Reviewed: June 11, 2006
Whoever said, “change is good” certainly wasn’t talking about computer mice. I know I don’t play PC games or even work at my computer nearly as long as most of our readers, but over the past two years my Logitech MX1000 Laser Mouse has become a natural extension of my right hand.
So when I was asked to do the review for the new Razer Krait High Precision Gaming Mouse I admit I cringed, but the words “high precision” intrigued me and Krait…well, let’s just say I’ve dealt with those guys in the real world during a tour of duty in Pakistan.
Kraits are nocturnal snakes found only in Asia, mostly in India and Pakistan, which is where I met mine a few years ago. This snake is especially deadly--about 15 times more deadly than the common cobra. Its venom is a powerful neurotoxin that causes respiratory failure and death if not treated immediately. The krait has a tendency to seek shelter in sleeping bags, boots, and tents, so soldiers are diligent about inspecting their gear regularly.
Razer seems to have an affinity for naming their mice after snakes, which is rather ironic since snakes eat mice, but perhaps that is their subliminal marketing strategy – their mice eats the competition. So who better to put this latest creation through the ultimate test than the “snake killer”.
Technically speaking, the Krait blows my 800dpi MX1000 away, but still falls a bit shy of the 2000dpi G7 mouse from Logitech. Check out these stats:
Once I overcame my resistance to the way the mouse felt in my hand I was able to enjoy some of the most accurate gameplay of my career. Only now do I realize what I have been missing with my lowly 800dpi mouse. The 1200 APM (actions per minute) and 1600dpi infrared sensor give you amazing and precise control over your mouse cursor, thus improving aim, sniping, and overall gameplay. And all of this from a mouse that might be considered a bit retro in technology.
After all, the Krait is corded, which is more of a psychological feature than anything else. Technology has already proven than wireless mice are just as accurate (if not more so) than wired mice, but hardcore gamers can’t wrap their minds around the concept, so Razer continues to market to their fears and “must have cord” mentality.
The Krait is also using infrared optics rather than the more precise laser, but then again, the Krait is a fraction of the cost of a laser mouse and apparently just as accurate when used on an appropriate surface. The only thing laser really has going for it is its ability to track on unconventional surfaces.
But there are more serious non-technical issues that hurt my enjoyment of this mouse and will force me to stop using it after this review, issues that will concern hardcore gamers looking for functionality as well as technical proficiency.
The first and most serious of these is the lack of a thumb (back) button. Now I understand you cannot have this on a symmetrical design, but to reduce me to a antiquated concept of a 3-button mouse after I have been using mice with at least five, sometimes more, buttons, just doesn’t fly. Once you get used to those side buttons, both in gaming and normal Windows navigation, you just can’t live without them. Perhaps Razer expects us to use this mouse for gaming and keep a more functional mouse on standby for everything else.
The scroll wheel has 24 defined clicks to it, too defined for my taste. I don’t mind just a bit of tactile feedback in my wheel, but these clicks are like speed bumps. I suppose if you have trouble stopping on your proper weapon or menu selection during a game you’ll appreciate the extra resistance, but it actually hindered my gameplay.
Despite the lack of any contoured styling, the Krait is a sinister looking mouse, especially in a dark room with the orange-yellow glow of the plastic side rails and the mouse wheel. If your overall case lighting theme is yellow or orange then this mouse will complement that setup.
Physically, the Krait is a bit too narrow for my tastes and I had to scrunch up my fingers to play with it. It’s not nearly as relaxing as the wider profile MX1000 with the indentation for your thumb.
While I can appreciate the technical achievements of the Razer Krait, I simply cannot overcome the design and functionality issues with this particular model. This is probably one of the best (if not the best) infrared mice you can buy for sheer precision and accuracy, but this gamer is going to have to stick with comfort and features for now.
The one good thing that did come from this review is that I now have a newfound appreciation for the higher dpi mice and will be actively seeking out a mouse that can maintain the comfort of the MX1000 while giving me the accuracy of the Krait.