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  • Cheryl Tan

SteelSeries Prime Review: The Best From SteelSeries?

Looking for a dependable mouse that tracks well and feels great in your hands? Well, you might want to take a look at SteelSeries Prime Series gaming mice, which includes the Prime, the Prime+ and the Prime Wireless model.

Getting a good mouse goes quite a long way and depending on how important it is to you, it might make or break your gaming experience or even just day-to-day use. So today, we're going to talk about the latest from SteelSeries, which have been around for a long time and are a major player in the gaming industry. With that amount of experience, they definitely know a thing or two about mouse design.

But it has to be said that the Prime Series gaming mice aren't designed for left-handed users. It's all for right-handed people. So if you're left-handed, you're out of luck.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about the design of the Prime. It's pretty much the same across all three variants: the standard Prime, the Prime+ and the Prime Wireless. If you remove the wire, they're all pretty much the same. Made primarily out of ABS polycarbonate, the mouse is shaped to the natural curl your hand does when you're at a resting position.

Truth be told, it is pretty comfortable. We could use it for hours on end without experiencing any fatigue and the standard Prime mouse has a relatively light weight of 69g.

The weight does differ depending on which model you're looking at. The Prime+ weights 71g and Prime Wireless comes in the heaviest at 80g. In comparison to other mice out there, they aren't the lightest. But they are light enough for you to be able to do fast movements without getting tired during long gaming sessions and it does make it feel a little more substantial.

In terms of overall comfort, SteelSeries does state on their website that the Prime can be used with any of three recommended grip styles: the claw, fingertip and palm grip. We found that because of the slightly steeper arc of the mouse, we couldn't use a fingertip grip. It gets uncomfortable as we're trying to curl our fingers a bit too much. Our hands aren't that big either.

So for us, the claw grip or the palm grip was far more comfortable. But if you have larger hands, then perhaps the fingertip grip might be alright for you.

As for the buttons, all three mice have the same setup. You have your left-click and right-click buttons, a clickable scroll wheel with RGB and two additional side buttons on the left. This is pretty much as standard as you can get. Not too basic, but not too fancy either.

But the switches themselves are something new from SteelSeries, which they call Prestige OM (optical magnetic) switch. If you want to find out more about this, you can visit SteelSeries' website. All you have to know is that it is rated for 100 million clicks and it maintains a consistent click force throughout that lifespan.

Clearly, we haven't clicked it 100 million times, but what we can say is that the force required for the left and right clicks feels a bit heavier compared to the force needed to use the main clicks of most competing products. It's just something to take note of, but we still feel that the click is very satisfying and it does reduce the occasional accidental press.

Now, let's talk about the sensor. This is where they are all similar but also different at the same time. The standard Prime mouse features the TrueMove Pro optical gaming sensor. It's capable of up to 18,000 CPI, up to 450 IPS and up to 50G in acceleration. In other words, it performs just as great as the competition. It tracks well and it moves how we want it to.

Apart from the sensor, you get a multi-function button that allows you to switch your CPI by pressing once and your polling rate by pressing and holding. Whichever setting you're on can be seen through the change in the colour of the scroll wheel LED. By default, CPI settings can be set via the SteelSeries GG software and it'll be saved onto the Onboard Memory on the mouse. So you can have your settings wherever you go, as usual.

Let's move on to the Prime+, which gets a bit of an upgrade. The main sensor itself is the same as the standard Prime's. What's different about the Prime+ is that it has an additional lift-off sensor and an OLED display. The lift-off sensor alters the lift-off distance at which the sensor continues tracking a surface, which you can customise through the software. The higher the value, the higher you can lift the mouse and still track.

What's more interesting is the OLED display, which is well-implemented. Instead of relying on the colour of the scroll wheel LED to tell you which setting you're on, everything is right there on the OLED display. It makes it so much more convenient to use.

That's not all though. Using the multi-function button and the scroll wheel, you can configure a whole lot of things on the mouse without needing to open the SteelSeries GG software. You can select and save different CPI settings on the five available profiles. You can also change the RGB, lift-off distance and more.

What you can't do with the mouse alone is the re-assignment of functions for the buttons and macro stuff. However, the rest are accessible without having to touch the software.

We now come to the Prime Wireless. Like the other two mice, It has the same sensor but with a slightly lower IPS and acceleration. Specifically, it has the TrueMove Air gaming sensor instead of the Pro version.

With it being wireless, the device loses the OLED display for obvious reasons. So it uses the simpler functionality of the standard Prime model. But you do get a slight upgrade with PTFE mouse feet instead of the standard ones. If you want to upgrade to PTFE on the Prime and the Prime+, that's doable. SteelSeries does sell them and it's easily removable.

As we mentioned earlier, the Prime Wireless is a bit heavier at 80g and you can definitely feel it. But perhaps with the help of PTFE, it glides smoother compared to the other two. Overall, they perform and feel very similar, in our experience.

The Prime Wireless will also last about 100 hours at full charge. A USB-C wireless adaptor, a USB-A to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-C extension dongle comes with this model. The extension dongle is a nice touch because you can place it in front of you and it can ensure that you have the best connectivity to your mouse. It also lets you switch to wired mode if you want or need to.

Now that we've gotten to know all three gaming mice under the SteelSeries Prime Series, you're probably wondering which model you should get. If you want something basic but is still a good-performing mouse, the Prime could be right for you. Again, all the models share the same sensor and you aren't losing out on anything. It's also the most affordable in the bunch with a US$69.99 or a S$119 price tag.

But if you're willing to pay a little more, then you can get the Prime+. Its performance is going to be the same. But the additional features such as the OLED display and the lift-off sensor enable you to get an experience that's more tailored to your liking. It also makes quick adjustments and stuff like that way easier. You can get the Prime+ for US$89.99 or S$149.

If you like the design of the Prime but need a wireless version of it, then the Prime Wireless is what you might want. But it is the most expensive one in the series, coming in at US$139.99 or S$299.

Overall, any of the models are going to perform well. They are all good mice in general. However, they are not perfect. We would have preferred a USB-C cable for both the Prime and the Prime+. We would have also wanted the multi-function button to be on the top instead of the bottom for the mice without the OLED display. We also feel that the PTFE mouse feet should come by default on the Prime+.

While the Prime Series performed great, pricing in their respective segments are very competitive right now. So you definitely have to do your research. Lastly, when choosing a mouse, comfort should always be your top priority.


Content by Soon Kai Hong


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