Next up is ExactAim. This refers to the level of jitter correction and movement prediction being applied by the mouse. These things are applied if you’re using a poor mousing surface that the mouse has difficulty reading, causing the cursor to skip about and give spurious results. By turning them up you can calm the mouse down, so to speak. Keeping it set to nought just uses raw sensor data giving you the most accurate response from you mouse. If you’ve invested in a decent gaming surface then you shouldn’t need to adjust these settings from the default level of 0.
Finally we have ExactAccel, which as you can imagine lets you apply acceleration to your mouse movements. It’s thankfully turned off by default.
The advantage of this on-mouse setting system is that you don’t need any drivers on your PC to have all this exacting control and you can take your mouse and its settings with you wherever you go. It is a little tedious to setup on the device but once you’ve adjusted each profile for each game it’s quick and easy to switch profiles and even the CPI switching is the quickest and easiest we’ve ever encountered. If you really don’t fancy doing all that scrolling though, you can install the drivers and adjust all these settings through that interface instead.
Also through the software, Windows mouse settings like scroll wheel speed, and double click speed can be adjusted. In addition you can change button assignments and record macros for all buttons except left-click. The software is nice and lightweight and very clearly laid out so, even though you don’t need it and you may like to keep your PC clutter free, it’s very much worth installing.
Overall performance of the mouse is utterly class leading with it tracking incredibly well on a variety of surfaces including hard and soft mouse pads, plastic laminate worktops, shiny plastic coated cardboard, and paper, though clear plastics and glass do defeat it. Being an old-school Counter-Strike player, this was my test game of choice and, though it didn’t make a marked improvement to my scores (such differences would require 10s of hours of gaming to come to light), it did perform flawlessly. No matter hard and fast I flung about my in-game character, the Xai kept up accurately and instantly.
While other mice have features that we like, such as free wheeling scrolls wheels and hybrid wireless and wired designs, the Steel Series Xai is quite simply the best pure gaming mouse we’ve ever tested. Rather than tack on gimmicks like flashing lights and weight systems, Steel Series has simply taken the basics of a performance mouse and honed them to perfection. Despite being ambidextrous it’s incredibly comfortable, tracking is exceptional, and the level of customisation on offer puts other mice to shame. Considering you can buy one for just £50 we cannot recommend it highly enough.
Score in detail