It seems that what defines today if a video game is a triple-A, big budget title is not who is making it or how many millions have been poured into its development. But if it will have a license gaming gear or not. It's like an official stamp from the gaming community, "You are worthy of our attention". The trend has been evolving. Before, the license only meant manufacturers would simply stamp the game's logo on one of its existing product and ship it with a premium price. But times are changing, manufacturers are now taking increasing efforts to make the product look and feel like the game it's designed for. One such product is the Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming mouse. Based on the Razer Naga, the Star Wars edition has received enough of a make over to get fans salivating for it.
Design and Features
Meant to function as a carrier of death and doom, it only fits the Star Wars mouse is designed like a Destroyer class space ship. The gray, black and gold design only adds to its persona. It also comes with interchangeable gold and black logos that allows you to state your allegiance.
The mouse is made entirely of smooth hard plastic, adding considerable heft to the device. The top surface feature uneven, odd etched lines, giving it a droid-like look. There are two customizable buttons below the scroll wheel. It would ideally be defaulted to DPI settings, but in this case they present a different configuration. This posses a slight problem. If you are accustomed to having button 4 and button 5 on the side, and a set of DPI changers on the top, you will have to sacrifice one of them here. The 12 buttons do not quite cut it has additional mouse buttons.
The mouse is not ambidextrous and makes it quite obvious with its collection of 12 buttons on the left side of the device. Below the mouse, you will find the large 5600DPI sensor, a pairing button and a set of switchers. One of them switches the mouse from wireless to wired, and the other alternates the 12 buttons on the left to behave either as normal number keys or the numpad.
There is also a wireless station, of course, that features a similar grey, black and gold design characteristics. When the mouse is in the dock, it is set in a elegant, stylish angle that represents a ship ready to take off. The wireless tracking is flawless like any Razer product. Battery life lasts about 6-8 hours tops. Edit: The battery is actually replaceable. It is contained on the right side of the mouse, accessible after removing the emblem and picking off the right cover. An additional battery is not provided and has to bought from the Razer store.
The mouse is heavy and large, with a side belly to accommodate the third and the little finger. It took me an hour or two to adjust to that, so there is a definite 'getting used to' curve to concur.
However, the main meat of the device is the 12 number buttons. How do they feel? I played the Mass Effect 3 demo, assigning the available powers from 1-6. I found them quite hard to click, requiring effort from the third finger to register the press. This would ruin my aiming as well but not by much. In terms of comfort, the first 6 buttons are easy to reach, but after that it's quite a stretch.
The Star Wars mouse is one of the first products from Razer to feature the manufacturers cloud service called the Synapse. Quite simply, it stores all of your configurations on a server, giving you access to them wherever you go. You will need to create an account, but it's free and takes two mins.
Moving to the bundled software, Razer has designed it to continue the Star Wars theme as well. There are four main tabs: Customize - it allows you to customize each and every button on the mouse, including the number buttons. You can set a total of 24 functions on them, 12 when it's on normal number mode, and another 12 when it's a numpad. Performance - it has the basics like sensitivity, acceleration and polling rate; Lighting - you can change the brightness and the color scheme of the scroll wheel (but not the number buttons or the bottom logo); and Power - it offers customization for when the mouse should enter sleep mode after it becomes idle, and when the scroll wheel should warn you when the battery is low (there are dedicated LEDs for that). It also shows the battery level.
Allow me a 'Force is strong with this one' line here. The Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming mouse is indeed awesome. It's got the features, it's got the performance and it's got the looks. Of course, there is no reason to recommend this over the original Naga if you are not a Star Wars fan (all 5 of you), but for those that are, this is a premium you won't mind paying for.
Editor's Note: The review originally stated the battery on the mouse is not accessible or replaceable. This is wrong and has been rectified as such. Sorry for that.