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Hardware Review

SteelSeries Aerox 5 Gaming Mouse Review

Light light baby

Lightweight mice have been one of the biggest trends within the PC accessories market in recent years, stripping out as much unnecessary plastic and parts to produce equipment as light as a feather yet still packed with features. You might question whether it makes a difference, but as someone who takes a keen interest in mice tech, it really does. The Aerox range from SteelSeries is one such collection that delivers on the promise of an ultra-light design mouse,  and the Aerox 5 is the best of the bunch.

I previously had an enjoyable experience using an Aerox 3, similarly lightweight by design but not quite as feature packed by comparison. As soon as I got my hands on the Aerox 5, however, I was quick to notice how much more comfortable it was, the edges curving just that little bit more to my hand. Everything feels contoured to suit, from the textured surface to the curve of the buttons along the left side (sorry, left handers). The array of buttons is similarly placed to the previously released Rival 5, including the silver paddle-like button toward the top side. I rarely found myself using that button, but it still doesn’t feel as cumbersome nor as cluttered as other mice that try to pack in as many extra buttons as possible.

Plenty of buttons to tinker with

As much as I loved my Aerox 3, I found it hard to go back to once I got my hands around the Aerox 5. Here, everything is within easy reach and shaped to stand-out from each other, making it noticeable by touch. There’s just something about its design that feels much more intuitive and comfortable, especially for long play sessions. The wheel sits a little further into the chassis too, and its slightly heavier weight is barely noticeable but again feels about right for what it needs to be.

The Aerox 5 produces its extremely light frame by stripping out much of its plastic exterior by way of a honeycomb shell. Admittedly I was concerned at the potential of dust or sweat falling through the gaps, especially considering the open circuitry underneath, but that was barely noticeable during my many hours of play time. That’s all thanks to built-in IP54-rated AquaBarrier protection system, providing a little peace of mind that any dust particles won’t interfere with its performance over time. I’ve left the mouse out in the open and never seen much in the way of dust landing inside either.

Depending on the game you play, be it MOBA or shooter, it isn’t at all difficult to attain the right setup for your desired experience. As an avid Destiny 2 player, having certain interactions available via the mouse made it easier than my fingers fumbling for the right key on my keyboard, making me a happy Hunter. The included TrueMoveAir sensor continues to be top-quality, bringing high accuracy along with it. You can tweak things to your heart’s content with recommended SteelSeries Engine software, which seems more refined of late, presetting every function to your liking. At a default level, settings feel just about right, but the ability to adjust even the sensor levels to suit the games you play is more than welcome.

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What’s a little RGB between friends

Unlike the Rival 5, the honeycomb style of the Aerox series affords a bolder array of RGB colours shining out from the lower and underside. If you’re like me and love a little colour in your life, it’s an impressive look for an already well-designed accessory but doesn’t distract if you’re at all concerned about such antics. RGBs aren’t for everyone, a lot of lightweight gaming mice seem to avoid it as a feature and you can turn it off if you must, but I personally enjoyed the extra spark of style.

Final Thoughts

The Aerox series of mice have impressed me with their design and style, and the Aerox 5 sits comfortably within the mix of top-rated, lightweight, yet feature-packed mice for just about every occasion. The honeycomb aesthetic may not be to everyone’s taste, but it worked for me to no end, and I’ll likely be using it for many years to come.

Review unit supplied by manufacturer

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SteelSeries Aerox 5 Gaming Mouse Review
Easy to use, easy to enjoy
The SteelSeries Aerox 5 wired mouse sits atop the pinnacle of form and function, comfortably attuned for just about every situation and at an affordable price.
The Good
Impressive physical design and weight
Wonderfully contoured shape
Plenty of programmable buttons
High quality, responsive sensors as always
The Bad
Sadly, one for the right handers only
Written By Mark Isaacson

Known on the internet as Kartanym, Mark has been in and out of the gaming scene since what feels like forever, growing up on Nintendo and evolving through the advent of PC first person shooters, PlayStation and virtual reality. He'll try anything at least once and considers himself the one true king of Tetris by politely ignoring the world records.

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