far my Razer devices are still okay, so I’m not too sure. Any gaming mouse should fit you well, you just need to try it on (if possible, on a shop) to see that you are happy with the size.

      Haha I’m still working full time but I just happen to almost always be in front of the computer. Besides, I try as much as I can to reply any comments on my blog

  • Adhi Hardiansyah

    In other words you are low-sensitivity gamer?

    I read your review about Xai. Is the software bug really annoying? Is it worth the price difference? I think Ikari is more comfortable than Xai, is it true? Did you experienced “lift-off” issue with Ikari?

    It would be great if you decided to write an article about gaming peripheral chart, from mice to gameboard ;)

  • Madestro

    Well I have an ikari and as far as the lifting issue I really haven’t seen it as a problem, mainly because I play SC2 and RPGs I guess but if you read online for reviews and differences in mice you can see that the Ikari OPTICAL is best suited for FPS or MMO players while the LASER is recommended for more RTS heavy gaming. Mainly because the optical is suited for quick movements rather than accuracy so you cna constantly lift it up without losing much of the tracking I guess.
    Also if you seriously need a 5600 dpi mouse (I had the g700 and never went beyond 4200) but also want the contours and comfort of the Ikari then I suggest you try the R.A.T. 7 since you can modify the shape to fit your hand like a glove with some tweaks and tools that the mouse comes with.

  • Aniruddha Phukan

    I can’t decide between the G7, the Imperator and the Ikari Laser. My MX 518 is nearing retirement, and I thought of moving up to a laser sensor now. I play CS 1.6, so i have no qualms with number of buttons on the mouse. And i don’t see myself using more than 1800 dpi. All three are priced more or less in the same range in India. Comfort and weight are my prime factors (a couple things the MX was spot on with!!!) as well as tracking! And i have a fairly large hand :/
    Whats you suggestion?

  • SD

    I just wanted to add that I also have the problem of the cursor jumping randomly sometimes as I move the mouse around. It hasn’t gotten me killed yet, but it’s frustrating, and I’ve had a LOT cheaper mice that don’t do this.
    This “jitter” also randomly wakes my computer from idle. It’s very frustrating to be in bed, almost asleep, and have my monitor suddenly fire up. Yes, I know I could turn off my monitor, but I shouldn’t have to. The problem is with the mouse.

  • http://www.shopricom.com/46M6140 Kuladip Roy

    Thanks Micheal for this great news. Including lot’s of features, at the time of drawing lines like other mice it has no distortion. It’s a great hardware device.