£16.54 from Novatech
Razer are of course a well known gaming and enthusiast brand, with a large range of mice, keyboards and other bits. Here I'm looking at one of their mice, hailing from the "entry level" end of their range, the Salmosa.
1800dpi Razer Precision™ 3G infrared sensor
1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
Mechanical dpi/polling rate switches
On-The-Fly Sensitivity™ adjustment
Ultra-large non-slip buttons
16-bit ultra-wide data path
60-120 inches per second
Three independently programmable Hyperesponse™ buttons
Scroll wheel with 24 individual click positions
Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon feet
Seven-foot, lightweight, non-tangle cord
Approximate size: 115mm (length) x 63mm (width) x 37mm (height)
A couple of factors that spring straight to mind, the small dimensions and the two button configuration. Both of these were at the top of my hitlist when looking for a basic gaming mouse. I was hoping for a mouse that responds and tracks like a full blown gaming mouse but without the unnecessary extras.
The mouse comes nicely packaged in a simple card box with a Velcro window to take a peek inside. On the back are all the details of the mouse in the grand total of ten different languages.
The mouse is packed in a couple of moulded plastic pieces to keep it secure in transit. These did their job well enough, with no damage or scratches on the mouse to report.
Also in the package there is:
- Driver CD
- A pair of manuals, well detailed and covering everything you'll need to know.
- A handy little coaster sized info card
As my first gaming mouse I was quick to compare it visually to my current Microsoft optical mouse.
The two are of fairly similar dimensions, with the Salmosa being just a shade shorter, similar width and with much larger buttons. It's not a bad looking mouse at all, with the Razer emblem on the body which doesn't light up. Good news or bad? In my view, a good thing here. The top surface of the mouse is made of a rubberised material which is pleasant and a certain improvement upon the smooth plastic of the MS mouse.
Side on you can see the smooth side panels, their shiny finish contrasts well with the matte rubber top. It's a nice looking mouse in an understated fashion. The lack of lights and extra buttons is a welcome visual.
Taking a look at the base of the mouse, the three white pads are Teflon and they sure are slippery. As the only contact points with the surface these should help the mouse easily glide around. The slider to the left is used to set the mouses dpi, you can swap this between 800 and 1800 dpi. The other switch offers three positions, altering the polling rate with settings of 125, 500 and 1000 hz available. The cable is standard USB fare, its more than long enough for most set-ups at around 6 feet.
I'm not sure much needs to be said about this really, it installed fairly painlessly and has been stable since day one.
The adjustment falls into three categories, with sensitivity, scroll wheel and buttons. Sensitivity gives you the chance to set the double click speed and sensitivity of the mouse. The scroll wheel offers a simple adjustment on the wheels scroll speed. Finally the buttons options lets you assign the mouse to left or right handed mode and alter the function of the buttons, the wheel and the wheel click.
It's all fairly simple, the default settings are pretty close to ideal and so no tinkering was needed.
As my first gaming mouse I thought I'd put it through the paces, using it as I would my previous mouse.
Windows and Firefox
Initially I was slightly bewildered by the quick travel of the cursor in 1800 dpi mode. Switching it back down to 800 dpi things were near more or less ideal, actual hand movement was less than with the previous MS mouse and the small dimensions of the mouse felt fine in my fairly small paws.
The buttons are responsive and clickable almost everywhere which makes for a comfortable experience. I've found myself to have changed my grip a few times on the mouse now due to these larger buttons. The wheel is fairly stiff in action, stiff but not difficult to use. After a day or two I felt perfectly at home in the desktop with the mouse.
I decided to turn off the Windows cursor acceleration function to try out the 1800 dpi mode. Now in this mode I felt I was certainly onto a winner.
Team Fortress 2
As one of my favourite shooters due to its fast action and well balanced classes I threw down the TF2 gauntlet to the Salmosa. Here the mouse performs manfully, my favourite two classes, the scout and heavy both profited from the excellent sensitivity of the Salmosa.
Compared to my previous slower mouse the 1800 dpi mode feels razor sharp, the mouse tracks really well. I'd like to think my aim has improved while double jumping around as a scout and mowing down the masses with the heavy's minigun. The mouse is fairly light which here certainly helps and along with the teflon feet it scoots across the couple of surfaces I tested with ease.
One clear improvement I found is the wheel, where the stiffness of the wheel gives much better confidence when selecting weapons, not overshooting any desired choices.
Dawn Of War and Red Alert 3
I thought I'd also give the mouse a spin in an RTS, here the mouse feels as it should. I feel in this style of game where quick response isn't the be all and end all that comfort plays a bigger part in the experience. Here it's comfortable for long periods, the short travel on the mouse buttons make them easy to click. My favourite mass select, click and drag policy in Dawn Of War is just as easy to implement as before.
Clearly a mouse is a personal choice, with the Salmosa fitting my requirements just fine. For users with larger hands the small dimensions may not suit but for anyone around the average it should sit just fine. The mouse, as advertised, offers both speed and control. Coming from a non-gaming mouse there is a big jump, certainly in speed of movement. At its low price point its a very appealing product, well presented and tidily made. In action its light and easy to use, comfortable and simple.
Lightweight features, two buttons plus a wheel
No frills or flashly lights
No frills or flashly lights