Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jun 28, 2021 at 09:59 am
Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small Picture
6.7
Office/Multimedia
8.1
Video Games (FPS)
6.1
Video Games (MMO)
9.0
Ultra-Light Gaming
6.8
Travel
Connectivity Wireless
Type
Standard

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is an exceptional ultra-lightweight, wireless gaming mouse. It has a honeycomb top shell made of a magnesium alloy, which not only makes it exceptionally lightweight but very sturdy-feeling. It has a fairly comfortable ambidextrous shape, but it's very small. It's well suited for all grip types for small and medium-sized hands. However, it should be comfortable for large hands using a fingertip grip as well. Performance-wise it has a high polling rate, a very low lift-off distance, and a very consistent sensor. Unfortunately, there isn't any companion software for customizing settings or programming buttons. Also, there are only four CPI presets to choose from, and while the click latency is good overall, it isn't as low as most other high-end wireless gaming mice.

Note: Finalmouse releases its mice in drops, meaning they're only available until stock runs out. At the time of publishing, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 drop is over, and all units were sold. Although Finalmouse has pledged to produce more, it's unclear when this will be, and right now, you can only purchase them from third-party resellers, which is how we had to buy our unit.

Our Verdict

6.7 Office/Multimedia

Though not intended for this use, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is adequate for office and multimedia work. It feels well-built and has a comfortable ambidextrous shape well-suited for smaller hands using all grip types. It connects either wired or wirelessly with its receiver, though it doesn't support Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it doesn't have companion software for programming buttons. Also, the scroll wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • All default controls work on macOS and Windows.
  • Connects either wired or wirelessly with its receiver.
Cons
  • Lacks Bluetooth support.
  • No customization software for programming buttons.
  • Scroll wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.
8.1 Video Games (FPS)

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is a great FPS gaming mouse. It's extremely lightweight, feels well-built, and has an ambidextrous shape suitable for smaller hands and all grip types. It connects wired or wirelessly with its receiver, and its mouse feet glide very smoothly on mousepads or desks. It also has a high polling rate and a very low lift-off distance. Unfortunately, there are only four preset CPI settings you can cycle between, and while the click latency is good, it isn't as low as most other premium wireless gaming mice.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Good click latency.
  • Mouse feet glide very smoothly on mousepads and desks.
Cons
  • Only four CPI presets.
6.1 Video Games (MMO)

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small passable for MMO gaming, though it doesn't have nearly as many side buttons as a dedicated MMO mouse, and you can't program any of its buttons as there isn't any companion software for customization. That said, it fees well-built and has an ambidextrous shape well-suited for smaller hands using any grip type. Unfortunately, it only has four preset CPI settings, and while its click latency is good, it's higher than most other premium wireless gaming mice.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Good click latency.
  • Mouse feet glide very smoothly on mousepads and desks.
Cons
  • Not nearly as many side buttons as a dedicated MMO mouse.
  • No customization software for programming buttons or adjusting sensor settings.
  • Only four CPI presets.
9.0 Ultra-Light Gaming

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is an outstanding ultra-light gaming mouse. It's remarkably lightweight, feels well-built, and has an ambidextrous shape well-suited for smaller hands using any grip type. It also has a flexible cable and mouse feet that glide smoothly on mousepads or directly on desks. Unfortunately, there isn't any companion software for customization, and there are only four preset CPI settings you can cycle through by using the button behind the scroll wheel. Also, while the click latency is good, it isn't quite as low as most other premium wireless gaming mice.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Good click latency.
  • Mouse feet glide very smoothly on mousepads and desks.
Cons
  • Only four CPI presets.
6.8 Travel

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is decent for travel, but it isn't for this use. It's somewhat bulky and may not fit in most laptop bags. Also, it doesn't support Bluetooth, and its wireless receiver uses a USB cable to connect to your computer, which may be cumbersome in small spaces like buses, trains, or planes.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
Cons
  • Lacks Bluetooth support.
  • 6.7 Office/Multimedia
  • 8.1 Video Games (FPS)
  • 6.1 Video Games (MMO)
  • 9.0 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 6.8 Travel
  1. Updated Aug 26, 2021: We've downgraded our Build Quality score from a 9 to an 8 after experiencing an issue with our unit's right-click button.
  2. Updated Jun 28, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jun 23, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color No Lighting

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has an ambidextrous, low-profile shape with two side buttons on the left and a honeycomb top shell made of a magnesium alloy. Our unit is the Achilles color variant. It has a gold and silver paint scheme with embossed filigree on the left and right-click buttons, the mouse wheel, and the CPI button.

Design
Shape
Length 4.5" (115 mm)
Height 1.4" (35 mm)
Width 2.3" (60 mm)
Grip Width
56 mm
6.0
Design
Portability
Volume
14.71 in³ (241 cm³)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
81 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
45 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
45 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No

According to Finalmouse, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small weighs 42 grams. They also note that the magnesium chassis can vary in thickness due to manufacturing complexities, and they note the actual weight of each mouse may vary by up to 2 grams.

We obtained an exact weight of 44.58 grams during our tests, which we round to the closest whole number as per our methodology.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

Update 08/26/2021: After several weeks of everyday office use, the right-click button on our unit became stuck and stopped working. We contacted Finalmouse regarding the issue, and they responded with several suggestions. Firstly, they suggested we try clicking the button several dozen times. Doing this resolved part of the problem, but it now felt like our click button was rubbing against something rather than sticking. From there, Finalmouse suggested we open our mouse and attempt to clean the area under the right-click mechanism. After opening the mouse, we could see that there was a small black square normally glued to the underside of the right-click mechanism that had rubbed off, leaving a glue residue that caused our initial problem. We cleaned the excess glue off, and our right-click button works properly again. After experiencing this issue, we've decided to downgrade the build quality score from its initial score of 9 to 8.

The build quality of the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small feels impressive. The top shell of the mouse is made of a magnesium alloy and feels extremely solid. Finalmouse warns that the bottom section isn't nearly as strong as it's made of Ultem, a kind of plastic that allows the wireless signal to escape. This underside section flexes when pressure is applied, but this is very unlikely to present any problems during regular use.

8.0
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
No
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
Yes
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
No

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has a relatively comfortable ambidextrous shape, but it isn't particularly ergonomic. It's a very small mouse in all dimensions, making it well-suited for smaller hands, but those with larger hands will likely find the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium a better fit.

Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
No
X.Large Hand
No

If you have large or extra-large hands, your fingers may extend past the front edge of the mouse using a palm grip.

Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
No
X.Large Hand
No

If you have large or extra-large hands, you may find your fingers sit too far forward towards the front of the mouse using a claw grip.

Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
No

Extra-large hands can use this mouse using a fingertip grip, but we don't recommend it, as the mouse may be too small to feel comfortable for long periods.

7.0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable
Use When Charging
Yes
On/Off Activation
Auto Off And On/Off Switch
Receiver Extender
Yes
Battery Indicator Yes

Finalmouse claims the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has a continuous battery life estimated at 160 hours, an average use case life estimated at three weeks, a below-average use case life estimated at seven weeks, and an idle use case estimate of 16 weeks. However, this isn't something we test.

9.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Cable Type
Paracord-like
Permanent Kink
No
Port Type: Mouse End
Micro USB
Port Type: PC End
USB

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has an excellent cable. It has good flexibility and moves across desks with minimal drag.

9.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Very Good
Material
Virgin Grade PTFE
Extra Included
No

The mouse feet glide very smoothly on all surfaces, but they make a slight scratching sound directly on desks.

Design
In The Box

  • Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small
  • Quick guide card
  • User documentation
  • Micro-USB to USB-A cable
  • Wireless Receiver

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
Finalsensor
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
400 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
3,200 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
N/A
CPI (DPI) Variation
3%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has four preset CPI settings of 400, 800, 1600, and 3200. You can cycle between these presets using the CPI button behind the scroll wheel.

4.1
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
6
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
0
Profile Switching Button
No
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No

You can use the CPI button below the scroll to cycle between the four preset CPI settings. Unfortunately, you can't reprogram any of the buttons as there isn't any companion software for customization.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
24 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel

The mouse wheel on the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small feels precise and has smooth travel with well-defined steps. It's also fairly quiet.

Control
Noise
Click Noise
Loud
7.9
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
15 ms
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
14 ms

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has very good click latency. However, it's higher than most other premium wireless gaming mice. Most gamers likely won't notice any delays, and it should provide a responsive experience for both casual and competitive play.

Operating System And Software
0
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name No software
Software Windows Compatibility
No
Software macOS Compatibility
No
Account Needed
No Software
On-Board Memory
No
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
No
Polling Rate Adjustment
No
Profile Configuration
No
RGB On/Off
No

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small has no companion software for customization.

10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

All of the default button functions on the Finalmosue Starlight-12 Small work on both macOS and Windows.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small we tested is the Gold/Silver Archilles color variant. It's also available in a Red/Silver Ares variant, a Black/Gold Hades variant, and a Silver/Gold Zeus variant. There is also a larger version of this mouse, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium, which is available in the same colorways. Our unit number is 122/2500, and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Mice

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is an outstanding ultra-light gaming mouse that carries on in the footsteps of Finalmouse's last release, the Finalmouse Ultralight 2 - Cape Town, by continuing to push the technological limits of lightweight gaming mice. The Starlight-12 has a magnesium alloy top shell that makes it lighter than its predecessor and substantially sturdier-feeling. Even more impressive, though, is the added rechargeable battery and wireless capability, making this mouse an excellent choice for anyone interested in a lightweight wireless option.

For other options, see our recommendations for the best wireless gaming mouse, the best gaming mouse, and the best mouse.

Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT

The Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small are comparable wireless, ultra-light gaming mice. The Finalmouse is significantly lighter and feels sturdier, but it only has four default CPI settings. On the other hand, the Logitech has mouse feet that glide more smoothly, a much wider CPI range, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 50, and a significantly lower click latency. It also has companion software and onboard storage for its wireless receiver, which the Finalmouse lacks. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types, but the Finalmouse is best-suited for smaller hands, while the Logitech is almost universally suitable for all hand sizes.

Razer Viper Mini

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is a better ultra-light gaming mouse than the Razer Viper Mini. The Finalmouse is significantly lighter and feels sturdier. It also has a more flexible cable, a more consistent sensor, and a lower lift-off distance. Unfortunately, it only has four preset CPI settings and lacks customization software. On the other hand, the Razer has a wider CPI range, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 100, a lower click latency, and customization software for Windows. Both mice are ideally suited for smaller hands using any grip type, but they're also suitable for larger hands using a fingertip grip.

Finalmouse Ultralight 2 - Cape Town

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is a better ultra-light gaming mouse than the Finalmouse Ultralight 2 - Cape Town. The Starlight-12 Small is lighter and has a magnesium alloy body that feels sturdier. It connects either wired or wirelessly with its receiver. It also has a more consistent sensor, a higher polling rate, and a lower lift-off distance. Comparatively, the Cape Town has a lower click latency. Both mice are best-suited for smaller hands using any grip type.

Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium is the larger version of the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small. In addition to being slightly larger, the Medium is 5g heavier and has a marginally lower click latency. It's also more suitable for a wider range of hand sizes. On the other hand, the Starlight-12 Small is only suitable for smaller hands using a palm or claw grip and small to large-sized hands using a fingertip grip.

Glorious Model O-

The Glorious Model O- and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small are comparable ultra-light gaming mice. The Finalmouse is significantly lighter and feels sturdier. It connects wired or wirelessly with its receiver. Unfortunately, it only has four preset CPI settings. On the other hand, the Glorious is wired-only and has RGB lighting. It also has a somewhat lower click latency, a much higher maximum CPI, a CPI you can adjust in increments of 100, and companion software for customization. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types, but the Glorious is more accommodating for larger hand sizes.

Glorious Model O Wireless

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small and the Glorious Model O Wireless are comparable ultra-lightweight gaming mice. The Finalmouse is significantly lighter and feels sturdier. Unfortunately, it only has four preset CPI settings. Comparatively, the Glorious has lower click latency, a much wider CPI range, a CPI you can adjust precisely by increments of 50, RGB lighting, and companion software for customization. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types. However, the Glorious is better-suited for larger hands, while the Finalmouse is best-suited for smaller hands.

Glorious Model D

The Glorious Model D and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small are comparable ultra-light gaming mice. The Finalmouse is significantly lighter and feels sturdier. It also has a lower lift-off distance and can be used wired or wirelessly. Unfortunately, it only has four CPI presets. Comparatively, the Glorious has a much higher CPI, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 100, a significantly lower click latency, RGB lighting, and companion software for customization. The Finalmouse is best-suited for smaller hands, while the Glorious is ideal for larger hands and suitable for smaller hands using certain grip types.

Marsback Zephyr RGB

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small is a superb ultra-light wireless gaming mouse, while the Marsback Zephyr RGB is a good wired gaming mouse. The Finalmouse is much lighter and feels sturdier. It also has mouse feet that glide more smoothly, and It connects either wired with its charging cable or with its USB receiver. On the other hand, the Marsback has a wider CPI range and an internal fan intended to keep your hand cool and dry while using it. It also has RGB lighting, which the Finalmouse lacks. The Finalmouse is primarily suitable for medium and small-sized hands, while the Marsback is more accomodating to more hand sizes.

G-Wolves Skoll SK-S ACE Edition

The G-Wolves Skoll SK-S ACE Edition and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small are very lightweight gaming mice, but the G-Wolves has a right-hand design while the Finalmouse has an ambidextrous one. The G-Wolves is a wired-only model better suited for large hands using a palm or claw grip. It has a broader CPI range with a precisely adjustable CPI, and it has customization software, which the Finalmouse lacks. On the other hand, you can use the Finalmouse wirelessly with its USB receiver. Its charging cable is more flexible, its mouse feet glide more smoothly, and it has slightly lower click latency.

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