As long as I've used a desktop PC as a workstation and slot machine, I've always used a wired mouse. My daily driver happens to be another mouse offer from the company, the Razer DeathAdder, which I love for its smooth tracking and convenience. I wasn't a big fan of wireless mice until recently, mostly because of battery life concerns, but also because of sketchy wireless implementations.
For these reasons, I was interested in testing the Razer Lancehead, Razer's latest ambidextrous mouse range, available in both wireless and wired iterations. With the wireless version, you get a whopping $ 140 back for a top product in this category, while the wired Tournament Edition is available at a cheaper price of $ 80. We had practical time for this review with both versions.
First, let's discuss the specifications. The sensor is a unit with 16,000 DPI: laser-based on the wireless Lancehead and optically on the Tournament Edition. The laser sensor achieves a speed of 210 inches per second compared to 450 inches in the optical version, so that a performance advantage is achieved in favor of the wired mouse. However, both support 1000 Hz polling and both are equipped with full Razer Chroma RGB lighting in multiple customizable zones.
The wired version is USB, while the wireless version is connected via a small proprietary 2.4 GHz USB dongle. Razer uses Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) to manage wireless communications so the mouse can seamlessly switch between frequency channels in the event of interference. The technology worked flawlessly in my tests: The Lancehead feels identical, whether it's wired or wireless, with no delay or noticeable latency of any kind.
The wireless variant can also be used as a wired mouse, mostly so that you can charge and use the device at the same time. Razer includes a 2.1m braided USB cable with a unique micro USB holder that slides neatly into a slot under the scroll wheel. If you are not charging the mouse, the charging cable can be plugged into a small holder for the wireless dongle so that the dongle can sit properly over your mouse pad if desired. However, it is not necessary to use the dongle holder as the radio range is approx. 3 m.
Tracking performance is decent, though 16,000 DPI is far too sensitive for a typical mouse user. I think 2,000 DPI is about right for me, and at this sensitivity level, the lancehead is smooth and accurate. With two buttons directly below the scroll wheel, you can set the DPI level between five presets during operation. Razer Synapse supports only 100 DPI and all levels above in 50 or 100 DPI increments.
Razer designed the Lancehead as an ambidextrous mouse, with forward and back buttons on both sides and a fully symmetrical design. This might be great for some people, especially left-handed people who don't find left-handed mice often, but at least in my opinion, ambidextrous makes mice less comfortable than their hand-specific counterparts.
The right side of the lancehead is clearly curved to give lefties a comfortable thumb grip. However, this affects the support on the right side of my hand as a right-handed, grim user. In comparison, the thicker right side and asymmetrical curve of the DeathAdder offer more support than right-handers, although it is obviously not suitable for left-handers. At least for me, the DeathAdder is much more comfortable to use for a long time.
Still, the grippy rubber sides make the Lancehead a great option for those who grab their mice with their claws or fingers. If you don't put your hand directly on the sides of the mouse like I do, the Lancehead is a nice mouse to hold and operate.
The rest of the Lancehead is mostly made of plastic, which is divided into different areas and designs in different colors and designs. The majority of the mouse has a gray, matte finish with no soft-touch coating, which is fine for this mouse, although I'm a bit of a sucker for rubberized soft-touch surfaces. The front of the mouse has an aggressive black ventilation design, although these ventilation openings have no functional purpose.
The left and right clicks use Razer Omron switches that have a solid and reliable click. Compared to the Deathadder, the click of the Lancehead is firmer and more tactical. The click may be a little too rigid for normal desktop work, but as a primary gaming mouse most will feel at home here.
The scroll wheel is strongly indented and easy to click on. I prefer a somewhat smoother scroll, though this isn't a choice. And each of the six other face buttons is also very solid, although only the left buttons (as a right-handed palm gripper) are easily accessible. Any button except the left click can be reassigned in Razer Synapse so that you can assign the buttons on both sides separately. By default, however, both records are assigned forward / backward.
Another comparison with the Deathadder is that the Lancehead is less bulky yet heavier. It's not entirely ergonomic as it's an ambidextrous mouse, but it offers near-full comfort, and those with smaller hands will likely prefer it because it's a more compact device.
The Lancehead is an RGB mouse that supports the Razer chroma ecosystem. The mouse has four individually programmable lighting zones: the logo, the scroll wheel, the left stripe and the right stripe. The logo and scroll wheel are a single LED, while the strips are a collection of seven LEDs per side (and yes, you can customize each LED in the strip). Because the stripes are multiple lights, you can create fantastic gradients and waves along each edge.
I don't think LED lighting is as useful on a mouse as it is on a keyboard, but it's a nice addition that gives the otherwise gray-black design a little shine. The Chroma RGB customization program from Razer is also very powerful, so you can create a completely unique RGB layout for your mouse with a lot of work.
A controversial aspect of any wireless mouse is its battery life. Razer claims that the Lancehead is suitable for approximately 24 hours when the chroma lighting is activated and is probably set to the standard "weak" brightness. This claim is pretty much correct since I have reached almost 25 hours of life on a single charge.
If you use this mouse all day in a row on my main workstation for several days in a row, it means that at best I have to charge the mouse once every three days. This is due to the shorter end of the battery life, but is not surprising given the high-performance sensor and RGB lighting. If you deactivate the lighting, this mouse will of course last longer.
Ideally, I want the mouse to last about a week without needing to be charged. While this is more of a limitation on battery technology, some competing wireless mice last about 10 hours longer, which is a significant difference.
There are also some tracking differences between the wired and wireless versions of the Lancehead due to the fact that Razer in the wireless version uses a lower power laser sensor instead of the excellent optical sensor used in the wired version. Both sensors offer 16,000 DPI, but the laser sensor is less accurate, reacts less to fine movements and is more prone to spinning. Players who are sensitive to these problems should stick to the optical sensor included in the wired version.
The Lancehead is a solid, reliable gaming mouse. It is not the best I have used, mainly due to some comfort issues as a palm grip user. The Lancehead is an expensive offer, and for this reason I would recommend the wired Tournament Edition first. However, if you want to work wirelessly, grab it and know that it still offers a respectable experience.
Advantages: The wireless connection works fine. Good build quality with excellent RGB lighting capabilities. The ambidextrous design is ideal for left-handers as well as for users with claw and finger grips.
Disadvantage: Wireless edition is very expensive. The battery life is not fantastic. Not convenient for palm grip users.