Razer Naga MMO Gaming Mouse (2012) Review

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Pros: Switchable side panels for different hands and grips; Big comfortable buttons deliver firm feedback; Creates unlimited profiles in the cloud; Speedy, precision navigation

Cons: Bottom thumb panel row hard to reach

Verdict: The Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse offers 17 programmable buttons, fast navigation and hours of comfortable use.

Is it possible to improve upon sheer awesomeness? Razer's popular Naga MMO gaming mouse has undergone a makeover, complete with a more ergonomic design and interchangeable side panels. The $79.99 mouse also takes advantage of Razer's Synapse 2.0 software, opening up a high level of customization. Read on to find out why the Naga is the ultimate gaming pointing device.

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Design

The Naga has a few curves that would make Kim Kardashian jealous. At 4.6 x 1.8 x 2.8 inches and 4.7 ounces, the Naga is a lot thicker and weightier than the 4.6 x 2.9 x 1.6-inch, 3.98 ounce Logitech G600 MMO gaming mouse. Still, that extra cushioning makes for a more comfortable feel. The mouse's shiny right side panel boldly protrudes from the body. The shiny black plastic with its gently cascading wave pattern created a comfortable shelf upon which to rest tourring and pinky fingers. Surprisingly, the shiny plastic was rmostly fingerprint resistant.

The attached panel on the Razer Naga might be too large for some users. For gamers that prefer their mice with a smaller profile, Razer has included two additional panels that can be swapped out on a whim. The left side of the mouse curves gently inward. Twelve matte black buttons reside in a glossy plastic thumbnail just below our thumb.

The middle panel is made of matte black plastic interior. The panel proceeds on an upward slope, molding our hand into a comfortable position. A backlit scroll wheel and a small pair of mouse buttons rest between your fingers.

The bottom of the mouse has more shiny plastic with four slightly raised shiny feet.

Buttons

Clicking (or manically mashing) the Naga's 17 buttons was joyous even during the most grueling battles. The left and right mouse buttons delivered firm feedback and a nice crisp click to boot. The Naga's pair of top buttons was nice and springy. In fact, we preferred them over the Logitech G600 MMO mouse and the Corsair Vengeance M90.

The 12 green backlit buttons on the left side panel were nice, big and easy to read. More important, they stood up against the steady assault of a four-hour session of "Borderlands 2." After the pounding, the Naga's buttons were still tight and bouncy, ready for another go. Gamers that like to change their mouse's color scheme should check out the Razer Naga Epic that gives users a whopping 16 million color options.

We were able to reach most of the Naga's thumb panel buttons, thanks to the Naga's curvature, but the bottom row was slightly out of reach. However, this is still better than the G600's flat panel, which left us reaching for the bottom two rows.

Customization

The Naga's right panel can be swapped out for two additional panels that can be switched on a whim. Both panels offer smaller profiles for people with smaller hands.

We removed the Razer Naga's panel by holding the mouse firmly in our left hand and giving the panel a quick tug. The panel snap securely into place, thanks to four strategically placed sets of screws and magnets. After trying various options, we preferred the original panel, as it delivered the most comfortable fit and offered the best finger support. We found our index and pinkie fingers dragged along the mousepad using the smaller panels.

Synapse 2.0

Similar to the Razer Blade, the Naga uses Synapse 2.0, cloud-based software for storing settings and profiles. In addition to mapping macros to the mouse's 17 buttons, we could also adjust its sensitivity and tweak the lighting. As far as the lighting, we wish Razer would let users choose their own color palette similar to the Logitech G600 MMO gaming mouse. As it stands, the most you can do is toggle the green lights on and off.

However, we love that our custom profiles can be accessed from anywhere thanks to the cloud. The near-instant access to our profiles eliminated the hassle of having to reconfigure our mouse every time we switched computers.

Razer has also added keymapping, which maintains lighting and DPI settings while enabling people to change the key settings. There are eight available keymaps to one profile, which creates a crazy amount of buttons. In other words, gamers can have up to 96 buttons on one profile if they use the eight keymaps on the thumb panel buttons alone. Users can also create profiles and send to friends who can in turn use them on their systems. Razer has recently lifted its three-profile maximum, choosing to let users create unlimited profiles.

Assigning buttons and recording macros was an intuitive experience. Once we created a new profile, we went to the Macros tab. From there we began recording macros, naming and entering the multiple keystroke command into the system. Next, we went to the Mouse tab and mapped our newly created macros to the 12 buttons on the mouse panel. After selecting a specific button on the mouse, we chose our action from the accompanying drop down button. From there, we pressed the Save button and moved on to the next button.

We could also adjust the DPI sensitivity and mouse speed and lighting from the Mouse tab. In terms of lighting, we could enable or disable backlighting on the scroll wheel and logo.

Overall, we felt that Razer's Synapse 2.0 software offers both a cleaner design and a more user-friendly interface than Logitech's software. However, Corsair's software offers the most condensed presentation that beginners and intermediate users can quickly grasp.

Gameplay

Whether it was angry Brazilian gang members, bloodthirsty Nomads or fearsome demons, the Naga came, saw and conquered. The mouse glided across our mousepad with ease. Depending on how we adjusted the DPI, we could get rapid-fire speed or a slower, more deliberate pace for precision moves.

We effortlessly fired off shots, checked our inventory and launched our special attacks in "Borderlands 2." As we made our way through "Guild Wars 2," we dispatched drakes and centaurs with a mix of melee attacks and spells. Every button was well within our reach, making it easy to cycle through weapons when dealing with higher level enemies.

Using the Naga was a very comfortable experience. In fact, we leveled up four times, cleared three major missions and a few side missions over the span of four hours in complete comfort.

Verdict

The updated Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse delivers beautiful design and precision without sacrificing comfort. The 17 thoughtfully placed buttons are ready to unleash hell on digital enemies at the flex of a finger. The Synapse 2.0 software is a perfect complement to the hardware, expanding the Naga's capabilities and usability beyond a single game or notebook. Best of all, gamers can use the mouse for hours without cramping. PC Gamers searching for a comfortable gaming mouse with an insane amount of buttons -- for a reasonable price -- have found the princess in the castle.

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Author Bio
Sherri L. Smith
Sherri L. Smith,
Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.
Sherri L. Smith, on
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Accessories Type Mice
Battery Type/Life
Size 4.57 x 1.81 x 2.76 inches
Weight 4.72 ounces
Company Website www.razerzone.com