Razer is a prolific maker of gaming mice, the latest of which is the Abyssus -- a mouse for hardcore PC gamers that like other Razer products takes its name from a species of snake. It slithers in a different direction though, by being Razer's most affordable offering to date. At £35 it's still not exactly pocket change, but does the Abyssus do enough to translate that sum of money into in-game kills?
The Abyssus boasts a 3,500dpi infrared sensor, the same one you'd find on the more expensive DeathAdder model. The higher the dpi (dots per inch) count on the sensor, the more precisely your movements will be represented on screen. This sensor will be more than precise enough for most gamers, and we found that under ideal conditions mouse movement was indeed very sharp.
We stress 'under ideal conditions' because the Abyssus is something of a prima donna. Testing on a range of mousing surfaces, we found the Abyssus to be extremely picky about the ones it deigned to work on. It won't play nicely with standard desktops, so you'll want to invest in a proper gaming mouse mat to get the best performance -- preferably a soft fabric mat that affords a good deal of grip.
That 3,500dpi sensor has a very low lift-off distance, which means it'll stop working if it moves up off the mousing service even slightly. While many gamers appreciate a low lift-off distance (especially if you're the type of player who regularly lifts your mouse to quickly reposition), we found that because the Abyssus itself is extremely light, it frequently lifted-off within our grip. Our grasp on the mouse itself caused a disconnect between sensor and surface, particularly when drawing the cursor down.
The Abyssus features built-in switches to toggle dpi and polling rate. Unfortunately, those switches are located on the underside of the mouse, meaning you won't be able to go for them mid-game.
That's a real kick in the WASD, as many gamers appreciate the ability to adjust mouse sensitivity on the fly -- imagine decreasing sensitivity as you zoom in with a sniper-rifle, for example, making your shots more accurate. Many competing mice offer extra buttons on a mouse's surface devoted to dpi switching, or customisable keys for macros and other functions.
The ability to switch polling rate (how often the mouse communicates its co-ordinates to the computer per second) is a cool addition, though we can't really imagine anyone opting for the bog standard 125Hz over the higher 1,000Hz option.