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SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse Review

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SteelSeries Rival 700 Detailed Features

It bears repeating: the Rival 700 is positioned at the top of SteelSeries’ product stack for mice (other than the Sensei Wireless).  Let’s take a closer look at the features and details that differentiate this Rival over the others.

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Eschewing the rubber-coated flat black of the Rival 300, the 700 adds a patterned palm rest that strikes a good compromise between grip and feel.  The overall shape stays relatively true to the Rival’s origins as a more claw-friendly DeathAdder, but the sharper angles towards the rear hint at more changes to the profile than one may expect at first glance (we’ll see a direct comparison later in the article).

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The bottom of the Rival 700 reveals three large mouse feet that provide a nice glide on hard or soft pads.  The four screws surrounding the PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor aperture release the sensor module from its home in the bottom of the mouse.

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Two large thumb buttons flank the left side of this Rival – the 700 adds an additional thumb button bringing the total number of programmable buttons to seven, one more than the Rival 300 or 100.  The two smaller orange details in the thumb rest area are not buttons – they seem to function primarily as a “thumb-finder,” merely providing a tactile difference in the thumb rest pattern to orient your thumb accordingly to the Mouse4/Mouse5 side buttons.

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The included matte palm rest can be swapped with aftermarket covers (glossy and rubber versions are sold through SteelSeries) which is a nice option.  While I generally prefer the soft-touch rubber finishes popular on many gaming mice, I couldn’t imagine needing to switch away from the matte patterned default palm rest as it had the perfect combination of grippy texture and cool-to-the-touch hardness that help lend a premium feel to the whole device.  I could see this feature being much more useful if there were differently-shaped palmrests available as well as different colors and textures.

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Speaking of textures, the sides of the Rival 700 are patterned with a series of raised circles.  I find this particular pattern to be more comfortable than ridges or “sandpaper” textures of other mice, although it’s hard to beat a well-done soft touch rubber finish…

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There are two RGB zones on the Rival 700, with the SteelSeries logo as the primary color zone (the scroll wheel is illuminated as well).  Both zones are nicely diffused, resulting in evenly-lit blends of any color.

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The side grips have been updated for the Rival 700 using a new double-injected blend of rubber.  It does feel improved over the older Rival, with more durability and more grip.

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I’m not sure why SteelSeries refuses to use a DPI up/down button configuration instead of the single (default DPI toggle) button behind the scroll wheel, but given most mice use these buttons for cycling through DPI settings a single button accomplishes the same thing just as easily.

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SteelSeries claims the main mouse buttons “are built with a special reinforced plastic, unlike any other mouse to-date. This makes the mouse more durable, and helps to evenly distribute the force of each click, making for a more consistent feeling.”  While it’s pretty subjective, the tactile response of the main mouse buttons is nicely tuned so SteelSeries might be on to something.  The rubber treatment on the notched scroll wheel provides for a nice tactile feel as well.


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