Everybody needs a boomslang

Razer Boomslang
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PC
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When I arrived at E3 this year, I must admit I had never heard of a gaming mouse. Even if I had heard of one, my question would have been why would I need a gaming mouse? I already have a mouse. What’s the difference?

I was walking along at the conference and this guy dragged me, willingly I admit, into his booth and asked me if I had ever tried the Razer. Well I had not, so he proceeded to set me up for a demo. Well, this baby rocks.

I admit it takes a bit of getting used to. It is hyper sensitive, but once your in your groove, you will wonder how you ever lived with out a Boomslang 1000. For example, my kill count on Sierra’s Half-life went up by at least five kills a game, within a week of plugging in the Razer Boomslang to my USB port. After taking the mouse home with me for a week, I had to go out and buy one so that I could have one at play, oops I mean work, and at play.

The Razer is slightly longer and wider than my old Logitec mouse and the Razer has a slightly lower profile. What this does for you is that it supports your whole hand, and keeps your wrist from dragging on the mouse pad. A smaller version is supposed to be on the way for people with smaller hands, later this year. The extended size is supposed to help with fatigue during long gaming sessions. It’s hard to say if this is true or not, but I have to say that since I got the Razer I have never had to stop playing because my hand was tired.

My favorite feature of the Razer is the buttons and the scroll wheel. The two top buttons are effectively an inch longer than my old mouse and due to the extended width you can play with three fingers if you want, using the extra finger to control the scroll wheel. There is also a tiny button on the side that your thumb naturally sits on. Best of all, for you lefties out there, in the configuration mode you can reverse all the buttons on the Razer, even the thumb button, which is symmetrically reproduced on both sides.

All of the buttons are coated with a non-slip rubber material, and the top buttons are curved on the outside so your fingers seem to just want to stick in place. I set my scroll wheel for weapon selection and I noticed a lot more control. When I checked out the manual, it was easy to see why. While my old mouse has 18 dots per rotation (the little grooves the scroll wheel falls into), the razer has 45, allowing for superb control.

The setup and configuration of the Razer is both simple and extended. The setup consists of turning on your PC, running the setup program off of the included CD, turning off the PC, plugging in the Razer into your USB or PS2 port, and turning the PC back on. What takes a while is getting the Razer configured to the right sensitivity levels for your personal gaming style.

That last bit can take a while, as just about everything can be configured. For me this was both a blessing and a curse. For example, there are 19 sensitivity settings. You can also control the double click and scroll wheel speeds as well as the setup of all four buttons. To make things more complex, there is an option allowing you to change the sensitivity on the fly even in the middle of a game. I don’t mean to complain, it’s just a lot to setup, and I found myself overwhelmed at the beginning. But in the end you will wonder just how you ever did without this much control.

According to the specs the Razer operates at six million operations per second, while standard mice operate and 1.5 million operations per second. I did not really have a way to test this, all I can point to is my improved accuracy in Half-life and my opinion that I was able to move faster and make my shots more effectively. Karna also mentions an improved dust barrier. I have had the Razer a few months now, and I must admit that I had not even considered this feature in all that time. So I just picked up my Boomslang and turned it over and opened up the cover over the ball and looked inside. I found it to be surprisingly clean.

In conclusion, I found that as far as I can determine, the Razer Boomslang lived up to all of Kama’s claims. The only negative is the learning curve and the need to fiddle with the settings. Even now I find that I have to drop the double click sensitivity down when I am not playing games, or I tend to open multiple versions of Netscape without meaning to do so. It is with that in mind that I knock a Gem off of my rating and give the Razer Boomslang a respectable 4 GiN Gems.

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