What you’re looking at here is the Razer Krait, the mouse that sits at the bottom end of Razer’s range. But is it cheap and nasty, or does it stand as a good entry-level gaming mouse? There’s only one way to find out.
What Do You Get With The Razer Krait?
Starting with the box you get a good feeling about the quality of the mouse. The box is nicely designed, being matt black with a big picture of the Krait on the front. The box claims that the Krait is ‘optimized for real time strategy / MMOG gamers’, a claim I’ll be putting to the test later. The back of the box gives a spec list for the Krait in a variety of languages.
On the front of the box is a flap which, when opened, allows you to see the Krait inside, but just sitting there in the box it doesn’t look too special.
Open the box and you’ll find the Krait mouse (duh!), a manual with driver CD, some sort of collector’s card (featuring a picture of the Krait and little else) and a quick start manual.
What’s Special About The Razer Krait?
Let’s take a look at the features list, straight from the box:
- Up to 1200 actions per minute
- 1600 dpi optical sensor powered by Razer Precision
- 3 programmable ultra-large non-slip buttons with Hyperesponse
- 16-bit data channel
- Always-on instant response
- Award-winning on-the-fly sensitivity drivers
In this list ‘actions per minute’ is defined as ‘the number of actions completed within a minute of gameplay in a real-time strategy game’. 1200 apm, or twenty per second, sounds like a hell of a lot of clicking to me.
The Krait is a small and light mouse, measuring 128mm by 64mm and weighing just 80g. It’s definitely not designed for gamers with big hands but is ideal for those who prefer to use a claw-grip to hold their mouse.
The main shell of the mouse is black plastic, with two rubber rails running down the sides. These light up in an orangey/yellow colour when the Krait is plugged in (as does the scroll wheel), and their rubbery surface gives a little bit of exra grip.
The two buttons are big and are covered in a rubbery material, making them comfortable and grippy. The clicking action is light and positive. The scroll wheel is also easy to use and has 24 separate click positions, as well as a push-down click action (the third button).
The Krait connects to the PC using a seven foot USB cable that features a gold connector, a sign of quality on a cheap gaming mouse. In fact the whole mouse feels well built, belying the fact that this is Razer’s lowest spec mouse.
Setting Up The Krait
Plug in the Krait and the lighting bursts into life, making the mouse look a lot more appealing. There are no effects available on the lighting, just a simple glow, but it still gives the Krait a bit of character.
Installing the driver software is easy, and this allows you to customise the functions of the mouse. The overall sensitivity of the sensor can be controlled from here, as well as activating the on-the-fly adjustment. The speed of the scroll wheel can be altered and the mouse can be sqitched between left/right hand configurations, thanks to Krait’s ambidextrous shape.
The main function of the drivers is to decide what actions the three buttons and scrollwheel will perform. For gaming this is fairly obvious – you’ll stick with left and right click. But the scrollwheel click offers you the chance to enable the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. Click the button, hold it down and use the scrollwheel to determine the sensor’s sensitivity on a scale of 1 to 10. The problem is that it is really fiddly to control, particularly in the middle of a game. It would be easier to add the on-the-fly function to the right-mouse button, but then you woulnd’t be able to use it as normal in-game.
You can also assign a keyboard button to a mouse, and there is also a macro-recording function available.
Using The Razer Krait
The Krait claims to be a mouse for real-time strategy and MMO fans, so one obvious choice would be to have a go with it in World Of Warcraft.
First impressions are good, as the mouse sensor tracks well with great response and accurate movement. However, this was with the mouse at full 1600 dpi. If you drop to the lower setting of 400 dpi you may start to notice a little stuttering as the Krait only has a polling rate of 125Hz – compare that to the new Razer Deathadder with 1000Hz and you can see one of the reasons the Krait is considered a cheap gaming mouse. Lift-off distance is good with the sensor still registering movement up to about 6mm off the mousepad.
Button configuration is very important in a game like WoW and if you ditch the on-the-fly sensitivity and assign a macro to the third button the Krait makes a lot more sense. This allows you to string together your favourite sequence of spells and buffs and activate them with a single click of the scrollwheel.
Sticking with the Warcraft theme I fired up Warcraft 3 for a bit of strategy and again the mouse performed extremely well. I never came anywhere near to testing the 1200apm limit of the Krait, but it held together at all times with no missed clicks.
In reality Razer’s claim that the Krait is ideal for strategy games and MMOs is wide of the mark. While the Krait handles these games quite well, what it really needs is more buttons to allow for more macros and in-game functions to be accessible through the mouse. In reality the 3-button Krait is much more suited to first-person shooters such as Counterstrike, where it performs better than you might expect.
The Razer Krait is a good mouse. It may be the cheapest of Razer’s offerings but it makes a good upgrade if you’re looking to get a proper gaming mouse without spending a lot of money. On the other hand, the limited number of buttons is slightly restrictive and, while you learn to make do, it would be nice to have another button or two. Another button would also allow you to make proper use of the on-the-fly sensitivity.
Also, this mouse will not suit everyone. While being small and light has its advantages it could also lead to some uncomfortable gaming sessions if you can’t comfortably hold the mouse.
- High-quality materials
- Ambidextrous shape for left or right-handers with a small or medium palm
- Action of scroll wheel and buttons is very good
- Glides smoothly
- USB sample rate is low for a gaming mouse
- Could really do with more buttons