While people tend to have personal preferences or brand loyalties when mice and keyboards, I've always steered towards the Razer peripherals. They have always been of a great build quality and there are sure to be a suited match based on your wants and needs when it comes to their products.
I've been a part of the Razer camp for quite some time. Even now, looking to the side of my desk, I can see my older DeathAdder, Ouroboros, and Naga mice waiting to be used again; based on my gaming needs at any given time.
Today though I got to add a new member to my growing family of Razer mice: the new Chroma edition of the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition. Much like other Razer products, the packaging is very clean and compact and gives you the basic info you need to know to make your purchasing decision. Open the front flap and you get to see the mouse along with a quick blurb about the mouse, showcasing its vast color schemes available in this updated Chroma edition.
The back of the box gives you all the specs of the mouse, showcasing many of the features like its 16,000 DPI laser, customizable Chroma lighting, and more. Just like every other Razer item, inside the box you get the documentation and a pair of Razer logo stickers along with the hardware.
As an ergonomic right handed mouse, the top of the mouse itself is textured yet smooth along with the two DPI up and down buttons (by default) and the two sides are rubberized to give you a great grip without slipping when moving in any direction quickly. The wheel itself has many bumps on it and it rubberized as well making scrolling quick and easy also (and as another mouse button). Then, of course, there is the thumb side of the mouse which also has two buttons which can be customized to whatever you prefer (back and forward for browsers by default).
The bottom of the Mamba has three low friction feet, two of which are at the front and a larger one at the back, with a 16,000 DPI laser resting right in the middle. The cable is braided, looks and feels premium. The cord is also a lengthy 7ft long, more than long enough for the oddest setups.
Some cheap mice tend to creak or squeak slightly when squeezed or put weight upon, but the Mamba doesn't have this issue. I tested squeezing the Mamba, literally as hard as I could, and it never gave way, even slightly. The body didn't bend and it made no noise either. Even putting my full weight onto the top of the mouse straight down, it didn't seem to budge. The build quality is quite impressive and will hold up to a ton of punishment.
When you first take the Mamba out of the packaging, the white lighting strips down the sides, wheel, and logo can be a little deceiving. I didn't believe that the lighting would be all that impressive given how small the lighted areas seemed to appear at first glance.
Man, was I wrong.
The Chroma lighting is really impressive for numerous reasons, which I'll delve into shortly.
If you've already owned a previous iteration of the Mamba, obviously the Chroma lighting is the biggest addition but the mouse itself has had a few ergonomic changes such as the textured rubber sides and slightly larger buttons. I believe the weight has also slightly altered as well, as this version weighs 133 grams due to the braided cable. While some might scoff at the weight, it still feels incredibly light and is still perfectly balanced in the middle. While I know some prefer the customizable weights that many mice offer for more precision, it simply isn't necessary with the Mamba since it's already balanced and feels great.
Razer now uses their in-house software, Synapse, as your gateway to customize all of your Razer devices. With cloud saves, you'll never need to reconfigure your mouse if you move it to another machine and the Synapse software has improved greatly since it was first introduced.
With Synapse, you can create custom profiles, allowing you to bind keys (and colors) for specific programs, games, or users should you desire. Here you can change the DPI all the way from 100 to an absurd 16,000. I personally use around the 3000 DPI mark, so all that extra is not needed for myself, but for pro gamers or someone needing the slightest movement to be accurate you'll be quite pleased.
You can even customize the default DPI for the buttons on the top of the mouse for those moments you need to switch on the fly. There's a slew of other options in the software, such as configuring what kind of surface your mouse is on, macros, statistics, heat maps, and more. It's worth going through every option and tab to setup your Mamba the exact way you want.
Lastly, since it is a Chroma enabled device, there's a lighting configuration as well. Here is where you'll be able to completely customize your Mamba TE to use any of the 16.8 million colors and even multiple lighting effects that gives the mouse a lot more personality than a simple glow that's been done a million times before. We'll dive even more into Chroma lighting shortly, let's quickly go over the technical specs:
16,000 DPI 5G laser sensor
Up to 210 inches per second / 50 G acceleration
1,000 Hz Ultrapolling / 1 ms response time
On-The-Fly Sensitivity Adjustment
Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips
Chroma lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
Inter-device color synchronization
Nine independently programmable buttons with tilt-click scroll wheel
Razer Synapse enabled
2.1 m / 7 ft braided fiber USB cable
Approximate size: 128 mm / 5 in (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76 in (Width) x 42.5 mm / 1.67 in (Height)
Approximate weight: 133 g / 0.29 lbs (with cable)
Getting a new mouse can sometimes take some getting used to. They are shaped differently, button placement is altered, and it's a different weight and feel. I became acclimated to the Mamba quite quickly due to its ergonomics and comfortable resting points.
I have a 'claw' grip when it comes to using a mouse as opposed to a 'palm' style grip, so the textured rubber sides made it very comfortable and natural to grip without any slipping. It does feel as though the Mamba was designed with a 'claw' grip in mind, though that doesn't mean it won't feel as natural if you use mice 'palm' style instead. I actually use the Razer Vespula mouse pad with wrist rest, so that also encourages my 'claw' grip with any mouse.
The wheel can easily scrolled and has the small 'divots' to give you feedback, so you're aware when you've scrolled, clicked, or tilted. I'm not a fan of the smooth mice wheels, so the fact that the Mamba is the opposite was a very welcome addition. The wheel feels very sturdy, as it was able to take my full weight pressing on it without issue.
The side thumb buttons are shaped and placed in a way that I barely need to move my thumb off the rubber grip to press the buttons. They are easily pressed but not loose enough to accidentally click them by mistake as well. It is a great balance.
The two DPI buttons at the top of the main body are placed right at the peak of the curve, so if you need to change your DPI on the fly, your index finger can quickly do so without having to drastically alter your grip on the front of the mouse.
While the boast of including 16,000 DPI is impressive, for the vast majority of people it's going to be absolutely overkill by an absurd margin. What this means is that regardless of setup (think multiple 4K monitors), you can have the exact control and accuracy you want from your mouse. You're even able to alter the DPI in increments of 1 at a time.
Again, this level of accuracy is unnecessary for the average user, but the option is there for those that do need something incredibly specific. The Mamba also boasts its 0.1mm lift off instead of the 1mm standard. This means that if you're a mouse lifter like myself, instead of a slider, you're still going to get precise and accurate tracking even when the mouse is technically being lifted off the surface.
Testing the Mamba TE over the course of a few days, across many games, I was impressed with its outcome. Regardless of genre, it performed equally across all types of games, from point and clicks to twitch shooters. I also tested it on multiple surfaces, from my dedicated Razer Vespula pad, to wood, paper, and even my glass desk. It performed well on virtually any surface I tried it on, even my pant leg. While it did technically work on my tinted glass desk, the tracking was spotty at best, but that's to be expected, as glass isn't a great surface for mice, especially for one that's not rated for that specific application.
So let's delve into arguably the coolest feature of the Mamba TE: the Chroma lighting. Now I have to admit, I thought being able to change the colors of the mouse was going to be a gimmick that I didn't really care about. Sure it's nice to have a mouse that matches the bright and glowing colors of your PC case, but I wasn't expecting the customization options that were offered.
Chroma is simply more than finding that perfect blue, red, or green to match your computer case, it allows for a lot of personalization and uniqueness to match your personality or setup. With 16.8 million colors, you're guaranteed to not only find the exact color match of your computer case but, once you play with all of the options in the Synapse software, you'll also be quite impressed with what you can do with the lighting itself aside from simply picking colors.
The wheel, logo, and the strips on the sides can all be lit in almost any way or combination you could imagine. Each side strip is separated into 7 smaller zones, allowing for even more customization and awesome personalization.
Each lighting area is completely customizable, so you could have a different color for each of the smaller sections and then change how they alter and 'move' if you wish. If you want the logo to be one color, the wheel to be another, and the sides to be another (or a combination of different ones), you can easily do this in the Synapse software.
There's a variety of lighting options to choose from:
'Wave' scrolls your chosen colors in either direction.
'Reactive' lights up the LEDs when the mouse is used.
'Breathing' allows you to choose two colors and have it fade in and out between them.
'Static' is where you simply pick one of the 16.8 million colors if you don't want anything too fancy.
Lastly there's 'Spectrum Lighting', that will cycle through all the colors.
Each of these modes then has a bunch of options to choose from, such as duration, color schemes, and more.
While there's surely an option and combination you'll surely enjoy, there were a few limitations when trying to fully customize the lighting. For example, with 'Reactive' you can't designate just the wheel to light a specific color when used or the corresponding side of the mouse with normal mouse clicks.
You're also not able to combine the modes, so you can't have the logo 'Breathe' a specific color or two while the rest of the mouse lights up to a different color scheme or style. It's not a deal breaker by any means and the options you are given are plentiful, it's just a small missing feature I noticed when customizing my Chroma color scheme to my liking.
When writing my pro and con list, I was really struggling to fill the con column and had to search for complaints. The only issue I really had was this lighting complaint, but I wouldn't even classify it as a complaint really, more of a suggestion for future updates.
The ergonomic design and build quality of the Mamba TE is absolutely fantastic. Because of my style of grip, the rubber sides are the perfect match for my hand. The overall shape is comfortable and the button textures are slightly different from the body which makes the distinction that much easier. The buttons and wheel have just the right amount of resistance to avoid mis-clicks and scrolls but also won't accidentally activate either.
I've already tried to abuse the mouse physically and it easily withstood my intentional abuse. Given that no one would normally stress it as much as I have with normal everyday use, I can confidently say that the Mamba is physically built to withstand whatever normal pressures you could possibly inflict upon it.
To reiterate, I truly thought the Chroma lighting was going to be a gimmick and not needed. Truth is, I absolutely love the color options, way more than I expected. The colors are incredibly bright and striking and the options you are given what to do with the lighting is what really makes it special, as opposed to simply picking a static color (though that's an option if you wish).
It's hard to give any meaningful negative feedback for the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition and is a welcome addition to my Razer mice family. Truth be told, I've already put away my other Razer mice, as I know I'll be sticking with this Mamba TE unless I need my other Razer mice for a specific reason (like my Naga with an MMO for example). Simply viewing the box doesn't do the mouse justice. It's incredibly comfortable and the lighting is far from a gimmick, as it allows you to express your personal style however you choose.