Mouse Reviews

by Shaun Shaun No Comments

Razer Firefly RGB Mouse Pad Review

Introduction

The Razer Firefly hard mouse pad like most Razer products is a visually stimulating piece of technology. The Firefly is a medium sized pad which will fit on even the most compact desk spaces as its 355 x 255 x 4 mm. It is however only available in this one size so if you need something bigger this may not be for you. The Firefly features Razers Chroma lighting that can be fully customised in the Synapse software. The RGB lighting emits a large spectrum of colours subtly from underneath the edge of the pad. The Mouse pad is completely black to help compliment the lighting with a stylish bevelled edge. It features the Razer logo in the top right corner of the pad, which also lights up. The Firefly boasts a micro textured hard surface to give gamers a mixture of speedy movement and accurate control. The Firefly comes with a hefty price tag though at around £50/$50. It may seem like quite a lot of money for a mouse pad but if you’re looking for that little bit of extra flare to complete the setup then this mouse pad is worth a look at.

Pros

  • Visually Exciting – Simplistic and elegant design.
  • High quality – High quality build with a durable surface.
  • Easy to clean – Hard surface can be wiped down.
  • Non-slip – Rubber base stops the mouse pad from moving when playing.
  • Great Tracking – Optimised surface engineered for a balance of control and speed.

Cons

  • Price – Priced around £50/$50, which is quite a lot for a mouse pad.
  • USB Slot – You will lose a USB slot for the privilege of RGB.
  • Extra wire – Additional wire for powering the RGB.

What’s in the box section

  • What’s in the box – box shot plus what is in the box

Design

As i have been using cloth pads for quite a while i was skeptical about the Razer Firefly hard surface at first. It only comes in one size and with a much higher price tag than your standard gaming mouse pad. Once i had this in my hands though i started to change my mind. The Firefly feels excellent, it weighs a nice amount for a medium pad at 381 grams.  Its hard plastic material has a little bit of give in it but it generally feels very high quality and sturdy. The smooth textured surface is only broken by the Razer logo which of course lights up with the lighting strips. The lighting strips go almost all the way round the bottom of the mouse pad but stop close to the power station located at the top in the centre. Being RGB the mouse pad requires power so there is a slightly raised area at the top accommodating for this. The power cord is fixed in position but does feel durable and the wire is braided for extra protection against ware.

Razer have smoothed out the edges of the power station (where the wire goes into the pad) in order to stop wire drag while playing, which i think is a smart design feature. The edges of the Firefly contain the RGB lighting on the bottom of a bevelled plastic rim. This Smooth edge highlights the Chroma lighting and textured surface nicely whilst also eliminating any wire drag from your mouse.

Performance

The Razer Firefly features a hard, micro-textured surface. This ensures gamers can enjoy great speeds balanced with precise control. The micro-textured surface helps any mouse sensor track movement seamlessly, giving you that extra confidence in team fights or aim duels. This pad also boasts a lab tested coating with microscopic crystalline specs, which enhances the reflective nature of the surface and gives gamers faster response times. The bottom of the pad comes with a textured rubber coating that sticks to almost any desk and is difficult to move while playing.

Size

The Firefly is a medium sized mouse pad and only comes in one size. This size makes the Firefly able to fit on most peoples desks, but if not you can always orientate it vertically if you are challenged for space. This mouse pad is very similar in size to the Corsair mm800 POLARIS and the Coolermaster MP720 but The Razer Firefly has produced a really stylish subtle RGB solution for gamers. This is a moderately low profile hard surface to use which is impressive considering the extra technology inside. The Firefly sits just 4mm high and wont feel uncomfortable under the wrist. The size of the wire cable i found to be too long and required a bit of cable management as there wasn’t much of a gap between my machine and desk. You obviously wont be able to roll this up like a cloth pad but it is slim enough for a rucksack and would be transported with ease to events.

  • Dimensions -(355 x 255 x 4 mm)
  • Wire length -(7 feet)

Features

The main and only feature of the Razer Firefly is its Chroma RGB lighting. The Chroma lighting gives you 16.8 million different colours which can be customised through the Synapse software. As i was already using the Razer Deathadder Elite mouse the software instantly recognised the mouse pad and added it too the Synapse software. The Software syncs up Razer devices and lets your different Razer peripherals glow as one. If this was to be your first Razer product that requires Synapse then don’t worry it’s very easy to install and use.

Software

Customise your RGB visual display with Razers Synapse software. Firstly you must install the software to change the various colours and effects on the mouse pad. The software does require you to sign up with your email account but this means you can take your settings anywhere with an internet connection and have them instantly running once signed in. Razer Synapse is user friendly so its relatively easy to make instant changes to the colours/effects of the pad.

The software gives you 5 preset lighting options to chose from, of which you can slightly alter the brightness of the colours and frequency of the colour changes.

  • Wave – The wave preset is a flow of colours emitting round the edge. You can set the direction of the wave preset to be clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • Spectrum Cycling – The lights seamlessly blend from one colour into the next.
  • Breathing – The entire pads light simultaneously pulse giving you the breathing effect. You can customise this feature to alternate between two different colours.
  • Static – The pad remains lit but with just one colour of choice.
  • Reactive – The reactive feature is great but requires at least one other Razer Chroma device(mouse or keyboard). This feature syncs up the devices and when you click they light up with a pulse. You can change the length of time the light stays on and what colour it flashes.

A small side feature to Razers software is the ability to sync up devices. With a click of a button in Synapse you can now apply your changes to other Chroma enabled devices giving you uniformed RGB.

Mousepad Testing Section

  • Aim Test  – test the mouse pad with the same mouse on CS GO aim training map, take average of scores.

Mousepad Comparison Section

  • Compare the mousepad to similar competitors or to its own brands previous model

Our Verdict

The Razer Firefly is one stylish mouse pad. It sits well on my desk and completed my RGB setup (mouse, keyboard, and pad). I cant say there are many gaming surfaces that look better and if you are a hard pad user that is considering this you wont be disappointed. Its visually amazing yes but it performs really well too. Its high grade surface tracked my mouse movements with ease and my mouse faced little resistance.  I loved how easy it was to sync with my Deathadder and i have to admit it gave me some joy to watch them both pulse together as one. It is expensive but you are going to be getting a quality product built to last (and light up!).

Resources

by Will Will No Comments

Razer Deathadder Chroma Review

We first saw Razer introduce the Razer Deathadder in 2007 and since then have had constant mice updates throughout the years but have never seen RGB lighting until now. With the production of the Razer Deathadder Chroma, Razer is offering gamers a simple mouse that is very diverse in customizability, as well as a clean aesthetic. Along with the mouse, the Synapse software allows users to navigate with ease when trying to customize their mouse’s functions whether it be the lighting display or the internal functions of the mouse.

  • Mouse Stats – key features of the mouse (bullet point format)
  • Hand Size Guide – measurements of the mouse vs. hand sizes

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons


What’s in the box section

If your having trouble connecting the mouse to the PC, the Deathadder Chroma comes with a set of instructions to connect the mouse to the computer as well as other basic information on the functions of the mouse. When the Razer Deathadder arrives, you are presented with the mouse, along with a software guide that explains how to navigate around the software and how to use certain functions.

Mouse Design Section

Size & Weight

The Deathadder has an overall weight of 105g. Although not heavy, this weight provides for a sturdy grip and does not feel light. With regards to size, the Deathadder has a length of 12.7cm/5”, a width of 7cm/2.76” and a height of 4.4cm/1.73”. This size is perfect for people with medium to large size hands, for most small hands this would be too large and other mice such as the Roccat Kone Pure or the Logitech G Pro would be better suited. This mouse also caters towards players that want to use different grips such as claw or palm grip, either or can be done using this mouse. One drawback of the Razer Deathadder is that it’s a right-handed mouse, meaning that its Razor’s first mouse that is not ambidextrous.

Main Switches

With the arrival of the Deathadder, Razer had released their new mechanical mouse switches in collaboration with Omron. With the addition of these new main switches, users are able to reach 50 million clicks (which is 30 million more clicks that previous Omron switches), before replacing the main switch which provides sustainability and reliability for years of use. The company has also claimed that their switches have become more distinctive and therefore results in fewer misclicks when using the mouse.

Buttons

Additional buttons may be one area where other mice have an advantage over the Deathadder. Located on the left-hand side of the mouse above the thumb grip, the Deathadder limits its users to only 2 buttons which restricts the number of key bindings that can be made. With such limitations, certain games may become a bit more difficult to play as the user may want additional buttons on the side of the mouse.

Design, Shape & Texture

The overall coating of the Deathadder is a hard plastic material with 2 rubber grips on either side of the mouse, along with a textured scroll wheel allowing a sturdy grip. We’ve tested the mouse over a long period of time, yet the mouse remains to be grippy regardless of the amount we used it.  The main 2 buttons are carved into a ‘W’ shape with slight indents where the user’s fingers would be placed allowing for control and comfortability. The shape of this mouse is very slim and narrow, which is why we suggest it to people with small/medium sized hands. Furthermore, the Deathadder presents itself as a minimalistic mouse, that is very aesthetically pleasing to look at and will add character to any setup.

Cable

The cable on the Deathadder is braided together by a 7 foot long, fibre cable. Due to the cable being braided by multiple fibre cables, the cable is more resilient towards fraying and damage. The 7-foot long cable allows gamers to have their mouse a long distance away from the computer if need. On the contrary, this long cable may get in the way if the user is trying to acquire a neat aesthetic, however, this wasn’t a problem for us as zip ties can be used to organise if need be.

Mouse Features Section

Optical Sensor

Synapse by Razer provides users with plenty of options whereby they can change their optical sensor sensitivity along with other optimizations. The Deathadder is equipped with an optical sensor that allows for up to 16,000 DPI, providing gamers with the maximum customizability. The optical sensor requires a smooth and non-reflective surface to play on. This won’t be a problem for the majority of users, as a standard mouse mat would be a perfect surface to play on.

Polling Rate

Another function found within Razers software Synapse under the performance sub tab, is adjustable polling rates. Synapse provides the user with the option to change their polling rates between 125Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz, all of which we didn’t experience any performance issues or lag. Other mice marketed at the same price point such as the Corsair Dark Core, don’t offer the same customizability as the Razer Deathadder as it comes with a set polling rate of 1000Hz.

Lift off distance a.k.a LOD

Lift distance is another customizable function within the Synapse software but isn’t explained to the user. Lift off distance is the distance between the optical sensor and the mouse pad. By adjusting the lift distance, the user is changing how sensitive the optical sensor is to movement when elevated from the mouse pad. Synapse offers its users set adjustments for the LOD (Lift-Off Distance) whereby 1 has very little LOD and 10 having more LOD. For gaming, we wouldn’t suggest using a high LOD but the option is there if wanted.

Game Types

The Razer Deathadder is a mouse that supports all games but excels in particular game types. First person shooters (FPS) are a prime example of this, as not many users would need more than 2 buttons on the side of the mouse to play their chosen game successfully. On the contrary, other game types such as open world and tactical shooters may pose difficulty when using the Deathadder as some players may require more than 2 additional buttons. A better mouse for these game types may be the SteelSeries Rival 500 as it provides 13 additional buttons.

Connectivity

In order to connect the fibre cable to the users pc, there must be a free USB port where the user can plug in the cable. When plugged into a 3.0 USB port (found in most gaming computers), the mouse was showing significant improvement from when the 2.0 USB was being used. There was considerably less lag input and overall performance was improved when using the 3.0 USB port.

Razer Deathadder Chroma Software

Polling rates and other optimizable components on the mouse can be adjusted within the Synapse software if the user wishes to do so. The software features a user-friendly design and sticks to Razers typical theme of having a slick and simple design, with easy navigation around the software. Synapse gives the user full customizability of its performance located in the performances sub tab, here the user can alter the DPI, mouse acceleration as well as the polling rates. Other sub tabs consist of the lighting page. Users can change the colour of their mouse, along with different lighting patterns. Synapse provides its users with the option to cycle through these different patterns at different hues, partnered with Philip Hues, the range of colours reaches 16 million different hues. Synapse also allows its users to calibrate their mouse accordingly to the mouse mat they are using. It comes with pre-sets if the mouse mat is by Razer but also gives the option to calibrate a custom setting if the mouse mat isn’t listed. If there are multiple users of the same mouse, synapse has allowed users to set up different accounts. However, Razer decided to use cloud storage for these profiles instead of native storage which resulted in the software, at times, becoming slow due to the software constantly having to update its user’s information. This can also be an advantage for some users that travel, as their information can be accessed from different computers.

Razer Deathadder Chroma Drivers

Aside from the initial installation of Synapse, the user won’t need to reinstall any software to that computer. However, there are occasional updates that the software requires its users to download. As mentioned previously, Synapse uses the cloud to store its user’s information. It’s not allocated to one specific mouse and therefore if the user wants to customize the mouse from a different computer, the user would have to reinstall the software onto the other computer.

Our Verdict

The Razer Deathadder Chroma isn’t a mouse that took the market by storm as it’s not much different from previous mice marketed at the same price. Overall, the mouse offers gamers comfort, control, and quality, therefore a good choice for most games.

However, there are some drawbacks such as the lack of buttons on the side of the mouse, this may pose a problem for people who want to play a variety of games. Additionally, the software is slow due to the cloud storage that stores all its user’s information. This also means that users are reliant on the software and if wanting to change the customization of the mouse from a different computer, they would need to install the software onto that computer. This may become a hassle for some if traveling and switching computers occur often.

For the price amounting to £59.99, we would recommend it to most users, especially casual gamers looking to play first-person shooters and other casual games. With the Xbox One X now allowing gamers to connect their mouse and keyboard to the console, we believe this mouse appeals to new arrivals of gaming peripherals.

by Will Will No Comments

Talentech Ember Mouse Review

For our first instalment of the budget gaming mouse series, we’re taking a look at a mouse that most people, even enthusiasts, may not have ever heard of: the Talentech Ember. This is a mouse made by a Chinese company, but despite the reputation that some Chinese manufacturers have, I am REALLY impressed by this mouse. Most things about it are great, with a few exceptions, but the main selling point is the price: $27 shipped (or $21 if you’re willing to wait a few extra days for shipping).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Insanely cheap, especially for the quality.
  • Sensor is not absolute top of the line, but most top optical sensors do not feel significantly different from each other.
  • Shape is extremely comfortable and very safe, good for most people.
  • Cable and mouse feet are surprisingly good compared to the way they look.
  • Buttons are crisp and tactile.

Cons

  • Material is not super grippy, and during those sweaty gamer moments a player can lose
    grip slightly.
  • Weight is slightly high (this one is more my own personal preference but others also
    prefer low weight).
  • Can be uncomfortable for people with smaller hands.

Sensor

This mouse is using the PMW 3325 (put in link to the sensor page here). It is the lowest end of budget sensors, and some people have reported smoothing so it is not 100% accurate like the PMW3360 in higher-end mice. However, I have found no noticeable differences between this and other sensors. I have experienced no spin-outs or inaccuracies (other than me missing shots because I’m bad), so it should absolutely suit anyone for even competitive gaming. This mouse can use the accompanying software to change with the polling rate, from 125 to 1000 Hz in standard steps (125, 250, 500, 1000). This essentially changes how fast the sensor will update (in updates per second). Higher is definitely better, although for gamers trying to squeeze every last frame out of a lower-end computer (trust me, I’ve been there), 1000 Hz can cause a slight but occasionally noticeable dip in frame rate.

Shape & Weight

This mouse is a borderline clone of the Zowie EC2-A, which is widely regarded as an extremely comfortable mouse. It is 123 mm long, 43 mm tall, and 71 mm wide at its widest point, making it slightly shorter and slightly taller than the EC2-A. It is an ergonomic, right handed mouse, and personally this is an incredibly comfortable shape. The right side bulges out slightly at the rear and tapers towards the front, which mimics the curve of my ring and pinky fingers. The left side is curved inward to provide proper grip for the thumb, and has a slight ledge underneath the side buttons to ensure good grip when lifting and flicking the mouse. The weight is just at the edge of my acceptable level, at just over 100 grams, but I have noticed no fatigue even during long gaming sessions.

The entire mouse is made of slightly textured ABS plastic, providing just enough grip for me with relatively dry hands. It has two large Teflon feet, one at the and a larger one at the back. Some people prefer smaller feet, as it provides slightly less friction than larger. The counter-argument is that large feet encourage stability and smoothness with slightly more stopping power.

Buttons

The buttons are surprisingly good. They are light and tactile, but not hair-trigger like some have reported on other budget mice. The scroll wheel is rubberized but smooth, and incredibly comfortable, with an average but not spectacular middle click. The downside here is the side buttons. They are tactile enough, without much pre-travel, but they are small and the rear button is just too far out of the way for me to use it comfortably in game.

Cable

The cable on the Ember is…interesting to say the least. Normally, thin, flexible cables are preferred, as they tend to get in the way less. The 6-foot cable on the Ember is by far the thickest that I have ever used, but it is extremely flexible and I have had zero problems. It is a standard USB plug, capable of using both USB 2.0 and 3.0 (3.0 is recommended for slightly higher performance).

Software & Lights

This. This right here is the one reason I absolutely cannot give this mouse any higher than an 9/10. The lights look beautiful, but I have a few gripes. There is no way for me to turn the lights off on the wheel and logo. Kind of a bummer, but not actually a huge deal. However, both of those zones are set to breathing, with no way (that I have found) to change that. The side zones are simply gorgeous, but if you turn them off (which I have), the lights from the scroll and logo show through slightly.

The software is not bad at all, but it is EXTREMELY difficult to actually find the proper version. It is bare bones, but has the options for color combinations and macros for any button.

Performance

In-game, this mouse performs far and above what one would expect from a 25 dollar mouse, and is on par with high-end mice costing twice as much. The shape is extremely safe and comfortable, much like the Zowie EC-2 series it is based on. This mouse is amazing for FPS games, as it ticks all the usual boxes, but might lack a bit for MOBA, MMO, and RPG players who would prefer to take advantage of extra buttons at the cost of extra weight.

As mentioned above, the sensor is the quite excellent PMW3325. The Ember’s DPI steps are slightly above the listed DPI, meaning that 800 DPI is closer to 850 and 400 is around 410 DPI. There is a very slight amount of click latency (I average about 50 ms faster in HumanBenchmark using my Nixeus Revel than I do with the Ember), but I have never noticed any difference in game. Lift-off distance is a bit on the high side, at just over 2 DVDs thickness, but it is not high enough to really affect game play

In-game, performance on this mouse is remarkable, especially for its price point. As a personal anecdote (so take it with a grain of salt), I used this exact mouse to reach my career high in Overwatch, peaking just below diamond, and always felt that the shape and performance of this mouse was a factor in pushing so high.

Our Verdict

Overall, I’d give this mouse an 9/10. The software and side buttons are just enough to push it off from that 10/10, but frankly, for $25 shipped, it’s REALLY hard to beat this mouse.

by Will Will No Comments

Logitech G Pro Wireless Mouse Review

Our Thoughts

Initially I was slightly skeptical of the Logitech G Pro, whenever a gaming mouse or any product in general has such a large positive influence across the web I become very hesitant to jump on board the band wagon. So, when the mouse arrived at my door, it already knew it was going to have to shine extra bright to get into my good books, and it did. The Logitech G Pro is a sleek beauty which performs above and beyond what you would expect, but it does come with a price and a considerable one at that.

Pros

  • Lightweight – the Logitech G Pro comes in at just 80 grams
  • Comfortable & Ambidextrous – fantastic design and shape
  • Great sensor performance – the hero sensor works wonders

Cons

  • Expensive – at more than £100/$100 it won’t fit everyone’s budget
  • Medium size – some people will find the G Pro Wireless too small for their hands

What is the Logitech G Pro Wireless?

The G Pro Wireless is Logitech’s pièce de résistance, it’s ultimate gaming mouse built for competitive gamers. It combines their latest HERO (high efficiency rated optical) sensor and Lightspeed wireless technology into a sleek and simplistic design that has just a hint of flare thanks to the RGB lighting.

With it’s ambidextrous design you get the option of having buttons on both sides, either sides or no sides at all – this is especially good for those who play MMO and need additional buttons, personally I prefer no buttons, just give me a right and left click and I am happy.

Mouse Stats

  • Sensor: Hero Optical
  • Weight: 80g
  • Size: Medium
  • Game Types: All
  • Option: Bottom plate (- 3g)

Hand Size Guide

  • Palm – Under 17.5cm/6.89″
  • Claw – 17-22cm/6.7-8.66″
  • Fingertip 18-22cm/7.1-8.66″

Logitech G Pro Wireless Stats

key features of the mouse (bullet point format) + game types (FPS, MMO e.t.c)

Hand Size Guide

measurements of the mouse vs. hand sizes

What’s in the box section

 

box shot plus what is in the box, manual, wires, weights e.t.c.

Logitech G Pro Wireless: Design

Size & Weight

Weight and size are undeniably important (however preferential) when it comes to gaming performance in a professional mouse. Logitech have really gone to work to shave off as much weight as possible leading to a 1mm thin outer shell. The total weight is approximately 80 grams.

The physical specifications equate to a height of 125mm, width of 63.5mm and a depth of 40mm. The majority of serious players who use this mouse find the weight and shape to be both ergonomic for long gaming sessions, as well as ambidextrous friendly.

what is the weight, where does this sit in comparison to similar mice and size is it good for small, medium, large hands is it ambidextrous?

Buttons

does the mouse have additional buttons, if so how many, whats the position, comfortable or not, customisable, removable? Actuation of clicks, length of click, length of buttons e.t.c.

Scroll Wheel

easy to use, grippy, slow, fast

Shape, Texture & Materials

(consider perspiration, climate of gamer) – material used, how it effects perspiration, is it grippy, is the shape wide, long, narrow, chunky, deep e.t.c.

Cable

(length / thickness / material) – if wired obviously… does it drag, is it thick or thin, flexible or not e.t.c would you recommend a mouse bungee

Logitech G Pro Wireless: Features

Response Time

Aside from lag and other issues we try to avoid, the responsiveness of a mouse can really make the difference between consistently coming out on top, and losing fair exchanges all too frequently. Although for a long time wired mice were preferred due to having better response times, Logitech has made this a non-factor with their Lightspeed wireless technology. This equates to a report rate of 1000 Hz or 1ms.

To put this in perspective, it’s the most popular mouse used by professional gamer’s in Blizzard’s Overwatch League. So whether there are millions of dollars up for grabs, or you’re just looking for the best mouse for your money to unwind, response time isn’t a reason to turn this one piece of hardware down.

Optical Sensor & DPI

discussing what sensor is used, link to our sensor page if necessary, discuss the mouse DPI choices and link to DPI page if necessary

Main Switches

what switches the mouse uses, good or bad e.t.c.

Polling Rate

what polling rate the mouse has, good or bad e.t.c.

Connectivity

if wired usb vs port and wireless bluetooth vs receivers and is it easy to connect/setup

Lift Distance

discuss LOD, test e.t.c.

Logitech G Pro Wireless: Performance

how does it rate playing games, overall as a gaming mouse vs competitors at its level, does it remind you of any other mouse?

Charging Time & Battery Life

Estimated battery life – 49 hours with RGB on & 63 hours with RGB off

The Logitech G Pro uses a lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) rechargeable battery that is lightweight, and has a staggering battery life of 48 hours with the default lighting. However, gamers have the choice of turning off the RGB lighting to extend this to 60+ hours. The mouse contains onboard memory which means you can also monitor the battery life by downloading LGS (Logitech Gaming Software).

Charging is possible with the included 1.8m USB cable, and it’s even possible to use Logitech’s wireless charging mat. When plugged in, charging time may take around 30 minutes. It’s worth noting that the mouse will automatically stop charging, so you can plug it in when you’re away from your computer or between gaming sessions. You can also monitor the progress through LGS.

Logitech G Pro Wireless: Test Results

  • Paint Test
  • CPI Divergence
  • Perfect Control Speed
  • Speed Related Accuracy Variance
  • Polling Rate
  • Input Lag
  • Click Latency

Logitech G Pro Wireless Software

does the mouse have any software, if so is it useful, intuitive, or slow and haggard

Drivers

does the mouse have any drivers that need updating/installing

Our Verdict

similar to ‘our thoughts’ just what we think overall, would we recommend it + is it value for money…

Resources

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