We have a love/hate relationship with Razer products here at Atomic. On the one hand, there's the tactile pleasure of rubberised surfaces and sleek curves, and yet on the other there's a distinct lack of... well, performance. And then along comes the Mamba wireless mouse to blow that away!
The Mamba is very much a Razer design. Present are the same array of curves and black rubber that'd turn a fetishist's eye; but gone is not only the cable, but also the usual symmetry of Razer gear. The Mamba has a long deep curve on the left-hand side, and a shallower shorter curve on the right - combined with inset rubber grips, this was a revelation to pick up and use for the first time. Our fingers fitted near-perfectly around the mouse, neither grasping for purchase nor feeling cramped. The high curving upper surface also fits hands a little more snugly.
And when plugged in and powered up on its charging stand, the Mamba really is a work of art.
The Mamba continues to score points with this base charger, too, a magnetised plinth with a sturdy cloth-wrapped cord. Powered up, the base is underlit a cool blue. Smooth. The cable running into the base can be detached to power and recharge the mouse directly, but it's not nearly so elegant a solution as Microsoft's X8.
The true test of a mouse, however, is in game performance, and in our usual CoD4 testing we saw solid reliability - the centrally mounted laser offers accurate tracking, the buttons (with the exception of the DPI switch) are responsive and well-placed, and the mouse-wheel is grippy without feeling heavy. In use, though, we did discover that the thumb groove is perhaps a touch too deep. It was more or less comfy for tiny, Editor-sized hands, but larger, Tech-writer-sized hands had to arch the thumb a little too uncomfortably to adequately grip the mouse.
The Mamba is a truly solid effort that would give our preferred mouse - the X8 - a run for its money were it not for one important point: price. The Mamba will set you back nearly $200 for the privilege of its use, and for that you don't even get the same feature-set as the X8. Sure, you might get a work of art, but the Mona Lisa never helped anyone frag.