The Razer Imperator offers a near-perfect blend of performance, features, and (right-handed) ergonomics for its price range. It also adds an innovative feature: buttons you can physically move to suit your grip.
The Imperator shares the most common features of other Razer gaming mice, including Razer’s ultra-high resolution sensor that offers up to 5600DPI. It also features the same, familiar blue LED glow on the back of the mouse (in the form of the Razer logo), and around the scroll wheel.
The Imperator features a total of 7 programmable buttons, 10 levels of acceleration, and it supports up to 5 different DPI settings, adjustable in 100DPI increments. The Imperator also supports three polling rates (sensitivity levels): 125Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz.
Most gamers aren’t likely to reconfigure the standard left and right mouse buttons or the scroll wheel, so the Imperator effectively has 4 programmable buttons: two just below the scroll wheel, and two thumb buttons. If you don’t want to re-program the DPI up and down buttons (located below the scroll wheel), you’re effectively left with 2 programmable buttons.
However you choose to configure it, any and all of the Imperator’s buttons can be configured for either preset functions (going ‘Back’ in a web browser, for example), or you can program and assign complex keyboard macros to them. The Imperator’s onboard memory stores all your configuration settings in profiles. You can store multiple profiles, and you can take the Imperator to a LAN party and use its full functionality without installing drivers on the host PC.
One of the most innovative features of the Imperator is the ability to physically move the thumb buttons (via a slider switch on the Imperator’s underside) forward or backward about a half-inch to accommodate different mouse grips or hand sizes.
If you prefer more of ‘palm style’ grip with your hand farther forward, you can move the slider switch to slide the thumb-buttons forward. If you use more of a ‘fingertip’ style grip with your palm farther back on the mouse, you can slide the thumb buttons back closer to your thumb’s reach.
In addition to the slider on the bottom of the Imperator, there is a dedicated button for switching configuration profiles. (It’s a lousy place for a button if you think you’ll switch profiles frequently, but most gamers probably won’t.)
Another innovative feature provided through the Imperator software is an onscreen display. For example, the Imperator will briefly display the name of the profile and the DPI setting on your monitor (in an overlay, so you don’t necessarily need to exit a game you’re playing) when you press a button to change a setting.
The Imperator sports a subtle, right-handed ergonomic design that conforms nicely to the contour of your hand. The top of the mouse is flat black with a soft, almost silky rubberized feel, while the sides are smooth and glossy black.
Unfortunately, the glossy sides are perhaps the Imperator’s biggest design flaw—they are prone to feel a bit tacky after moderate use. Razer would have done better here to give the sides of the mouse the same rubberized, textured feel used on the top of the mouse.
The left and right-mouse buttons are responsive but not oversensitive, and the Imperator’s scroll wheel provides a balanced blend of accurate, click-by-click scrolling and smooth rolling that won’t tire your finger.
The Imperator’s ultra-high resolution sensor and customizable polling rate ensure the best possible responsiveness and accuracy. Suffice to say that the Imperator tracks beautifully and offers smooth, accurate movement, like virtually all Razer gaming mice.
Enthusiasts should find virtually all the customization and tweaking options (DPI, acceleration, polling rate, etc.) they need in the Imperator’s software.
The Imperator offers virtually all the features a PC gamer could want in a gaming mouse and wraps them in a gorgeous right-handed package. At around $70, it’s priced competitively with other gaming mice offering a similar feature set, and ups the ante slightly with physically configurable (and programmable) side-buttons.
Razer Imperator technical specifications
- Ergonomic right-handed design
- Adjustable side buttons
- 5600dpi Razer Precision™ 3.5G Laser sensor
- Razer Synapse™ On-board Memory
- Up to 200 inches per second/ 50g acceleration
- Seven independently programmable Hyperesponse™ buttons
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response rate
- On-The-Fly Sensitivity™ adjustment
- Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ mouse feet
- Approximate size: 123mm(L) x 71mm(W) x 42mm(H)