For the PC gamer few pieces of hardware are more important to the quality of game play than the mouse. Over the years the mouse as an input device has taken various forms from a physical ball to today’s high end lasers.
Razer has been putting out mice with different gamers styles and interests in mind but if you want simplicity with attitude and a whole lot of accuracy then the Imperator is a mouse you should take a fresh look at.
Off Duty Gamers got our hands on an Imperator way back at PAX Prime and lived with it, broke it in, played it like YOU would play it. We worked with it like you would WORK with it and in the end we’re not here to provide you with some BS review based on a few hours of play, we’re here to tell you how it is and if you’re going to get the downrange BANG for your buck.
The Imperator is listed as an ‘ergonomic’ mouse which in this case eludes to its right handed form factor and contoured thumb area. This area houses a very simple 2 position adjustable thumb buttons. The movement of this button housing is solid and mechanical with a satisfying CLICK to tell you its set and isn’t moving during your game play. The thought process is simple, some people hold a mouse differently (palm vs fingertip) and thumb position varies with both position and hand size. Rather than the user conforming to the mouse, the mouse layout conforms to the user.
Yeah, most of us have been on laser mice for some time but if you’re reading this while you clean your mouse ball with alcohol and a Q-Tip (yeah Im THAT old) then consider this a wake up call. Lasers don’t get dirty and they handle various surfaces with better precision. The Imperator laser offers you a 6400 DPI dual sensor system for a sensitivity that keeps up with the rapid changes and delicate adjustments that a gamer needs to put the cross hair on the target faster than your competition.
Two buttons placed along the mouses ‘spine’ behind the familiar scroll wheel handle an ‘on the fly’ sensitivity adjustment system. The UP/DOWN configuration makes for easy adjustment of the mouses fine grain motor skills. A quick push of the button UP to increase sensitivity allows you that quick ‘head on a swivel’ twitch response feel and DOWN will keep you on a target when you need to keep that strafing area tight for maximum coverage.
With a scant few buttons and adjustment points beneath the mouse it really keeps things uncluttered. The USB interface offers a quick and easy installation and my standard windows 7 setup recognized the mouse and started with default drivers right on schedule.
I did and have run into a consistent issue with the Razer Imperator driver/software where it seems to crash fairly often with little or no error information. It doesn’t seem to impact the base functionality of the mouse but the ‘PROFILE’ feature that allows me to setup the mouse doesn’t load. Initially I loaded and left the Razer driver and then ultimately uninstalled it and ran on default drivers. The buttons on top of the mouse responded as usual but I didn’t have to deal with crashes and I felt that the PROFILE feature didn’t really offer anything I couldn’t live without.
This mouse sings. Despite the driver crashes the Imperator does exactly what you’d expect in its fine granularity and twitch response. The sensitivity buttons across the top of the mouse allow for a very convenient and quick adjustment from hyper-sensitive 5600-6400dpi all the way down to 800dpi.
No matter where I was working, in apps for work or in games it was nothing at all to flip the sensitivity to a level I felt was responsive and easy based on the work I was doing. Even IN a game the Imperator offers that quick adjustment which allowed me to go from extra sensitive fine grain movement as a sniper to lower grain movement for solid, controlled suppressing fire.
The Imperator is light but solid. It floats effortlessly when paired with a quality mouse surface and the braided USB cord resists kinks and fraying while still providing good movement for a corded device. The adjustable thumb button position reacts with an audible CLICK and stays put. The feel of the thumb button adjustment position makes me think it is meant for one person to make a decision on where they feel that button should be and then leave it alone vs moving it multiple times (which I haven’t felt the need to do)
At the $80 mark you’re going to think about the purchase but the name of the game here is quality and precision. As a gamer not having a good mouse is like having a great rifle and then buying a scratched and out of focus scope for it which is going to impact your effectiveness. Don’t skimp if your input devices if you’re serious about your play.
The business crew might say that they game some and work more but I would point out that the mouse is comfortable for long term use and if you run multiple monitors then traversing that distance cleanly with less movement of your wrist will aid with repetitive task injury issues.
The Razer Imperator is a solid mouse that handles work and games equally well in a comfortable design that gives you the right amount of adjustments without the clutter. if I found a way around the software issue to offer a little more I might try the profiles but even without it, you’ll be pleased with the quality of this mouse.
Learn more or pick one up at http://store.razerzone.com/store/razerusa/en_US/pd/productID.171793100