Razer calls its Mamba mouse the “first true wireless gaming mouse.” Released this summer, the 2012 model of the Mamba retails for $130, and that made me wonder: Would a mouse that costs this much be significantly better than any I’ve ever tested? Let’s try it.
One look at the elaborate packaging of the Razer Mamba made me raise a couple of eyebrows. It’s simply the fanciest packaging I’ve ever seen on any product. You have to see it in our gallery below to believe it, but suffice to say it’s like a jewelry display case where the mouse is put up on a pedestal for all to see. Thankfully, after removing one piece of tape it was easy to extricate the Mamba from its luxuriant confines.
This mouse works in both wired and wireless modes, and it includes an attractive charging dock with backlighting encircling its base and illuminating its pairing button. The included mini USB cable plugs into either the dock or underneath the mouse, where it can be securely attached using a clever switch. The mouse can be charged either as it rests on the dock or when it’s attached directly to the USB cable. That’s good, because you can keep playing in wired mode if you’ve depleted the mouse’s battery power.
Once I charged the mouse for 5 hours, which Razer says will last 14 continuous hours (or 72 hours of normal use, says Razer), I picked up the Razer Mamba, and as soon as I began mousing around, it became evident that I was using an extraordinary pointing device. Its solid construction and hard rubber top, as well as its super-slick feet and both laser and infrared sensors demonstrated that Razer had left no stone unturned.
After installing the Mamba 2012 driver (which, gratefully, didn’t involve an old-fashioned CD but a quick download instead), I was graced with a device with almost limitless configurability. You can assign whichever function you’d like to its seven buttons, and create macros within macros. These features are getting to be standard for most gaming mice these days, and are well appreciated.
Beyond that, the Mamba lets you store five profiles on its internal memory, which are (rather slowly) loaded onto the Mac or PC when you launch its configuration app. Not only can you tweak its resolution up to 6400dpi (using buttons on the mouse or this config app), but in the software you can adjust the color of its backlighting, and your preferences are applied to lights on both the mouse wheel and the charging dock. I especially like the color-cycling setting, and the way the dock’s slowly fading and brightening backlighting looks like it’s breathing as it charges the mouse, reminding me of another Razer gaming mouse I liked, the Naga Molten Special Edition.
As feature-packed as the Razer Mamba is, you probably want to know, how does it feel to use it? First of all, it’s a good thing I’m right-handed because this mouse wouldn’t work as well if I were a lefty. Other than its left- and right-click buttons and wheel, the thumb buttons are all on the left side, so southpaws might find that awkward.
The left and right-click buttons feel just right, and only require the lightest of touches. It took a little getting used to at first, but soon I appreciated their sensitivity, with their delicate click sound and soft touch that made it easy to navigate around with sure accuracy. I found the mouse’s asymmetrical shape the perfect fit for my medium-sized hand. Overall, it feels just perfect.
Gamers might be concerned that this is a wireless mouse, and I spent lots of time comparing the difference between the mouse’s responsiveness in wireless versus wired mode. I found the wireless and wired modes identical, with no lag whatsoever in either. Razer’s claim of a 1 millisecond response time (compared with the 8 milliseconds of typical mice) feels credible. Indeed, Razer’s boast of this being “the first true wireless gaming mouse” might find some argument from other brands, but if you want to play games with a wireless mouse, you can feel confident with this weapon in your hand.
If you’re serious about gaming, or you want the most precise pointing device in the world, the Razer Mamba is an excellent choice. Is it worth $130? Well, I would look for it on sale, but if only the highest precision is acceptable to you and you like fancy backlighting and lag-free wireless response, you’ll get your money’s worth. To answer my question I asked at the beginning of this review: It’s simply the best mouse I’ve ever tested.View As Slideshow »Fanciest packaging ever
Good shape for medium sized hands, might be awkward for lefties
Unlike other Razer mice, this logo isn’t backlit
Forward/back buttons in the center of this pic, two sensitivity buttons on the left
Right side view
Bottom view, wireless mode
Bottom view, wired mode
Plugging in the USB cable
Charging dock, back side
Assign buttons here
Store 5 profiles
Lighting and power adjustments