2012 mouse update

So here’s a little update on the mice I currently use at least every once in a while and my opinion on them after months of use.

Razer Abyssus

My favourite mouse for now. The only think I dislike about it is the crappy scrollwheel, it feels cheap, it works OK but the amount of ‘clicks’ per revolution is too low.

Razer Deathadder 1800DPI

My trusty old Deathadder doesn’t get much use these days. I think it’s too big to comfortably throw around, other than that it’s still great.

Razer Imperator 5600DPI

Too big, the left click seems to misfire every once in a while and the weird acceleration issues of the Philips twin-eye sensor have degraded this mouse to my backup mouse at work.

Razer Mamba 6400DPI

A great wireless mouse. Zero lag on the wireless, decent playtime on batteries and the ability to switch to wired mode very quickly. The glowing charging station and glowing scrollwheel are totally over the top, draws a lot of questions (“Didn’t it glow blue 5 minutes ago?”). The battery adds a bit of weight, but other than that it’s basically a Deathadder with a worse sensor. Again the Philips twin-eye sensor with it’s acceleration ruins it for me. Therefore it’s my default mouse at work.

Steelseries Xai

Great mouse with only minor acceleration issues. Lovely scrollwheel. The crazy LCD on the bottom of the mouse allows me to set everything I want. A small issue is the ‘boot’  time of the mouse. Feels like it takes 10 seconds for the mouse to become usable after plugging it in.

Zowie EC2

Lovely shape, decent sensor. The scrollwheel totally ruins this mouse for me, it’s even worse than the Abyssus one. It’s loud, has a horrible feel to it and the ‘clicks’ per revolution is the lowest of them all.

The problem with gaming mice

It’s been nearly 4 years since the original Razer Deathadder was released. After some initial issues, a few firmware updates made it a nearly flawless mouse. Since then, Razer, Logitech and other manufacturers have released many new mice, none of which I’d recommend over the trusty old Deathadder.
Here’s my list of the mice I’ve tried and what’s wrong with them:
  • Logitech MX518, 125Hz polling rate by default, prediction, otherwise flawless afaik. Both the old 1600DPI, and the new 1800DPI.
  • Razer Boomslang CE07, rubber buttons wear very quickly.
  • Razer Lachesis, z-axis tracking
  • Razer Mamba, z-axis tracking, jitter on old firmware, dynamic dpi scaling on new firmware (to fix jitter :/ )
  • Razer Abyssus, jitter on cloth pads
  • Razer Deathadder 3500, jitter on cloth pads
  • Razer Imperator, z-axis tracking, dynamic dpi scaling (hardware acceleration :/ )
  • Logitech G500, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
  • Logitech G9x, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
  • Steelseries Xai, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
Apparently, releasing a new mouse with OVER 9000 DPI AND BUTTONS is more important than flawless tracking to all these mice companies.

Razer Abyssus/Razer Deathadder 3500DPI review

A new infrared 3500DPI sensor forms the core of an updated Razer Deathadder and an updated Razer Salmosa, the Razer Abyssus. Their predecessors were good mice, with some small issues.

The original Deathadder is Razer’s best mouse in my opinion. It has a great sensor which tracks very well on a lot of surfaces, is capable of tracking at high speeds, has DC and NDC firmwares and has no acceleration or other side effects when set up right.

The Salmosa has received little love from Razer. 1 driver update, no firmware updates and only the default DC firmware available.

Salmosa

So let’s talk a bit first about the thing the new mice have in common, the 3500DPI sensor. It’s not as good as the trusty old 1800DPI sensor used in the Salmosa and Deathadder-new. It has a lot of issues tracking on cloth mousepads, some more than others. Ironically, it’s pretty bad on the Razer Goliathus.  If you like to play on cloth pads, don’t buy an Abyssus or a Deathadder-new.

Deathadder-new

With that out of the way, a bit about the Deathadder-new. It’s pretty much exactly the same as the old one. It has a nicer braided cable, replacing the very thin plastic wire from the old one, which was prone to breaking internally. That’s basically all there is to this new Deathadder. If you have an old one, keep it, if you want a new one, try to find an old one. The changes are not worth the upgrade and extra costs.

Deathadder new, or old?

Abyssus

Compared to the old Salmosa there isn’t much new either, but at least the 3500DPI sensor doesn’t have drift control. The hardware buttons to switch DPI and mouse refresh rate are still there, but the 500Hz option is gone. The scroll wheel is the worst I’ve seen on a Razer mouse. It feels cheap, makes a weird noise and is definitely not as good as the Deathadder or Imperator scroll wheel. Just as with other Razer mice there are a lot of reports of squeaking mouse wheels on the Abyssus.

Abyssus

For some reason I still like the Razer Abyssus. It’s really light and small, easy to throw around. Great for people looking for a finger grip mouse. The buttons are easy to press, I’d rankthem like this (easy -> hard to press): Boomslang CE2007, Abyssus, Deathadder, Imperator

The overall verdict
The new Razer 3500DPI mice are great mice, limited by their kinda crappy sensor.
The main problem with the 3500DPI DA is its older brother, which is cheaper and better, apart for the cable.
The Abyssus looks like a great entry-level gaming mouse. It’s cheap (the scroll wheel shows), light, easy to use and great value for money. It’s not only an entry level mouse, it’s a great mouse if you need something small and nimble. I wish it was made with the Deathadder sensor, that way I could have finally recommended a new Razer mouse.

Razer Imperator review

Razer’s past 5 years have been quite succesful. Clearly becoming a leading gamer’s brand that pushes the envelope. The hugely succesful Diamondback, using a temporarily Razer-exclusive sensor, showed Razer was back in business after their crappy first optical mouse, the Viper.

Following the Diamondback was an OK laser mouse, the Copperhead, and the awesome Deathadder, Razer’s first right-handed mouse. It was a great upgrade for gamers looking for the next best thing. The very good Avago 3688 sensor, with 1800DPI and very high maximum speed, guaranteed excellent tracking and is still one of the best sensors available. The familiar ergonomic shape pleased many coming from Logitech’s aging MX5xx line and Microsoft Intellimouse series.

The Deathadder was released over 2 years ago and is still very popular. Recently a newer 3500DPI version was released, which I’ll be reviewing soon as well. (Early verdict: Not as good as the old one.)

Imperator

This review, however, is about the Razer Imperator.

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