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Razer Imperator Review

Razer Imperator

Manufacturer: Razer
UK Price (as reviewed): £53.92 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $69.99 (ex tax)

Our first grapple with the Imperator saw it collect a recommended award for its innovative design, great feel and brilliant responsiveness. Nothing has changed, though, and The Imperator still has one of the coolest features we've seen on a mouse - adjustable thumb buttons.

Given that so many mice we've seen are ruined by poorly located thumb buttons, the adjustable nature of the Imperator is very welcome. The Imperator also executes the concept of an adjustable mouse much more convincingly than other mice such as the Cyborg R.A.T. 7.

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As everybody's hands vary in size, we'd like to see more adjustable mice make their way to market. The only potential downside we can see to the thumb buttons is their location, which is slightly above where most people's thumbs naturally rest, whereas the thumb buttons of the CM Storm Inferno are located directly underneath your thumb for super-quick access. The latter might be preferred by some people, especially if you're worried about accidentally pressing buttons, especially as the CM Storm Inferno's thumb buttons are very light and easily depressed.

Another positive point about the Imperator's ergonomics is that we found it to be comfortable to use whether you hold it in your palm or with your fingertips. With the addition of adjustable thumb buttons, the Imperator will almost certainly suit any size of hand. The Imperator doesn't include any software but, like the Mionix Naos 3200, it works out of the box and a downloadable utility allows for a wealth of adjustment. As well as the usual options to alter button assignments, you're able to adjust the dpi sensitivity of both the X and Y axis between 100 and 5,600dpi, alter the acceleration and set the USB polling rate to 125Hz, 500Hz or 1KHz.

In addition, the utility boasts up to five levels of sensitivity, again with independent X and Y axis settings, which can be selected using buttons behind the scroll wheel. We could hardly ask for more. All these adjustment options can feel rather overwhelming, but after an hour or two spent tweaking them, we found that there's a pay-off to them. A slight bias to the X axis helped to maintain balance in fast-paced shooters, although raising one edge even slightly off our desk resulted in the Imperator not tracking properly.

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If you use your mouse lightly and keep it flat on the desk, this won't be a problem, but if you're prone to bouncing it around using aggressive motions during heated firefights then you might want to look elsewhere. In games, the Imperator was quick and responsive. Having the thumb buttons conveniently placed was a real boon too, making last-ditch melee attacks much more viable than with other mice. However, we found the sensitivity buttons to be a little too far back compared with those of other mice.

Thankfully, the situations in which you use these don't usually require immediate switching, but it's still a factor. While the glossy, plastic surface clings to your fingers more than the soft, rubber coating on other mice, we found that the thumb and little-finger scoops made our fingers feel clammy after long gaming sessions. Apart from a couple of minor niggles, the Imperator is a fantastic mouse.

Conclusion

If you're as infuriated by poorly placed thumb buttons as we are then the Imperator is a breath of fresh air. There's plenty of software-based configuration too. The only significant bone of contention is that other good mice, such as the Mionix Naos 3200 and CM Storm Inferno, cost around £10 less and boast similar features.

  • Design
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  • 9/10
  • Features
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  • 9/10
  • Value
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  • -
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  • 8/10
  • Overall
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  • 9/10
Score Guide

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Razer Imperator

Specifications

  • Connection wired (braided)
  • Material Plastic
  • Buttons 7, scroll wheel
  • Sensitivity 100-5,600dpi
  • Extras Adjustable thumb buttons, on-board memory

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Mionix Naos 3200 Review
Razer Carcharias Review
Razer Abyssus Mirror Review
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