While the company may have only just launched its new Prime line in the summer of 2021, the SteelSeries Prime Mini is now here to expand the series. Rather than a true 'mini' mouse, though, the Prime Mini refines some of the ergonomic pain points of the original while offering a slightly slimmer overall profile. This is less Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, and more Honey, I Improved The Ergonomics of the Kids.
The best gaming mouse brands often introduce smaller versions of their flagship devices to drop their weight. The way the Prime has been slimmed down means that you're getting an FPS gaming mouse that simply does what the original did, but better. With both the wired and wireless models priced the same as the previous model, then (at $59.99 / $129.99 respectively), it's easy to see why the SteelSeries Prime Mini is the better buy.
The Prime Mini is a slightly scaled-down version of the standard Prime pointer. While not as 'mini' as some of the more dramatically rescaled mice (like the Razer DeathAdder V2 Mini), it's certainly not one for larger hands. Indeed, even the original Prime mouse was a little too small for a larger palm grip. However, the ever-so-slightly-slimmer body of the Prime Mini means that this is definitely a pointer for a speedy fingertip or claw.
This is by no means a drastic change to the outer design; in fact, it's only 5mm shorter and 1.5mm thinner. Even those small adjustments leave us with some ergonomic changes that offer up a distinctly different feel, though.
There's still a comfortable dome running along the back, with an indent on the left hand side that feels a little more pronounced than the standard model. That may be a simple by-product of the new size, but it does offer up a far more natural resting place for the thumb.
That's all the more welcome considering the two additional side buttons are still the same size on the Prime Mini. While this was a slight frustration with the original model, the smaller form-factor once again makes these buttons a lot easier to reach.
Elsewhere, the PTFE feet are present on both the base Prime Mini and the Prime Mini wireless, a step up from the standard glide on the original Prime. That means you're getting excellent sweep here even at entry-level pricing.
Connection: wired / wireless
Shape: right handed
Switches: Magnetic optical
Weight: 61g / 73g
SteelSeries isn't reinventing the wheel here. The Prime Mini remains a simple, flyweight gaming mouse build for speed without frills.
With two additional programmable buttons running along the left of the mouse, and simply a scroll wheel button up top, there's limited room for macros in here. Nevertheless, the Prime Mini isn't trying to be a super customizable device. It's built for speed and simplicity, and excels in these areas, especially now that it's just that little bit lighter.
With that in mind, a single button on the underside of the pointer allows you to switch between five different CPI profiles, though it's not exactly an on-the-fly adjustment. Having to flip the mouse to access this control isn't exactly in line with the Prime Mini's FPS design ethos, but in all fairness this is a frustration carried over from the original model.
It's a brighter picture elsewhere. The wireless model features a 2.4GHz connection and a strong battery life that didn't let us down during a full weekend of Borderlands 3. Both the wired and wireless options now use a USB-C port for connection, with USB-C charging pulling through once again on the wireless model. That's a feature that even some of the best wireless gaming mouse options are still catching up to.
The Prime Mini also uses the same SteelSeries GG software interface, with CPI settings in a slide-able scale up to 18,000, acceleration options, and all the necessary profile settings and RGB access.
The Prime Mini remains an incredibly fast, incredibly lightweight little pointer. While the size difference between the new model and the original aren't particularly dramatic, there are a few more subtle differences in design that translate to better overall performance.
To start with, there's just enough shaved off the width of this pointer to make it feel a little more natural in the hand. You're being pushed even further towards a fingertip or lighter claw grip than with the previous model here, but adopting such a style also feels more natural thanks to those deeper grooves and more pronounced angles. It feels even easier to fling this across a desk, but to also maintain precise control during more tactical moments.
Those magnetic optical clicks have also been refined for the newer model. While certainly snappy on the original, they always felt a little too heavy considering the rest of the device had been built for reflex-speed action. The two main clicks are noticeably lighter here, while still retaining that excellent snap.
Strangely, while the main clicks feel lighter, the two side buttons seem to feel even heavier in the mini model. While easier to reach thanks to the smaller design, they're not exactly trigger material here. That's frustrating, considering the obvious place for this device in a fast-paced, competitive arena.
Overall - should you buy the SteelSeries Prime Mini?
The Prime Mini feels, in many ways, like a refinement of the original rather than a separate line altogether. If you're looking for a super lightweight FPS pointer with no unnecessary add-ons or battery-draining gizmos, the Prime line already looks like a strong contender. However, we'd recommend heading straight for the newer Prime Mini model over the original thanks to its many small (no pun intended) improvements.
If you have larger hands, it's true that the Prime series may not be for you anyway due to the design's preference for fingertip or claw styles. But considering there's only a few mm shaved off the profile here, the Mini is still a good size for everyone else and benefits from improved ergonomics, main button clicks and PTFE feet and USB-C charging even at entry level.
You're still not getting the RGB or macro options of some of the best Razer mouse models though, which is more understandable at the wired price point than it is at the wireless.
Need to complete your setup? The SteelSeries Apex 5 is one of the best gaming keyboards out there, or for a full redesign, check out the best gaming chairs and best gaming desks up for grabs right now.