Razer Pro Solutions Mouse and Mousepad

Razer Pro | Solutions Ultra-Fine Pixel Precision Mouse v1.6
Price: $60 US
Razer Pro | Solutions Pro Pad Dual-sided Mousing Surfaces
Price: $30 US

One of the best things about wandering the Macworld Expo showroom floor from booth to booth between media PR appointments is coming across unexpected treasures among all the splash and crash of promotional excess. Such is the case with this “humble” mouse and pad introduced by Razer Pro Solutions. “Oh yeah, Nemo,” you’re thinking, “just what the world really needs is another stinking mouse, you nitwit. And a mouse pad?! Gimme a break, you bonehead.”

I take my mousing very seriously, and I audition as many different types and brands of mice as I can. Apple’s generic white mice, both one-button traditional and new $49 Mighty Mouse, are my standards for comparison, because I keep coming back to them for their consistency and reliability.

Razer Pro Solutions (shortened to Razer for convenience) draws from extensive experience in the gaming arena to offer an innovative, affordable new mouse and pad (sold separately) that instantly changed the way I mouse. My Apple mice have been collecting dust and mouse droppings in the corner of my office ever since Razer’s products cut their way onto my computer desk.

Let’s get the Pro Pad out of the way first. Its “non-slip, anti-reflective, abrasion resistant hard coat” surface is like very fine sandpaper, or slightly tactile formica, and it works with “all optical-mechanical and optical” mice. Small non-slip gripping feet are at each of its four corners to keep Pro Pad from shifting position during use. Identical mousing surfaces cover both sides of the ultra light aluminum base, which is shaped sort of like the middle section of the capital letter V.

The physical size and form of Pro Pad are large enough to keep your hand within its territory, which is good, because the aluminum edges at the perimeter could use a bit more rounding and beveling. Its peculiar shape may require some repositioning of the junk on your computer desk, but that’s a small inconvenience.

There is no way to accelerate Pro Pad’s aging characteristics, so you’ll have to check back with me in a few years to see how it holds up over time. Razer reminds MyMac.com: “while 99% of all other mousing surfaces are plastic, the Pro Pad is heavy gauge anodized aluminum.” During our evaluation period I’m using it with increasing comfort and convenience. Graphics professionals and gamers who require the most reliable, responsive mousing surface should consider switching from that old legal pad or ordinary desk surface to Pro Pad.

MyMac.com rates it at 4 out of 5, and considers Pro Pad to be good value for its accuracy and precision, at $30 US.

Razer’s Pro Mouse v1.6 has many unusual attributes, including:

extremely lightweight

very long and flexible USB cable
oversized contoured mouse buttons and 24-position scroll wheel

attractive glowing blue scroll wheel and translucent upper side panels
symmetrical ambidextrous either-hand design

printed user’s manual, dedicated web site and FAQ, plus downloadable cross-platform driver software

And, best of all, supersonic speed and tracking accuracy. This mouse is soooooooo faaaaaaaaasssssssssst I needed to set my mouse tracking speed in the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel to position two out of ten (prior to installing Razer’s software), just one above Slow. If you like your mousing to proceed like a turtle walking through thick mud, stick with your existing mouse, but if your need for speed exceeds your current breed, heed my plead and get a good lead on Pro Mouse v1.6. Or, as Razer explains, “As you get used to the Pro v1.6, your speed and acuity will improve, and you can heighten the sensitivity as you progress.”

Tech specs include 1600 dpi (that’s a lot!), 16-Bit ultra-wide data path, and up to 40 inches per second screen-equivalent motion response, plus up to 19 sensitivity settings. Graphics and engineering professionals and students are Razer’s primary target users, in addition to gamers.

Everything on Pro v1.6 is adjustable and programmable, once Razer’s driver is installed, including “on-the-fly sensitivity” for mousing needs in different applications, and individual configuration for each of the seven buttons: left and right and scroll on the top, plus two each left and right sides, centrally located and unobtrusive when not being used. Each button “clicker” is light but firm in feel and sound, for positive verification.

Razer tells MyMac.com that the software CD included in the package has been updated to: http://www.razerpro.com/drivers/v16/razerpro-mac-163.zip, so make sure you’re always using the latest Razer software with your Pro Mouse v1.6. I just downloaded this driver. Its package is 453k in size and the full installation consumes 1.2MB of disk space, placing “Razer PRO v1.6.3” icon at the bottom of your System Preferences window. Give yourself a few days to experiment with the multitude of possible configurations and adjustments.

Does MyMac.com recommend Razer’s v1.6 Pro Mouse? Yes, indeed. The more I use it the more I appreciate its design, styling, engineering, and flexibility. Well worth the $60 US price tag, and with no criticisms to get in the way of our highest 5 out of 5 rating.

Razer exhibited both a new multimedia keyboard and set of in-ear headphones at Macworld SF 2006, and MyMac.com will be reviewing them as soon as they are in production. Also, we encourage the company to develop Bluetooth and possibly USB versions of their Pro Mouse, to compete in the competitive marketplace for wireless input devices.


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