Razer Lancehead Wireless Gaming Mouse Review

The 3 Week Diet

Wireless mice can be…iffy. Beyond just the uncertainty of using a mouse whose battery might die, there’s the problem of wireless interference. With all the wireless stuff in our lives these days, it’s not uncommon for a wireless mouse to stop working, if only for a split second. But when you’re playing a game, a split second is enough to get you killed. Razer’s new Lancehead wireless gaming mouse (See it on Amazon) promises to make those wireless worries a thing of the past.

Its chief innovation is a proprietary Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) that checks for interference “hundreds of times a second,” and instantly hops to a new, stronger frequency if necessary. Frequency-hopping wireless technology is nothing new, but Razer promises that its method is more robust, and results in no drop-offs or spikes even in a crowded wireless environment. The Lancehead is the company’s flagship ambidextrous wireless mouse, and is offered in a wired version as well dubbed Tournament Edition.

Design and Features

All the nifty wireless technology in the world is useless if a mouse’s other features are lacking. That’s not a worry here—the Lancehead has all the high-end gaming specs you’d expect from a pricey Razer mouse. It’s got a laser sensor capable of an absolutely ludicrous and frankly totally unusable 16,000 DPI, and it can track up to 50Gs of acceleration and 210 inches per second. As with most other modern gaming mice, it supports polling at 1000Hz.

Of course, it supports Razer’s Chroma lighting, giving you tons of customizable colors and patterns, and support for Chroma Apps which let applications (including games) control the lighting of your Razer devices.

Perhaps the most welcome aspect of the design is its ambidextrous nature. So many gaming mice are made for right-handed use only, and top-tier mice are seldom switch hitters. The Lancehead has a totally symmetrical design, with rubber grips and two buttons on each side. A simple toggle in the Razer Synapse software flips left/right click buttons and side button assignments. As with every gaming mouse, there are two buttons on top near the scroll wheel. As with every button on the mouse, these can be configured to adjust DPI or perform whatever function you like.

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The mouse’s shape is comfortable, though like most ambidextrous mice it doesn’t quite conform to the shape of your hand as well as a one-handed mouse. Still, the weighting is balanced, the grip is comfortable, the buttons easy to reach, and the scroll wheel has a satisfying click to it.

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The underbelly of the mouse sports a little hatch to store the tiny 2.4GHz USB wireless transmitter when you’re using the mouse in wired mode or throwing it in a bag to take with you. There’s also an on/off switch for wireless mode (so you can save battery) and a button to cycle through up to four profiles that are stored in the Lancehead’s internal memory. That’s a neat trick—the ability to store all your settings for different games on the mouse so you can use it on other machines without installing Razer’s Synapse software. Unfortunately, that particular feature requires the upcoming Synapse 3 software, which Razer hasn’t released yet.

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The front of the mouse has an odd design choice with its car-like “grills” that serve no practical purpose, and do more to make the mouse look like an electric razor than a hot rod. The front is also where you plug in the braided USB cable, but it’s not a simple USB connector but instead a chunk of plastic fitted for the gap in front of the mouse wheel.

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If I’ve got one complaint with this mouse, it’s that damn cable. The shaped end that plugs into the mouse is difficult to line up and insert correctly, and you can’t avoid it, because you’ve got to plug it in to charge the battery. Every two or three days you’ll have to grab the cable and plug it in to juice up, and it’s a pain. A dock (as other Razer cordless mice use) or removable batteries would be a much more convenient way to power up. I should also point out that Logitech just announced wireless charging technology for its upcoming G903 and G703, which is awesome, but the charging mat costs $100 so it’s not without its drawbacks.

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Software

You’ll almost certainly set the DPI setting down in the 1,000 to 4,000 range, because anything else is crazy-sensitive. But there are tons of other features in the Synapse software to appreciate. You can fine-tune sensitivity along the X and Y axes independently, change button assignments to tons of different functions, create detailed macros, and track usage with stats and a heat map.

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None of that is unique to this particular Razer mouse. These are all pretty standard features for Razer mice, and that’s a good thing. Some of the Lancehead’s more unique features, like the ability to store four profiles on the mouse itself and fine-tune control over the LED lighting, will come with the eventual release of the Synapse 3 software.

Gaming

One would expect a $140 gaming mouse to offer a great experience in all sorts of games, and the Lancehead does not disappoint. As with all modern Razer mice, it has smooth and accurate tracking that doesn’t easily skip or stutter. The buttons have a distinct clicky feel and are easy to reach and find by feel, without glancing over at it. There are no real surprises here—if you’ve ever used a Razer mouse before, you know what you’re in for with the Lancehead. It’s a smooth, accurate, reliable experience with a whole lot of configuration options that can be made to suit all sorts of play styles. This is a company that has been making gaming-focused mice for over a decade, and it shows.

I can’t tell you if the AFT technology really does provide a more robust wireless connection than other high-end wireless mice. I have a fair amount of wireless gear in my house, from controllers to headsets to my Wi-Fi router and even some smart home devices, all in my home office. I didn’t notice a single hiccup with the mouse in wireless mode, which is great. Then again, other premium wireless mice have worked fine for me as well, and there’s no telling if your setup will behave exactly like mine.

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Razer claims that the mouse lasts for about 24 hours on a single charge (with RGB lighting enabled). My own testing verified that as fairly accurate. I could go two or three days of frequent, on-and-off use before the lights around the scroll wheel would warn me that the charge is low.

Purchasing Guide

The Razer Lancehead wireless gaming mouse has an MSRP of $139.99, and, at least for now, the price never drops or changes:

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The Verdict

The Razer Lancehead is a very good, yet expensive, wireless gaming mouse with only one serious flaw: recharging the mouse requires plugging in a tricky recessed connector. Beyond that one annoyance, it’s a fantastic ambidextrous gaming mouse. It’s pricey at $139.99, vaulting it to the top of the price range among gaming mice. It feels like it’s waiting on the release of the Synapse 3 software to really realize its full potential, however. Also, If you don’t care about wireless operation, you can save a ton of money with the Lancehead Tournament Edition, which costs $79.99.

SOURCE: IGN.com

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