So Prof and I had this deal where he would buy me this mouse if I did a review of it for his website, this was after a good bit of him trying to get me to buy the thing with my own money.
Not being a very big advocate of Razer mice or the PTE (Philips twin eye) sensor, I was quite hesitant of getting the Mamba TE at first. I’ve had a few razer mice over the years: the Diamondback original and one of the latter rehashes, a couple Deathadders, an original wireless Mamba, and an Imperator, and none of them really WOW’D me for a particularly long time. I was also never a huge fan of the smooth high gloss coatings they used for the grip area on their earlier mice.
However, I will admit to the original Deathadder having an amazingly accurate and responsive sensor. I played a lot of CSS and CS 1.6 years ago and always felt like I could aim incredibly well with the mouse. This is possibly due to a combination of the mouse shape and sensor quality. Either way, I’ve had some of my best and most consistent gaming experiences using the old school Deathadders.
This brings me to the Mamba TE. It utilizes a beefed up variant of the PTE sensor used in my old imperator. I’ve read that they made some big tweaks to the sensor and managed to fix the Z-axis tracking issue as a result. Granted, I’ve never really noticed too many issues with the aforementioned z-axis glitch, only every now and again when picking up the mouse a bit too much; so the glitch was never too much of an issue gaming with the original variation of the sensor.
The shape of the mouse is something that I truly enjoy. Comparing it to mice I have previously used, the Mamba TE is a bit like the Deathadder, only less curvy and smaller at least in my opinion. It’s not nearly as narrow at the front as the SS Rival and not nearly as long. It is also noticeably larger than my Kone Pure. If you are like me and weren’t really a giant fan of how the Deathadder curved outwards on the right-hand side of the mouse, but enjoyed the overall feel of the mouse otherwise, you’ll probably end up really liking the feel of the new Mamba.
The mouse feels very well built and has a fairly nice finish to it. For the life of me, I cannot use glossy surfaces, even if it is only for palm contact. They get too slippery for me after a bit of usage and/or gameplay (guess I get clammy hands easily). The Mamba’s coating is very similar to the newer Deathadder Chroma’s (Textured plastic, feels like a light grain sandpaper at times) and is very easy to keep a good grip with. The sides use rubber grip inserts that are also very similar to the Deathadder Chroma. The scroll wheel itself is quite nice; the indents for it are very clean and easy to differentiate between, and the rubber grip they used on it works quite well. It also has side to side scrolling if you are looking for that in your mouse wheel.
The switches used I believe are 20 million click rated Omrons for at least the left and right clicks. I believe that the side buttons are red top TTC switches (at least from seeing teardowns of the wireless version of the Mamba TE). One important thing to note is that the middle click doesn’t feel like it is using a traditional micro switch. So, if you’re a heavy middle click user you might want to either steer clear or, at the minimum, be aware that it feels like it is a pad type microswitch which is not as durable from what I have read online.
One of the biggest reasons I was initially interested in this mouse was the on the fly DPI/CPI adjustments. I know, I know, “it’s worthless…” Well I use it a lot when playing BF4 (helps to be able to quickly adjust sensitivity when jumping in a tank). I have said many times that, “If razer would just slap DPI buttons on the Deathadder I would never buy another mouse again.” I say this because the shape of it was good enough; however, I became so used to using my Logitech mx518 with the ability to quickly change DPI that being stuck to one DPI setting seemed very restricting. The draw back though is that you have to use Razer’s Synapse if you want to customize the DPI. This is not a huge deal, but it would be nice if they would add internal memory to save my settings.
The cable is braided and pretty flexible. It’s not a thick, huge, honking cable like Steelseries’ old school braided cables were on their earlier Xai’s and Sensei raw models. Razers’ cabling has always been pretty good, including their braided cables in my opinion.
The mouse feet are quite smooth and a decent size. Although, if you are a hard pad user or use your bare desktop for gaming you might want to invest in a spare set of mouse feet, as I see them wearing down after a few months of heavy usage.
Overall though I really like the mouse. It’s not without fault though. The sensor is kind of quirky at times and sometimes loses tracking completely if set too low for the liftoff (lowest setting: 1). I seemed to have better luck when setting the liftoff one notch above what the calibration sets the lift off to (3-4 for liftoff for example). This usually keeps the liftoff low enough to avoid causing the dreaded z-axis problem and keeps the sensor tracking properly. A few other things I’ve noticed, which have been noticed by others online, is that: the sensor seems to have problems with small movement tracking, and its feels like their might be some slight acceleration. These problems may be due to the dynamic dpi scaling that is still enabled, to a small effect, in PTE sensors.
In conclusion, I really was not expecting much from this mouse. It honestly looked like a beefed up DA Chroma, with the ability to adjust DPI (FINALLY). Honestly though, I was pleasantly surprised. The Mamba TE has a nice feel to it. It’s quite light (90-100 grams), and the shape is easier on my hand compared to the Deathadder. It’s not without its faults though, the sensor can be a bit wonky at times sometimes loosing tracking completely, and occasionally making small movements harder than they should be. That is the only negative that stands out to me. So if you are a die-hard CSGO/QUAKE LIVE player that demands pixel perfect targeting and NEEDS your mouse to track perfect the first time every time, then I would say stick with a mouse utilizing any of the avago/pixart 3090/3310/3366 sensors. If you’re like me though and a bit over the hill when it comes to your fraggin’ days, the Mamba TE is a pretty slick piece of hardware. Overall the combination of shape, weight, cabling, switch feel, and wheel make this mouse a pretty great buy.
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