GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (LIN) - With its Imperator gaming mouse, Razer has created a product that has customizable comfort. For the last few weeks, I've been gaming with an Imperator Razer sent me and I have to say I'm so impressed I'd consider replacing my Razer Mamba with it. Razer achieves this customizable comfort by introducing a mechanism that allows you to slide where the thumb buttons are on the mouse. As you can see in the picture illustration on Razer's website, you can position the buttons in the precise placement you desire. For me, that means somewhere in the middle, so that both buttons can be easily pressed from where my thumb naturally rests.
Razer has a history of making great mousing products. In the last few years they've put out the Lachesis , which I own; the Deathadder , which I said I'd want to use on a daily basis; the Mamba , which I said set a new gold standard for gaming mice. With the Imperator, the trend of great products continues. I've found it fits better in my hand than any of Razer's previous mice, and I believe it has a lot to do with the moveable thumb button.
If you look at the image of how to switch (click on the FAQ section of the link) the positioning of the thumb buttons, you can see it's a fairly simple process. You hold down the side button selector on the bottom of the mouse, slide it to the desired position and release. The Imperator can then fit a number of various palm sizes and grip styles, which to me makes the mouse great. It's important to note the adjustments being made are for right-handed gamers only. The Imperator has a contoured thumb grip specifically for righties, so unless they make a left-handed Imperator, (like they did with the Deathadder ) Southpaws will not be able to use it.
The Imperator makes use of the 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Laser sensor. That's the same speed as the Mamba. At 5600 dpi, the slightest movements are tracked. In my own preference, I'd rather make smaller movements than sweep my mouse across the entire mousepad. In this case, with the Imperator I can make very quick movements that are tracked perfectly.
Like other Razer mice, the Imperator also allows you to change the sensitivity on the fly with two dedicated buttons directly below the scrolling wheel. You can set five different sensitivity levels to switch between. For my own purposes, while I like quick movements in RTS games alike StarCraft II, there is a need in certain FPS games where switching quickly to a slower and more precise movement is appreciated. Say you're playing Left 4 Dead II and you come upon a weapons stash that has a high-powered sniper rifle. If you previously had a shotgun, you would have wanted quick movements to turn around as quickly as possible, but switching to the sniper rifle needs extra precision. With a couple clicks, the sensitivity is changed and you're ready to go. It also helps if you're switching between being zoomed in with the sniper rifle's scope, or zooming out to scan the area.
My favorite aspect of the sensitivity switching is that there are five different options. I keep my settings at the maximum (5600), and then increments of 1000 (4000, 3000, 2000, 1000). I've tested other mice that also offer sensitivity switching, but have only two options. It's definitely superior to have five options.
In addition to the sensitivity settings, you can also set the polling rate of the mouse. That basically means how many times it will report its position back to the computer. Traditional USB mice generally have a 125 Hz polling rate, the Imperator kicks that up to 1000 Hz, like the Mamba and other Razer mice before it. This helps accuracy in mouse movements. The more it reports, the greater degree of accuracy your cursor will have on the screen.
The Imperator has seven programmable buttons. Even though I wouldn't recommend changing them from the defaults, there are times where you may need to make a switch. I keep the side buttons for forward/back, and the middle buttons for the sensitivity switching. Then there's the obvious right/left buttons and middle button by clicking the scroll wheel.
If you do choose to change the settings on the mouse Razer includes on-board memory to save your settings. I find this to be fantastifc, because you can keep the same settings and switch between computers without hassle. I used this when dragging the mouse between work at home to test out in different scenarios. To that note, using the Imperator in an office setting seems like complete overkill. There's absolutely no gaming in the newsroom, it's more typing and scrolling. That being said, it was the quickest scrolling and fastest movements I've ever made in our news software.
The mouse itself feels firm in the hand, even with the moving of the side buttons. There's no give when gliding it around the mousepad. For testing, I used my own Razer Goliathus mat. I had no issues with tracking at all, which is to be expected.
So after all this, should you use a Razer