It's fascinating how much the new Steelseries Prime Wireless gaming mouse reminds me of the Razer Viper Ultimate. It's a no-frills, high-performance machine designed to meld with your palm and make you the FPS god you always dreamed of being. The $139 mouse is part of Steelseries' Prime lineup of esports-focused peripherals and sits between the cheaper wired Prime and the OLED packing Prime+.
Sensor: TrueMove Pro 18,000 DPI
Connection: Quantum Wireless 2.0 + USB Type-C
Battery life: 100Hrs + Quick charge
MSRP: $129 (£129)
The funny thing is, you wouldn't know it just by looking at it. Growing up, I was constantly taught that you should never judge a book by its cover or in this case, a mouse by its casing. The Prime doesn't look like much on the outside but while it won't win beauty awards, it certainly wins in ergonomics and performance. I knew there was something special about it the minute I cupped it in my hand.
The Prime Wireless immediately felt like it was designed just for my particular hand. Steelseries says they worked with several esports pros to develop the right shape and weight that feels like an extension of your arm. For once, the product lives up to the hype. The Prime Wireless is designed for right-handers particularly claw and fingertip grippers. The whole mouse seems to gently slope towards the right so that it cradles in your palm for a comfortable grip.
The body is made from a micro-textured ABS plastic which has a matte finish that feels simultaneously slick and yet grippy. At 80g, it's slightly heavier than the Viper Ultimate, but it's hardly what you'd call heavy. The thumb well curves inwards while the mouse buttons rise higher towards your index finger and taper off under your middle finger. This subtle slope makes the buttons feel somehow easier to click. The thumb buttons are positioned slightly above where your thumb rests so there's barely any travel to reach them. I do wish they were slightly more forward so I don't have to crook my thumb so much in order to press the rear button but I can live with it.
The scroll wheel has a solid rubber finish that provides plenty of grip for scrolling long webpages and it has a medium resistance that's noticeable but won't tire your finger out. It's also the only place on the mouse with RGB lighting. It's vibrant and helps you remember that yes, this is indeed a gaming peripheral. You can of course adjust the lighting in the new Steelseries GG software but I turned it off in favor of longer battery life.
Speaking of, the Prime Wireless has a built-in rechargeable battery that's rated for 100 hours per charge. That's over a week of average use. However, I should point out that those numbers are only achievable when the mouse is running in High-efficiency mode which tones down some settings like the RGB to save power. For gaming, you'll want to keep it in performance mode which will chew through the battery in significantly less time—around 40 hours in testing.
Thankfully, charging the Prime Wireless is a breeze, thanks to a handy quick charge feature which gives you an impressive 40 hours of play with just 15min of charging. Power is delivered via USB Type-C but the port on the mouse won't work with just any old cable lead which is a little annoying.
When it comes to gaming, the Prime Wireless is just a joy to use. The mouse glides effortlessly thanks to its lightweight and large PTFE skates, especially since there's no annoying wire to hold you back. The TrueMove Air 18000 CPI optical sensor combined with a 1000Hz polling rate makes 1-1 tracking precise and snappy. Annoyingly, switching CPI sensitivity requires lifting the mouse to access the button underneath which isn't ideal in the heat of battle.
Up top, the main clickers use proprietary Prestige OM magnetic switches which use a combination of magnets and lasers to actuate at 'quantum speeds' and are satisfying and responsive. The buttons feel solid without any wobble or sideways travel at all and are built to last longer than most—over 100 million clicks.
Bringing all this together is the Quantum 2.0 Wireless which is delivered via a slim USB Type-C dongle. Don't worry if you haven't got any Type-C ports on your machine, Steelseries bundles a Type-A adapter in the box. Quantum Wireless uses a unique dual channel system so that the mouse maintains a connection even if one channel has disruption. The Prime showed no perceptible latency at all except when using the hyper-efficiency mode.
I never expected to like the Steelseries Prime Wireless but it's just so damn comfortable to use for work and gaming. Input lag is no issue and honestly, wireless these days are virtually indistinguishable from their wired counterparts. The battery life is great and that quick charge is something every wireless peripheral should have. At $139, the Prime Wireless is on the pricier side, but it's a quality mouse that will serve you well.