Steelseries attempted to bring something new to their lineup with the Steelseries Aerox 3. It’s their first lightweight wireless gaming mouse and the design is promising but flawed. It seems that this could have been a great mouse but some questionable design decisions mean it falls well short of its potential.
118 x 58 x 37mm
TrueMove Air Sensor (custom PixArt PAW3335)
Unboxing and Extras
The Aerox 3 has a pretty standard unboxing experience and includes a USB-C charge cable and dongle. No extra feet in the box was a bit disappointing.
Design and Build Quality
The distinctive design of the Aerox 3 comes via its use of the dimond shaped hopes which are a departure from the more common honeycomb design. The mouse itself feels relatively sturdy out the box with no creaking, rattle or side flex. There is definetly some bottom flex which is worrying in terms of the durability of the mouse but you likely won’t feel it in use.
The flattish design of the mouse is also noticeable and the shape feels well suited to smaller handed gamers who still want enough surface area to support a variety of grip styles. The 67g weight makes this mouse among the lighter wireless mice I’ve tried and the weight itself feels well balanced. The coating of the mouse feels similar to PBT with a slight grainy texture. It offered a bit of grip and seemed like it would hold up with use. It’s good enough that I wouldn’t feel compelled to get grips for this right away.
Buttons & Scroll Wheel
The buttons and scroll wheel is where the Aerox 3 starts to show its weakness. The switches themselves are TTC golden micro dustproof switches. The switches themselves offer good tactile feedback and a satisfying click but the design of the shell itself means that there’s quite a bit of button wobble and sideplay when the buttons are held down. While there is minimal pre-travel the post travel here is noticable.
The scroll wheel is disappoint as well as it offers very dull tactility. While I could live with it, the design of the scroll wheel being so low to the body is a total dealbreaker for me. While you’re gripping the mouse it just feels so unnatural to scroll with the mousewheel pushed up so forward on the design and being so low to the body. The middle click is fine and works well enough but once again is nothing to write home about.
I also had issue with the shape of the side buttons. They are long and narrow and feel like the ones found on the G203. These are slightly better than those and the click itself is snappy and crisp but the shape of them just ruins it for me. The feel of the wheel and all the buttons on the mouse just gave me a feeling that something felt cheap about the mouse and I couldn’t get over that feeling with use.
Shape, Performance and Software
The shape of the Aerox 3 is it’s main calling card. I found my aim quite comfortable with it and I was hitting high precision shots on the regular. But playing with the shape more, I felt that the low shape and dimond-shaped perforations made for an uncomfortable gaming experience over longer sessions. In a claw grip this mouse made my hand cramp up and that’s not something I’ve experienced with too many mice.
The shape is very low with a low button height. This means that there’s not alot of surface area for palm grip, so this would definetly be for claw and fingertip grippers in my opinion. Overall I felt like my in-game performance was decent but the button wobble on the buttons and the cramping I experienced gripping the mouse made me not want to return to this mouse over time.
The Aerox 3 Wireless is compatible with SteelSeries Engine which allows for a ton of customization options. I didn’t have any issues with the software but I couldn’t find a way to disable the click to wake function of the mouse. Essentially if you let you mouse idle for a bit, it’ll turn off automatically and won’t turn back on unless you click the mouse. This is annoying over time as most wireless mice on the market will wake instantly with any movement. The stated battery life of 80 hours over wireless was similar to what I found in terms of my real life usage. I had no issues with the battery life on the mouse other than the click to wake function.
Sensor and Skates
The Aerox 3 Wireless uses TrueMove Air sensor which is just a custom re-branded version of the PixArt PAW3335. I found it to be very responsive in game and did not have any issues with tracking, spinouts or latency. One issue with the mouse is the placement of the sensor which is further back than on most mice. While it’s not a huge difference, I could feel it in-game and it took an hour or so to adjust. This sensor placement isn’t preferable but it’s not a dealbreaker for me either.
The skates on the other hand are a major issue with the mouse. They are black PTFE but their rounded circular shape means they feel really small and thin. They offered uneven glide and I never felt comfortable with these skates. I haven’t tried replacing them on my unit, but it is puzzling that Steelseries didn’t choose better skates for one of their flagship models.
The Aerox 3 Wireless is a good mouse but for the price it could have been more. It feels like Steelseries made some decisions based on cost cutting and it leaves the Aerox 3 in no man’s land. It’s not among the best wireless options but it still has an interesting shape and feature set for some gamers.
Good battery life
Shape offers something for small handed gamers who want good wireless performance
Balanced lightweight feel
Click to wake is an annoyance
Button wobble on main clicks and disappointing side buttons
Side wheel feels cheap and is very low to the body
Feet are thin, small and underwhelming
The Aerox 3 Wireless is appealing on paper but questionable design decisions mean that it falls well short of its potential.
Where to buy the Steelseries Aerox 3 Wireless