Most of you reading this probably already know that a PC is only as good as its input devices. You could have the greatest of PCs, but if you’re stuck using a mediocre mouse or keyboard, you’re not taking full advantage of your setup. If you’re going to spend money on the best PC, you’re going to need the best keyboard and mouse. A couple days ago, I looked at the SteelSeries Apex 7 mechanical keyboard with it being one of the best keyboards I’ve looked at. Now it’s time to look at the other side of the equation with the SteelSeries Rival 650 wireless mouse. This is SteelSeries’ top of the line gaming mouse featuring Quantum Wireless lag-free gaming, the TrueMove3+ Optical System, and adjustable weights.
As a disclaimer, SteelSeries sent me the Rival 650 to review.
Like SteelSeries’ other products, the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless has a style all its own. It rightfully has a futuristic look about it where you can tell that this isn’t your ordinary mouse. The SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless is a combination of curves and angles in a shape that comfortably fits your hand. It has an asymmetrical design however so this isn’t something that can be swapped for left-handed use.
The SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless also has a combination of different textures that help with comfort. It’s made mostly of plastic, but the portions of it that come into contact with your skin are coated in a soft-touch, rubbery material. I’m usually not a fan of soft-touch, but on a mouse, it does feel quite good.
Another aspect of comfort is the adjustable weights system. If you pull the two sides of the mouse apart, there are small grooves in which you can install additional weights, up to 32 grams. This is great for customizing as I know there are players out there who prefer either a lightweight mouse or one that has some heft to it. I personally love a heavier mouse so I installed all the weights.
SteelSeries made every effort to design something truly ergonomic and comfortable no matter how you grip the mouse.
Of course, the most eye-catching part of the SteelSeries Rival 350 Wireless is the customizable 8-zone RGB lighting. Just like the Apex 7 Keyboard I looked at, the Rival 7 Wireless has eight individual lighting zones that you can independently set for the ultimate in customization. More on that later.
In terms of buttons, the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless has your traditional left and right buttons along with a clickable scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is actually quite large with what looks like a tiny rubber tire around it. This gives it an excellent grip while the lighting adds pizzazz. Under the scroll wheel is a DPI switch you can use to swap between two settings. To the left of the mouse are three more customizable buttons you can choose to use it you want.
On the bottom of the mouse, you’ll notice that there are actually two sensors instead of just the usual one. The primary sensor utilizes SteelSeries’ TrueMove3 sensor, which is a 12,000 CPI, 350 IPS optical sensor built exclusively with industry leader PixArt. It was engineered for true 1 to 1 tracking. The other sensor is a Depth Sensor. The Rival 650 deploys a state-of-the-art dedicated depth sensor to achieve the world’s lowest and most accurate lift-off distance.
Lastly, with the design, there is a USB port on the front that is used for charging. You can also use this with the charging cable to use the mouse in wired mode.
Overall, the SteelSeries Rival 350 Wireless is a fantastic looking mouse with a futuristic look that doesn’t compromise comfort.
There’s really nothing special that goes into installing the SteelSeries Rival 350 Wireless mouse. All you need to do is install the wireless dongle that comes with the mouse and then also install the SteelSeries Engine Software as well. If you have other SteelSeries products, you most likely already have the SteelSeries Engine Software so you won’t have to reinstall it again.
Because I’m also running the SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Keyboard already, I plugged the wireless dongle right into the keyboard as it has a USB passthrough port on it. Aside from that, there’s not much else you need to do. Without even going into the SteelSeries Engine Software, the mouse will function just like any other mouse. You mainly only need to go into the settings once you want to start customizing.
For everyday usage, the SteelSeries Rival 350 Wireless functions just like any other mouse out there. Most people might not even notice a difference with all the additional advanced features. What you will notice is that it functions just like a wired mouse in that there is virtually no lag present.
Speaking of which, the only downside to this is that you will have to use the dongle. There is no Bluetooth option for connection so if you plan on using this with multiple systems, you’ll have to keep moving the dongle, which also makes it prone to misplacement. If you plan on only using this on one computer, then this is something you don’t need to worry about.
If you plan on customizing the SteelSeries Rival 350 Wireless, you’re going to have to delve into the SteelSeries Engine Software, but just like with its other products, SteelSeries makes this quite simple. The SteelSeries Engine Software will allow you to customize the buttons and bind them to specific shortcuts, keyboard buttons, custom macros, and even other applications. You can also use it to set the DPI sensitivity when you press the DPI button (two different settings). Other settings that can be adjusted include the lift distance, acceleration and deceleration, angle snapping, and the polling rate.
Lastly, illumination on the mouse can be adjusted via the software with eight different zones that can be individually set. You can set these on a per-zone basis or all grouped together. There are a number of different presets you can choose from as well as creating your own effects.
I mentioned above somewhere that this mouse is rechargeable. That means you won’t need to supply your own battery. The mouse is said to last about 24+ hours per charge. That’s not really that long. Luckily, there are some battery saving features you can implement. The Rival 650 can go into sleep mode after a set period of time and will only wake up when you click a button. You can also increase battery life by telling it to turn off the illumination when it’s in motion. These two settings alone should increase battery life a bit. If you do happen to run out of charge while in use, you’re able to quickly charge it and 15 minutes of charge equal to about 10+ hours of use. You can also still use the mouse while it’s charging.
I should mention that those times above are for actual continuous usage. Those times above do not include when it’s not in use or in sleep mode.
Now in terms of gaming, you’re going to love this mouse. Like I explained earlier, pretty much every ounce of the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless is customizable and adjustable. Adding or removing weights will yield a perfectly weighted mouse for you and the SteelSeries Engine Software can adjust the sensitivity and lift distance. You can also set up custom macros for any of the buttons if need be.
Not only that, with the SteelSeries Engine Software there’s a way to sync the illumination and effects across all your SteelSeries products.
With the addition of the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless Mouse in conjunction with the SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Keyboard, I now have a setup that I absolutely love. Not only do these two pieces of equipment work so well with each other, but they also look incredibly amazing. This is one of the best looking combos sitting on my desk right now and most likely the last setup I’ll ever need.
You can purchase the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless here on Amazon.