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What a difference $10 makes
The Raptor M40 occupies a curious space in Corsair’s too-dense lineup of gaming mice. With an MSRP of $60, it’s priced right at the bottom end of what we’d normally consider the premium gaming mouse market, yet it’s feature set is more in line with what you’d find in a budget mouse.
It is, essentially, a stripped-down version of Corsair’s M65 gaming mouse, which has an MSRP of $70. The two share the same overall shape and design, but the M65 features an aluminum baseplate, a useful DPS-switching sniper button, and, most importantly, a laser sensor. The M40, by comparison, is all plastic and has an optical sensor.
We experienced a noticeable performance dip switching to this M40 from the other mice in this roundup, including tracking problems on some of our test surfaces. Without many other features to speak of, the optical sensor is a strike against the M40.
Otherwise, the M40 is perfectly decent. The software is a little clunky but serviceable, and offers profiles with multiple DPI settings and user-defined macros. Under the mouse, three separate weight chambers allow you to customize how the M40’s weight is distributed, which is a nice touch.
Under the M40, you’ll find three separate weight chambers.
Ultimately, the M40 isn’t bad, it just doesn’t offer a great set of features at this price. If you like the design, we strongly recommend paying the extra $10 for the M65. Otherwise, you can get more mouse for $60 elsewhere.
Corsair Raptor M40
Razer redefines ‘top of the line’
The Ouroboros takes a page (or maybe even a whole chapter) from the Cyborg R.A.T., the mouse that introduced the idea of a fully customizable device. Like that model, the Ouroboros’s length can be adjusted, and you can swap out the mouse’s side-plates, choosing between flat panels and flared wings. You can also fine-tune the angle of the palm rest, giving the mouse more or less arch as you desire. Somewhat surprisingly, the Ouroboros does not offer any sort of weight adjustment—a feature that’s started to pop up in a lot of high-end mice.
The design and build quality on the Ouroboros are both excellent. It’s got an aggressive, boxy look and lacks the swoopy lines of Razer’s other mice. It’s also perfectly symmetrical, so it works equally well for left-handed gaming. A detachable USB cord allows the mouse to be used wired or wirelessly, with a small recharging station that doubles as the wireless receiver.
Razer’s software is reliably high-quality, and the Ouroboros is no exception. As with all products using the Razer Synapse software, you have to sign up for an account to use it, which is silly, but once you do, you get access to pretty much every customization feature you could ask for in a mouse. Button bindings, macros, profiles, the works—in a slick, easy-to-use package.
The Ouroboros can be adjusted to fit any size hand.
The bottom line is that this mouse is top of the line, and it’s priced to match. If you want a mouse that can do it all, and don’t mind spending a bundle, this is a great choice.
There’s a lot of jargon used in marketing material for gaming mice. Here are definitions for some of the most common terms.
DPI Short for “dots per inch,” dpi is the measure of a mouse sensor’s maximum sensitivity. A higher dpi value lets you move the pointer faster without sacrificing any accuracy. Dpi is important, but note that dpi values higher than 2,000 only really matter if you prefer very fast, “twitchy” pointer movement. Anything much higher than 4,000 or so is unlikely to actually come up in real-world use.
Polling Frequency This is how often the mouse sends new location information to your PC. A higher frequency means a quicker response time, though, as with dpi, it will be difficult for you to perceive differences in polling rates above 500Hz.
Onboard Processor/Memory These features allow you to store profile information and performance settings directly on a mouse, so they’ll work on any computer the mouse is plugged into. This is useful, but some marketing materials oversell the utility of having a processor in your mouse.
Grip Style Razer marketing in particular likes to describe each mouse as being best for one particular grip style or another (see image). The major thing you should be aware of is whether you like to lay your palm and fingers flat on the mouse, or raise them up in an arch, so only your fingertips and the bottom of your palm touch it. The former favors a long mouse, with a higher, ergonomic arch.
In Windows, there are really only three important mouse settings, and they are all located in the Mouse Properties panel. You can access this panel by opening the Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then Mouse. Here’s what you need to know.
Pointer Speed This slider adjusts how fast your pointer moves, of course, but the real secret is that you shouldn’t ever need to use it. Any modern gaming mouse will allow you to set custom dpi levels, which adjust how sensitive the mouse is. Higher sensitivity will make the pointer move faster. If you instead keep the mouse sensitivity set low, and increase the pointer speed in Windows or in a game, your mouse accuracy will suffer.
Mouse Acceleration Mouse acceleration causes the mouse pointer to move farther based on how fast you’re moving the mouse. So, quickly jerking the mouse over an inch will move the pointer farther than slowly dragging it that same inch. Many people find that this feels natural, but for some types of games where extreme mouse precision is required it may be undesirable. To disable it, uncheck the box labeled “Enhance pointer precision.”