There’s no question that PC gamers are passionate about their hardware. From the components inside desktops and laptops, to the peripherals in their hands, each piece of the PC gaming puzzle is important for optimal performance and precision, no matter the cost. Feeding this frenzy is Intel, AMD, and Nvidia on the hardware side, and Logitech, SteelSeries, Razer, and several others on the peripheral side. The latest entry from Razer is the Razer Lancehead PC gaming mouse, which the company tossed our way. We grabbed the mouse by its tail to see if its hefty $140 pricetag bites our wallet in all the right places.
Welcome to the cult
The Razer Lancehead is an extremely comfortable peripheral in the palm of your hand. We actually loved the SteelSeries Rival 700, but compared to Razer’s new mouse, it’s bulky. The SteelSeries is also designed only for right-handed gamers.
By contrast, Razer’s Lancehead accommodates both left and right-handed gamers. It’s a sleek, slim device that – surprisingly – is heavier than the SteelSeries mouse, though the Lancehead is visually slimmer, and shorter in height. Despite feeling compact in your hand, Razer’s mouse doesn’t feel too light in movement, and that’s a good thing.
It accommodates left and right-handed gamers, so the south-paw crowd won’t feel excluded from Razer’s so-called cult.
Overall, the Lancehead’s exterior is smooth and gorgeous, sporting an attractive “space silver” body enhanced by black accents. There are nine physical buttons for your programming pleasure — left click and right click buttons built with Razer’s in-house mechanical switches, a clickable tactile scroll wheel, two sensitivity buttons, and an additional two buttons on each side. All buttons can be customized through the company’s free Razer Synapse software.
On each side of the mouse, you’ll find a black rubberized area residing under the two buttons, enabling a better grip for your thumb and ring finger (or whatever digit you use when fondling a mouse). Both sides also include an elegantly thin LED strip that is complemented by an illuminated Razer logo on the palm rest area, and strips running along both sides of the mouse wheel.
Turn the mouse over, and you’ll find a nifty covered compartment for temporarily stashing away the included wireless USB dongle. To the left of the compartment, but still residing under the compartment’s hood, are two buttons and an LED: one button for switching the mouse off and on, and one for physically cycling through four stored profiles. The handy LED assigns each profile with its own color — red, green, blue, and cyan.
Customizable for your favorite games
Because the mouse has on-board storage, you can locally save four sets of configurations containing different button assignments, sensitivity levels, acceleration rates (zero to ten), polling rates, and illumination. The lighting aspect consists of five effects that support 16.8 million colors — Breathing, Reactive, Spectrum Cycling, Static, and Wave. These colors and effects can be synchronized with Razer’s other Chroma-branded devices.
Lancehead owners can assign profiles to specific games, too. For instance, we created a special DOOM profile using specific sensitivity settings, button configurations, and a red “Reactive” lighting effect. Every time we fired a weapon, all lighting zones would light up in red and slowly fade away. The lighting duration can be switched between three settings, as well – short, medium, and long.
You can also program macros using Synapse, and then assign those macros to specific buttons. There’s even an option in Synapse to install special Chroma apps, such as Chroma for Outlook, which lights up the mouse when you receive an Outlook-based notification.
Running like its tail is on fire
On a performance level, Lancehead owners can jump into Synapse and switch the polling rate between three levels: 125Hz, 500Hz, and 1,000Hz. The number correlates to how many times the mouse updates the processor with its location each second. Thus, by default, the mouse provides a report 500 times per second. When testing the wireless connection, we saw an average of around 482Hz using swift motions, and the same results after connecting the peripheral’s included seven-foot braided USB cable.
We could keep talking about how we love the Lancehead, but what you need to know is this – you should buy one.
As for the sensitivity, the Lancehead’s 5G laser sensor is capable of up to 16,000 dots per inch. That’s an insane amount, meaning you can cross three connected high-resolution screens by physically moving the mouse around 0.375 inches horizontally across a desktop surface. That’s where the five on-the-fly sensitivity stages come in, which are fully customizable in the Razer Synapse software.
Honestly, we couldn’t see a difference in gameplay whether the mouse was wired or wireless, and our software test showed that there doesn’t appear to a loss in connectivity quality just because the mouse is on a 2.4GHz wireless connection. Aiming in first-person shooters like Quake Champions and DOOM felt spot-on and tight, although all of our play testing relied on the wireless dongle mounted roughly 14 inches away from the mouse.
You can’t go wrong with Lancehead
We could probably keep talking about all the goodness stemming from the Razer Lancehead mouse, but we’d rather you go purchase the device instead. The only notable drawback with this peripheral is that it took a while to fully recharge, but you could simply plug it into their parent PC overnight to have it at full capacity the next morning. When wireless, the mouse goes into sleep mode at idle, so a single charge should go a long way.
Of course, Synapse will show the battery’s current capacity, but the software is not always front and center on the PC’s screen. This prompted Razer to include a neat trick where the mouse will shut off all illumination save for the mouse wheel. At that point, the wheel’s strips will continuously flash in a red, two-burst loop until the mouse is plugged into a USB port. The loop then stops, and your original illumination returns as the battery begins to recharge.
Ultimately, the cost of Razer’s new mouse is like a lance to the head. Its $140 price tag isn’t cheap, it’s justified by solid quality, performance, and Razer’s stable, proprietary wireless technology. Razer isn’t known for cheaply made products, hence its “cult” following in the PC gaming community. So yes — bite the bullet, and spend an uncomfortable amount of money on this awesome mouse.