REVIEW:

Some people don’t want standard wired mice, but most wireless options aren’t great for gaming. Razer addresses that with the new Lancehead, which is out now for $140. It’s expensive, but I love using it because it performs well in intense moments and never causes me any headaches.

What you’ll like

Feels, performs, and looks great

The Lancehead is comfortable. It has a nice heft in the bulbous part of its body where you grip it with your palm. This gives it a sense of momentum when you are whipping it around your mouse pad. I like that because Razer’s engineers have designed the Lancehead to feel great and that feeds into its performance as well.

Razer also didn’t skimp on the materials. The top of the Lancehead is a smooth plastic that provides enough grip without locking your fingers up. When you want to hit the buttons, you can expect consistent, accurate responsiveness thanks to these top plates, but you won’t get a lot of false positives because you’re trying to move your pointer finger to the middle mouse button.

All of the inputs work like this. The side buttons and the scroll-wheel button won’t ever get in your way unless you want them to. A lot of that is because the Lancehead is so sturdy in your hand. The sides, where your thumb and ring finger grip, have a ridged rubber that ensure the mouse doesn’t shake loose even if you’re not holding onto it like a vice.

But while all of these materials feel pleasant and contribute to performance, they also professional and premium. The button plates have a subtle shine to their paint job that makes the entire Lancehead appear metallic, and the Chroma LED lighting on the sides, the middle button, and the logo all accentuate that effect nicely. The ridges on the rubber grips play off of the lighting and reflective surfaces with something darker that balances the overall design.

It’s a premium mouse in its price, but it looks, feels, and works like one, too.

Easily converts from wireless to wired

The Lancehead also has some great functionality. The USB dongle hides away in the bottom of the unit behind a removable trap door. You can plug that into your computer, and it will begin working immediately. But you can also still use the mouse over a wire. The charging cable docks right into the front of the mouse in such a way that you might not even know that the Lancehead is wireless. The cable never comes loose from the mouse, and it does’t stick out awkwardly.

I’ve switched back and forth between using it in both configurations several times, and it was never a hassle. It’s almost odd to call it a wireless mouse when it is perfectly capable of working as a wired mouse whenever you want.

Wireless tech that just works

But if you do lose the wire, the Lancehead won’t give you any problems. The mouse just works. I never noticed a difference between its wired or wireless performance. Razer claims that it is using its new “adaptive frequency technology” to ensure that the mouse stays connected with minimal interference from other wireless devices. In my testing, I never noticed anything that seemed like a drop signal. It never felt less accurate or responsive than any of the wired mouses that I use.

If your home is like mine, you have at least a dozen devices all competing for the same radio frequencies. That kind of interference is really noticeable if you attempt in-home streaming over your network. I had to get a 5 Ghz router to stream PlayStation 4 games to my laptop without lag, dropped frames, and artifacts — and even then I had to move away some other devices to free up some space on that radio spectrum. Those same kinds of issues can cause inaccuracies with a wireless gaming mouse, but Razer claims its proprietary AFT scanning feature is always switching to the cleanest channel seamlessly to minimize those issues.

All of that magic is happening in the background, so you don’t need to know anything about it. It requires no set up — just plug the USB dongle in, and you’re good to go.

Now, I don’t play at a high level, and if you can’t stand the thought of a less reliable wireless mouse, Razer has a wired version for sale as well. But I think this mouse is more than fine for the rest of us.

What you won’t like

Battery is weak

My complaint about the Lancehead is that its battery doesn’t last that long with the LEDs on. And you have to go into the Razer Synapse hardware to turn them off if you have them on when you switch from wired mode. I often lost charge in less than a single work day. With the LEDs off, the mouse can last a lot longer — several days at a time. But it doesn’t come with a doc, so you have to plug it back in — and you may find yourself just using the Lancehead as a wired mouse most of the time instead.

Conclusion

It’s easy to go out and spend $60 or $70 on a gaming mouse these days. The Lancehead is twice that, but you probably already know if you need to consider spending that much money on this device. For most people, a wired mouse is just fine. For others, a less expensive wireless option is totally viable. But if you must have wired-like performance without the actual wire, then I can recommend pulling out the credit card for the Lancehead. It is worth the price.

Razer provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review. The Lancehead is available now for $140.

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