Razer upgrades its Mamba mouse with an optical sensor for smoother tracking

We noted in 2015 that Razer's Mamba gaming mouse was "almost the Deathadder" and a "big improvement over the wireless Razer Ouroborus in form factor." The latest iteration, Razer's new Mamba Elite, actually uses the same exact optical sensor found in Razer's Deathadder Elite, which we consider the best gaming mouse on the market right now.

The Mamba Elite still features a 16,000 dpi sensor as found in previous versions, but for this iteration Razer swapped out the laser sensor for an optical one. What's the difference?

There is a pretty good rundown of laser versus optical mice at Digital Trends, and as the article explains, all mice are technically optical because they all rely on optical data (photos). However, mice labeled as optical project an infrared or red LED onto the surface. Optical sensors typically do not penetrate the surface area as deeply as laser mice, and are not as sensitive to microscopic nooks, crannies, and other irregularities that can lead to jerky movements.

Both laser and optical mice have their pros and cons. If you prefer an optical sensor, however, Razer's Mamba Elite provides one. The mouse is the successor to the Mamba Tournament Edition and features Omron mechanical mouse switches that are rated for up to 50 million clicks.

Compared to the Tournament Edition, Razer says the Mamba Elite also sports extended "Chroma" (RGB) lighting zones. Otherwise, both have nine programmable buttons and appear to be shaped the same, with a right-handed ergonomic design and textured rubber side grips.

Interestingly, the Mamba Elite showed up in Best Buy stores a month ago, and there is video review of the mouse on YouTube by someone who picked one up. It officially launches today, though, and is available now for $89.99 (€99.99).