The three-headed snake is back, this time with the Razer Naga Epic Chroma. The unit is an update of the Naga Epic released back in 2011, which it now replaces. Designed specifically for the MMO market, Razer has once again positioned its product to devour its competitors, as its logo would suggest. Apart from the very evident 12-button inclusion, a must for the genre-specific mouse, the Chroma is packed with a number of features. At a retail of $129 (roughly R1500), is it worth replacing the mouse you already have?
Build and Design
From its predecessor, the Chroma has kept only a few basic design traits, this time around including a host of new design features to appease more fans, while hopefully gaining a few more. For starters, Razer has diverged from the previous single-handed design, to the, now, more ergonomic, ambidextrous approach, despite the customisable, 12-button MMO buttons on the left side. Another noticeable change is the exclusion of the interchangeable side panels. While there are a number of grip styles across the millions of gamers, Razer believes its one-size-fits-all approach to be the median for all. The Chroma now also offers a combination of wired and wireless modes. In wired mode, users can simply plug the 2.1m, braided cable directly into the mouse, whereas in wireless mode, users connect the cable to the charging dock. In wireless mode, the batteries have a 20-hour life span in continuous mode.
In addition to the 12 MMO buttons on the thumb rest (right hand use), there are another seven customisable buttons, including the left/right click buttons, the scroll wheel, which acts as three buttons, and another two right behind. The buttons are fitted with Omron switches, while the 12 MMO buttons fitted with mechanical switches, all for easier and more responsive clicking. The mouse has a rubberised, textured rest for your pinkie finger, while the rest of the device has a matte, plastic finish. This finish is purposefully chosen to stop sweat build up for long gaming periods, as any sweat simply dissipates after a few seconds. It may come across as something trivial these days, but the underside of the mouse plays an important role in providing a more efficient user experience. In this case, the Chroma does brilliantly. There are three “Zero-acoustic Ultraslick” mouse feet, which, to describe most effectively, feels like skating on ice. All of this, and its other design features, are fitted to the 150g unit, even with the inclusion of a battery pack.
Performance and Features
As with the design and build elements, Razer has fitted the Chroma with hardware that goes beyond what the mouse was designed for. For starters, it has an ARM 32-bit processor to compute the minutest of movements, while keeping track of all your user customisations and profiles added via the Razer Synapse 2.0 software. Users can also add macros, which can be especially useful for games like DotA 2 playing with Invoker for example. In conjunction with the 8200dpi 4G laser sensor and 1000Hz Ultrapolling, while the unit glides across the surface, smooth movements are also represented on your PC. The Chroma also has a movement speed of 200 inches per second/50g acceleration. Often, these movement speeds are too much to handle when used for the first time, but users can easily set this to a lower rate by means of the software.
The Razer Synapse 2.0 software not only allows users to customise the buttons, and add different buttons for different profiles, but also allows changing the colours of the lights. Colour options can be chosen for both wired and wireless modes, and can be dimmed as well to save on battery life in wireless mode. Colours can also be set individually for the buttons and scroll wheel, and, if you have the Chroma keyboard as well, can be synced together. Colours can be chosen from a range of 16.8 million colour option via the software. While the name may suggest that the lighting feature is the key difference between the Naga Chroma and the Naga, it’s actually the option to go wireless, and provide a recharge option, that constitutes the additional cost.
As stated in the introduction, the unit will set you back roughly R1500. This price is quite high above the average costs for a mouse, even for gaming units. That being said, the Razer Naga Epic Chroma has a lot to offer. Not only does it do the basics with ease and finesse, there’s a lot more under the hood that makes the Chroma feel more like an extension of your hand than a separate entity which you game with.
Razer products always feel over-developed, but everything has its purpose. Much like John Wick’s double-tap to confirm a kill, the Chroma makes doubly sure that every aspect, no matter how basic, it catered for. Even the unboxing is something of an event, the inside of the box designed to raise up with the unit as the lid is opened. At the end of the day, there’s not much to fault about the Chroma. At the same time, if you don’t require wireless functionality, or the changeable lighting function, last year’s Razer Naga is worth considering at almost half the price. For more serious MMO gamers, the Chroma is definitely worth the cost.