Razer’s flashiest snake to date, sans cord
Snakes on a Plane: Great wireless performance; excellent sensor; attractive design; tunable button pressure; fantastic build quality; very comfortable.
Snakes on your plane: High lift-off distance; battery life is meh; battery is non-replaceable, slow to charge; butt-heavy; pricey.
Whoa, hold on. If you’re ready to dismiss this review simply because it’s about a wireless gaming mouse, please set aside the bias and dig a few lines deeper. We use wireless technology daily. But for some odd reason, wireless peripherals get a bad rap for being unreliable. Granted, there are lots of bad products out there that feed this idea, but a segregation of quality exists in almost every market. Razer is looking to prove that wireless mice can be equally, if not more adequate, than their wired counterparts with its Mamba wireless gaming mouse.
The Mamba resembles the tried-and-true Razer DeathAdder in shape, but comes with a few of its own twists. The addition of the front grill and Razer’s Chroma lighting elevates its prestigious aura. The construction is excellent, as it should be with a premium product. We especially like the grippy texturized matte finish.
Since the Mamba is shaped like the DeathAdder, its comfort is a no-brainer. The top of the mouse is sloped heavily toward the right side to naturally cradle your hand. The left flank is slightly tapered in the middle to better hug the thumb. Lastly, the tall arc of its spine leaves plenty of room on the sides for a pair of spacious rubber grips and two large side buttons. Unfortunately, the Mamba is designed for right-handed users only. Sorry, lefties.
The Razer Mamba is 5 inches long and 2.76 inches wide, making it a fairly large mouse. Its tall spine naturally guides the hand to sit in a palm grip style. Although you can still get away with using the claw grip, fingertip grip users may find its large body difficult to navigate.
Though its 125g weight doesn’t look too hefty on paper, the Mamba definitely feels heavy. That’s due to the additional weight of the internal battery installed in the rear section. The uneven weight distribution makes lifting the mouse take extra effort.
The Razer Synapse driver software is quite possibly the most complete driver software on the market. Its simplistic interface may appear bare-bones at a glance, but it has every setting you need to tune your Mamba to your liking. In addition to the usual DPI and polling rate settings, you can also program your own macro functions, change when the mouse goes to sleep, and when the low battery warning light flashes. It’s even equipped with a “Tournament Drivers” function that creates an instance of its installation containing all your current profiles, macros, and settings that can be migrated to another PC.
A gamble we make when purchasing a gaming mouse is the feel of the buttons. No matter how great the switch underneath them may be, you’re screwed if you dislike the way it feels. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you after you purchase the Mamba, Razer has made the actuation pressure of its left and right mouse button adjustable by the user. It takes a little trial and error to find the perfect setting, but it goes a long way in ensuring that you’ll always perform at your peak.
Sandwiched between the adjustable left and right buttons is the incredibly silent and responsive scroll wheel. The dimpled rubber and the distinct notches felt great to the touch. This is a feature we’re particularly keen on as most of us have to scroll through pages of content every day (for research, of course!). Gamers who prefer to cycle through weapons using the scroll wheel will undoubtedly fall in love with it as well.
At the heart of the Mamba is Razer’s 16,000dpi 5G laser sensor. While Razer remains quiet regarding its manufacturer, its performance is top-notch. Contrary to a lot of laser sensors that produce jitter at higher DPI settings, Razer’s 5G sensor remained as steady as a rock even at its max setting of 16,000dpi. Its lift-off distance can be adjusted after a calibration run in the Razer Synapse software. Razer claims that the sensor is sensitive enough to detect lift distance with a margin of error of just 0.1mm. In our experience, however, the Mamba’s minimum lift-off distance is at least a few millimeters; quite high in comparison to other premium-grade mice.
An unfortunate stigma associated with wireless peripherals is poor latency and susceptibility to radio interference. The Mamba’s wireless performance exhibits neither attribute. It remained responsive and consistent through our numerous gaming runs.
The charging dock doubles as the transceiver. A ring of LED lights surrounds its base. You can adjust the color pattern of its LED to match that of the mouse or have its own pattern. The dock charges the battery at a snail’s pace, gaining around 0.6 percent charge per minute.
That’s not good news considering you’ll need to charge the Mamba often. The battery is non-removable, meaning that you can’t switch to a secondary set if it runs dry. Luckily, the scroll wheel blinks when the power level is below a certain threshold (default 5 percent) to warn you that its death is imminent.
The Razer Mamba lasted about 19 hours of continuous use before it needed to be plugged into the wire. You can squeeze a bit more juice out of it by disabling the Chroma lighting and knocking back the polling rate, but we hate the idea of compromising, so we’re going to have to dock a few points here.
If you’ve been continuously throwing your money at your screen and are wondering why the Mamba still isn’t appearing on your desk—don’t worry, nothing is broken, you simply haven’t tossed enough cash. When examining its cost, the Razer Mamba quickly turns into a Boa, as it carries a wallet-choking list price of $150. Although it stands as one of the most expensive options on the market, you get your money’s worth in quality and performance. Whether you’d want to sink your teeth into your savings is up to you, because the Razer Mamba is ready to bite whenever you are.