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Reviewed: Razer Boomslang, 2000dpi model
Author: Michael "" Ahlf       Date: December 22nd 1999
Page: 2

The technology of the mouse is pretty impressive: instead of using an optical sensor like Microsoft's latest line (which causes variable sensitivity depending on surface photographic capabilities and motion factors) the Boomslang mice shine a laser onto the mouse ball which reflects and allows measurement of the rotations. The result is that the mouse reads at incredibly high resolution. The second part of the mouse is its USB support: in order to transmit all the information back (6 MIPS worth), the mouse is native to the USB port instead of the PS/2 port. For those without USB capabilities, a PS/2 adapter is supplied along with a software enhancer called PS2Flex, which is very similar in function to the freeware program PS2Rate, will allow users to boost their PS/2 port to a 200 Hz refresh rate to keep up with the sensitivity of the Boomslang mouse. The driver sets are equally fun: all four buttons (1,2,scroll wheel click, and the fourth which is thumb-operated) can be bound to various commands from games or otherwise. As a final touch, the scroll wheel operates at 45 dots per revolution (dpr), matching the extreme resolution of the mouse itself. To make you sure it'll operate, the mouse has a patented dust barrier coating as well as rubberized grip surfaces.

The mechanical design of the mouse is very sound as well. First of all, there are tiny teflon pieces instead of larger strips like Microsoft and Logitech normally use for the mouse to glide on, resulting in less dirt buildup on the side of the strips and a smoother motion with the unit. The mouse is also large, with the main 2 buttons extending almost half the mouse's length and the end of the mouse rounded enough to fit the palm of a person's hand. The mouse ball itself is located towards the rear of the mouse as well. What this means in terms of usage is that the mouse causes people to move the mouse with wrist motion rather than full-arm motion or twisted finger movement. The size leaves the mouse accessible for people with joint problems such as carpal tunnel or arthritis sufferers who have trouble gripping a smaller obect. The distances covered by the mouse are incredible as well: the 2000 dpi model covers the screen in 1/5 the distance of motion that a normal PS/2 mouse (Aptiva Scrollpoint) does. This allows users to operate the mouse longer without becoming tired or fatigued from the motions. The location of the ball didn't seem to make sense until I began using the mouse: its placement actually allows smoother control because the mouse is tied more closely to the motion of the user instead of to finger flicking.

Getting used to the mouse is something people will have to work on, however. It took me approximately a week to be really comfortable using the mouse at its full sensitivity: I started at half and gradually worked my way up. Once I was done, I began to notice when testing my old mouse how slow it actually felt in relation. In various games the mouse gave me the same feeling: I realized that I was, for the first time, able to make the sensitivity in the games low and still move freely. It also taught a valuable lesson, since switching to the old mouse caused me to get my butt kicked as I found out exactly how jittery a 400 dpi device is when the sensitivity of games such as Quake 3 and UT is turned up high. Below are my experiences with various software packages and the impact the mouse had.

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Added:  Monday, December 20, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/4

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