Review: Razer Mamba Chroma


My new favorite mouse

The last wireless mouse I used was an ancient Toshiba with a battery life of about thirty seconds. The colours on the plastic had all faded, my fingerprints had been permanently imprinted into the buttons, and I’m pretty sure it had a mind of its own. I died many times in Call of Duty: World at War because of that thing.

The experience put me off of wireless mice for a very long time, but now that I’ve had the chance to try out the Razer Mamba Chroma, I’m absolutely back on board. I’d even go as far as to say this might just be the best mouse I’ve ever used.

Product: Razer Mamba Chroma
Manufacturer: Razer
Input: One USB 2.0+ Port
MSRP: $149.99

The Razer Mamba Chroma is a right-handed mouse that is incredibly comfortable to use. If you’re a leftie, this will be entirely unsuitable. But for everyone else it’s just a dream to hold; it has the vertical profile and overall chunkiness needed to allow for a great palm grip, and the actual face of the mouse is tilted to the right to allow for a really nice holding experience. It is a bit on the heavy side, weighing a hefty 125g, but in normal use I haven’t found it any harder to throw around than other mice I’ve used.

While Razer does have a reputation for its peripherals sometimes lacking in build quality, the premium price of the Mamba Chroma definitely gets you that premium quality. The textured flanks and matte face, the braided cable, the bright lights, and the stylish charging dock-cum-receiver all just ooze quality. Oh, and it all comes in a really nice padded tin case, too. It’s the little things in life.

Under the hood things seem good too. While the mouse itself doesn’t boast any more features than something like the CM Storm Recon or the Cougar 450M, it feels a hell of a lot more pleasant to use. The buttons themselves are great and not at all squishy, with each giving a nice solid click when pressed. Time will tell as to whether this lasts, but so far I’m happy with the quality.

As you’d expect from even a mid-budget gaming mouse, the Mamba Chroma has a full configuration suite to let you change anything from the polling rate and DPI to the lighting scheme of the charging dock. It all works nicely, but it is at the end of the day your standard configurations suite that doesn’t do anything more than something like Cougar’s UIX.

The most impressive inclusion is a physical key to adjust the force required to press the Omicron Micro switches under the buttons. It’s fiddly as all hell to do, requiring you to jam the key into a whole and then twist it with very little leverage, but it’s still a great feature for people who play twitch-based shooters or other games where minimising the already tiny travelling distance to fire would be beneficial. It’s not a feature most users will have to bother with, but for those wanting to eek every little advantage they can get out of the mouse it’s a nice inclusion.

The big difference between the Mamba Chroma and its little cousin the Mamba Tournament is that the Chroma is a wireless/wired hybrid mouse. If you plug in the included charging dock the mouse will work wirelessly. However, you can also plug the cable straight into it to turn it into a wired device.

I personally don’t really see the point in using it as a wired mouse, though, because the battery life is immense. While Razer advertises 20 hours of continuous play on one charge, I’ve found that you’re looking at more around 30-35 hours of use. While there is a lengthy charging time (about 10 hours), in the 24+ hours I’ve been using it as my primary mouse, I’ve never seen it drop below 50%. Every couple of days just remember to stick it into the charging dock while you sleep or at work, and you’ll probably never have to worry about it running out of charge mid-game.

With a hilariously impractical maximum DPI of 16,000 (which can be lowered using the configuration software or the on-the-fly switch buttons) and a max polling rate of 1000 Hz, the Razer Mamba is an incredibly responsive mouse. There’s also a nice feature in the configuration software to let you control sensitivity for each axis individually, which admittedly I don’t really see the point in. It’s nice that it’s there, though!

Your mouse could have a polling rate of a bajillion hertz and be crafted from the ball sweat of Zeus himself, but if a wireless mouse has latency problems, the entire thing can fall apart and become a frustrating, unusable piece of tech. Fortunately, the Razer Mamba doesn’t seem to have any issues in the latency department and has remained just as steady and smooth as any wired mouse I’ve used.

I’m keeping the receiver only inches away the mouse itself, but even when stood on the other side of the room I didn’t notice any notable drop in accuracy or responsiveness. It is worth noting that wireless range is very dependent on the sort of environment you're in, and I have read about others not getting great range at all from the Mamba. It isn't a problem I've had, but it's worth keeping in mind.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with a mouse as I was with the Mamba. It’s on the expensive side, which is going to be a prohibitive factor for a lot of people, but in this case you absolutely get what you pay for.

It’s a high-quality piece of kit that looks great, is comfortable to use, has a ridiculously long battery life, and has enough options to make sure things work just how you’d like them to. My trusty wired mouse I’ve used for the past 18 months has now been relegated to my emergency backup, because there’s no way I’m going back after trying this thing.

[This review is based on hardware provided by the manufacturer.]

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Razer Mamba Chroma reviewed by Joe Parlock


Joe Parlock
Joe ParlockFormer Hardware Editor   gamer profile

Destructoid's former Hardware Editor. Has a, quite frankly, disturbingly large collection of Monsters Inc. merchandise that nobody ever seems to ask him about. Still, he's mostly harmless. --- ... more + disclosures



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