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Razer Naga Epic Mouse Review

By Jim Zabek 3/6/12

Grumpy Grog Says: A mouse that costs over a hundred bucks? Zabek is crazy. That price tag will hit you like the Death Star hit Alderaan!

I’m a big fan of Razer’s products:the last four mice I have bought have been Razers. Each one has been successively more complex – and expensive, but each time I’ve been pleased with the results.

My latest purchase is a Razer Naga Epic. The Naga is marketed as an MMO-gaming mouse, and sports a whopping 15 left-side thumb buttons in addition to five more at the top - one being a clickable scroll wheel. And for a particular reader and friend, yes this middle scroll wheel allows for both horizontal and vertical scrolling. If this seems excessive, it is. I’m not sure I foresee using all 20 buttons. For daily use, I only use four .

In addition to the vast array of buttons, two other features make the Naga Epic stand out. Gamers are able to use it in both a corded and wireless mode, and it comes with three side plates which allow the user to modify the size of the mouse. Gamers who use a claw grip may wish to have a narrow mouse, whereas gamers who use a palm grip can install the wide plate. There is also a medium side plate to accommodate a middle size. Being able to adjust the size of the mouse shouldn’t be underestimated – finding a suitably comfortable feel for a mouse is part of what makes choosing it important, and being able to adjust the mouse means it is likely to be comfortable to almost everyone.

Like other Razer mice, the Naga Epic has on-board memory allowing the gamer to create and store macros on the mouse itself. Gamers who attend LAN parties or go to a gaming café need only bring their mouse in order to use these macros. I’ve never bothered to use macros, but for this review I decided to try one.

For testing purposes, I created a macro to see how they worked and suddenly I realized that I had fixed the one feature that the mouse was missing. The standard array of commands that can be assigned to the 15 side buttons are fairly common: single click, double click, forward, backward, menu, etc. The one feature I felt was lacking was a Refresh Browser (F5) button. But a quick macro created the F5 command, and assigned it to the #3 button, and I was thrilled to discover that suddenly my mouse might be able to do anything. For a guy who lives and works on the web, the ability to customize macros means I can reduce multiple mouse clicks to a single task. The only thing I couldn’t get to work is the Function keys – I would have liked to have created a macro for Fn + F11 in order to decrease the volume. So far I haven’t successfully been able to create that, but I’m still working on it. I was able to create a Ctrl Alt + Delete to bring up my Task Manager.

Another great feature of the Naga Epic is the ability to create multiple sensitivity settings. These allow the gamer to easily dial up or dial down how much the mouse moves. The average setting on a good mouse is 1800 dpi, but I find I like to use a slightly faster 2300 dpi. For FPS gaming I’ll often crank that up to somewhere around 3000 dpi, but for sniper shots I like to dial it down to about 800 dpi. The ability to customize these sensitivity points positively impacts my in-game performance. Further multiple profiles can be created which are automatically recognized when a game starts. The result is that custom macros and sensitivity can be loaded for a unique game, making the Naga Epic supremely flexible.

As an extra bit of sizzle, the Naga Epic also has a rainbow of colors to choose from. These can be set to one of 48 specific colors, with three brightness settings plus an off setting, and it can also be set to cycle through all colors, constantly shifting. Sleep mode can be set so that the wireless mouse doesn’t constantly consume the battery and this can be set anywhere from one to 15 minutes. A warning flash can also be set so that the scroll button will flash red when the battery is low. This setting can be set in increments of five percent from between five and 25.

Some folks might argue that 15 buttons is too many. Razer has recently released the Naga Hex/Imba. That mouse has about half the thumb buttons of the Naga Epic, and would seem to be a concession to this thinking. Thus far I have only set up five thumb buttons to do anything, but I like having the option to add more functions. Given the simplicity of creating a macro, I’m likely to activate more buttons, though I’m not sure I’ll get around to using all 15 for everyday tasks. In gaming, however, that could be another matter.

As for ease of use, I haven’t had a problem confusing the buttons or pushing the wrong ones. The second and fourth rows have raised ridges similar to the home row keys of a keyboard. Razer also has included raised plastic bumpers to stick on favorite keys and further help identify them – they’re called trainers. These come in two shapes, dots and dashes, and they even have some recommended patterns to help gamers learn the buttons. I haven’t felt the need to use them, but I have been able to type by touch since high school and my hands and brain are accustomed to manipulating electronics and peripherals by feel rather than sight.

The Naga Epic is an expensive mouse, but there nothing so far I haven’t found it up to the challenge to meet. It is a premium level mouse – easily five times as expensive as an average one. The Naga Epic is indeed epic in its performance. It can give a gamer a real competitive edge and can assist in productivity in everyday office tasks. It took me less than five minutes to create a macro to check my email – and that included messing up and fat fingering a few things because I’m still learning how to do it. With practice I can probably cut this time in half. The point being the Naga Epic’s boost to productivity applies both in-game and outside of it. Any task that requires a few mouse clicks can be automated to a single touch of a button…I love this mouse.


If/Then Analysis: Mice that cost triple digits are fairly uncommon, howeverthe nearest competitor is probably Mad Catz’s CYBORG R.A.T. 9, which offers a number of adjustable positions as well as customizable weight. It lacks the number of buttons offered by the Naga Epic, and doesn’t offercolor or on-board memory, but if you like the CYBORG R.A.T. 9 you may want to consider the Naga Epic.


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