We never comment on a product’s packaging due to the golden rule of never judging a book by its cover. However, the Razer Mamba deserves a justified breach of protocol because of its awe-inspiring package: it comes in a Plexiglas box that seems like a work of art being displayed in a museum. The mouse appears to float as it stands on a plastic pedestal. The base features three cleverly hidden cardbox shelves that store the USB cable, battery and the charging unit.
The Mamba is a wireless gaming-grade mouse that reaches 5,600 dpi of resolution, featuring 1 ms latency and a 1,000 Hz polling rate. The resolution threshold is overkill, but those latter numbers are the real deal: they ensure the gaming crowd that there’s nothing to fear from a wireless mouse in terms of real time response end performance. No communications delays between the peripheral and the PC that will cost somebody’s virtual life in a gaming match. It is just as reliable and precise as a gaming-grade wired mouse. Let’s take a lot about the Mamba before going go the fun stuff.
[nextpage title=”Physical Characteristics”]The Mamba design is no different from other mice released by Razer, and although it has an ergonomic shape for both hands, the button placement is clearly geared towards right-hand users. The rubber grip is comfortable and the body size appealed to both this reviewer’s small hand and a big handed friend that gave it a shot. The Mamba has six customizable buttons: left/right click, two back/forward buttons near the thumb, and pair of buttons in the top-left corner. The scroll wheel can also be reconfigured to three other functions and is lit by a blue glow (which can be turned off by software). There’s resolution and battery life display after the thumb rest.
There’s an on-off switch in the underside, a parity button (to synchronize the mouse and the charging/reception unity), the battery slot and a connection for the USB cable under the scroll wheel. Hold on, a cable? But isn’t the Mamba supposed to be a wireless device? Yes, but it can also be used as regular wired mouse once you plug the cable. That it can be recharged during usage and also bypass any interference in the area (we didn’t feel any, by the way). Connecting the cable required some nimble finger work. The 5,600 dpi laser cannon and the three Teflon feet complete the picture.
The charging/reception unit can also double as a display for the mouse, and it features a blue-lit parity button and outer rim.
[nextpage title=”Configuring the Mamba”]The Razer application allows the user to customize six individual buttons plus three different functions for the scroll wheel, and also configure advanced settings. You can set five sensitivity stages raging from 100 to 5,600 dpi (and also independent X/Y sensitivity), record macros for work-related applications or games (useful to unleash powers and abilities in games like World of Warcraft or run complex tasks in Photoshop). Thanks to its internal memory, the user can take his Mamba anywhere – a friend’s house, a local competition, a LAN house – and have his settings always (and literally) at hand.
Unfortunately the Razer application is not very user-friendly. It is kinda clunky and takes forever to save and load any changes or profiles. It even slows down the PC’s performance (bear in mind that it was testing on a Core 2 Quad with 4 GB RAM). We did some meddling in the name of this review but frankly we got tired of the non-intuitive button assignment and macro recording. The really good thing is the feature that allows the user to set different sensitivity stages with no pre-chosen options. For instance, we set dpi increments of 800, 1,200, 1,800, 2,400 and the extreme 5,600.
[nextpage title=”Playing with the Mamba”]Finally to the good stuff: going through hours of online fun in name of the test, playing Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft. Creating profiles and recording macros wasn’t easy, but we managed to create a set of buttons to our liking (quick weapon change and ducking action, fast spell and combat ability release). A sensitivity setting above the 2,000 dpi range felt like an exaggeration especially in a game such as World of Warcraft that has so many icons on the screen to be clicked, but in some adrenaline-fueled Team Fortress matches the fast response was great. The gamer can choose whichever dpi settings he/she likes depending on gameplay style and preferences. During the test we were adjusting our choices as we played on, free from pre-chosen settings as in other gaming mice, fine-tuning the sensitivity to either game as we felt it was required. Although the extreme dpi setting and no-latency 1ms response worked as promised, we really felt that this freedom of choice was the highlight of the whole experience. The wireless performance was amazing, with no lag or interferences of any kind. We wouldn’t have noticed the Mamba was a wireless device if it wasn’t for the lack of the telltale cable. Kudos to Razer because the 1,000 Hz polling rate erased any fears of slow response. According to them, the battery lifespan is approximately 14 hours for non-stop gaming and 72 for normal gaming usage. We’ve been playing for over a week now
, going either some three straight hours or just working regular time with no play, and still haven’t felt the need to recharge the Mamba. [nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]Razer Mamba main specifications are:
- Wireless laser gaming-grade mouse
- Dual mode wired/wireless functionality
- Assignable functions: 9 (6 buttons and 3 scroll wheel functions)
- Onboard memory
- Tracking Resolution: 5,600 dpi (user selectable in 5 stages)
- Maximum velocity: 200 inches per second
- Response time: 1ms
- Approximate size: 5 3/64" x 2 3/4" x 1 43/64" (12.8 x 7 x 4.25 cm)
- Battery life: 14 hours for continuous gaming and 72 for normal gaming usage
- More information: https://www.razerzone.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 129.00
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]Strong points:
- Precise response just like a regular wired mouse
- Comfortable grip with even a small rest for the pinky
- Easy to install
- Beautiful design, from packaging to the final product
- All-time high resolution setting
- User selectable dpi setting stages
- Doubles as a wired mouse if the battery gets depleted
- Slow and non-friendly application
- Attaching the cable requires nimble fingers
- Price is a bit high for a wireless gaming-grade mouse