SteelSeries Prime Mini Wi-fi Evaluate: When Much less Is not Extra

SteelSeries Prime Mini Wireless

RRP $ 130.00

"The $ 130 SteelSeries Prime Mini Wireless feels a step below other eSport mice."

advantages

  • Robust and ergonomic design

  • Crunchy optical magnetic switches

  • Long battery life

  • Super light

disadvantage

  • Large USB-C dongle without memory

  • Expensive

  • Too small for most hand sizes

You don't normally think of high-end esport mice in a portable form, but that's exactly what the SteelSeries Prime Mini is. It takes the lightweight ergonomic design of the Prime Wireless and cuts it up to create a gaming mouse that is not only smaller but also lighter.

SteelSeries did not leave out any features to achieve a slim shape. The Mini still features the same sensor, optical magnetic switches, and buttons as its full-size counterpart. However, with both mice for the same price, the Prime Mini feels like a downgrade for most hand sizes.

Not to mention how it rivals the best gaming mice. Despite being a high-end esports mouse with a spec sheet to match, the Prime Mini doesn't reach the same heights as its competitors. However, the design and switches are second to none, which can be worthwhile if you take the full-size model off.

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There aren't many mini gaming mice out there, and the SteelSeries Prime Mini doesn't change that, despite its name. It's only slightly smaller than the full-size Prime, shaving 1.7mm in height, 1.7mm in width, and most importantly 5mm in length. It also reduces the weight from 80 grams to 73 grams, which is light, but not as light as the Logitech G Pro X Superlight at 63 grams.

Although smaller than the SteelSeries Prime, the Mini is no smaller than many wireless esport mice. The Logitech G Pro Wireless is shorter and thinner, and the Razer Viper Ultimate is shorter and thinner than both.

The difference is the length at which the Prime Mini shaves about 5mm from mice of similar caliber. The change in height never bothered me, but the length and width did. Even with smaller hands, it never felt like I had enough to hold onto the palm grip as the back end of my palm slipped off the mouse and onto my desk. The narrower width also meant that I dragged my little finger along.

I really missed the extra length and width of the Prime Mini.

The claw grip was much more comfortable, which is the case with most smaller gaming mice.

Still, I can appreciate the design. The Prime Mini feels like the Corsair Saber Pro Wireless with a more aggressive slant. The right side of the mouse protrudes from the back, and the left side has a fairly deep indentation for your thumb.

I love the design and the way the mouse feels – it comes with sturdy plastic that doesn't feel hollow like the Razer Viper Ultimate, and it felt almost too snug in the palm of my hand. I just wish I could have experienced the design in its proper form. I really missed the extra length and width of the Prime Mini, which ruined one of probably my otherwise favorite gaming mice.

Sensor and buttons

SteelSeries says the Prime Mini comes with "crispy clicks," and those are the crispest clicks I've ever had. Each time you press it, you hear a loud, satisfying crack, thanks to the Prestige OM optical magnetic switches under the hood. The Razer Basilisk V3 also has optical switches, but they don't feel as crisp as the Prime Mini.

Since the switches are optical, they are not subject to any debounce delay like mechanical switches.

This is my favorite aspect of the Prime Mini. The switches are as satisfactory as possible, and because they are optical they do not suffer from debounce delay like mechanical switches. SteelSeries also rates 100 million click life and doubles the 50 million click life on most high-end gaming switches.

In addition to left and right click, the Prime Mini has forward and backward thumb buttons and a DPI button to toggle through the five customizable presets. The DPI button is on the bottom of the mouse, which is annoying but useful. This is an esports mouse, and you don't want to poke your DPI around in the heat of the moment.

The switches are the star of the show, while the sensor takes a back seat. The mouse comes with the SteelSeries TrueMove Air 18K DPI sensor that you can adjust in 100 DPI increments. At $ 130, that's behind the curve. The Logitech G Pro X Superlight has a 25K DPI sensor and the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra Wireless has a 26K DPI sensor. The Corsair mouse also has a query rate of 2,000 Hz while the Prime Mini is fixed at 1,000 Hz.

It's accurate and fast, but not as much as the competition.

Connectivity and battery life

The Prime Mini is equipped with Quantum 2.0 wireless technology, which, according to SteelSeries, "offers performance that feels like wired". While I'm far from an esports gamer, wireless connectivity was never an issue in Destiny 2 raids or my recent New World addiction.

SteelSeries claims 100 hours of battery life, likely due to just one RGB lighting strip around the scroll wheel. After using the mouse for almost a week, I only knocked off about a third, giving you plenty of time between charges. The mouse also supports fast charging via the USB-C port.

However, Quantum is your only option. Despite a trend towards Bluetooth and low-latency wireless connectivity in mice like the Logitech G604, the Prime Mini only comes with the SteelSeries wireless connectivity. That's not a big deal, but I always like having bluetooth as an option for using the mouse with my home theater setup.

The wifi is solid, but I can't wrap my head around the wifi dongle. It uses USB-C instead of USB-A. Most motherboards only have a single USB-C port, and only the latest cases have a USB-C port upfront. I have much better things to use for my USB-C ports than a wireless mouse dongle.

Worse, it's a big dongle. It's about an inch long if you ignore the connector, which is about a quarter of an inch for Corsair and Razer dongles and a third of an inch for Logitech models. The Prime Mini is ready for travel because of its small and light design, but there is nowhere else to keep the dongle attached to the mouse like any other high-end wireless gaming mice.

SteelSeries includes an adapter so that you can connect it to your machine using USB-A. That just doesn't feel like the best solution. I would have much preferred a USB-A dongle to keep under my mouse rather than a clunky USB-C dongle just waiting to break while plugged into my laptop.

Gaming performance

I have some issues with the Prime Mini, but there's no denying that it's a solid gaming mouse. There's tactile feedback on every mouse, but I felt it on the Prime Mini. Every shot in Destiny 2 or my endless deathloop runs felt like it was important, and the Prestige OM switches add a sense of depth to every click.

That's not the reason to buy this mouse, but it's a nice bonus given the mouse's overall gaming performance. The sensor may fall behind the competition, but it's still fast enough to keep up with nervous shooters like Valorant and swipe the screen to activate a skill in Final Fantasy XIV.

The Prime Mini is small, robust and light.

However, size proved to be an issue once more. I wanted to switch back to my tried and true Razer Viper Ultimate while gaming, just so I had a little more sagging. The Prime Wireless and Prime Mini Wireless are the same price from SteelSeries, and I would recommend sticking to the full-size model for most hand sizes.

To play, I could imagine using the Prime Mini Wireless while traveling. It's small, sturdy, and lightweight, which makes it a great high-end travel companion for gaming. As already mentioned, however, the large dongle and the lack of storage space for it dampen the travel experience.

Our opinion

The SteelSeries Prime Mini Wireless is a high quality gaming mouse with unfortunate design choices. The shape is remarkably comfortable, but too small, and the optical magnetic switches are excellent, but they are paired with a sensor that lags behind the competition. It's not a bad mouse, but it's not the best – and at $ 130, being the best is important.

Are there alternatives?

The SteelSeries Prime Mini cuts the length of most competing mice by about 5mm, so there aren't many direct alternatives.

If you don't mind a little extra length, it can measure up to the Corsair Saber Pro Wireless, Logitech G Pro X Superlight, and Razer Viper Ultimate.

How long it will take?

The Prestige optical magnetic switches are designed for 100 million clicks. Assuming 10,000 clicks per day, that's just over 27 years before the mouse wears out. Basically, it'll last until you decide to upgrade.

Should you buy it?

No. The full-size Prime Wireless will be more convenient for most people and is a decent option for $ 130. The only exception are those with small hands. There aren't many small high-end gaming mice out there. The closest competitor is that Logitech G305, this is cheaper, but also heavier and with lower specifications. Otherwise, get the full version.

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