It is very intriguing to note that instead of releasing totally new products, gaming peripherals manufacturer Razer has implemented their new 4G dual sensor technology on its gaming mice and rebranded the famous Imperator and Mamba as Imperator 4G 2012 and Mamba 4G 2012. Today, I look at the Imperator 4G 2012.

Design and Usability

The Razer Imperator 4G 2012 looks similar to the original Imperator with the bulging right-handed design. It still weighs around 125 grams which is light for a gaming mouse. The 7 button layout also persists. Left-handed users might need some getting used to, before they are comfortable with using this mouse.

The imperator looks and feels like a heavy duty gaming mouse, and what accentuates that fact is the ultra-cool flashing blue LED logo. The scroll button is also lit by the same blue colour light. The sliding button on the bottom lets you move the front/back button on the left side of the mouse which is a great addition, considering different people have different mouse holding patterns. I slid the bottom button right to the front end because I tend to run my fingers entirely across the mouse. The sensitivity buttons are placed right below the scroll wheel. The 7-foot long braided cable also gets the job done.

The glossy finish of the original Imperator has been sacrificed for a matte grey finish which gives the Imperator 4G 2012 a more professional look. Another great addition is the use of rubberised thumbrest which makes it very comfortable for prolonged use.

Performance

The new Imperator has a maximum sensitivity of 6400dpi as compared to the 5600dpi on the original one. I don’t see any reason why anyone would use 6400dpi, 1800dpi should suffice for all practical purposes. However, this may suit different usage models, such as graphic designers who use two huge 30 inch LCD monitors.

The dual sensor (laser and optical) technology on the mouse is definitely good for better tracking on a wide range of surfaces. The software bundled with the mouse gives you an option to tweak surface calibration according to your preference. If you are one of those hyper-active gamers who reacts to every kill (I am one because kills are a rare occurrence when I am gaming), then you might need to play with the surface calibration settings a bit. It is very useful, I must say.

Let me tell you a little bit about the software. It is downright irritating to save my changes to seven default profiles each time. Razer are you listening?

During our tests, after increasing the polling rate to the claimed 1000 Hz polling, the mouse touched a peak polling rate of 1030 Hz which is lower than the lower-priced Abyssus. But during gaming, the mouse performed exceedingly well. I toned the dpi down to 1800 and polling rate to 125 Hz (for me, an adequate amount) and certainly noticed the difference playing Crysis 2.

The Imperator 4G is a gaming mouse to the core, and does that job well.

OUR VERDICT

The Imperator 4G is expensive at £74. However, it is meant to be a gaming mouse and it does its job. If you are looking for a cheaper option also take a look at the Abyssus.