Razer Imperator Expert 2012 Edition Gaming mouse Hands-on Experience

Razer, Steelseries and Logitech are making gaming mouses for a very long time. Each company has their own history best selling hardware in the pas and in the present. Razer did it with the first DeathAdder and Logitech did it nicely starting from MX500 and then continuing to MX518. What makes them sell? Out of the box usability that satisfies a lot of users with certain preferences.

Most of the gaming mouses are made for right handed users. Few mouses (as referred to A lot of people deemed it as a con but its more depending on the preference. Some people soft grip on the mouse, whereas many prefer the plain Jane finish. Some prefer small whereas some prefer large. Some want light weight and some prefer it to be bit heavier. Some gamers prefer mouse where sensitivity can be controlled easily even without the firmware, whereas many don't need anything more than Left, right and centre scroll click. Its very difficult to make a mouse that satisfies everyone. But yeah, it should be possible to satisfy most of the people with such preference. Top it up with a great built quality, good lifespan track record that people usually talk in the forums, with good enough warranty support and price: you got yourself a winner!

The 2012 Edition of Razer Imperator is a gaming mouse and like all gaming mouse its gives an impression that its made to try to satisfy a lot of such gamers. Keeping that in mind, lets see how she does.

Packaging and Specifications
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Packaging is pretty much standard (for a gaming mouse with a premium tag. You pull out the front and Razer talks most about the 4G dual sensor Technology.

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You get what you pay for. Couple of stickers, a driver disc and few reading material.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any details about the warranty period, atleast on the box. Its odd, considering that its Razer is obviously a Tier 1 brand. I can understand to a certain point that warranty period differs from region to region (also at times depending on the country). Nevertheless people should know about the warranty period in the packaging itself. I am sure we all will agree that warranty period does not indicate the lifespan of any product, but still- people should know what they're getting with the packaging. A lot of people buy it from shelves and after referring to the site.

As per what I know, Razer Imperator 2012 comes with 1 year warranty be default, in India to say the least.


[*]6400dpi 4G Dual Sensor System
[*]Rubberized contoured thumb grip for added control
[*]Ergonomic right-handed design
[*]Adjustable side buttons
[*]Razer Synapse Onboard Memory
[*]Up to 200 inches per second* /50g acceleration
[*]Seven independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
[*]On-the-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
[*]Zero-acoustic Ultraslick mouse feet
[*]Approx. size in mm; 123(l) x 71(w) x 42(h)

The mouse supports Windows 7/ Vista XP and Mac OS X (v10.4 and above) operating systems. I've tested this mouse on a windows 7 system and with Quake 3, Mass Effect 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Half life 2: Episode 2.

According to Razer's FAQs, in a nutshell 4G technology is put up for maximising its tracking precision and reliability. The mouse automatically uses the optical sensor to calibrate the laser sensor to the surface. So theoretically, this should eliminate any erratic movements when lifting and placing the mouse back to the surface.

Initial Impressions and User Experience

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The cord is braided and its long enough for gamers who have their computer tower towards the left on the floor and route it back and get it your right hand side. The braided cable was somewhat twisted towards the mouse. The previous testers most likely didn't straightened the cable before using it but the braids does get that twist even if you try to straighten it out, spoiling the shape and the braids. The cable could use bit more thickness, maybe thicker insulation within the sleeves. This should prevent the cable being twisted and being damaged in the long run.
Before you go ahead, do note that different users use different grips. Razer created a very good (and universal) reference that people can refer to know what kind of grips they use when they grab a mouse.

The overall built quality is pretty decent but I wish the mouse has some weight (more of a preference).The scroll wheel has a very good rubber grip. Claw type users should be fine with such mouse. Can't really say for certain about palm grip users.

The grip on the sides have a rubber finish despite how it looks from the top the mouse is made for right handed users.

I use the claw grip and very rarely- a palm grip- provided the mouse is big enough. For claw grip its pretty decent, palm grip (where your hand has full contact with the mouse) on this mouse has a little bit of inconvenience and takes some to get used to. I use a Razer Goliathus oversize Control Edition that I am using since 2007.

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There's a lever on the base to adjust the side thumb buttons. You can adjust it in any you want and not necessarily on the front and back, depending on your preference. The lever is within so that it won't be an obstacle, and its border has the same rubber feel.

The mouse feet is very "slick" and I am sure its best to be used in smooth surface. The control Edition Razer Goliathus mouse pad is for those who want a friction surface, but with this type of surface the friction is more than what I am used to.

The 2 buttons on the top by default increases/decreases the mouse sensitivity without the software. But the pointer does move towards top right corner every time lift it up and putting it back up. I updated the firmware of the mouse and see if something happens- and it didn't do it the way I hoped.

According to Razer's literature the mouse automatically calibrates according to the surface. When I use imperator's drivers and then manually set the lift off distance and switched off the surface calibration, it didn't really move. I can fine tune it further with the software's own manual X/Y axis calibration it can be fine tuned. What's annoying is that I am having this issue out of the box.

For the mouse to calibrate automatically you need to remove and plug back the USB cable. Tried it on different surface and I am getting a feeling this should do what it should do on a hard mat surface. Surface calibration seems to be switched on by default. So you'll need the drivers to switch it off. Either you have a really REALLY flat surface below the mat or have a hard mat.

Both the sides of the Scroll wheel has blue LED light, so does the logo. Its not very bright even in the dark so its all good.

The DPI setting that I've used was 1800dpi although via the software you can manually calibrate the sensitivity between 100 to 6400 dpi. Truth be told not a lot of users will need anything more than 800-1600dpi. Still, its an option.Independent X-Y sensitivity does work, but if you're a LAN gamer then you should know that its not going to be possible, especially since many competitions do not allow you to install a firmware.

Speaking of Imperator's own firmware,

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The Imperator's own firmware gives a lot of control and customization over the mouse, including acceleration, polling rate, Macro profiles and even turning on/off the pulsating LED on the mouse scroll wheel and the logo. This firmware works with only Imperator mouses- and it comes with the backward support with the older Imperator.

The mouse has its own specific requirements before you can use the mouse the way you want it to work. In my experience the auto calibration didn't work as effective as it should have, especially when a dedicated optical sensor is implemented to do just that. No1 will need anything more than 800-1600dpi. Manual setup for sensitivity, polling rate, acceleration, macro profile support and lightning control via the firmware is the only aspect in this mouse. The mouse does drift away from Razer Goliathus Control Edition mousepad during liftoff. I am getting a feeling that the sensor is picky when it comes to mouse surfaces, which shouldn't be the case for a gaming mouse. Its annoying at its best, especially during sniping.

The MRP is Rs. 4,200/-.

Thank you for not using any glossy surface!

I don't know how good the newer versions of Deathadders are, but the very first version is something that I liked so much that I am sure many probably replaced it with their MX518s. With this mouse, you might have to spend time calibrating it via the drivers. If you don't mind doing that, something you might shortlist. If you're like me who simply plugs in and starts playing straightaway within nothing more than side buttons by max, don't bother upgrading it.


Thats one HELL of a post! Nice review and pics btw! :)