Synapse

All posts tagged Synapse

Having previously reviewed a couple of Razer Naga Hex mice, I was definitely intrigued to see what the Naga Expert MMO Gaming Mouse could offer that the others didn’t.

As always, the Razer packaging is high eye catching, with its green and black colour scheme.  A view of the mouse on the front, gives you an idea of what you are getting.  Also included is a few pieces of information relating to the mouse.  The sides of the box provide more information, in slightly more detail, while the back of the box gives you a full overview of the mouse and its features.  The front of the box has a flap that opens to show you a proper view of the mouse, while the inside of the flap you have information about the mouse and its basic/advanced button configuration.

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Usually, you tend to get the device itself in the box, along with the user manuals and Razer branded stickers.  This time though, there is something extra.  You get two additional side pieces for the mouse that you can change out depending on your hand size and the way you grip the mouse.  These extra pieces are packed nicely in a foam insert, inside of an extra box which is located beneath the mouse in the main packaging.  It is relatively easy to change the side piece to one that suits you better – simply unclip the one that is attached by pulling down on the back of it (this was how I did it).  Because the pieces stay in place thanks to several magnets underneath, there is no chance of snapping any important fasteners, etc.  Adding your preferred side panel is just as easy – just push it into position and let the magnets do their job!

As with other Razer products, the download and install of their Synapse 2.0 software is required in order for you to program your mouse to suit you.  Synapse is very straightforward and easy to use with clear, on-screen instructions for you to follow.  You can use the software to create macros for in-game use.  So say for example there is a command that uses multiple key presses, you can record the key press sequence and assign it to a key, resulting in one key press instead of many.  The good thing about Synapse, it allows you to store your gaming profiles for your mouse in the cloud, meaning that you can access your settings from any computer that you plug your mouse into, as long as said machine has Synapse installed.  No endless faffing about setting up settings and buttons when you change and move around.

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The Razer Naga Expert MMO mouse has a total of 17 buttons, including 12 side buttons that are all fully programmable.  These buttons, when compared to previous Naga Hex mice that I have used, are thankfully harder to press – resulting in less random button presses.  The mouse wheel does what you would expect it to, and the green colour scheme is always a favourite of mine.  Lastly, the braided USB cable gives the mouse the finish that it deserves.

The base of the mouse has a switch that enables you to switch between the basic and advanced  configuration.  The basic layout represents the numbered keys along the top of your keyboard, while the advanced layout does the same for the number pad on the side of your keyboard.  Depending on the configuration that you prefer, you put the switch to the one to suit your use.  To finish off the bottom of the mouse, we have the ultraslick mouse feet – five in total – to help the mouse glide over your surface with ease.

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The Naga itself is VERY comfortable to use, and in the time that I have used it, I have encountered no hand fatigue at all.  After finding a position to hold my hand so that I can reach the side buttons, and with the comfort added by changing the side panel, it’s almost as if this mouse was made for my hand!  Thankfully, after using previously Naga models, I did not have too much of an issue getting accustomed to the button layout again and was up and running fully in no time.

Of all of the Razer mice that I have used, I think I can honestly say that the Naga Expert is the most comfortable by far.  Being able to put on a side plate that suits my hand size plays a huge part in this.  Obviously the mouse is aimed at people who play MMO games, and would definitely suit anybody looking for a gaming mouse.  The lack of hand fatigue is something else that adds to the comfort factor and I would highly recommend this mouse, even if you only use it for day to day activities.

The Orbweaver Elite Mechanical Gaming Keypad from Razer is a mechanical gaming keypad that gives you the functionality of using the left side of yourr keyboard for gaming, in a standalone device.

It’s standard now that the Razer packaging is something that is always high quality.  With its green and black colour scheme, the images and text just pops and works really well.  The front of the box shows a pretty full image of the Orbweaver keypad, and also contains a few key points, including the fact that the keypad has 20 fully programmable buttons.  Both sides of the box also contains a wealth of information, ranging from the mechanical key infrastructure, to the backlit keypad.  The back of the box gives a breakdown of the keypad itself and lets us know what each part is for.  Also included in the box is the standard user guide.

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The Orbweaver Keypad is a beauty, really.  As well as the 20 programmable keys, you also have a left handed, 8 way directional thumbpad, a nicely gripped palm rest, an equally nicely gripped wrist rest, and two buttons that sit nicely either side of the thumbpad (one being the same as the spacebar) and lastly, the USB cable.

Using Razer’s Synapse 2.0, you can set up the buttons on the keypad as you wish.  You can store unlimited game profiles, program the keys, and set the backlight on the device to suit your preference.  The Orbweaver features 8 keymaps that can all be programmed with a different key layout using the 20 programmable keys and the two side buttons.  Although there is no present switch available to quickly swap between the keymaps, using Synapse, you can set one of the keys to do this if you would like to.  Once you have set the keypad up to your liking, all of your settings are saved on the cloud using Synapse so that you can access them from whichever location you take your keypad to.  Please note that while Synapse 2.0 is not required to use the keypad, it is needed if you would like to program the keys rather than using the standard layout.

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The Orbweaver, although a little weird looking, is actually really comfortable to use.  The padded wrist and palm rests and much needed support, while the buttons are placed within a reasonable length for your hand so there is no over stretching to reach them.  Saying this though, I have pretty small hands and had issues reaching the top row of keys – even with the unit sized to the smallest available size, so I think people with medium to large sized hands may have a better time using this.  The thumbpad and two side buttons are also in a decent position and are easily within reach for ease of use.  Having the option to reposition the wrist rest, the side unit that houses the thumbpad/buttons, and also the option to slightly rotate the palm rest is very welcomed.  Being able to resize and reposition those key parts all add to the comfort factor, and also helps to cater for people with larger hands.

Being able to fully customise the key layout using the Orbweaver is also something that I think gamers will love.  Rather than having to reach for certain keys on the keyboard, you can set the keypad up to do the same thing by simply programming the keys to suit you.  Being able to save several game profiles is also handy as you may use different key layouts for different games meaning that all you have to do is switch from one to another.

The keys on the keypad are all backlit (the main keys are, any way) and are full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force, meaning that is doesn’t take a large amount of pressure to  press the keys.  The keys also make a nice ‘clicking’ sound when pressed so you aren’t left thinking “have I actually pressed that key properly”.  Also, just above the thumbpad and two buttons, there are three light bars – these tell you which keymap you currently have equipped.

The Orbweaver Elite Mechanical Gaming Keypad is a great bit of kit.  While it is probably better suited to people with medium to large hands, it is a pleasure to use and provides comfort in all of the right areas.  It would have been nice to see a braided USB cable rather than a rubber coated cable, but it isn’t a game changer of an issue.  It is not a ridiculous size and definitely would not look out of place in any gaming setup, especially if you are someone who enjoys your PC games.  Now all we need is something for us small hand gamers!

The more products from Razer that I use, the more I fall in love with them as a brand.  I have grown accustomed to the outstanding quality, ease of set-up and use, and the range of people that they cater for.

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The moment I saw the packaging for the Mamba 4G 2012 gaming mouse, it was a pure ‘wow’ moment.  The mouse itself is presented in a transparent box packaging that shows off its beauty before you even touch the box.  The mouse is shown attached to a stand that allows you to see all angles of it.  The top right hand corner of the box is sporting the Razer logo, while the right top corner informs you that the Mamba is powered by the all new 4G Dual Sensor system.  The bottom half of the box is encased in a cardboard sleeve that you simply slide off to remove.

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Getting into the box was a bit tricky for me.  I don’t have much strength in my hands so the fact that you have to press the two sides of the box together and pull out the top from the bottom before you can get into the box would have put a stop to things for me straightaway.  Luckily, I had my partner to open the box for me.  Once the top was separate from the bottom, gaining access to everything was pretty easy.  You simply unclip the mouse from the stand to remove it.  Looking around the back of the box, you are greeted with three cardboard drawers, as well as the standard  envelope that contains the Razer stickers and information.  The drawers themselves contained even more goodness.  The big drawer at the bottom of the three was housing the mouse charging dock.  The dock itself has the Razer logo, a sync button, and a space in the back to plug-in the cable.  Drawer number two contained the 1100 mAh battery, which provides around 12 hours of use once fully charged.  In with the battery you will also find the battery compartment cover for the base of the mouse.  Finally, in the last draw, is the braided Mini USB cable which you can use to connect the charging dock to the PC OR you can plug it directly into the mouse to make it wired – how amazing!  The mouse simply sits on top of the dock – it’s pretty simple and once in place, feels quite secure.

Setting the mouse up took only a few seconds.  Plug the dock into the PC and insert the battery into the mouse.  The battery may need charging before use, so maybe set it up a little while before you intend to use it, or use the USB cable.  Once plugged in and turned on, the RGB LEDs went to work and my gosh, they look amazing!  The dock lights up all around the base and the mouse lights up in unison.  The lights are fully customisable using the Razer Synapse 2.0 cloud software – you can also use the software to personalise your mouse DPI  (range of 100 to 6400), buttons and cursor settings – perfect for if you have different profiles for different people.  Also using the Synapse program, you can keep track of the battery power level and also calibrate the mouse to suit you.  Finally, the Mamba is sporting the new 4G sensor, which uses both a laser and an optical sensor, which when coupled with the ultra slick mouse feet, provides increased accuracy across a number of different surfaces.

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After using the mouse as both a wired, and a wireless mouse, personally, I could tell no difference.  Both modes worked seamlessly well and having the option to go wired and wireless is definitely something that could come in handy.  The Mamba fits very nicely in the hand and access to all buttons (Left & Right, scroll wheel, two small buttons at the top of the left mouse button and two on the left side of the mouse) is easy and effortless.  It is very comfortable to use for both short and extended periods of time and for someone who gets sore hands from long sittings at the PC, I can honestly say that I encountered no discomfort.  The base of the mouse has the sensor, power button, sync button, an eject button for when the USB cable is attached, making it easier to remove, and of course, the battery compartment.

After having time to use the mouse for a number of activities, the ease of use with the Synapse 2.0 software, and also being able to sit back and watch the light show provided by the charging dock, I am very impressed with the Razer Mamba 4G mouse.  It is an absolute pleasure to use, no matter where you are or what surface you are using.  The option to have both a wired and wireless mouse is a nice touch and would suit any and every body.

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Whether you are an avid PC gamer or a casual gamer, having the right equipment can make all the difference in the world.  After previously reviewing the LoL Edition of the Naga Hex, I wasn’t too sure how the standard Naga Hex would be any different.  I have to say though, Razer have done it again.  The Naga Hex is primarily aimed at ARPG and MOBA gamers, but I also think that fans of other gaming genres could quite easily use this mouse.

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The packaging that the mouse arrived in was of the usual high standard that you come to expect from Razer.  A velcro sealed front flap which on the front sports an excellent image of the mouse and when opened,  exposes the mouse and allowing you to see what you are getting.  Also shown is a list of features and specifications on the back of the box, and the sides showing more information about the mouse.  Included behind the mouse was a square cardboard envelope that contains information about the mouse, Razer stickers, and two extra thumb grip pieces that can be swapped out on the mouse.

Upon removing the mouse, I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen on the smooth glossy finish to the top, mostly because I didn’t know how this would affect the grip of the mouse during use.  The design, however, caught my eye immediately – with green being my favourite colour, the marble type swirl effect definitely won me over.  The side of the mouse has 6 buttons that are arranged in a hexagonal layout.  The top of the mouse has the standard 3 buttons, as well as 2 small buttons to the base of the scroll wheel.  The left and right mouse buttons are shaped with your hand in mind.  When resting your hand on the mouse, your fingers just meld into the buttons shape, providing comfort as well as ease of use.  The section of the mouse that sits in the palm of your hand has the Razer logo etched on to it.  The braided cable has a generous length of 2.1 metres and has a gold-plated USB adapter at the end.  The ultra slick feet on the bottom of the mouse provide an easy glide for the mouse over any surface.

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Once I plugged the mouse in, things got even better.  The 6 side buttons, scroll wheel, and the Razer logo, all illuminated a very nice green colour – keeping in with the colour scheme of the mouse.  The Razer logo is a pulsing light which looks really nice when in a darker environment.  The point mentioned earlier regarding the smooth and glossy finish to the top of the mouse proved to be nothing to worry about.  I found that the mouse was just as easy to grip and control as the LoL Naga Hex was with the textured top.  The Naga Hex uses Razer’s Synapse 2.0, which is downloadable from the Razer website.  Once installed, you can change the layout of all buttons on the mouse (except the Left Click button).  As well as making changes to the buttons, you can also change the DPI of the mouse – the range is from 100 to 5600 DPI so there will be something to suit every user.  Once these changes have been made, you save them within the program and because Synapse 2.0 uses the cloud to save all changes, you can easily use your device between several machines and as long as Synapse is installed, all of your settings will be ready and waiting for you.

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As with the LoL edition of the Naga Hex, my only issue is that the 6 buttons on the side of the mouse are very easily pressed.  You really have to concentrate to keep your thumb rested on the thumb rest in the centre of the button layout.  Even with concentration though, it is very easy to lapse and the next thing you know, your thumb is getting click happy – all accidentally, of course.  For the hardcore gamers out there, this could become an issue as we all know that a click of a button could make all the difference.  I do feel though, that with prolonged use, this is something that you get used to naturally.

Overall, the Razer Naga Hex is a little beauty.  The colour scheme and the illumination mentioned above definitely adds some ‘wow’ to the mouse and although there is a little niggle with me and the buttons, there is no faulting that it would suit fans of ARPG and MOBA games.  There are grooves and curves in all the right places, which makes the mouse a pleasure to use, comfort wise, and the added functionality of Synapse 2.0 for easy access to settings is an added bonus.  This is definitely a nice mouse and it is plain to see that Razer know what they are doing when it comes to creating high quality products, and it also justifies the price tag of around £62.00.

When playing your favourite PC games, you want a mouse that is going to be able to function to the best of its ability.  The more buttons the better, and something that is going to be comfortable to use for extended periods of time.  Does the League of Legends Collector’s Edition of the Razer Naga Hex live up to these standards?

First things first – the packaging.  I have always been impressed with how detailed and eye catching the Razer packaging is and the packaging for this mouse is no different.  The front shows a detailed image of the mouse itself, as well some information including how the mouse has been optimised for MOBA/Action RPG games, and that Razer Synapse 2.0 is usable with this mouse.  The front of the box is held closed with a velcro fastening mechanism which, when opened, shows the Razer Naga Hex in all its glory.  The sides of the box show some more information relating to the mouse, and the back shows the mouse features, as well as listing them in several different languages.

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Once inside the box, the mouse is held inside plastic packaging which is very easy to remove.  Also included is a black Razer branded envelope that contains all of the relevant manuals and information, as well as a character class code for the League of  Legends game.  Removing the mouse was very easy to do and in no time it was out and ready to be used.  The mouse sports a nicely braided cable, a gold plated USB connector, and has 6 buttons on the left hand-side in a hexagonal layout, the mouse scroll wheel on top, two small buttons to the rear of the wheel and obviously, the two main mouse buttons, which are hyper-sensitive.  In the middle of the 6 button layout is a thumb rest so you have somewhere to place your thumb when not using these buttons – a very nice touch as it is also gripped to stop any sliding about.  You get two additional thumb rests in different sizes that you can change if you wish.  Something else that should be mentioned is the eye catching yellow lights that light up the buttons, scroll wheel, and the League of Legends logo on the part of the mouse that sits in your hand.  This looks very fresh in the dark, and you also have the option to disable any and all of the lights if you wish.

All buttons on the mouse, apart from Left Click, are programmable once Razer Synapse 2.0, which is a dream to use, has been downloaded from the Razer website and installed.  Any and all settings that you make to the mouse will be available on any computer that you download & install Synapse on, if you would like to use your mouse, thanks to Razer’s cloud based driver software.  An email and password is required when setting up for the first time, but this is a small step when you realise you do not have to programme your mouse whenever you move between PC’s, etc.

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The mouse itself really is beautiful to look at.  There are grooves and moulds in all the right places that add nothing but comfort to the overall use of mouse.  It is easy to sit here for hours using this mouse without getting hand cramp due to the well placed grooves for your hand and fingers.  The texture of the mouse also adds to this.  Your hand does not slide off of the mouse during use, due to the design of the mouse.  It is pretty easy for myself to use the 6 side buttons on the mouse, but my hands are pretty small.  I am not sure how someone with larger hands would get on using these buttons as it may result in the user having to move their hand to access the buttons – probably not the easiest thing to do whilst in the middle of a high paced game.  The same can be said for the two buttons found to the base of the scroll wheel – I cannot guess how a person with bigger hands than myself would get on using these in fast paced situations.  Again, I had no issues but I only have small hands.

I do have one slight annoyance with this mouse, although I am sure I would get used to it if I were to persevere.  Because I am not used to so many side buttons, I often find my thumb moving form the thumb rest and hitting the numbered buttons, unintentionally.  I am sure that people that are used to accessing so many buttons at once would not find this an issue, but I felt it should be at least mentioned.

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The Razer Naga Hex: League of Legends Collector’s Edition is a very nice mouse and does what you would expect of it.  The quality is high, something that everyone who has ever tried a Razer product, would come to expect.  You can pick this mouse up from Amazon UK at the price of around £78.00 GBP.  If I could afford it, I would be honoured to have this mouse present on my PC desk.