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’ ┬átime 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.

Mouse jitter on cloth pads

 

 

Here’s a little test comparing a bunch of different mice and sensors.

With all mice I tried to move straight down on a Razer Goliathus Speed cloth pad while drawing a line in MS Paint.

All mice had prediction aka drift control disabled so the lines aren’t artificially straightened by the mouse.

As you can see in the picture the mice varied quite a bit in their behaviour. Judging by the picture you might think that both the Abyssus and Imperator had excellent performances while the Zowie EC2 and Xai didn’t do so well.

But what the picture doesn’t show is the amount of negative acceleration experienced during this test. The Imperator slowed to a crawl, forcing me to move it quite a bit further to get the same line. ┬áNone of the other mice showed this behaviour and surely the “Dynamic DPI scaling” of the Imperator is the problem here.

What is clear from the picture is how horrible the Zowie EC2 is on a Goliathus Speed mousepad.

Taking all these things in account, here’s my final scoreboard:

  1. Razer Abyssus (new)
  2. Razer Deathadder (original)
  3. Steelseries Xai
  4. Zowie EC2
  5. Razer Imperator
  6. Razer Abyssus (old)

 

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 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.

Continue reading