SteelSeries Rival 110 Review 2

SteelSeries Rival 110 Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The SteelSeries Rival 110 is available for $39.99.
  • Safe, widely usable shape
  • Good materials
  • Good sensor
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Great RGB lighting
  • Not really suitable for larger hands
  • Buttons could be better
  • Not very good price/value ratio
The SteelSeries Rival 110 is mainly targeted at users with small to medium hands. The shape is safe and widely usable; there shouldn't be a problem with gripping it in any style—this of course is entirely intuitive and utterly up to each person's preferences. There are no unnecessary ledges on the shell or parts that stick out, but there are some nice grooves on the sides to help with lifting up the mouse.

The surface on top is a non-rubberized, matte coating that should be grippy enough for most users, but it may become a bit slipper when wet because of sweaty hands. The side grips aren't rubberized either as they are but a textured plastic coated with a smoother material than the top parts. This coating should generally provide enough friction for there to be no accidental slips. The build quality is decent, but not perfect, though in this price range, I cannot really expect anything better. There are no huge issues, only some minor, almost negligible QC errors.

This is the first mouse equipped with the SteelSeries TrueMove1 sensor, but it certainly won't be the last. It is a cheap, yet effective sensor model that may be featured in upcoming budget models made by the manufacturer. The only con I could find was the lift-off distance being a bit too high, which isn't a fatal problem as it can be fixed with some DIY methods. The sensor's position, however, is pretty low, so you may have to adjust your sensitivity settings if you come from a sensor that is placed in a more central position.

I was a bit disappointed by the buttons of this mouse, but I guess this is the part where the lower price shows off. The main buttons have a bit of a mushy, spongy feel towards them. They are not as tactile as I am used to. They have a bit too much actuation travel too. The scroll wheel is nice since its surface is very smooth yet grippy and its notches are well defined and tactile. As for the middle click, it is a bit stiffer than the main buttons, but isn't uncomfortably heavy. Both side buttons are stiff and loud—I didn't like the feel of them. Lastly, the CPI switcher was a pleasant surprise. It's lighter and more tactile than most of the other buttons.

As for the cable, it is light and flexible enough; it should be quite perfect with a mouse bungee—even for picky people like me. Its length should not be a problem either since two meters is definitely long enough for most users. The mouse feet are nice and smooth, and even though one of the three was misaligned on my copy, this error shouldn't occur on most models.

SteelSeries Engine 3—the company's software driver for all their newer products, including the Rival 110—is an elegant, easy-to-use all-rounder with a rather minimalist design. All settings are readily available through a main window, and everything is pretty much self-explanatory. Of course, there is RGB lighting as both the scroll wheel and SteelSeries logo at the back of the mouse light up. The lighting has four main effects that all look brilliant, and with the Engine Apps in the software, you can boost that number up by a few notches as well.

For $39.99, the Rival 110 is unfortunately not an absolute bang for the buck. Its price tag is the same as for the Cougar Minos X5 or Cooler Master MM530, and many more, that offer better sensors and buttons, but most of their shapes are vastly different. So if the Rival 110's shape suits you the best, I can highly recommend it because its overall performance is great. There is always room for improvement, and if the Rival 110 would feature better buttons (and maybe a TrueMove3 sensor), it could be an absolute top choice. I hope SteelSeries will release some high-end mice in the near future that have a similar size and shape to the Rival 110, or maybe it would be time to bring back the iconic Kinzu series.
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