August 1, 2014

Review: Razer Mamba 2012

Razer has renewed their flagship wireless gaming mouse (as of 2012) with the a newer version of the Razer Mamba 2012. This refresh brings an upgraded sensor and new multi-colour lighting thanks to RGB LEDs providing 16.7 million colours to choose from.

The Mamba comes in some of the best packaging I have seen so far. The mouse is held on a pedestal encased in the clear plastic box, and underneath are the accessories that come with it. Each accessory gets its own separate box in the drawer like bottom compartment of the packaging. It is an extremely well packaged product and provides an enjoyable unboxing experience, but it makes you wonder how much of a premium you are paying for just the box. 

In the first box you find a braided USB to Mini USB connector which has a special plastic bit allowing it to lock into the mouse, but also preventing you from using another cable if you happen to lose the provided one. Under that you find the box with the 1100 mAh battery and the battery door. Lastly you will find the dock at the bottom of the largest box. 

The mouse has a mix of soft touch plastic and glossy plastic. The top is a matte soft-touch plastic which help with grip and prevents fingerprints. The sides are the glossy variety but the areas where your thumbs would be are made of rubber. The rubber areas are fantastic for grip and improves the feel of the mouse. The left and right click buttons are contoured for comfort and the scroll wheel is well recessed while not being too high and it has a comfortable clicking force, not requiring excessive pressure to actuate, like the one found on the Corsair M60. The DPI selector is located to the left of the left click button but can be reprogrammed with the Synapse 2.0 software.

On the left side of the mouse, there are two buttons, mapped to forward and back by default. The Mamba is not a ambidextrous mouse so left handed people are out of luck. On the left is also where the battery level indicator is. The mouse clicks are very tactile and have a nice sounding click to them. They require little force to actuate so they feel more sensitive but are also great for fast clicking. The scroll wheel is illuminated and that is all that lights up on the mouse. 

On the bottom of the mouse, you find the three Teflon feet, the lock for the USB cable, the sync button, the power button, the charging contacts, the battery compartment, and the new 6400DPI 4G dual sensors. By using both an optical sensor and a laser sensor in the Mamba, it is able to provide better overall tracking and additional features. The laser sensor takes care of the general tracking while the optical sensor is used for additional z-axis tracking, surface calibration, and customizable lift off distances.

The dock is made of a glossy plastic and there are two charging contacts that meet up with the mouse. There are RGB LEDs on the bottom that match the colour of the mouse as well as a foam pad to prevent the dock from sliding around. The dock has a rather large footprint and takes up a large portion of your desk. It uses the same cable that the mouse uses so you’re not going to be using another cable if you lose the original one. There is a sync button on the front as well which is also illuminated.

I got about 12 hours of continuous usage from the mouse which is more than enough for long gaming sessions. If that happens to be not enough, or if you forget to charge your mouse, the cable can be disconnected from the dock and plugged into the mouse for uninterrupted gaming.

The Mamba has it’s own standalone drivers and software but has now migrated to use the Synapse 2.0 software. This makes setting up your mouse as simple as downloading the Synapse 2.0 software, or just plugging it in if you already have an existing Razer devices that uses Synapse.

The first tab allows you to map the buttons on the mouse to different functions as well as map them to automatically switch profiles depending on the program open.

The performance tab allows you to set the mouse DPI as well as the DPI stages for on-the-fly adjustments. This tab also has the settings for mouse acceleration and polling rate. Like all the other settings, these can be switched depending on the profile.

The lighting tab is where you can set the colour of the mouse, whether you want a specific colour or if you want it to just cycle through the preset colours. You can set a different brightness for wireless and wired mode for power saving. 

The calibration tab allows the mouse to be calibrated to a certain surface, and is where the lift off range can be set.

Lastly, the power tab is where the mouse battery percentage is and when the mouse should go to sleep.

It was hard not to be impressed by the Mamba 2012. Most products impress you when you start using the products, but the Mamba started to impress me starting from the packaging, and it did not let me down after that. The mouse felt great while gaming and I found that it was more suited for a palm type grip. There were no issues with trying to pick up the mouse and having it slip out of your hand, but I did have an issue with the mouse disconnecting in the middle of a game, something that was solved with a firmware update. Although the mouse does not offer adjustable weights, I found that the weight of the mouse should suit most people. The Mamba has one of the best sensors I have used and it is extremely accurate, making sniping people a breeze. 

It was very simple to switch from wireless to wired more, and the locking connector on the mouse eliminates the worries of the cord getting caught and coming out. The curvature of the mouse and the buttons made the mouse feel natural in my hand. The new dual 4G sensors felt very responsive

The mouse does have a hefty price tag but that is expected from most wireless gaming mice. If you find yourself to always forget to charge your devices, or simply have no use for a wireless mouse, the Razer Deathadder would be a great alternative. If you are in the market for a high-end wireless gaming mouse, the Razer Mamba is a great comfortable mouse with excellent tracking, sure to please any gamer.

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.