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Razer Taipan Review

Jonathan_Leack By:
Jonathan_Leack
06/29/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Mouse 
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER Razer 
DEVELOPER Razer 
RELEASE DATE  

Crikey, mate! That’s a venomous one!


Two of the most poisonous snakes in the world belong to a genus called taipan, which Australia has the luxury of dealing with. Razer adopted the name for its latest product, and as with the real thing, the Razer Taipan has quite a bite.

The Taipan is what Razer is hoping to be the dream mouse for competitive gamers. It was built by scientists in lab coats with the help of e-sport athletes around the world. It’s the latest mouse from Razer’s laboratory which brought us the DeathAdder and Naga. Inherently, I had to get my hands on it.



Right out of the gate, I must say that the Taipan is precisevery precise. During playtime in a variety of first-person shooters such as Battlefield 3 and Counter-Strike: Source, I enjoyed its swift controls. At times I felt like it was just an extension of my hand as it slithered across my mouse pad with its Teflon feet, putting enemies wrought with inferior mice out of their misery.

Its precision is backed by an 8200dpi 4G Dual Sensor System that is as technologically advanced as it sounds. One of its sensors is used to accurately scribe mouse movements to the on-screen cursor/crosshair while a second optical sensor monitors z-axis movement. The culmination is a level of accuracy that few other mice can contend with.

Due to the inclusion of two sensors, the Taipan does a great job of adapting to any environment. Tests on both cloth and hard surfaces yielded rigorous results. The dual sensors also do an impressive job of battling liftoff, and every time I picked up the mouse to form another swipe, I had no fear of indeliberate inputs.



While testing the unit in several games, some with raw input enabled and some without, I found that negative acceleration affects quick movements of the device. This is something that mice have battled with for years now. But on the bright-side what I found was very minimal and only affected movements that were so fast that they’ll rarely ever find their way into a real-world scenario. In the case of twitch-shots and sporadic movements, this acceleration never presented itself, and the dampening of liftoff was a huge relief.

The Taipan’s powerful hardware is housed in a sleek casing that is visually impressive with green LED lights, aggressive angles, and the futuristic flair that Razer is known for. The mouse is ambidextrous, so whether you’re left- or right-handed, you’ll feel right at home. It’s sculpted with a low-profile and slim spacing that keeps the hand right at the center of control. While no weights are included, it sits toward the middle-heavy part of the spectrum and has an excellent center of balance.

The upper shell is hard but feels good to the touch. Both sides of the device have rubber finish that provide reliable grip during intense firefights. The mouse wheel is my favorite part of the package as not only does it give great feedback during scrolling, but it clicks into position with authority. The cord is braided and, as with the mouse, is very durable.

There are nine buttons in total but in practice only seven of them are practical as the two on the far side are too difficult to press. Speaking of which, I found that each of the four side buttons are too small and can be difficult to press in the heat of battle. The two toward the middle control DPI by default, which is something I constantly took advantage of. Some games and situations command higher DPI, and it’s good to know that the option is readily available along with the extremely high capacity of 8200.


Unfortunately, the symmetrical design causes a few problems. For one, I found it awkward to hold at first with finger grip. It took a few hours to adjust and find the sweet spot, but even then it could have been far more comfortable to hold. I found myself holding it at an angle with my ring and pinky fingers nested on the lip of the indented right-side. The sad part about the comfort level is if it weren’t ambidextrous, which is a main feature of the device, it would be one of Razer’s best designs. That said, I can see users who prefer claw grip to get along nicely with the Taipan, but palm users won’t have much to hold onto given its low-profile nature.

Although eventually all devices will be supported, the Taipan is one of a select few to take advantage of Razer’s new Synapse 2.0. Synapse is a cloud-based configuration studio that, in the Taipan’s case, allows for a high level of tuning and customization. Within the studio it’s easy to change acceleration, DPI, liftoff distance, polling rate, and more. The flashy neon green lighting on the device’s scroll wheel and logo can also be disabled independently, although the color can’t be changed. Most importantly, the Taipan can be calibrated to each unique surface and environment. It’s one of the best features about the mouse, and it’s fun to play with the settings until you find the perfect combination.

What the Razer Taipan offers that makes it a stand-out device is its reliable accuracy housed within a high-quality shell. It not only looks good, but it gives whoever wields it an advantage on the battlefield. Its ambidextrous design is a nice touch for left-handed users but compromises its comfort level, which becomes especially noticeable during longer play sessions. It’s a gaming mouse that comes very close to being king of the hill, but just misses the mark.

Specifications
4G Dual Sensor System - 8200dpi
Ambidextrous form factor
Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
9 programmable Hyperesponse buttons
1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
Up to 200 inches per second / 50g acceleration
Approximate size: 124 mm / 4.88” (Length) x 63 mm / 2.48” (Width) x 36 mm / 1.42” (Height)
Approxmate Weight: 132 g / 0.29 lbs
Price: $79.99 MSRP
Razer Taipan
fullfullfullfullempty
  • Accuracy that leaves enemies in dismay
  • Tackles liftoff like a champ
  • One size doesn't fit all
  • Slim buttons can be hard to press
  • Looks and feels like a product from Area 51
  • Lots of customization through Synapse 2.0
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