Razer Mamba wired / wireless gaming mouse impressions

We already told you how much we appreciated the aesthetics of Razer's latest gaming mouse (that'd be the Mamba, officially), but we spent the weekend embroiled in deathmatches and everyday blogging tasks in order to give you a bit more insight on whether this beautiful input peripheral really deserves to be acquired in exchange for $129.99. Follow us after the break if you're suddenly intrigued.

Razer engineered its Mamba to be remarkably light for a gaming mouse that includes a rechargeable battery, and we have to say, the weight was just about perfect for us. Not too heavy, not too light. In essence, the basic design of the Mamba isn't drastically different than pretty much every other regular mouse out there. We mean, it's not hard to see similarities between this and even an ancient Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0. That said, we did learn to love the Mamba's steeply sloping rear and it's somewhat elongated left / right click buttons, and all of the peripheral buttons were placed right where we wanted them. Quick note on the scroll wheel -- the placement was just fine, but the "notched" implementation bugged us. Maybe it's because we're just too used to a smooth scroll wheel with no defined notches (not to mention one that can scroll horizontally if need be), but hey, there it is.

Installation and setup was a breeze. We simply plugged the USB wireless receiver / charging station into a free USB port and off we went. We downloaded the appropriate drivers from Razer's website in order to take advantage of a few more advanced features, and after we were tweaked, we fired up a game or two to test 'er out. For users of "standard" mice, the first thing you'll notice about the Mamba is just how lightning fast it is. Razer claims that the internal sensor boasts a 5,600DPI rating, and it shows. We had to crank the speed back quite a bit in order to get acclimated, but after awhile, we really began to appreciate the extra sensitivity.

Another big question on the minds of gamers is this: "Is this thing really 'lag-free' when untethered?" In short, yes. For those unaware, Razer designed this mouse to operate wirelessly (2.4GHz band) or via a USB cable, so you get the best of both worlds right out of the box. We did a few A-B comparisons with and without the cord, and we never could tell the difference. Being wireless never affected our aim, our movements or our precision. So for those of you worried over wireless performance, fuhgettaboutit.

Another small but appreciated inclusion is the unique rubberized top coating. Our fingers always felt appropriately suctioned to the left / right click buttons, and the ease of clicking was just luscious. We actually hunted for things to double click just to have the pleasure of mashing down the buttons. All kidding aside (sort of), the click travel here is just perfect.

So, the moment of truth -- is this gorgeous, well-designed and accurate mouse worth the stiff $129.99 price tag? That's a really, really tough question to answer, but the honest truth is that we can't say "yes" without reservations. For the average computer user, this is total overkill. And you knew that before you even read this far. Sure, it'll handle basic desktop tasks in admirable fashion, but so will a bundled USB mouse that's collecting dust in your neighbor's attic. The only folks who will actually benefit from this are hardcore gamers who know how to wield 5,600DPI of resolution. If your hands are precise enough to take advantage, you'll probably be the quickest mouser in the room, and you can do it without a troubling tether. Personally, we wouldn't spend the dough to snag one of these, as tempting as it may sound, but if your budget has a bit more flexibility, we can't say it's not a great luxury buy. If you've ever toyed with prior Razer mice and came away impressed, you'll be even more so with the Mamba -- good luck keeping that credit card close to your posterior.