The Aerox 9 has one of the most unique designs for a gaming mouse. I have often seen mice that have clear cases that enable gamers to see their insides at work, but the Aerox takes the one step further. It has a plastic mesh styling that cages the inner workings. As a result, it allows more of the RGB to be displayed than a standard closed case mouse. And I found that the mesh styling resulted in less heat build-up between the mouse and the palm of my hand. You may think that the mesh pattern would result in a weaker framed mouse, but it is, in fact, quite a sturdy device.
The Aerox 9 contains he usual two top buttons (left-click and right-click), a scroll wheel in between with its own button press (well, actually three functions – more on this later), and an on-the-fly DPS button just below the scroll wheel. This DPS button allows gamers to cycle through five DPS settings. Gamers can customize these five DPS increments or use the pre-defined ranges. But if you’re a gamer that likes to create your own macros, then you’ll love the next feature…the grid of twelve fully customizable buttons on the thumb side of the mouse.
It is a reasonable long mouse, so it is suited to gamers with larger hands or longer fingers. However, the twelve side buttons are on the smaller scale, so this may be counterintuitive. Reaching the forward placed column of buttons (marked as 1,2 and 3) meant shifting my grip further up the mouse.
I also found that the left button was often not responsive or did not register a click. Again, this may be the fact that the Aerox 9 has a longer shape and that my fingers do not sit in the optimal clicking spot in my normal position (yes, I have shorter stubby fingers).
One feature that is not immediately noticeable is the weight. The Aerox 9 is one of the lightest gaming mice I have used, weighing in at just 89 grams. This certainly enabled me to zip across the desk, particularly when the mouse isn’t tethered with a cable. Combined with the TrueMove sensor, the Aerox provided wonderful precision, and with the ability to change the DPS on-the-fly up to 18,000, this lightweight mouse does the job in any scenario.
The Aerox 9 have several options when connecting to a PC. It comes with a braided 2m USB type-C to USB type-A charging cable that can be used as a wired option and also comes with a USB type-C wireless dongle. I enjoyed the fact that the wireless dongle used the type-C port as it kept one of my USB type-A ports available, but the width of the dongle meant that it prevented me from using the closest port anyway. The third option does away with the need to use any ports altogether, with the Aerox 9 also having the ability to pair via Bluetooth. This can be helpful if you lose the wireless dongle. The Rival 3 contained an inbuilt storage slot for the USB transmitter, but due to the mesh styling, this isn’t a viable option for the Aerox 9.
When using the wireless options, there are some visual indicators for when the battery is running out. When it gets below 10%, the mouse will flash yellow, and when it drops to 5%, it will flash red. The Aerox 9 is quoted as having a 180-hour battery life, and I must admit that after charging it once, I did not need to charge it again during my regular testing
Software and functionality
The SteelSeries software allows users to create macros for each button, or indeed allocate a command for each. This can be used for both gaming and in the office environment. From a gaming perspective, the buttons are great for allocation to FPS controls such as reloading weapons, crouching or jumping. This enables gamers to keep their fingers on the WASD buttons more often.
From an office efficiency perspective, the extra buttons can be used as the numbers they display or can be allocated to specific commands such as Cut, Copy and Paste in the Microsoft Office suite of programs. With so many buttons that can be assigned, this can certainly increase office productivity, particularly once you get used to the smaller buttons and their placement.
The scroll wheel too, has a couple of handy functions that are not immediately apparent, but are super fun to use once you get the hang of it. Apart from the usual scroll wheel button press, nudging the scroll wheel to the left or right allows for horizontal scrolling. This is great for office workers who use spreadsheets with lots of columns or for those who need to scroll sideways on a website. Of course, these can be customized for gaming functions, such as being able to strafe in your favourite FPS.
The software also controls the RGB features. The mouse is split into three zones, and each of these can be customised to your own styling. However, as much of the top half is covered by the left and right buttons and scroll wheel, it is only really the rear of the mouse that is exposed and has the most impact. Turning the mouse over does reveal the zones, but who looks at the bottom of the mouse when you're using it.
The Aerox 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse is a wonderful device that does pretty much anything you could ask from a mouse. Combined with the mesh cover and simple RGB customisation, it gives the Aerox 9 a style all of its own. The ability to map all 18 buttons to your own preference is superb, although I did find that the length of the mouse prevented me from reaching the frontmost buttons without shifting my hand position. For someone with larger hands (or longer fingers) that may not be as much of an issue. Despite that small gripe, and my occasional issue with the left button responsiveness, the Aerox 9 is a superb gaming mouse. With the various connection options, it will suit most gamers and would be a must-have for MMO and MOBA gamers with its plethora of customisations.
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