SteelSeries’ new Aerox gaming mouse lineup marks a few firsts for the company. It claims both its $60 Aerox 3 wired mouse and the $100 wireless version that will be available on November 10th are the first gaming mice to receive an IP54 rating, giving them a fighting chance against water and dust.
They’re also the company’s first mice to adopt the ever-popular honeycomb shell design, popularized by more niche peripheral makers like Finalmouse and Glorious PC Gaming Race, to name a couple of examples. And with that see-through design, they’re aimed at people who want a lightweight mouse. The Aerox 3 Wireless weighs 66 grams, while the wired version weighs 57 grams (minus the weight of the cable).
For the wireless Aerox 3, it’s SteelSeries’ first mouse to connect via USB-C to recharge, too, which marks a welcome update. Only a few major gaming peripheral companies have started shifting away from Micro USB to USB-C charging in earnest, and I’m happy to see SteelSeries finally take a step toward integrating the less cumbersome, faster charging standard in its products. This mouse includes a USB-C wireless adapter as well as a braided cable to use while it charges.
These changes are exciting, yet both are largely identical in design to the Rival 3-series mice that are currently available. The raised middle section that contains its DPI switcher and scroll wheel looks the same, as does the slim false-ambidextrous layout featuring two thumb buttons in a familiar location. The diamond-shaped holes give these mice a unique look, though, and the way the RGB lighting glows offers a peek at the hardware inside.
For its $40 price difference, the Aerox 3 Wireless has some improved specs over the wired version, in addition to supporting a 2.4GHz or Bluetooth wireless connection. SteelSeries says the battery life differs depending on the wireless mode. It can allegedly last 200 hours in Bluetooth mode or around 80 hours in 2.4GHz mode. On paper, these claims are worse than the Rival 3 Wireless’ 400-hour lifespan, but SteelSeries says the change is due to its move away from replaceable AAA batteries to an internal battery to reduce weight. And apparently, charging it for 15 minutes will yield up to 40 hours of use.
A profile view of the Aerox 3 Wireless next to a render of its underside. Image: SteelSeries
The Aerox 3 Wireless features the TrueMove Air sensor that SteelSeries developed with PixArt, which was also used in the Rival 3 Wireless. The wired Aerox 3 has the same TrueMove Core sensor used in the cheaper Rival 3.
There wouldn’t be much to get excited about with the Aerox 3 if not for some of the big changes I mentioned above. Incremental improvements to sensors are nice, but I’d much rather have features like the ones SteelSeries implemented in the $100 wireless mouse, like water resistance and USB-C charging.