Last Updated on December 11, 1999
Razer Boomslang 2000 Review
By: Brian Gray - December 11, 1999
Here we are about to make the turn of the century, and mankind is still faced with the lack of a decent gaming mouse for first-person shooters. Kärna Industries to the rescue. They have introduced the Razer Boomslang 1000 and Razer Boomslang 2000.
The mouse has long been an overlooked weakness when gaming. People will spend hundreds to get higher framerates and surround sound but ignore the trusty mouse. It's nuts. I run PS2Rate to smooth my Intellimouse, and by using 100Hz, or even the lofty yet taxing 200Hz, refresh of the mouse position, you can emulate another 10 frames per second in smoothness.
This is the premise behind the Boomslamg 2000.
So they send me the mouse Fed Ex. I love getting home from work to find hardware on the doorstep. I immediately rip open the package and I am graced with a purdy silver box with the Razer insignia. Inside the box is a tin case (much like that which you would purchase cookies in) and in there is the mouse, install CD and USB-to-PS2 adapter.
I tell ya', this thing is packaged beautifully. If they spent as much time on the mouse as they did presenting it, I would be in for a treat.
There is a simple batch of instructions on a card accompanying the owner's manual:
That was really about it. You have to use tab and enter to start windows on that first reboot, but windows recognizes the mouse right off the bat after starting and you are under way with the "Boomslanging."
So why is this mouse better? Razer would have you believe the following reasons
Encoder DPI - While the standard mouse performs at a resolution of 450 dots per inch the Boomslang 2000, uses a focused light beam technology that allows it to sample at 2000dpi (1000dpi for the BoomSlang 1000).
Speed of the Controller Chip - The standard mouse operates at 1.5 million instructions per second while the Boomslang 2000 runs at 6 million.
Connection Speed - A PS2 mouse is polled 40-60 times per second while the Boomslang 2000 is polled at a constant 125Hz due to USB. (PS2 is available through use of and adapter and the refresh rate is adjustable up to 200Hz in the drivers)
Driver Software - This really stands out. The drivers kick ass! The interface is efficient and they install and uninstall flawlessly.
Scroll Wheel - About twice the scroll clicks and they are accurate. You have to force it. No more changing weapons while using the scroll wheel as a third button.
Razer Boomslang Control Panel
Yikes! It's sensitive. My Intellimouse was drunk and blind compared to the speed of this thing. I had to scroll back the sensitivity to 2.5 while in Win98 in order to get normalized. This brings me to one of the great features: on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. Just hold in the side button and scroll the wheel.
The shape is pretty sweet. Although it has lower profile than the Intellimouse, it's longer and wider. The buttons have a light and precise feel. I began to pick off the Quake3 bots at will, but the added weight began to tire my hand. I ripped up through three more maps of frags and realized I had not cranked up the sensitivity. I clicked the side button and set the sensitivity from 3 up to 4.5 (out of 10). A full about face became a quick flip of the wrist.
The mouse ball is located towards the rear of the mouse. I found it easier to hover my palm over the mouse and control with fingertips, than resting my palm on the back of the Boomslang.
At a USB clock of 125Hz, it does not quite match the PS2Rate max of 200Hz, but the added precision seemed to negate the lower clock. USB seems to "feel" better than PS2. This mouse is heavier and people that are used to picking up a mouse to reset their hand position will need added time to get used to the lower profile sides. The habit of mouse slinging can be broken. I am living proof.
A side effect of USB is that when your system is fully occupied (hard drive caching) the mouse will not respond. However, I found that when playing Quake3, this effect helps. Instead of jumping several frames with a loss of control, the mouse was denied it's over-input and would calmly stay its course.
Let's face it, $100 is a lot to pay for a mouse, even if it does come with a software bundle (either Soldier of Fortune Demo or BattlezoneII Full). Many people just like their Intellimouse or Logitech Gaming mouse better.
I switched back to my Intellimouse only to find that the original scroll mouse is terribly slow and clumsy. Even though I haven't dedicated myself to the Boomslang fully, I find that each time I revert to the standard mouse, I like the Boomslang even more.
And besides, it looks cool.
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