Today we have in our hands what could be one of the most advanced MMO gaming mice in the market, the Razer Naga Chroma. With a design that seldom leaves anything to be desired, and the inclusion of a 12-button mechanical thumb grid (all of which are fully customizable), as well as a bunch of other features that encompass the strongest points of any given gaming peripheral, this mouse is definitely one of the best for this genre of games.
For those that are not very familiar with the gaming peripheral industry, Razer is an American company founded in 1998 by Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff, and headquartered in California. This company focuses mainly on the research, design, and development of products that are specifically geared towards PC gamers. That being said, this organization creates some of the best peripherals in the market, all of which are highly praised for their build quality, their ample amount of features, and their awesome aesthetic design. Despite Razer mainly dealing with the aforementioned peripherals, they also create wearables, accessories, and gaming laptops.
The Razer Chroma line consists of taking previously existing products from this company, such as the DeathAdder mouse, and the BlackWidow keyboard, among others, and giving them an aesthetic overhaul, bestowing upon them the capability to freely modify their LED illumination settings to over 16.8 million color combinations (hence the name Chroma). The Naga also received Chroma treatment and is back on the market with its brand new visuals, ready to lend its perk to those gamers who want to perform their very best on their favorite MMO games, such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV. Games notwithstanding, this mouse is also an awesome option for general purpose use, as all of its buttons can be customized to perform any function and, with the use of Razer’s software, the user can also create and easily switch profiles and swap between “game” and “work” mode on the go.
Anyway, we really have a lot to say about this piece of hardware. But, before we get started with our Razer Naga review, let’s first explain briefly the criteria we use to create all of our gaming mice reviews.
Gaming mice, in direct contrast with their generic office counterparts, are set apart by the amount of features and amenities they offer to the user. Where office mice only excel mainly in providing a couple of extra buttons, and a decent tracking sensor, gaming mice like the Naga offer a much bigger repertoire of buttons, coupled with a very precise gaming-grade sensor, and a bunch of other features on the side, such as a focus on ergonomics to prevent the onset of repetitive strain injuries, and an awesome aesthetic design, because the gamer needs to look awesome both on and off the field of battle.
That being said, we mostly base our reviews of any given gaming mice on the number of buttons it provides and whether they’re customizable or not, on the quality and type of its tracking sensor, and on its design ergonomics as well as its aesthetics. If the mouse in question has any other features unique to itself, we also take that into consideration when building the review.
The Razer Naga is a peripheral obviously designed towards MMO gamers. Its vast repertoire of buttons, coupled with a highly-precise 16000 CPI laser sensor, and a form factor that fits neatly into the palm of most users are ideal for outperforming the competition in this genre of gaming, as well as others that rely on speed and precision, such as MOBAs and, to some extent, first-person shooters as well.
As is usual with all Razer products, the packaging of the Naga consists of a black cardboard box that has a design in shades of green and black. On the frontal face of the said box, we are treated to a big picture of the titular mouse and just below said image is the name of the mouse in big chrome technicolor letters. On both sides of the box, we can read about the main features of the mouse in question and on the back of the box are written the specifications of the peripheral in 4 different languages. The front of the box opens up like a lid, revealing the Naga resting within its plastic cover. Behind the cover we can read about the Naga’s strongest features: it’s huge 19-button repertoire, and how it can help gamers excel in their favorite MMORPGs.
Open opening the box, we are able to slide out the green cardboard piece which contains the Naga (in its plastic case), as well as all the associated paraphernalia, which includes the instruction booklet, the warranty pamphlet, and a set of Razer vinyl stickers that the user can stick wherever they desire. Besides these few items, along with the mouse itself, there’s really nothing much more to say about the box. As opposed to the packing from other companies’ products, the Naga’s box can’t be reused to store other items, since it has a big hole on the bottom.
After taking a glance at the mouse itself, we’re immediately drawn to its form factor. Despite having to accommodate the 12-button thumb grid on the left side, the Naga is surprisingly light, weighing roughly the same as any other gaming mouse. The size of the peripheral, on the other hand, is understandably bigger than most, and users with small hands might have a bit of difficulty adjusting to its dimensions. Regardless, this fact is a not a drawback in itself, but it definitely may give the users that rely on claw or fingertip grips a hard time at first, considering that the size of the Naga encourages a palm grip above all others.
Nevertheless, the form factor of the Naga is spot-on for those that are already accustomed to palm grips. It has a number of finger rests on the right side of the mouse where the ring and pinky finger are supposed to rest. The groove where the pinky finger is located is covered with a rubber texture to promote a strong grip and to generate less fatigue, especially during those long gaming sessions. As we mentioned above, the left side of the mouse is completely covered by the 12-button thumb grid, which can be easily accessed by, you guessed it, the thumb of the user. This grid will take some getting used to, especially if the user relies heavily on split-second action in order to achieve victory. Suffice to say, you will have some trouble getting your DPS rotation down at first. But, after a few days, operating the thumb grid will come as second nature to you.
Ergonomic factors aside, the Naga actually looks the part of a high-end peripheral. It is completely black with a rough finish that feels right when neatly tucked into the palm of your hand. The rough finish also serves to promote a better grip at all times. On the underside of the mouse are 3 big Teflon feet as well as the name of the mouse in big white letters. And, right in the center resides the laser sensor which powers the device’s tracking capabilities.
Speaking of which, the Naga is equipped with a proprietary laser sensor which can be freely adjusted to sensitivities of up to 16000 CPI. As a gamer, you will know that these levels of sensitivity aren't actually helpful, or necessary, for that matter, but the fact that this peripheral can achieve those levels is a nice addition indeed. The laser nature of the sensor also ensures that this mouse will track with great precision on a wide variety of surfaces, including reflective surfaces such as glass tables or polished wood desks. Furthermore, the Naga’s sensor can be calibrated to any surface to ensure the best tracking experience at all times.
Including the thumb grid, this mouse offers a grand total of 19 fully-programmable buttons, all of which can be customized via Razer’s software, Synapse. Another notable feature of the Naga’s buttons is the scroll wheel, which moves in 4 directions (including clicking to the left and right, which function as 2 additional buttons). The 2 other buttons located behind scroll wheel, although mapped by default to increasing and reducing the peripheral’s sensitivity, can also be remapped to perform any other functions. In short, this mouse is perfect for MMORPG gaming, or for playing any other games that require many buttons in order to outperform the competition (RTS games also come to mind).
Last but not least, we always need to talk about the Synapse software when reviewing Razer products. This nifty piece of software allows the user to adjust virtually any aspect of the mouse’s behavior. Upon launching the program, the user can navigate to several tabs in order to fully customize every feature of the Naga, including the sensitivity levels, reassigning button functions, creating and assigning macros, performance surface calibration, adjusting the illumination modes, and even installing custom add-ons to tune the performance of the mouse for certain games.
The Razer Naga Chroma offers a design and features that are rarely matched by other peripherals in its price range. Its area of expertise is definitely MMORPGs, due to the quality of its sensor, as well as its vast amount of buttons. However, the fact that each of its clickers can be easily customized (via the Synapse software) to execute any function, the Naga can easily perform very well on other tasks, such as browsing the web or simply getting some work done. On top of it all, all of its features are wrapped neatly into a very elegant frame so that the user can perform like a professional gamer while also looking the part.
Bottom line, this product is a great investment for those looking to acquire a great gaming peripheral without having to break the bank.
All images sourced from Amazon.com
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