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SteelSeries Xai Medal of Honor Edition Mouse Review

By on August 11, 2011
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Simplicity at its most effective.

Good: Highly customizable; No need for software; QcK surface is large and smooth; Ambidextrous; 5 Profiles with full customization and macros
Bad: DPI switch only allows to switch between two values
Price: AED 319
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.


Now let’s move onto the Xai mouse itself, which I can say without any hesitation, is one of the best gaming mice I have used in a long time. I mean, I use high-end mouse all the time anyways, but the Xai sure made a lasting impression on me. So first off, the Xai is an ambidextrous mouse, which means it’s completely symmetrical in design. Both left and right side have the back and forward buttons. Aside from the mouse wheel, the center also houses the DPI switch.

Now this is a rather interesting button to say the least. You can have two DPI settings at any one time, one with the LED on and one with it off. So let’s say right now I have set the DPI on the default profile to 3200 (LED off) and 4800 (LED on). I cannot go through a range of DPIs like other high-end gaming mice allow. This can be a major issue for some people, and I too was irritated by this. Eventually though, I realized that at home when I’m playing games, I usually stick to 3200dpi when working on the desktop, and only switch to 4800dpi when I’m in a game. I always go past 3600, 3800, 4200dpi to go to 4800dpi. I actually don’t need this huge range of DPIs to go through; it’s just one or another. It’s a bold move, and I respect SteelSeries for making something like a simple 2-mode DPI switch for one of their highest-end gaming mice.

Yes, there is a way to go through the different DPIs, but you’ll need to switch the profile for that. So for instance, Profile 1 can be 3200/4200dpi, while Profile 2 can be 3200/5200dpi, etc.

 

Speaking of profiles, the Xai allows you to store up to 5 different profiles on the mouse itself. Within these profiles, you can have a customized setting for the DPI, Polling rate, Jitter correction, straight line correction and hardware acceleration rates. There are a lot of details and extremely high precision-tuning that can be done within these various settings. It’s not a stretch to say that after some days with the Xai playing your favorite games, you can customize it to perfection for use in each of your different games and normal desktop and various application usage.

Now here’s the kicker: all of the above settings that I have mentioned, you can actually change on the mouse itself, thanks to the built-in LCD at the back. You actually don’t need the SteelSeries Xai software to make any of those changes! Of course, you need to know what you’re doing; otherwise it’s just meaningless numbers.

Once you get into the software, you can make many of these changes very easily. In fact, SteelSeries also gives you a small guide on the right side of the software window to provide additional (and very helpful) info on each of the various customizable settings.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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