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Four-way Gaming Mouse Roundup: G9X, XAI, Abyssus and SideWinder X8 - Razer's Abyssus

We pit four of the best names in gaming mice; Logitech, SteelSeries, Razer and Microsoft to see who can deliver the best all-round gaming weapon.

| Mice in Peripherals | Posted: May 19, 2010 11:05 am

Razer's Abyssus

 

In similar fashion to the XAI, the Razer Abyssus is also quite a plain and simplistic looking mouse, but with a bit of an edge - literally. The black matte-like surface on the top looks and feels very sleek and the shiny black plastic on the bottom that it forms around creates a distinct edge around the body which looks stylish without losing its subtle appeal.

 

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Unlike the XAI, however, which also looks minimalistic but actually has quite a few buttons, the Abyssus sports a grand total of three buttons - the left and right click buttons and the wheel button. There are no side buttons or anything else on the top of the mouse, which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, the lack of extra buttons does limit the ability of the Abyssus as a fully fledged gaming mouse somewhat, but then, how many people really use all those extra buttons? For some gamers I could see this being a problem, but for the average gamer who doesn't mind leaving a few functions/abilities to the keyboard, the lack of extra buttons won't be a big deal.

 

Like all the mice in this roundup, the Abyssus can also adjust its DPI setting on the fly, although the implementation is probably the weakest of the bunch. Having the switch on the bottom of the mouse isn't a big deal, but the switch itself is a little flimsy with its 'left-middle-right' style setup and the hard settings of 450, 1800 and 3500 DPI didn't really do it for me - I tend to shoot for between 800-1000 myself as mentioned, so the Abyssus never really felt that comfortable for me; 1800 was tolerable, but not ideal. The DPI setting you're comfortable with could be completely different, however - it's really a personal thing. Even so, though, not being able to define the DPI setting to a truly custom value is a bit of a letdown for the Abyssus. Sure, you can change the slider in Windows to achieve a similar effect, but it isn't quite the same.

 

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On the bottom of the Abyssus also exists a 125/1000Hz switch which is toggling between those two values as polling rates which, in case you missed the explanation earlier, dictates the general responsiveness of the mouse. Between the two settings, you're looking at a response time of 8ms vs 1ms, which sounds quite significant, but probably isn't as significant in the real world usage of a mouse. It's definitely a nice feature to have, though, and will surely be one of the first settings changed by gamers when using this mouse.

 

The software for the Abyssus has a few settings and values to change including the likes of sensitivity and mouse wheel speed, as well as macros and the ability to assign an on-the-fly sensitivity feature to one of the buttons, but in general is a fairly light weight piece of software which isn't quite on the same level as the other offerings in this roundup.

 

Despite the coming up short when it comes to software and customization, the Abyssus is still a nice mouse to use. It's a little light I must say, but the shape is comfortable, the texture is nice and the size is just about right. The design is ambidextrous like the XAI which again comes back to the simple approach both SteelSeries and Razer have taken with their respective mice, which is perhaps not a coincidence - while the big market players in Logitech and Microsoft opt for the approach of shouting "I'M A GAMING MOUSE!", the niche market players in SteelSeries and Razer keep their modesty in check. Perhaps it is because the latter two are aiming for a slightly different market, or perhaps given their status as gaming only peripheral makers, they simply don't need to over advertise the fact.

 

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At a RRP of $US 49.95, the Razer Abyssus is easily the cheapest mouse in this roundup and while you could argue that this shows, it doesn't show to the extent you'd expect at such a price drop. The Abyssus isn't the highest quality build out there and it doesn't feature much beyond the bare minimal when it comes to a gaming mouse, but it's still a quality feeling mouse with all the basics the average gamer would be looking for.

 

From this extreme we go to the next - the most elaborate and only wireless mouse in this roundup; the Microsoft Sidewinder X8.

 

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