Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Jan 20, 2012

Review – SteelSeries Diablo III Hardware

Nearly 12 years ago, Blizzard released the second game in the Diablo series, and thus gamers everywhere lost countless hours of their lives. Since the game had such a large focus on online play, the replay value was extensive, with people still playing it to this very day. Thankfully, the next installment in the franchise is due out soon (though we still don’t know exactly when), and with it comes a set of co-branded products from SteelSeries.

SteelSeries has teamed up with Blizzard to release two Diablo III peripherals. Dubbed the Diablo III Mouse and Diablo III Headset, you can imagine the hours that went into just naming them. Also, there are six different mousepads, two simply have the Diablo III logo (one is small, the other medium sized), while the others depict a Monk, Barbarian, Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter.

I’ve spend some time with the mouse, headset and one of the mousepads, and today I’m going to give you a mini review of each. I say mini review, as these are more or less rebranded versions of existing products.

Diablo III Mouse

First up is the mouse, which looks very much like the Sensei, which we reviewed not too long ago. However, it is by no means the same. I would guess that it is more like the older Xai, which has the same basic design.

So what’s different about the Diablo III mouse? Well, the first thing you’ll notice is the branding, along with a pretty cool design on the surface. You’ll also find pulsing red LEDs on the logo, and in the scrollwheel. The wheel also has a slightly different texture, and the surface of the mouse has more of a rubbery feel than the Sensei. If you flip it over, you won’t find the LCD screen that is seen on the other mice. Also, the Diablo mouse feels a bit lighter, almost too light for my tastes.

SteelSeries has made sure to go all-out with the Diablo theme, as your mouse software is even decked out to look as though it is in the game. I’m all for the design, however, the software is what disappoints me the most. Other than remapping the buttons (including adding macros) and changing the DPI and polling rate, there’s not much else you can do here. It’s not really a problem with the software, as I’m able to make all the usual changes to my Sensei with it. Rather, it appears that this mouse isn’t nearly as customizable as its predecessors.

Now, if you’re just playing Diablo, then the software does have some advantages. Namely, it has drag-and-drop support for a variety of functions and skills from the game. This will be cool when the game comes out, but this feature is only good on one game.

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re a lefty, you’ll appreciate the fact that this mouse ambidextrous. Unfortunately, the nature of the design also means that I have to keep at least one button on the right side disabled (right handed, here), otherwise I find myself accidentally clicking it. Also, I have to say that the LED is done rather well. While it’s no surprise that you can set the light to stay on, off or pulsate, I like the “trigger” setting. With this enabled, your LED will only turn on when you click the left or right mouse button.

Overall, this mouse looks great. If you’re wanting something to match your Diablo-themed setup, then this one will definitely fit the part. However, if you’re expecting something that’s got a lot of features and is fully customizable, you’d probably better keep shopping around. With a price of $70, you’re much better off spending the extra $20 and moving up to the Sensei.

Diablo III Headset

If you’ve seen or used a Siberia V2 headset from SteelSeries, then you’re already familiar with the Diablo III Headset. While the mouse resembled the Sensei and Xai, this piece of equipment is virtually identical to existing hardware. In fact, Windows identifies it as a Sibearia V2 D3 when plugged in.

So what’s different? It’s all in the looks. a black headset with red accents has all the right curves and points to give you that Diablo feel. Also, you’ll find 18 red LEDs to light up the earcups and other accents. Remember where I was excited about the “trigger” setting for the mouse’s LEDs. The same applies here, only this time the triggers are sounds. As you play through a game, or listen to music, your headset will pulse with the audio. Definitely a nice touch.

The audio quality is great for a stereo headset. The 50mm drivers deliver quite well, and the noise reducing earcups ensure that not even the smallest detail gets missed. The retractable microphone is always welcome, and during my testing I experienced no issues with clarity when talking to friends. The USB cable is rather short, at just 3 feet, but you will find a 6.5-foot extension cable, which gives you plenty of room to work with.

The software has the same Diablo theme that was seen in the mouse. The only customization you’ll find here is for the LEDs, and for the EQ. If you’re looking for in-line controls, you will find them. The controller is a small box, which isn’t flashy, but gets the job done. From here you can adjust the volume and mute your mic.

I think that the Diablo III headset was done a lot better than the mouse. No features were missing here, and the visual changes look great. There’s a $20 premium over a regular Siberia. I’d say that if the design interests you, it’s worth the extra few bucks.

Diablo III Mousepad

When it comes to mini reviews, this will probably be the shortest in the history of GamerFront. There’s not really much to say about this, other than it’s a mousepad. Specifically, it’s one of SteelSeries’ QCK pads, which is known for being a good overall surface. It’s nice and thin, doesn’t move, and mice glide smoothly over it. If you fancy some sweet Diablo III art, then it’s worth the $15 price (a $5 premium on the regular QCK pad).

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