February 27, 2021

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SteelSeries Aerox3 Series: New Technology Pays Homage to Classics

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This is “Rival 3”, a replay of a classic copy of “Rival 100”.

This is a wireless version of Rival 3 Wireless;

This is Aerox3, the ultra-lightweight design you’ve been waiting for.

Yes, it can be said that SteelSeries is using the current new technology, namely low latency Quantum 2.0 wireless technology, perforated ultra-lightweight design, higher performance sensors and advanced USB-C interface. Of course, the high purity tape, super soft wire and waterproof technology are also used to reproduce the new classic.

So, the question is, can the Aerox3 series become the new classic of SteelSeries?

The first thing we need to be clear about is that in SteelSeries’s definition, “Aerox” is not a special product, but rather a brand new product line. This series is a new series created by SteelSeries in response to player feedback. Judging from the information obtained from all aspects of the key setting and the future product planning, this series will now feature high lightweight as selling point.

What this means is that the Aerox will be in line with Rival, Sensei and other franchises that will continue to grow. In their respective series, they will be divided into 3, 5, 7, 9 and so on which we are familiar with according to the positioning of the products. With that said, the Aerox 3 series is not particularly impressive, as it can be seen as a highly lightweight version of Rival 3 Wireless.

The actual situation is also… Indeed, it is safe to say that SteelSeries has simply taken the models of Rival 3 Wireless and replaced it with the Aerox 3 series. So all of the familiar design, the size and the static grip are so familiar to us that I won’t discuss more here. So, what did it change? Of course, in the direction of ultra-lightweight.

Most notably, SteelSeries has holes in the Aerox 3 series back cover, base, and left and right keys, and also, they are basically diamond holes. This allows the weight of the body to be greatly reduced without any loss of shell firmness due to openings. I tried to click on the mouse, and even fell off the mouse. The mouse still stays in good positon which we don’t to need to worry about.

So that’s it? Of course not. Lightweight is the goal, but high lightweight is a lot of work.

SteelSeries also had to reduce the Aerox 3 series board thickness by 50%; Roller and other components to do lightweight design; Thanks to the new wireless connection technology, it can reduce the battery capacity while guaranteeing the battery life; The opening design is convenient for lighting effect, so the original components are eliminated (just the tail logo lamp). All of this makes the Aerox 3 weigh 0.12lbs, and the Aerox 3 Wireless only 0.14lbs, which makes it super-lightweight.

The goal of lightweight has been achieved, but SteelSeries still has to solve the previously not needed to solve the problem, that is, a large number of holes will make dust, which makes liquid and even static electricity more easy to get in, and then cause the fidgeting, motherboard and even the mouse damage, in short, more prone to breakage.

Because of this, the Aerox 3 series comes with a number of protective features, such as a waterproof and dust-resistant coating on the motherboard, and one of the few mouse models to be IP54 waterproof and dust-resistant, which is better than many phones (lol). There is also a change from the customary Omron custom to the TTC Gold Micro with a longer life and dustproof design. It has done more rigorous static test, as well as more detailed and more perfect anti-static design. The humble RGB light guide plate has a double-sided design to guide light and keep liquids out of the chassis.

With all this extra work, SteelSeries has solved some of the problems of traditional mouse design, but it’s still hard enough compared to other products that just punch holes and leave things undone. Personally, the SteelSeries Aerox 3 series has little to no psychological burden in terms of perforating, although the perforating design does cause some people some concern.

As a separate note, the Aerox 3 series has a different internal configuration than Rival 3 Wireless, or perhaps SteelSeries uses only one motherboard on this series, which results in the DPI key being triggered by a long key bar. So as long as there is enough down pressure, which can be triggered without pressing the button, and then change the DPI…

Of course, this downforce requirement is quite big, you may have to stand up to achieve it, or a single mouse pinch. So, under normal use, even when the game excitedly vigorously that you need to clap the mouse, you still do not need to worry about it. However, this case is a special one, and I would like to list it separately.

If you are not used to punching design, or have concerns after long use, maybe we can have a look at Rival Wireless? Lightweight is a good thing, but the design of the perforated Aero3 series is a double-edged sword. No, actually two. The second double-edged sword is the full embrace of the USB-C interface.

Yes, you read that right, I said a full update. Even the Aerox 3, the wired version, is still designed with detachable wire, and the interface is USB-C. The Aerox 3 Wireless, the Wireless version, is of course powered by UBS-C, and SteelSeries has taken the receiver A step further by switching from the standard USB-A to USB-C. This is compared to still using Micro USB port, even has the port limit design much better than the former one.

But it’s also a double-edged sword, because USB-C ports are still quite rare in laptops, in numbers. As two of the simplest examples, the Lenovo Rescuer R9000X 2021 comes with two USB-C connections, while the desktop motherboard, the MicroUnity B550, has only one. And the two interfaces are respectively Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Gen1, such a high specification for the receiver can be too luxurious…

The Aerox 3 Wireless standard comes with cables and receivers that convert USB-C receivers to USB-A, and can also be used as extension cables.

And the same USB-C connector makes it easy to plug the receiver into the Aerox 3 Wireless connector and take it out of your pocket, a lightweight design that goes straight to portable design.

Now back to the touch feeling. Indeed, SteelSeries has perforated its Rival 3 Wireless into the Aerox 3 series, so with its symmetrical design, strong waistline, flat back and strong rear, the static grip is familiar.

Therefore, according to my personal habits, I still use the Finger Grip recommended by the official website, namely the Finger Grip. I use the thumb and index Finger to buckle the waist and use the wrist to move quickly in a small range. While there is no problem with using Rival 3 Wireless, the Aerox 3 Wireless has dropped its weight from 0.23lbs to 0.14lbs, even if it is used to the ultimate (0.16lbs) and G Pro Wireless (0.17lbs), which makes it less significant.

This pressure on the wrist is indeed much smaller, it feels quite smooth. But for the user’s wrist control requirements are much higher, and the need for a longer time of use habits, which is to avoid excessive force caused by “floating”. Especially in the smooth mouse pad, (such as my personal recent favorite Razer instantaneous beetle), this “floating” feeling is more obvious, so early may change a friction slightly more obvious mouse pad will be better.

Speaking of hand feeling, the left and right buttons and sensors alone are improvements or differences in the Aerox 3 series. Especially the micro-motion, after all, it is no longer Omron D2FC-F-7N (20M), nor is it the customized orange dot micro-motion, but the dustproof gold micro-motion of TTC. That’s a pretty high score for the short time I’ve been using it.

On the one hand, it is because this parameter is really powerful, with a nominal life of 80 million times, and the dustproof structure design can largely avoid fretting and its own double-click may. And this gold micro is still new, the overall orange and transparent top of the visual effect is very good, (also very SteelSeries). This is necessary for a perforated design such as the Aerox 3 series.

On the other hand, the TTC dust gold micro-actuator feels pretty good in the hand on the Aerox 3 series. In my personal experience, compared to the clear and even a little too strong sense of confirmation of the SteelSeries Orange Point customization, and the Omron D2FC-F-7N (20M), which is a little bit ordinary, this gold micro-action happens to have just the right sense of confirmation and rebound between the two.

As for sensors, the Aerox 3 Wireless is a Rival 3 Wireless Turemove Air, with 18,000 CPI/400 IPS/40G, which is a decent performance on paper. The Aerox 3, which is the Turemove Core of Rival 3, has 8500 CPI/300 IPS/35.

On paper, the two sensors performed well. A simple run to Mousetester, their performances are directly related to the price. Whichd is not great, but not so bad as to affect the feel of the game. It seems that SteelSeries ‘s thinking on this level of wireless mouse is very simple and very clear, that is, battery life is the first priority, after all, only standing can have output.

(I still want to say, though, that the Aerox 3 series DPI adjustment can only be set to 100 steps, which means it can only be set to 700, 800, 900 integers, not 850 or 910. However, the instructions in the driver have not been changed synchronously, which can be somewhat confusing.

Coincidentally, the Aerox 3 Wireless is accompanied by a new driver design from SteelSeries, the SteelSeries GG, or GG for short. That name doesn’t mean very well. It is said to be a new design, in fact, it is not so bad. SteelSeries GG is actually based on the previous SteelSeries Engine as the core, expanded Home and Moments two functional modules.

The former model is to introduce their own products, and directly linked to the official blog for content updates. Although the purpose of the official blog is marketing, it is updated frequently and the content is often quite in-depth, especially some product introductions and design concepts. It is recommended that players read a lot, as well as manufacturers to learn this idea.

In terms of Moments, this is a small feature for integrating game videos and video clips, which is a very relevant idea and operation at the moment. Overall, SteelSeries should continue to add more functional modules to the SteelSeries GG.

This is the first thing I wanted to say after the Aerox 3 and Aerox 3 Wireless were acquired. Yes, in this still ongoing wave of lightweighting, SteelSeries is indeed absent for a long time. Not to mention this wave of high performance sensors, high performance wireless connectivity, micromotion technology, and perforated design changes. Among them, users have high expectations but SteelSeries has not launched the same level of products, which for fans is hard to wait.

On the plus side, with the Aerox 3 series after being cool down for such a long time, we got what we wanted and what we had been waiting for. One-step lightweight design, better dustproof design, better sense of micro hands, not inferior wireless connection and battery life, as well as the familiar symmetry of the hand, finally SteelSeries fans can say “I also have the functions too”.

It’s possible to make fun of the Aerox 3 series, for example, with its bold exterior perforating design, its sensors that can only be stepped at 100dpi, and its familiar mold that is nothing new, but, this is the first step in a whole new plan for SteelSeries and its fans.

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