Razer Naga HEX MOBA/Action-RPG Gaming Mouse
Action-RPGs and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games have gone a long ways from their early days and now have a large following. With all the competitive hype this genre’s getting its about time gamers get some competitive gear to step-up the game.
This week we have the Razer NagaHEX, a reimagination of the original Naga designed with the Action-RPG/MOBA gamer in mind. We’ll keep the intro short and get straight to the review and see what’s all the hype’s about. Sit back and let’s make this showy!
Razer’s onslaught of new products keeps on coming with the NagaHEX continuing the legacy of the Naga line of MMORPG mice. This time around Razer figured that the Action-RPG/MOBA gamer doesn’t need all 12 keys of a Naga and have reduced the number of keys to 6 and arranged them in a hexagonal fashion. This is intended to help improve accessibility of the keys for last hits and precise attacks. Let’s get some specs and photos before we dive into some gaming.
- 6 MOBA/action-RPG optimized mechanical thumb buttons - but they can be used for anything really, they’re still buttons
- 11 total programmable Hyperesponse buttons - you can’t really change the left-click so that’s just 10
- Special switches in buttons for 250 clicks per minute - mechanical keys dawg
- Razer Synapse 2.0 - you again? oh wait this is Razer staple now
- 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Laser Sensor - I’m wondering why we’re not seeing the dual-laser tech they used on the Imperator and Mamba 4G again, still the 3.5G laser alone is pretty smooth and accurate
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling/1ms response time - pretty much mainstream gaming standard now, back in the days it was l33t
- Approximate Size : 116 mm / 4.57” (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76” (Width) x 46 mm / 1.81” (Height)
- Approximate Weight: 134 g / 0.30 lbs
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One particular point of interest in this product is its inclusion of Razer’s new cloud-service: Synapse2.0. Razer describes this technology as follows:
The new Razer Synapse 2.0 software revolutionises this concept by harnessing next-gen, cloud-based technology to ensure that you have full access to all of your peripheral hardware settings, anytime, anywhere at tournaments, LAN centres, at home and at the office. With the advent of Synapse 2.0, onboard memory for devices is now obsolete.
Basically this technology does away with the onboard memory chip that stores profiles internally on the device. We currently have yet to open-up any of the new devices that support Synapse2.0 to verify if Razer has removed onboard memory entirely in their PCB design.
Synapse2.0 works as a client-server setup with the Synapse2.0 client installed on the end-users’ setup. This software requests information specific to an account (logged-in) and downloads that to the client. That means anywhere a person goes, as long as an Internet connection is present, they can use their configuration anywhere irregardless of device (as long as the same model, doesn’t matter if its a redesign like the regular Naga or Molten.) Synapse2.0 also downloads drivers once a new device (if supported) is connected. Razer plans on doing away with their old device-specific driver model and are aiming at unified system centered around the Synapse2.0 model. Right now the following products are Synapse2.0-capable: Razer Blade (the world’s first true gaming laptop), Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) gaming line, the Naga (Molten) and NagaHEX.
This replaces the older model wherein you can carry your Razer mouse around and as long as the driver is installed on the used PC, the profile saved on the mouse will work. This works best for people who tend to be very possessive of their Razer gear. Many other company follow that classic onboard setup since a small 32kb chip is quite cheaper than setting up a large server farm to host a cloud-service. Seems like Razer has enough though to make it happen. Getting back to our review subject, here are a couple of shots of its Synapse2.0 configuration screen:
PERFORMANCE, COMFORT, FUNCTIONALITY
To test out the Razer NagaHEX, we use a CM Storm HS-M hardmat just because its larger surface area does well for intense swiping during scrambles in MOBA games. First off we describe regular use, particularly on daily office and Windows use. Out of the box the NagaHEX is pretty smooth already and no jitter bug is present. Let’s move on to gaming which is what this mouse is all about. League of Legends is our choice of MOBA and this is where the NagaHEX shines. We’ll be straight to the point and say that the 6-thumb keys are very useful and owing to their large size, makes it much easier to perfect last hits, strategic skill casting and item usage. Many would argue that the original Naga is capable of this feat also and we’re aware of that but we’ll leave it to the user themselves to decide their requirements and preference. The NagaHEX’s large buttons makes it easier to press the thumbkeys and shifting to keys similar to those of Razer’s Onza gamepads, they also provide better feedback to confirm presses. This change addresses the original Naga’s lack of feedback on the thumb keys giving gamers a sense of affirmation which is usually required for situations that require precise timing.
Moving on to comfort and feel, let me say it out loud that this NagaHEX feels like heaven to hold. The glossy top shell has a feel to it all its own. Using it side by side with a Naga Molten, the difference is immediately noticeable. There’s a certain warmth to it, too that gives it an appeal which is distinct from any other mice. Basically what we’re saying is that this is one comfortable mouse to hold. Since most gamers rest their palms on the top, the matte side of the mouse provides the control and the top provides the comfort for that perfect balance. Clawers might not enjoy it much but its still there if ever they want to shift gripping style. One thing we found a bit off was the thumb grip. Your thumb will be perpetually married to that rubber nub during usage which is very awkward when you first hold the NagaHEX but getting used to it, it’ll grow on you. The thumb keys themselves are a bit easier to press accidentally due to their more sensitive nature hence the need to stay with the thumb grip.
The NagaHEX’s core feature aside from its gaming specs is its thumb keys. Although stated to be MOBA/Action RPG oriented we found that any game can benefit from the thumb keys. Its responsiveness is highly appreciated and gamers who need a certain confirmation that they’ve pressed something will highly enjoy this feature. Razer’s decision to replace the circular teflon feet with segments is also one point we liked. We feel this is better than the single piece ring design of the original Naga.
Rarely does a product come into the gaming scene with such defined intent that its hard to find anything to compare this to. So to close things off, we have a gaming mouse that is up to spec with the current mainstream mice out there right now. The NagaHEX’s build quality feels more solid than its predecessors but performs just as smoothly and precisely. With comfort that can only be described as heavenly, Razer’s NagaHEX is a pleasure to use even in long term sessions. Its glossy surface even though it looks like a fingerprint magnet is immune to an extent to such tendencies. The unique styling gives it a signature feel and one that sets it apart. Its main feature, the thumb buttons give gamers the edge when utilized fully and proves itself an excellent feature.
Coming in at US$80 (not yet locally available at the time of publishing), many would say that the original Naga can do more than the HEX variant. Potential buyers should approach the decision with an objective and follow their requirements and not ask which is better because there is none. The NagaHEX is a purpose-built solution for Action-RPG/MOBA gamers looking for that extra edge in their game. It’s an all-around mouse with an extra something for MOBAs and we highly recommend the NagaHEX for MOBA gamers and we’ll still recommend it to anyone looking for a gaming mouse.