Razer Abyssus

There are pretty much only two things that I demand from my PC mouse as a gamer, as far as physical features go at least, and those are side-mounted thumb-buttons and 'on-the-fly' sensitivity adjustment.

NameGaming mouse: Razer Abyssus
At a glance:3,500DPI Infrared sensor,1,000Hz USB polling,Only three buttons,Sensitivity switch inconveniently placed
Summary:Could use a few more buttons, but a solid gaming mouse nonetheless.

There are pretty much only two things that I demand from my PC mouse as a gamer, as far as physical features go at least, and those are side-mounted thumb-buttons and “on-the-fly” sensitivity adjustment. I mention these straight off the bat as the mouse I am looking at today – the Razer Abyssus – is marketed as a gaming mouse yet it completely lacks one of these features, and has butchered the other.

To be fair, though, there are plenty of positives about this mouse, so we’ll start with those before coming back to the (somewhat subjective) shortcomings.

Most mice in this price range have 1,800DPI infrared sensors – this is basically a camera on the bottom of the mouse which tracks motion across the surface of your desk or mouse pad, with a higher DPI rating meaning the ability to track movement more finely – but the Abyssus packs a 3,500DPI sensor for maximum sensitivity.

Another cool thing you usually don’t get without spending a few more bucks is the 1,000Hz ‘Ultrapolling’ feature. This just means that the mouse sends a signal to your PC one thousand times per second, or once every millisecond, when other so-called gaming mice dawdle along at 125Hz/8ms. This can be crucial during fast-paced gaming action.

Now let’s get back to those downsides. First, the reason I like side-mounted thumb-buttons is because you can assign actions to them so you don’t have to fumble for keys on your keyboard to do something in-game, for example throwing grenades in a first person shooter. The Abyssus offers no such luxury, with only two main buttons and the scroll wheel acting as a third button when you push it down.

Next, the sensitivity adjustment. This feature allows you to switch between preset DPI ratings just by pressing a button or, as in the case of the Abyssus, sliding a switch – this can come in handy when you change from running around swinging a shotgun in all directions (where a high sensitivity allows you to look around faster) to setting up camp on top of a hill with a sniper rifle (where you want a slower, more accurate response).

Razer says that the Abyssus has on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, but I would like to dispute that. Having to stop what you’re doing, turn the mouse upside down, flick a switch, then turn the mouse back over and continue gaming is not what I would call “on-the-fly”. Why couldn’t they just put toggle buttons on the top of the mouse like everyone else? There’s certainly room for them.

Anyway, I gave this mouse a fair crack at some Bad Company 2 online, and the positives it does offer were definitely appreciated – especially the high DPI sensor. Also, the mouse is supremely comfortable to use, and the buttons it does have are awesomely responsive in true Razer fashion.

At the end of the day, I still have issues with the lack of buttons and sensitivity adjustment. If these things don’t bother you, then it’s a great mouse, I highly recommend it. If you’re like me, though, there are more practical options for the price.

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Paul Urquhart

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