I’ve used an Apple Mighty Mouse almost exclusively with both my previous G4 PowerBook and now my current unibody MacBook Pro. I have always been a huge fan of the Logitech VX Nano cordless laser mouse for notebooks on my HP dv9700CTO Vista and now Win7 machine but was never able to get comfortable using it on my MBP. It seemed way too “twitchy” on Leopard and Snow Leopard. Not too long ago I moved up to the new Magic Mouse from Apple and liked the style but still had trouble with the maxed out sensitivity and the lack of innate support for Expose and Dashboard that I was accustomed to on the Mighty Mouse. Well I stopped at Best Buy today and could not stop looking at the ultra-cool Razer Mamba. Although the packaging clearly said Mac was not an option, I didn’t believe them. So I Googled it on my iPhone standing there in the isle looking like a geek and found that Razer was actually hosting an Unofficial Mamba Mac website on their servers. So I figured it might actually work. Let’s just say that I left there hesitant, hopeful, and poorer.
What I got surprised me. I got home and rushed to plug it in.Forget the flashy out-of-the-box experience that the high end Razer mice excel in. And forget all the cool blue neon lights and futuristic charging stand.It’s all about feel and functionality for me and the Mamba knocks it out of the park. Even when compared to the best Logitech mice. I’m not kidding. This thing just plain works on OSX, and works great. I plugged it in and everything worked perfectly. Everything that the Magic Mouse left behind is enabled again. A wheel click instantly calls up Expose and a thumb button brings up Dashboard. There’s nothing to configure either. But that’s not the best part.
The feel of the Mamba is second to none. It’s soft, tactile coating enhances your grip and the weight gives you instant confidence. Tracking is incredibly precise, button clicks and wheel-action are positive, and the accuracy is amazing.The only two things I’d improve on (I am a mouse snob and having only two things to improve on for me is really saying something) is I’d add a side scroll the way Logitech does it with a push of the scroll-er and I’d add more acceleration to the scroll action. Like a freewheeling scroll the way the VX Nano does it when you click the wheel button hard enough. And it’s a big mouse too, this is no petite travel sized piece of equipment but rater a full sized precision pointing device. Even with these I am amazed at how much better this thing is than all the other mice I’ve used. I highly recommend the Mamba to Mac OSX users even though the packaging clearly says otherwise.
Here’s a few other noteworthy insights. Although Mac is not a supported system they do have Mac drivers for the Mamba on their website to download. Go figure. These give you control over the sensitivity (X and Y sensitivity separately as well as sync’d), the lights, and the acceleration when the mouse is plugged in directly to the cable. They do not recognize the mouse if it is in wireless mode. Although the drivers are not necessary for the mouse to work well and the drivers are not nearly as robust as the Windows control panel, they are very helpful and worth the download. I am actually using the mouse with the cable attached a lot more than wireless. The sensitivity and acceleration seem to work best when tethered. I am now considering trying the wireless Bluetooth version for travel. If it’s as good as the Mamba then I’ll have all of my bases covered.
My impression over time with the Razer mouse hasn’t changed either, it is still just as impressive a pointing device. There are oddities around configuring it on a Mac. For instance you have to plug in the wired USB cable to change the settings via the Preferences utility. You can’t change the sensitivity or acceleration when it is in wireless mode. It’s not a real problem, just strange and a little inconvenient at first when you are playing around to get the perfect settings. Once it’s setup you don’t need to touch it again.
But this story continues. I figured since I have found that the Razer mice are as good as they say, and I love the Big Mamba (as I call it), then their mobile Bluetooth mouse might be a winner too. Well it is. I tried the Razer Orochi wireless Bluetooth mouse and was just as impressed if not more so! It is a much smaller mouse yet comes with everything the Mamba offers. It comes with the same high quality USB cable but not the ultra-cool neon blue charging stand. I like the petite size for traveling, it fits in my carry one bag and on the tiny seat table perfectly. In fact, the Orochi is so perfect I have slowly started using it as my primary mouse at home and on the road. It is that good. Give the Razer Orochi or Mamba a try if you are looking for a great piece of mouse hardware.