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  Introduction:

The computer mouse, often the most overlooked piece of computer hardware, yet it is one of the most used parts of the computer.  Ironic, isn't it?  Most people who have computers have those cheap 2 or 3 button no-name mice that came with their computer.  Or when building a computer, most people skimp on the input peripherals to try to muster up some more money for a better video card or some more RAM or something.  While these other things are definitely important, they should not take the place of a decent mouse.  Putting some money into a good mouse now, will save you headaches in the future.  For one, you'll get much better performance and precision, secondly, it'll be a lot more comfortable and finally, you won't have to clean it every week which I hate most!

In this review we'll be taking a look at kärna LLC's Razer Boomslang 2000 DPI USB mouse.  This mouse is mostly aimed at hardcore gamers, but as you'll see in this review, it's great for all users. 

  Specifications:

By looking at the picture above, you know right away that this mouse is not you're standard 3 button mouse.  After looking at these specs, you'll be even more amazed:

Razer Boomslang 2000 features/specs:

  • Up to 2000 DPI (dots per inch) sensitivity (1000 DPI model available as well)
  • USB with PS/2 adapter
  • Ambidextrous Ergo-Design
  • Togg™ Scroll Wheel - 45 dots per rotation
  • On-The-Fly Wheel - lets you switch sensitivity on the fly while in a game
  • Dust barrier
  • PS/2 Flex - adjusts the PS/2 polling rate up to 200Hz
  • 4 no-slip buttons
  • 6 MIPS (Millions of Instructions per Second)
  • 7' Cord

The most obvious advantage to this mouse is it's extreme precision.  At 2000 DPI it blows away all other standard mice which operate between 400-500 DPI.  Just to be clear, the term DPI refers to dots per inch and refers to the number of discrete signals that are sent to the mouse's processor in one inch of motion.  

kärna was able to achieve this kind of precision by focusing a light beam on ball to count the rotations, instead of using rollers to track the ball's position.  This differs from Microsoft's Intellieye technology which removes the ball completely and uses a light beam to take an image of your desktop 1,500 times a second.  Which mouse is more precise?  That's a hard call to make.  From our experience, the difference in precision of these two mice is indistinguishable but both are far above the precision of all other mice on the market.  However, since the Razer uses a ball, gamers who have complained that the MS Intellieye messes up when lifting the mouse to reposition it, may rejoice!  Now you have an ultra precise mouse without the lifting problems of the Microsoft Intellieye mice.

To transmit those 2000 measurements per inch to the computer, the Razer employs a 6 MIPS controller chip and a USB connector.  The 6 MIPS controller is much higher than the standard 1.5 MIPS on other mice, but also much lower than the 18 MIPS of the MS Intellieye.  This is understandable since the Intellieye has to process 1,500 larger images of the desktop, while the Razer only has to process a minor focused area of the ball.  That's it for the internals and technology, let's take a look at design and usability features.

The Razer Boomslang was designed with both left and right-handed people in mind.  The mouse will act exactly the same for a left-handed person as it would for a right handed person. The mouse is also quite a bit larger than most mice, which is very comfortable because you can rest you're whole palm on the thing and you're fingers will be in perfect position for all the buttons.   The top two buttons covers half of the entire mouse, so you won't lose out on a frag when playing Quake III or UT because you're finger missed the trigger. The buttons are also contoured very nice to make you're fingered feel like they were meant to rest on them.  The side buttons are also placed very well, but can take some time to get used to them.  

The only complaint I have about the design is where the wheel is placed.  It would have been nice if it was placed a little closer to the front edge of the mouse, especially for people with long fingers.  When you want to use the wheel, you have to reposition your hand from that comfortable fit position to a little lower off the mouse.  To put this into perspective for you, when my hand is in the ideal comfortable fit position, the wheel is under my middle finger about 1" away from the tip of it.  I have to admit though that the wheel is tough to position correctly because of the varying hand sizes they have to accustom to.  Otherwise, the Razer's wheel is one of the best wheel's around.  It protrudes the surface of the mouse in exactly the right amount, and has a nice click to it when it turns.  Furthermore, the wheel has a 45 dots per rotation precision rate which translates to very smooth scrolling on web pages and other apps and you can also use the wheel to change the mouse's sensitivity on the fly, while you're in a game for example.

Other nice features which come with this mouse include a dust barrier which keeps all that dust, sweat and grime out of the internals of the mouse.  If there's one thing I hate about mice, it's cleaning them every 1-2 weeks.  The mouse also has a very nice 7 foot cord which is great if you want a little freedom in where you use the mouse.

Next Page: Package/Drivers/Testing/Conclusion

Review Index:
Page 1 - Introduction/Specs
Page 2 - Package/Drivers/Testing/Conclusion

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