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SteelSeries’ new gaming mouse is all the bells and whistles, without the high price tag

Everyone needs a mouse for their computer, and for most users, a basic one will suffice. At the top end, eSports players fine-tune the best mice for lightning fast responses and perfect precision. But what about for the rest of us? In between these two worlds, the occasional gamers and power surfers want something that offers a little more customization, a couple more features, but they don’t want to spend big money. Enter the SteelSeries Rival 100 — all the bells and whistles you expect to find in a gaming mouse, at a normal user price.

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The top side of the mouse is coated in the now ubiquitous soft-touch rubber, this time in a few shades of near-black and gray. Dimpled side panels line the left and right flanks for grip, and SteelSeries says the shape allows comfortable use for claw, tip, or palm grip styles.

There are lights on the scroll wheel and butt of the mouse, and to nobody’s surprise, you can change their color on a whim to match the game you’re playing or the mood you’re in.

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For the sensor, SteelSeries teamed up with PixArt on the S3059-SS, an optical sensor with eight preset CPI levels, with a high point of 4000. It also has an optimized lift-off distance, and zero hardware acceleration for a smoother, quicker response. It’s all managed from within the SteelSeries Engine, a management suite that lets you control everything from the light colors to the CPI levels, and assign profiles to specific games that automatically launch when you play.

We’ve seen mice like these roll out from almost every gaming peripheral company, but what sets the SteelSeries offering apart is its price point. At just $40, it’s about $20 cheaper than the other offerings like the Razer DeathAdder or the Logitech G303.