Razer's been noisily vying for dominance of the PC peripheral market for years now, and the 2018 refresh of its Mamba gaming mouse is a welcome iteration on an already strong peripheral. It's slick, comfortable to hold, and works extremely well regardless of whether it's wired up to a PC or untethered. While I'm normally wary of wireless mice for gaming, the Mamba performs extremely well and with no perceptible lag. Also crucial for a wireless mouse, it packs a pretty amazing battery; in the week I've been testing it, I've yet to have to charge it, and Razer advertises a 50-hour battery life on a full charge.
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Razer Mamba Wireless - Design
The design is remarkably understated for a Razer product. While it does have the (seemingly requisite for Razer products) RGB-lit logo squarely on the palm rest and RGB lighting strips along both edges of the scroll wheel, the rest of the mouse is a tasteful matte black. It's constructed of grippy plastic with textured rubber side panels, and while functionally they're welcome, they look slightly out of place on the otherwise smooth surface. This is an extremely minor quibble - overall I like the understated design of the Mamba, and if you're fond of RGB lighting, the massive suite of options available in Razer's Synapse software allow for a ridiculous amount of customization. Whether you want a single, static color, or a rainbow of vivid hues across a variety of patterns, Razer's lighting package has you covered.
Razer Mamba Wireless - Features
The Synapse software is also robust when it comes to configuring macros or programming keys. It's intuitive and easy to use; everything is arranged where you'd expect to find it, and it's a simple matter to customize a profile (or several), up to four of which can be stored on the mouse itself. This makes using the mouse across multiple PCs (or setting it up for multiple users) incredibly easy, and you don't need to reconfigure it every time you plug it into a new machine. When it's cabled in, the braided micro-USB cable is easy to tuck out of the way without fear of flexing and damaging it.
Because they usually require batteries (excepting Razer's Hyperflux, which we'll be reviewing shortly and uses a charging mat and a Mamba with a capacitor), another issue wireless mice have traditionally faced is weight. The Mamba manages to float right around the 100g mark (at 106g without the cable) and feels remarkably light for a wireless mouse, which also contributes to the gliding sensation when you're pushing it around a mouse pad. It fits snugly into your hand and curves to naturally accommodate your thumb, so you never feel like you're awkwardly contorting your hand to reach the two (pleasantly clicky) side buttons. I've had issues in the past with accidentally pushing the wrong thumb button in the middle of a frantic Battlefield match, but the Mamba avoids that issue with a slightly raised, clearly delineated rear thumb button.
Razer Mamba Wireless - Performance
Of course, precision is king when it comes to gaming mice, and the Mamba excels in that department. It peaks at 16,000 CPI and 450 IPS, far more than you'll ever likely need for even the most demanding FPS sniping, and lets you cycle through five individually programmable CPI thresholds. At around 4,000 CPI, the Mamba feels perfectly responsive and precise for desktop use; when ramped up to 10,000 it performs admirably in shooters. It's got a trio of slick plastic feet that let it glide effortlessly across most surfaces, and on a dedicated, rigid mouse mat, it whispers along like silk on glass.
As mentioned, it's virtually free of lag or latency in wireless mode, and feels like one of a very select handful of wireless mice you'd want to use for dedicated gaming. It also comes with a handy mount for the USB receiver, so if your PC or hub is in a tricky spot, it's easy to ensure that the receiver is always visible to the mouse.
Overall - should you buy it?
There's really not a lot to gripe about with the Mamba. It feels like the product of a lot of research and iteration, all leveraged into creating a peripheral that eliminates unnecessary gimmicks and focuses on feel and performance. Gone are the lavish charging stand and full-body lighting strips from the 2015 model, which always felt ostentatious and sort of vestigial. The 2018 Mamba is sleek, trim, and made more for use than for show, exactly how I prefer my peripherals.
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