When I first received the Razer mouse to review, I thought ‘this is a mouse ‘ how much more advanced can a mouse get? How much more productive could I possibly be with a different kind of mouse?’ When I looked at it further, it dawned on me that I could be much more productive.
Let’s first look at the cool factors of the Razer. Nice, sleek design. Long buttons which run the length of the fingers (at least mine). And an ultramarine blue internal light to illuminate the middle wheel and the shark-like gills running down the sides and the buttons on either side’yes, buttons on either side. Just looking down at it sitting on its customized, hard metal mouse pad, glowing its soft blue glow, makes you feel like you’re in the 22nd century. But a blue glow doesn’t make you more productive, and it certainly doesn’t make you more popular with the opposite sex.
To enhance productivity, the Razer has not five buttons, but seven. The buttons cradled under your thumb and pinky are on rockers, creating two unique functions for each. Every button is entirely customizable by the user. The typical functions such as right-click, double-click, etc. are all there. In addition, the Razer provides you with built-in functions. For instance, you can set one of the rockers to adjust the sensitivity of the mouse optical resolution on the fly. This would give you ability to whip around the desktop at high speeds, but then gear down to a higher resolution for more sensitivity when your task requires more precision. You may also assign individual keystrokes to the buttons. And’ you can assign macros to a button. A sequence of up to eight keystrokes makes up a macro.
The resolution of the mouse goes up to 1600 dpi, and if marketing is to be believed, this is the most sensitive mouse device out there. Further investigation reveals that laser mice are going up to 2000 dpi, but the Razer sits among the top of the opticals.
I like the feel of the mouse and the functionality. I would really like the custom buttons to expand their reach into each piece of software that you are running: Since hotkeys vary from program to program, it would be really nice to have a button map that is unique to the program. The 3dConnexion SpacePilot has this functionality, so I know the technology exists.The mouse pad is rugged and nearly indestructible with little sticky feet to prevent slippage. However, when I initially set the pad down while unpacking the product, the pad stuck so aggressively to the table I had to pry it off with a screwdriver. I’m not sure if that’s by design, but someone may need to ease up on the adhesive.
Had I been looking for a new mouse, I probably would not have chosen the Razer. This is not because I don’t like it’the opposite is true’I actually love it. However, this is not a product that you are going to find at Best Buy or Wal-Mart. In fact, the number of stores that do carry it is quite limited, by the company’s own admission. So, I probably would not have run across it when Logitech bombards you with flashy ads and shiny mice. The price may be a little steep for most consumers ($60 mouse, $30 pad), but for professionals who don’t blink at spending $400 on a Wacom tablet, I hardly think that will be an issue.
Price: $59.99 (RazerPro Mouse V1.6);
$29.99 (for Pro Pad)
Todd Sheridan Perry reviews the latest animation and vfx-related software releases and gizmos for Animation Magazine. He is the co-owner and vfx supervisor for Max Ink Caf’ and Max Ink Productions. If you have review suggestions for him, you can email him at email@example.com.