August 3, 2017 // 4:30 p.m.
Razer is a big name in the gaming peripheral market. Love it or hate it, the company does very well. Its latest two mice are the Lancehead and Lancehead TE. The Lancehead TE is black, wired, and comes equipped with an optical sensor. We have the Lancehead, which is the wireless version, comes in a gunmetal silver/grey, and has a laser sensor.
Inside the rather nice packaging, we have the mouse, a proprietary charging cable, a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, and a little adapter which connects to the proprietary cable and gives you a regular USB port so you can have the receiver plugged in somewhere more convenient than the back of your PC. There is also the usual bunch of leaflets, stickers, and user manuals.
I must admit, I personally really like the look and colour of the Lancehead. It is quite refreshing to see the gunmetal silver/black rather than the standard all-black. It does make it less likely to be a good match to other peripherals on the market, however, including Razer's own.
The Razer Lancehead has an ambidextrous design, so whether you are left- or right-handed, you will get the same experience. There are two buttons on either side of the mouse, so you always have thumb buttons to work with. The rear of the mouse is flared out, making it similar to the Logitech G900 in terms of shape. The flared rear could make it uncomfortable for some palm grip users, but I personally found it great. Comfort is always a personal preference, and no reviewer will be able to tell you what you prefer, but I found the Lancehead to be perfectly fine with claw, fingertip, and palm grips.
From the front, there are some rather aggressive vents which look like they should be on the front of a car. These don't do anything other than add to it aesthetically, but we rather like them nonetheless. The scroll wheel has a nice ribbed texture to it and scrolls very well. It isn't too stiff or too loose; it is right in the sweet spot. Just behind the scroll wheel, there are two buttons that control the DPI by default, but these can be changed using the Razer Synapse software.
This is one of the things that's a little bit short-sighted with the Razer Lancehead. This 2.1-metre micro-USB cable has a uniquely shaped connector and will only fit this mouse, which means that the mouse can't be charged with anything other than this cable, as no other micro-USB cables will fit. Now, this isn't the only mouse that does this; in fact, the Logitech G900 has its own cable, but you can still use other micro-USB cables with it. People who don't travel with their mice won't mind this at all, but for me, it is rather annoying. It means that every time I travel, I have to crawl under my desk, unplug the cable from my PC, untangle it from all the other cables, and pack it away. Then, when I return, I have to reverse the process. In an ideal world, I would be able to use one of my other micro-USB cables that I have to take with me when I travel instead of relying solely on this "special" cable.
To give the cable a little more functionality, you can use this adapter to turn it into a USB extension to power the 2.4GHz USB dongle and allow you to position it wherever you like (within 2.1 metres of your PC, at least). It can also be used to charge other devices such as mobile phones and even works with mice and keyboards, but from some quick testing, the adapter doesn't work with storage devices such as USB drives. This is a shame, as it would have given you a rather nice USB extension, but as it stands, it is basically just for your wireless dongle - we can't guarantee that other devices will work. Still, this isn't a big problem, as the primary idea of the cable is to ensure that users don't take up two USB ports on their PC i.e. you connect the cable to the adaptor/dongle for wireless use, then unplug the adaptor/dongle and plug in your mouse to charge it as and when necessary, all of which only needs a single USB port at a time.
If we turn the mouse over, we see the 5G laser sensor that gives you 16,000 DPI and 210 inches per second (IPS) tracking. It is unusual to see a laser sensor on high-end mice such as the Lancehead. In the peripheral world, optical sensors are usually the preferred choice for gamers, especially since they have caught up in terms of DPI and track on multiple surfaces better. The 5G laser sensor isn't bad at all, though, and I had no issues at all other than some very small stuttering when lifting the mouse off the surface, which was rectified by calibrating the mouse. Still, I am unsure as to why Razer would choose the laser sensor over the optical counterpart, especially when it does use an optical sensor in the Lancehead TE.
One area that Razer mentions beating the competition is with its proprietary Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT), which seeks out the strongest wireless frequency every millisecond then latches onto it. In theory, this makes the wireless transmission a lot more stable. Razer has released a promotional video on this, and if it works as intended, it could be fantastic. We have no way to test this, but we certainly didn't have any problem with connectivity; it worked fine regardless of what other devices were in use. The same is also true, however, of competing mice like the Roccat Leadr and Logitech G900.
The Razer Lancehead has some great lighting features. There are four different lighting zones, and the strips on either side of the mouse have seven RGB LEDs each that you can independently control. This can all be controlled using the Synapse software, which we will take a look at next.
I recorded a battery life of around 22 hours from full to empty, and that's while playing with the settings a lot. Clearly, then, there's more than enough power for a full waking day of gaming.