Indifferent if you are a Diablo fan or not, you must have heard about the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse. This mouse is one of the hottest mice of the year and... I was lucky enough to get my hands on one. After testing it for almost two months, I have lots to share about the quality and performance of this mouse. Is it a great mouse? Does it work well for other things except gaming? Is it worth the price? Learn the answers to these questions and more, from this review.
Unboxing the Steelseries Diablo 3 Mouse
One of the things you will love about this mouse is the unboxing experience. The package looks awesome and resonates with all Diablo fans.
When you open the box, you see on the left cover some information about the game and the mouse, plus you get to see the mouse itself.
Inside the package you will find the mouse, some stickers and manuals. There are no CDs with drivers or anything else. You need to download its latest drivers and firmware from here: Steelseries downloads.
The mouse simply looks and feels great and you will want to use it as soon as possible.
In terms of specifications, the Diablo 3 mouse is very similar to the Steelseries Xai family of mice, with a few added tweaks to make it look, feel and behave like a Diablo inspired mouse.
First of all, the mouse is ambidextrous and can be held comfortably in either hand. It looks and feels the same no matter the hand you hold it with.
It has a gold plated USB connection. I’m not sure if this really provides sensible benefits but it definitely looks good and makes it feel like a premium mouse.
Steelseries Diablo 3 has a double-braided nylon cord (2.5m long) that feels solid and protects the internal wiring very well. Some poor quality cords can impact the performance of a mouse at times. With this cord, you won’t have such problems. I’m using it for almost two months and it has never been an issue. Also, its coloring makes it stand out from other wires and you can easily identify your mouse cord in a pack of wires.
The Diablo III mouse features an Avago laser sensor with up to 5700 CPI (counts per inch). By default, it is set to work at 3200 CPI which makes it a very sensitive mouse already.
It has a total of 7 buttons, some of which have predefined commands. You can customize them all, using the Steelseries Engine software.
Last but not least, there is the illumination. The mouse has three zones: at the CPI switch, scroll wheel and Diablo III logo. You can choose to turn it ON/OFF and set the pulsation rate (LOW, MED, HIGH) for the logo.
Will this mouse impress others?
The answer is a definite YES! Even people who are not gamers and don’t care much about technology will be impressed with the way it looks and the way it feels in their hands. Absolutely everyone that has seen and touched this mouse was impressed by it.
Steelseries Diablo 3 has "premium" written all over it. Its shape is very simple and elegant, the matte look and feel is great, all the materials used are of high quality. The tribal motifs drawn on it are discreet while the illumination simply makes it look awesome, especially in the dark.
What’s there to like about the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse?
First of all, the sensitivity of the mouse is a huge plus. Its laser sensor can be set to work at 5700 CPI (counts per inch), while the default setting is 3200 CPI. It felt too sensitive even at this value and I chose to tone it down to 2700, so that I could use the mouse in a way I am comfortable with. Depending on your style and usage needs, don’t hesitate to experiment with different settings until you find the sensitivity level that’s right for you.
This brings me to another important aspect: the mouse can be fully customized in many ways. For example, you have a CPI switch on top of the mouse, near the scroll wheel. You can set two different sensitivity levels and switch between them by pressing the switch, depending on your needs.
The greatest thing is how easy you can create very specific profiles. For example, you can set a profile with different settings that activates itself only when you launch a specific program (or game) or when you run files found in a specific folder. Then, once the program is closed or you no longer use files from that folder, the mouse gets back automatically to the profile you set as the default and its settings.
Another plus I can’t prove, for at least another year or so, is the durability of the mouse. Each button has a lifespan of 10 million clicks. Even though I finished Diablo 3 on Normal and just started playing in Nightmare, I’m still far away from reaching this number of clicks.
Last but not least, a very important positive is that the Steelseries Engine software (as well as the firmware of the mouse) receives regular updates which fix bugs and improve different aspects. Don’t forget to check the Downloads section of the Steelseries website from time to time.
What’s not to like about the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse?
There are not many things worth mentioning. Overall, I was very pleased with how this mouse works and I found very little to complain about.
One of the things some people won’t love (myself included) is the Diablo 3 inspired skin, applied to the Steelseries Engine software. It’s okay that it looks like Diablo 3 but it makes the interface slower to load and react than the standard software made by Steelseries.
I had the chance to see and briefly use the interface used for other (non-branded) mice from Steelseries. The screen space is used in a better way and the interaction feels snappier. However, you can still fully use and customize your mouse - there’s no difference in what the software can do. The Diablo 3 inspired interface is just a skin and it doesn’t negatively impact the functioning of the mouse itself or its customizability.
NOTE: One of our readers shared a way to change the skin from the Diablo inspired one to the default used by Steelseries, which is more responsive. You right click the Steelseries icon in the system tray, go to Settings, choose the SSE Skin and click OK.
A second less positive aspect is the fact that firmware updates are a bit error-prone. If you have multiple peripherals (especially gaming ones) connected and installed, it can happen that the update doesn’t work from the first try and it shows errors which are hard to understand (e.g. "Pool after Burn failed", "Set address 0000C800 failed" or "Set address 0000DA00 failed"). Most times, unplugging the mouse and plugging it again solves the problem. But if it doesn’t, simply upgrade its firmware on another computer, with fewer USB devices connected to it. It did that and it worked like a charm.
Since the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse shares some technology with Steelseries Xai mice, I had the stupid idea of trying to use the Xai software for it and see if it works. Boy... was this a bad idea. Don’t try this at home! You will be very close to ruining this great mouse and you will have a hard time rewriting its original firmware. The Diablo 3 mouse does have enough unique characteristics built-in that you must use only its own software and firmware. This is not a problem with the mouse itself though. I just wanted to share this learning and make sure others will avoid having the same problems.
Lastly, I would like to share a funny bug I noticed, in the Devices and Printers panel of Windows 7: the icon of the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse is a keyboard. :)
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This doesn’t impact its functioning in any way. I just thought of sharing it, in case someone from Steelseries reads the review, so that they fix this very minor bug in a future update to their software.
I am really impressed by the Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse. Personally, I do not like big mice with lots of buttons, like most gaming mice are. I found the Diablo 3 mouse refreshingly simple. It offers just enough customizable buttons to be useful without being overloaded. Its build quality is great, the customization is useful even for people who don’t play games often and its sensitivity will meet everyone’s needs, no matter what they do on their computers: play games, do graphic design, use business applications or browse the web. If you are looking for a solid mouse with a quality build and good sensitivity, don’t hesitate to buy it.