SteelSeries Diablo 3 Mouse Review

I received my SteelSeries Diablo 3 (D3M) with a lot of anticipation. This is my first SteelSeries product and I’m a big fan of Diablo since the first installment of the series. After using this mouse for a couple of weeks, I’m ready to give it my review.

Please note that SteelSeries did not provide me with the unit nor offer me any kind of reward for writing this article. So I can assure you that my review is based solely on my experience, subjective but impartial. Photos and video will be added later.

DESIGN

It’s tribal and it has Diablo theme. I do think that the tribal design is actually even more cool when you look at the mouse in person. The D3M photos on websites doesn’t do the designer any justice. I especially like the center tribal design. It’s wicked and reminds me of Diablo itself.

On the bottom, the mouse has three large mouse feet / glides. The laser sensor is located on the center, there’s a highlighted text that said “Laser Class 1”. However the D3M doesn’t include the LCD display, as seen on the Xai or the Sensei. I guess the theme license is that expensive. :p

The braided cord is kinda funny for me. Because the last time I remembered seeing a black braided cord with red striping was on an old electric iron. I thought maybe that’s just me, but my brother mentioned the same thing when he looked at the mouse. :)

ERGONOMIC

My first impression is that the mouse is big enough and ergonomically better than my previous mouse, which was the Razer Abyssus. It’s natural because I use palm grip, while the Abyssus is more suitable for claw grip or finger tip grip. The soft touch plastic material is very comfortable to the touch. While I felt the mouse is a bit heavier than the Abyssus, it is easy to lift.

What makes the D3M better for me is because of the wider rear end of the mouse. The highest part of the mouse is also more to the back, thus it fits the center of my palm nicely. If I’m not mistaken, the size and shape of the D3M is similar to the Xai and the Sensei. However I’m still not used to the shape for a long session use. I’m beginning to think whether mice with ring and small finger support shape, like the Ikari or the Naos, are more suitable for me. Another justification to buy yet again another gaming mouse. LOL!

FYI, my hand is considered to be a medium sized hand according to this hand size reference.

PERFORMANCE

What I noticed at first is that the large mouse feet / glides at the bottom really helps the mouse to move better on both cloth mouse pad (Ozone Ground Level L) and hard mouse pad (Razer Vespula). Switching from high CPI to low CPI is very quick. At least I didn’t notice any lag in between CPI switching. This is crucial especially if I want to play FPS games or just need to lower my CPI for a more accurate use.

Scroll wheel is relatively quiet when scrolled down, but makes a little more noise when scrolled upward. The triangular shape of the rubber on the wheel is great. They actually make scrolling felt better. I hope the rubber last long. Scroll steps are set only from the Mouse option within Control Panel (I don’t know where to find this in OSX). Unlike the Razer Abyssus crappy driver / software which always reset my scroll steps settings to a very high number every time I boot up my Win7. By the way, the D3M is also OSX compatible which is a good move. :)

Clicking on all the buttons felt nice. Definitely a gaming grade feel and feedback. However to me the Abyssus gave better feeling to each click I’ve made, but that was after I used it for a couple of months. The left button of the D3M seems to got a bit soft now, while the right button still feels like new. It’s not really a problem though since it doesn’t give any down side effect to the whole mousing experience.

I thought I’m going to often accidentally press the outer side buttons with my ring finger. At first, I did press them accidentally a couple of times. But the more I get used to the D3M, the less I accidentally press them. Ideally, you should just turn them off through the software. Now I know why the Zowie AM can only be set to use only one side of the side buttons.

CUSTOMIZATION

Since the D3M doesn’t have an LCD like the Xai or Sensei, it also lost the capability to store multiple profiles. For this, you need to use the SteelSeries Engine software, downloadable from their website.

The software lets you assign all 7 buttons function. You can customize CPI settings on 2 levels, high and low, starting from 100 to 5700 CPI. You can customize the polling rate, which by default is already set to 1000 hz, which I don’t think you should change. And there’s the illumination options, which lets you customize intensity and pulsation, or to turn the whole lighting off.

I think the last active profile will be stored on the mouse, so that you can use your personalized settings elsewhere. This is relevant because when you play Diablo, you only use your character, and probably will be playing on your own rig or laptop. However, I do recommend creating a unique profile name to be saved within the mouse.

DOWN SIDE

Before you continue, I would like to give credit to SteelSeries that responded in a positive way to the issues I’ve mentioned here via their twitter account, @SteelSeries. I like good online PR and they did a very nice job. I hope they fix the info soon to prevent further misleading.

Although I enjoy using the D3M, there are some things that I think SteelSeries fail to deliver. There are things that they mention on the product page on their website but I can’t seem to find them on the product or the software.
  1. CPI and LOD

    The above image is a screen shot from the D3M product page. It said that the CPI is scalable in increments of 1. This is not true, since the software only allows increments of 100. I hope this can be fixed in future updates of the SteelSeries Engine.The lift off distance is also higher, it’s more than 2 CD roms, but it’s the same height compared to my old Razer Abyssus. This is definitely a problem for FPS games and gamer who demand low LOD, but I’m not sure if it’s a problem for playing Diablo 3.
  2. SteelSeries FreeMove

    There is no or I could not find the FreeMove option in the software, which is SteelSeries Engine. This option is actually good for players who don’t want prediction.
  3. Mouse Features

    I can customize CPI on two levels and set polling rate. I can’t find the rest of the options stated on point number 2.

I, like most customers who spend a lot of money on a single product, expected to get what’s promised on the advertisement or product page on the website. In my eyes, these are marketing blunders for SteelSeries. So, either they made an update to the software or update the information on the website, both product page or the FAQ.

CONCLUSION

For those of you who love Diablo or a big fan like myself, buying the SteelSeries Diablo 3 mouse is like getting a collector’s item. There’s no wrong in doing so. It’s also a solid gaming mouse. It’s plug and play, but you need the software to customize it even further. However, having failed to deliver some “promised” features is a bummer for perfectionists, like me, or gamers who like the design but use the mouse to play a variety of games.

Pros:
Diablo 3 theme design, comfortable in my hand, soft touch material feels nice on the hand, all buttons are nice to click, scroll wheel is nice,  great performance, smooth gliding, easy to configure via software, pretty light weighted.

Cons:
High LOD,  no FreeMove option, some things stated on the website needs to be revised, definitely not for pro gamers.

Click here for the whole photo galery

My verdict for the SteelSeries Diablo 3 mouse is a
4 out of 5

(previously was a 3.5 / 5, before their response on Twitter)

Rating guide:
0 : Don’t even think about it.
1 : Waste of time and money.
2 : Flawed, could be better.
3 : Good, but there are more options out there.
4 : Great value.
5 : Must have!

All ratings are subjective. They may or may not be accurate to your preferences. However, the review is guaranteed to be impartial.t

4 thoughts on “SteelSeries Diablo 3 Mouse Review

  1. Hi,

    I’ve been searching the net for some hours now, trying to figure out if this mouse is comfortable for claw grip. You mentioned that you use palm grip, but can it be used otherwise ? I’m a proud owner of ‘medium sized hands’, if your chart is any indicator :D
    Sadly, all info I found this far points to this mouse being designed for palm grip :(

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Volkov!

      I can confirm that you can use claw grip with the D3M, though I can’t tell if it’s comfortable or not. I think people are saying that the D3M is for palm grip is because of the shape which is a little wider on the rear end. I’ve seen a dude reporting that the mouse is too big for his palm and he prefer his Ikari instead. To be honest, the Ikari is bigger than the D3M, but it has a longer and narrow shape on it’s rear end. So if you prefer a longer mouse shape, like the Ikari, MX518 / G400, or the Imperator, you might find the D3M shape a little less comfortable on the palm.

      The Kinzu has a similar shape to the D3M but with smaller size, and reported to be suitable for claw grip users. However the older version has prediction, which is neither good or bad, but just a preference thing. Other gaming mice that were reported to be suitable for claw grip medium sized hand players are Razer Abyssus & Orochi, CM Storm Spawn & Xornet, Logitech G9 / G9X, Roccat Kova+ & Pyra, TTeSport Azureus, Zowie EC2 & MiCO, and the newcomer Corsair M60.

      Btw, I’m ordering the SS Kana, which is said to have the size between the Kinzu and the Xai. The local distributor said that it will arrive in my country on February.

      1. Wow, great, you gave me hope again :D
        Thanks for all the info about claw grip mice, I appreciate it. :) Didn’t know about Roccat Pyra – it looks good enough, is cheaper than D3M, and is available at local retailers. Will look at some reviews and then decide.
        Thanks for your help!

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