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SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse review: Capable, comfortable, costly

SteelSeries' understanding of good PC peripheral fundamentals is on full display.

Aerox 3 Wireless Hero
(Image: © Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

The question of whether a mouse is good largely boils down to, "Will it click when I want, where I want?" And in the case of the SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse, the answer is "Yes." It does everything a mouse needs to do and goes above and beyond in the customization department, enabling users to really fine-tune their experience. But are the basics and a few adjustable garnishes worthy of a nearly three-figure MSRP? That's a question you'll have to answer yourself.

SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse: What I like

Aerox 3 Wireless

Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

What I like about the 2022 edition (the snow colorway is new to the product line) of the Aerox 3 wireless mouse is its simplicity. It clicks good, as they say. The little device weighs 68g, supports USB-C fast charging, sports three different connection modes so it'll work with just about any PC, and glows lots of colors. The basics are all here.

In terms of connection methods, the mouse includes a dongle for its 2.4GHz mode in the event your machine doesn't support Bluetooth, though Bluetooth and wired options are also present with the Aerox 3. All modes work perfectly well, and the lightweight mouse is easy to use regardless of whether it's tethered to its charging cord or gliding independently.

The amount of customization on offer is also surprisingly in-depth. SteelSeries provides a companion app to give you maximum control over your Aerox 3, meaning you can set it to battery-saving mode, adjust mouse movement sensitivity and fine-tune other aspects of controlling the hardware, and on top of all that, you can granularly adjust RGB output. The mouse has three separate RGB "zones," which can each be set to their own preferences, meaning if you want a red, white, and blue USA/France/Russia-themed mouse, or a red, white, and green one for Christmas, or whatever color combination you want, you can have it. You can also control when and how the RGB "breathes" if you prefer static or dynamic lighting.

SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse: What I don't like

Aerox 3 Wireless

Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

The Aerox 3 is functionally sound, so there's really not much to dislike about it besides a high price tag and the careful wording SteelSeries uses when discussing the Aerox 3's battery life. In 2.4GHz mode, the mouse is advertised as lasting "up to 80 hours," but a lot of factors quickly chip away at that maximum number. If the device isn't in battery saver mode in the companion app, expect less. If you have any of the RGB functionality on, expect less. On average, when using the mouse for evening gaming sessions without regard for battery conservation settings, it lasted me two nights (a couple of hours of play each) before needing a recharge. That clocks in exponentially lower than 80 hours of use.

I didn't have a timer handy to verify whether the advertised "up to 200 hours" of Bluetooth life really does max out that high, but like the 2.4GHz experience, expect substantially less lifetime the second you kick on the frills.

Battery life aside, the price could also irk some people. If you're not a wireless or RGB diehard, there are plenty of far cheaper alternatives out there that are similar in overall functional merit. And, heck, there are a few great RGB and wireless mice out there that are inexpensive as well.

SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse: The competition

Rival 310

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

You could go with the Aerox 3 wired edition if you want to save $40 and bring the total tag down to $59, but even so, that's a hefty charge for a wired mouse these days. If you truly want to see the stiffest competition the Aerox 3 is facing, check out the best gaming mice and best wireless mice roundups.

Take, for example, SteelSeries' own Rival 310 mouse. It may not be the latest and greatest device, but it's more than capable of enabling good gaming and is way below $40 at most retailers. Or if you put a premium on wireless battery life, there's the Logitech MX Anywhere 2S.

Alternatively, you can go even cheaper by waiting for the big fellas (Lenovo, for example) to do their seasonal sales that crop up every other month or so, wherein wireless mice get their prices obliterated. Or ... just go on Amazon and find a super cheap no-name mouse with a large number of positive buyer reviews.

SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 wireless mouse: Should you buy?

Aerox 3 Wireless

Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

You should buy this if ...

  • You love RGB and precision controls
  • You like white mice with aesthetic style
  • You need versatile connection options

You should not buy this if ...

  • You don't want to overspend on the basics
  • You need the longest battery life possible
  • You don't care about RGB

If you've been eyeballing the Aerox 3 for a while and the 2022 edition's snow colorway is enough to woo you, by all means, go for it. But if you're just a casual shopper not easily won over by brand names, fancy color options, or RGB excess, you may be in the wrong place. For roughly $100, you could do a lot of peripheral shopping if you're willing to reel back any aesthetic ambitions.

With that said, those who are in love with RGB customization and the grid-like look of the Aerox 3 can rest assured that it's everything the photos show it to be. It'll look good in any gaming setup and blend in with whatever else you've got going on. And not only will it look good, but it'll play games just as well.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.