Razer is one of the most well known gaming accessory manufacturers in the world so a high end mouse round up wouldn't be complete without including a couple of their latest products. The company names all its products after predators in the wild. Their audio products are named after aquatic predators, their keyboards are named after spiders, mouse pads are named after various bugs and insects and their mice are all named after snakes.
The first of their two products we have today is the Imperator wired gaming mouse, named after a non-venomous boa constrictor found in Central America. The mouse itself features a right-handed ergonomic design that follows Razer's classic trademark look. The entire unit is black with a smooth rubber surface on top and hard glossy plastic on the sides. The Imperator attaches to your computer via a black braided cable complete with a gold plated USB connector.
Mouse buttons include the right and left click buttons, clickable scroll wheel, two DPI adjustment buttons below the scroll wheel and two thumb buttons on the left side of the unit. On the bottom we find three large Teflon mouse feet, a profile selector button, a slider labeled "front" and "back" and the 3.5G laser sensor.
The scroll wheel has a grippy rubber surface with a nice tactical feel and the click button is easy to depress. The edges of the scroll wheel as well as the Razer logo on the palm rest light up blue. It may be hard to tell in the photos, but the mouse click buttons are contoured slightly for a more natural fit for each finger.
One really cool feature of the Imperator is the adjustable thumb buttons. Using the slider switch on the bottom of the mouse, you can move the two buttons closer to the front or the back of the mouse, putting them in a better position depending on the length of your thumb. The slider has four positions so finding one that fits you shouldn't be an issue.
The Imperator is a plug-and-play mouse but you will want to install the Razer software to access all its features. Much like the mouse itself, the software has a very familiar Razer feel and layout. You can remap each of the seven buttons as well as the scroll wheel up and down. DPI adjustments can be dialed in from 100 all the way up to 5,600 and adjust the polling rate and acceleration. You can also enable an on-screen display that pops up when you change the DPI setting.
Under the Manage Profiles tab, you can create and save up to five different profiles directly to the onboard memory called Razer Synapse. You can manually select a profile using the button on the bottom of the mouse or have a particular profile auto-load when you fire up a particular game or application. All settings and profiles (except on-the-fly sensitivity) can be transferred and used on another computer without having to install the Razer configuration software.
The Manage Macros tab lets you create and save custom macros up to eight characters in length. You can enable or disable the scroll wheel and logo lighting in the last tab as well as check for driver and firmware updates.
I have used several Razer mice in the past and this one seems to be on the smaller side in terms of overall size, which works out nicely for me. The Imperator fits naturally under my right hand and performed very well in games and general Windows use. The mouse slides around easily and silently on my mouse pad. The contoured mouse click buttons are subtle but add to the overall nice feel, and the adjustable left thumb buttons really top it off.
The only other fault I could find that some people may not like is the hard plastic pieces on either side of the mouse. As your fingers introduce oils to these areas and during intense gaming, grip could become an issue. It didn't bother me too much but it might be of concern for some, especially after lengthy periods of use.
Overall the Razer Imperator is a really nice mouse but it does lack some features like adjustable weight systems, some fine-tuning options and a more detailed light management system. Due to its smaller footprint compared to other Razer mice, this one felt much more "at home" under my hand. The Razer Imperator is available at Newegg.com for $80.