Reviewing the Razer Taipan - A great ambidextrous gaming mouse
The Razer Taipan is a gaming mouse that is designed and created by Razer's engineers using the feedback they received from professional gamers. They ended up creating a simple ambidextrous mouse, with great hardware and a sleek design. It this mouse a great choice for gamers? It it a great choice for other types of user who want a fast and precise mouse? After testing and gaming with the Razer Taipan for about a week, we are now ready to share our conclusions with you, in this review:
Unboxing the Razer Taipan
The Razer Taipan arrives in a box that's built from a high quality cardboard, painted in an all black ink. As usual with most of Razer's products, the dominant accent color, used to emphasize most of the important details, is green. As you can see in the picture below, the top side of the box features an image of the Razer Taipan mouse, its name and its triskele made of snakes logo and a few of its most important characteristics.
On the sides and on the back of the package , Razer printed lots of details about the Taipan mouse. For instance, on the back side, you can see all the outstanding hardware specifications of this mouse.
If you look at the left side of the box, you can also find out how the Taipan was designed and built. Apparently, the Razer Taipan is a mouse designed in the lab, by a team of engineers who tried to fulfill the demands of an entire series of esports teams. Let's hope that they didn't test this mouse on real taipans before releasing it in the wild. :)
Switch the box back with its top side up and use your hands to pull its cover just like you would open a book. Voila, Razer created the package so that you can see the Taipan before you unbox it. Spoilers now: Razer's Taipan is one of the simplest gaming mouses we've ever seen. Is it good or bad? Find out more about it in the gaming section of this review.
On the back of the cover, Razer greets you with a welcome note, while at the same time it warns you about the "highly venomous" nature of the Taipan.
If you want to really get the Taipan out of its box, take a pair of scissors or a knife and cut one of the transparent stickers from the back of the box. Then slide the inside plastic support of the mouse. On the front side of the plastic support there's the Taipan, while on the back side there are more than a few documents, as well as two Razer stickers.
Besides the actual Taipan mouse, the documentation and the stickers, Razer didn't bundle any other items .
First of all, you should be aware that the Razer Taipan is an ambidextrous gaming mouse. Which means that it's designed to have a perfectly symmetrical shape and with identical buttons on both left and right sides. This is the design needed by the mouse in order to be able to accommodate both left and right handed users.
And, because we're talking about the buttons that the Razer Taipan has to offer, there are 9 of them. There are the common left and right click buttons any mouse has, there's the scroll wheel, there are two other small buttons to the back of the scroll wheel and there's a pair of two buttons on each side of the mouse.
In terms of raw performance, the Razer Taipan has a built-in 8200 DPI laser sensor, up to 50g acceleration (which is 200 inches per second) and a maximum polling rate of 1000Hz.
The Razer Taipan is also equipped with two illuminated areas: one is the scroll wheel and one is the Razer logo from the mouse's back. Both these areas light green.
This venomous snake, pardon my french, mouse is 4.88inches (124mm) long, 2.48inches (63mm) wide and 1.42inches (36mm) high. The Taipan weighs 3.35 ounces or 95 grams without its braided USB cable and 4.65 ounces or 132 grams with its cable.
If you want to check on all the detailed technical specifications of the Razer Taipan mouse, you can find them listed all here: Razer Taipan - Specifications.
Using and gaming with the Razer Taipan
After a week or so of using and gaming with the Razer Taipan, I can honestly tell you that this is one of the best gaming mouses I've ever used. I love the way the Taipan feels in my hand and I love its simple and agressive body.
The Taipan is a premium gaming mouse that has been designed by Razer's engineers to be a comfortable device that's easy to use for long periods of time. The additional features and buttons are things that are secondary in the conception of the Taipan.
The left and right click buttons have a really nice tactile feedback and - don't laugh - have a vary nice sound when you press them. I don't know exactly how to express this, but there's something about the click sounds that's simply attracting. I guess the Razer Taipan is just one of those devices which you simply like the moment you start using them.
Between left and right click buttons, there's a simple scroll wheel with no obnoxious design. It's just that: a simple wheel, with a simple rubber pattern for a good grip, which scrolls.
Behind the scroll wheel, Razer added two buttons which, by default, control the DPI resolution of the mouse. One, the one closer to the scroll wheel, switches the DPI higher, and the other switches the DPI lower.
The scroll wheel and the Razer logo are the only two illuminated areas you'll see on the Taipan. These areas light up in the green color that Razer loves to use so much on most of its devices. We too must admit that, especially in low light environments, the green LEDs on the Taipan do look great.
One thing that I found not so good about the illumination of the Taipan is that the Razer logo area always breathes - you know, it has that light effect in which it light up and lights down slowly. Unfortunately, this happens all the time, even if you use Razer Synapse software to customize the lights on the mouse. The Razer logo area can't be set to be static and the breathing effect can be disturbing sometimes.
In total, Razer's Taipan comes with 9 programmable buttons, which you can assign to various actions using the Synapse software. However, this is an ambidextrous mouse, with identical mirrored buttons on both sides. Which means that if you're a right handed person, the two buttons from the right side of the Taipan are very hard to reach and press. Similarly, if you're a leftie, the two buttons from the left side are probably impossible to use comfortably. The end result of being ambidextrous is that the Razer Taipan offers only 7 buttons in reality, as one side pair of buttons will always be ignored by any user.
Talking about the side buttons, they can be characterized in three terms: slim, silver and slick. The ones you can use - the right sided ones if you're right handed, the left sided ones if you're left handed - are easy to find and easy to press, and both sides of the mouse are covered in a rubber material that gives you an excellent grip and a great feeling nonetheless.
In terms of performance, what can we say? The 8200 DPI laser sensor is top notch hardware and that can only mean one thing: the mouse is extremely precise and it behaves great both in games and in day by day activities.
During the time I had the Razer Taipan literally in my hands, I played quite a few games with it and I must say that it performed extraordinarily in each of them. Although in some of the games I normally and repeatedly like playing, such as Skyrim, Dragon Age: Inquisition or The Witcher, I would prefer a mouse with more buttons , the Razer Taipan is exactly what I need in games like Metro 2033 or in fast MOBA games like League of Legends. In these kinds of games, you have to react fast and you have to lift the mouse from your desk pretty often. The Razer Taipan is not a heavy mouse so it won't tire your hand quickly.
Overall, after playing quite a few games with Razer's Taipan, my conclusion is that this mouse is fast, precise and it feels great to hold in your hand.
Drivers and software
If you want to be able to customize the way your Razer Taipan gaming mouse works, you must install the official drivers called Synapse. You can download it from here: Razer Synapse.
After you install it, launch the Razer Synapse software and you will be greeted with Mouse Customize tab, in which you can add, remove or change the settings profiles you store for your Taipan, and you can program what each mouse button does.
Synapse's Performance tab is the place where you can fiddle with the hardware of the mouse: you can configure Taipan's DPI sensitivity, increase or decrease its acceleration and select the polling rate of the mouse.
As you know by now, the Razer Taipan has two illuminated areas: the scroll wheel and the Razer logo from its top side. If you want to turn any of these LED lights off, you can do it from the Lighting tab in Synapse.
The Razer Taipan gaming mouse benefits from a very nice feature: you can calibrate it for the surface type you're using it on. By doing this you make sure that you won't experience tracking issues. The Calibration tab offers you the option to use one of the default Razer Mats or to manually calibrate the Taipan to the surface you use it on.
Synapse also lets you record macros and assign them to the mouse button you want.
One of the most interesting features offered by Razer's Synapse software is that it collects data from the games you play and provides you statistics and heat maps. Looking at this data, you can see things like how many times you've pressed each button on your mouse, the distance your mouse has traveled or how many times you used macros. It's interesting data and you can find in the Stats window.
Where To Buy
It's worth mentioning that the Razer Synapse software uses your Razer account to store in the cloud all your settings and customizations. Whenever you log in with your Razer account in Synapse, the settings are synced and applied across all the computers and devices you use . For instance, you can take your Razer Taipan with you, plug it into your laptop and have your settings automatically applied once you log in in Synapse. It's a useful approach, although some people might have preferred that the Taipan had a built-in flash memory on which to store its settings profiles.
The Razer Taipan is a premium gaming mouse that was built with simplicity in mind. It's not a device full of features and buttons. Instead, it focuses on delivering high performance and on being very comfortable to as many users as possible. And that's exactly what makes it great: it's precise and you can use it for a full day and night and never get tired. The real Taipan is an aggressive and highly venomous snake, and its gaming mouse avatar has many things in common. Razer's Taipan is a great weapon that many gamers will love.
On the other hand, if you're still wondering whether the Taipan is worth buying or not, you should take into consideration that this is an ambidextrous mouse and that comes with a price. Although there are 9 buttons available on the mouse, one of the side pairs will be very hard to use. Also, if you usually play MMO games, you might prefer a mouse with more buttons.