Both of the mice have been developed in co-operation with the Steelseries sponsored pro-teams that have given some input into the design of the mice. As opposed to many new gaming mice the Ikari series doesn't have flashy lights or weight-adjustment systems which I find great. This keeps the mice in line with the "No Bullshit" attitude that Steelseries has taken with its products.
Steelseries has designed two different versions of the Ikari mouse to suit the needs and wallets of different user groups. The Ikari Optical mouse has been targeted towards the FPS-gamers as it includes an optical tracker which is a bit more robust in terms of tracking. Earlier laser mice have had some trouble keeping up with the faster movements that are often involved with FPS-games.
The Ikari Laser is a bit more expensive and it features a more accurate laser tracking-system that goes all the way up to 3200 CPI. The laser version has been targeted more towards the RPG and RTS gamers where the movements of the mouse are often a bit more controlled. In addition gamers often use higher sensitivities in games so they don't move the mouse as fast many low-sens gamers do with FPS-games.
The mice have the same basic design. The shape is the same in both mice and the only visual difference that you notice at first glance is the different colors. The Ikari Optical has a shiny gray finish and the Ikari Laser has a matt black finish. The mice have the same features that we've seen in earlier gaming-mice. There is a DPI, or like Steelseries likes to call it CPI, switching button, two thumb-buttons and of course the left and right mouse button.
The mice have a button on top of the mouse that changes the CPI-setting between the high and low settings. I was positively surprised by the usability of this button as it's easy to press and the setting changes instantly in every other setting than the 800/1600 setting with the optical mouse.
The sensitivity-setting that is in use can easily be seen from the LEDs that are located on the left side of the mouse. There are two settings that the user can choose by using the management-programs. Of course two separate settings may sound like little as for example Logitech's G9-mouse enables the users to set 5 separate DPI-settings for the quick-changing. In my opinion the two separate settings are enough for just about everyone. For example I don't know any gamers personally that actually would use more than two settings.
The Ikari Laser mouse includes a small LCD screen on the bottom of the mouse that shows the name of the profile that is in use. Personally I like the fact that the screen is on the bottom of the mouse as in my opinion you really don't need to see which profile is in use all of the time. This leaves the mouse's simple and elegant look intact.
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