Razer fans may recognize that the Mamba is similar in style to their popular DeathAdder wired mouse. The unit is solid black with a smooth rubber surface on top and is accented by shiny hard plastic around the edges. The bottom corners of each side feature a rubber surface for improved grip, something that the Imperator could have benefited from.
Buttons include the standard left and right click, a clickable scroll wheel, two thumb buttons on the left side and two additional buttons just beside the left mouse click button. These two small buttons are used to adjust the mouse’s DPI on-the-fly. The placement of these buttons is different from the common location behind the scroll wheel we are used to. Moving the buttons here makes a lot of sense as it keeps them out of the way but still within reach when needed.
The scroll wheel has the same look and feel as the one found on the Imperator. The thumb buttons are centrally located, have a grippy surface, and are well defined. These buttons are a bit larger in width than most but they are still placed high enough for your thumb to rest under them comfortably. In front of them is a small battery / sensitivity settings indicator. The included master guide does a good job of detailing each pattern for the sensitivity settings.
On the bottom of the Mamba are three Teflon feet, a battery compartment, charging contact points, wireless pairing button, cable unlock button, on / off switch and of course the 3.5G laser sensor. This is the same sensor used in the Imperator and features the same high-end tracking specifications.
Similar to the Sidewinder X8, the Mamba can be used as a wired solution simply by plugging the included USB cable to the front of the mouse. The cable will charge the mouse in this configuration but you can continue to use it just as you would any other wired mouse. To go wireless, unplug the cable and plug it into the transmitter / charging dock.
Razer claims the battery in the Mamba is good for 14 hours of continuous gaming or 72 hours of normal gaming use. Recharge time is listed at 3 hours for a fully depleted battery. Specs for battery life aren't terribly impressive, but if you can remember to put the mouse on the charger every night you should be fine.
I updated the firmware on the Mamba to the latest version from Razer's website. The manufacturer suggests having a second mouse available to help with the process, as the Mamba will be unresponsive during parts of the update. Interestingly enough, the wireless transmitter also needed a firmware update.
The Razer software is identical to the one that the Imperator uses. The only changes are the addition of battery and wireless indicators in the top right of the program. You can create and save up to five different profiles directly to the onboard memory called Razer Synapse and select them from the software or have them auto switch when you start a specific application. The Mamba allows for macros of up to 500 keystrokes (dependent on length of delay), a great deal more than the lowly eight character limitation of the Imperator. Also like the Imperator, you can turn the blue LED lights on the mouse on or off. The charging dock features a blue lighting scheme that can be disabled as well.
In terms of size, the Mamba is a little longer than the Imperator and also has a more extreme palm rest arch. While this configuration is comfortable and easy enough to use, I preferred the less extreme arch of the Imperator over the Mamba. General usage in gaming and in Windows was virtually the same since the internals are identical. The side thumb buttons are positioned in a great place and even the DPI buttons are well thought out.
I couldn't tell a difference between wired and wireless performance and suspect there really isn't any. The 5,600 DPI is insanely sensitive and I don't know that I could ever get used to that fast of a mouse, but I am sure there are some of you out there that could. Tracking was silky smooth on multiple surfaces thanks to the 3.5G laser sensor.
The Razer Mamba is the most expensive mouse in our round-up at $130 on Newegg. It's up to you whether you want to pay that much for a mouse, but if you demand a wireless gaming solution with insanely high DPI, there isn't anything else on the market that compares.
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