As we wend our way through Razer’s product line, I continue to be impressed by the attention to both performance and comfort that the popular PC peripheral manufacturer invests in each one of its products. I’ve had the chance to review the action RPG-focused Razer Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition, the brand new Taipan with dual sensor technology, a Vespula mouse mat, the Electra headset and a Blackwidow Ultimate keyboard and Death Adder mouse I purchased for myself along the way.  Each one performed admirably as I composed, clicked and chatted away. I’ve gotten comfortable with hardware reviews, but even I was intimidated when the Naga MMO 2012 showed up at my door.

The Naga Hex’s 11 buttons made sense to me, especially as I was knee-deep in Diablo III when it arrived. Staring down the 17, including the 3×4 grid for easy access to macros and frequently-used commands on the thumb was almost overwhelming. Gulping loudly, I unpacked the device from its box.

One of the major differences in the 2012 refresh of this popular mouse is the customizability of the fit. Ensconced in foam, you’ll find two side panels in addition to the one that comes pre-installed. Until now, I had no idea what kind of fit I prefer. After swapping out the easily interchangeable pieces, I can safely say I’m a member of Team Palm. You claw grip people must love joint pain. In addition to these two extremes, there is also something that splits the difference for a more traditional feel. Take the few moments to find the best grip for you.

The Naga MMO 2012 also supports Razer’s growing Synapse 2.0 platform. This effectively makes every device (at least the ones I’ve used) fully compatible with both Mac and PC. More importantly, if you are a Bootcamp gamer like me, you can configure your profiles and macros in one OS, and they’ll be waiting when you boot back into the other. Make sure you do install the software, because it’s how you’ll be adjusting the sensitivity (up to 5600 dpi), polling (the frequency with which the mouse refreshes its location, in this case a maximum of 1000Hz), setting your macros, configuring the 16 (of 17) buttons that can be manipulated and tweaking the lighting. In this case, I would recommend leaving the side panel illuminated. With 12 buttons in a small area, having the visual backup to your tactile sensation is a smart safety net.

That’s not to say that using the button grid is difficult. In fact, Razer has gone out of its way to make it easy to know exactly where your thumb is hovering. The second and fourth rows (3-6 and 10-12) sport an extra raised bar that is pronounced enough to get the job done without obstructing movement. The bottom row (10-12) closest to the heel of the user’s hand was a little more difficult to use given the significant bend required to actuate the buttons. For lesser used commands though, they are still adequate. I just wouldn’t put any frequently used functions on them. It’s also important to note that a toggle on the underside allows the side panel to mirror either the number par and the ten-key pad with the flick of a switch.

In addition to the side grid, the top of the device features two small buttons beneath the mouse wheel. These, too, aren’t terribly handy for regular functions, but serve quite nicely to change the sensitivity on the fly. Using Synapse 2.0, you can set custom sensitivity stages. While toggling sensitivity is more useful in shooters (which I can, with confidence, tell you that the Naga MMO works wonderfully for), it’s still an appropriate default.

The mouse wheel is extremely precise, featuring 24 distinct positions. The outside of the wheel features two narrow, lit strips. The disc itself is covered in slip-resistant rubber. I only rarely overshot my mark when using it in-game, but it did still happen occasionally. It’s far better than most of the wheels featured on comparable devices, though.

Aesthetically, the Naga MMO is impressive to behold. The lighting is classic Razer green. The logo pulsates (as on most of the company’s gaming mice). The grid, wheel and logo and call be turned off entirely, though. It’s superfluous, sure, but I can’t help but confirm that it looks so much more attractive when the illumination is engaged.\

The top of the mouse is matte black and features an anti-slip coating (perfect for those sweaty palms you hate to admit getting during intense raids). The sides are a glossy black (much like the back of the Naga Hex). It likely won’t make an impact on your thumb movements, and unless your juices pour forth from your pinky, ring finger and the side of your palm, you shouldn’t have an issue on the outside either.

The Naga MMO isn’t the most technically advanced mouse in Razer’s arsenal. It doesn’t offer the dual sensor technology for surface sensing of the Taipan, nor can the sensitivity be dialed up quite as high. That’s OK, though. This device was designed with hardcore WoW raiders, Secret World investigators and Jedi (or Sith) denizens of the Old Republic in mind. It certainly functions in other games, but if you don’t play MMOs, you’re looking in the wrong place. The Naga is also on the heavier side for shooters, weighing in at .3 lbs compared to the Taipan at .21 lbs. In nearly every other setting though, the ultraslick feet will allow you to keep up with whatever actions your game demands.

For those of you who are looking for serious customization, intricate macro design and profiles you can take with you, this is the mouse you are looking for. The interchangeable side panels make it a great fit for most hands, and the matte black top surface will keep you cool (and the peripheral in your hand) during even the longest forays into Azeroth. If you’ve invested in subscription fees or cringe-worthy levels of free-to-play game microtransactions, you almost owe it to yourself to spend the $79.99 on a device that makes the most of those experiences.

 

Here’s the Rundown:

+ Interchangeable side panels make this mouse a fit for most hand sizes and grips
+ Synapse 2.0 continues to be one of the best things about owning Razer devices
+ Attractive aesthetic and illumination that is functional, too
+ Extreme customizability with 16 of 17 buttons available for a variety of functions and macros
– Bottom number row is harder to actuate given thumb angle
– Not ideal for all-purpose gaming, but the name should have given that away

The Razer Naga MMO 2012 retails for $79.99. A unit was provided by the manufacturer to RipTen for the purposes of review.