Razer has built itself into a strong presence in the business of PC gaming peripherals and has consistently delivered quality products that appeal to both specific gaming niches and the all-around gamer alike. The variety of peripherals, each designed with a specific type of gamer in mine, recognizes that PC gaming is a vast arena of both competition and personal enjoyment or achievement. With the expertise and quality applied to their products, it’s no surprise that they tend toward the more expensive gaming instrument. Not too expensive, but definitely above the line of affordability for many gamers. Recognizing that fact, Razer has gone about developing the “Essential” versions of our favorite instruments. The Razer Basilisk Essential is an effective and quality alternative to the more customizable version. While still maintaining a strong level of quality, some of the finite customizability has been scaled back in order to make a more affordable, yet highly effective variant for those of us who are little more budget-minded.
- MSRP: $49.99 USD
- True 6,400 DPI Optical Sensor
- Multi-function Paddle
- Right-handed Ergonomic Design with non-slip rubber side skirt
- 7 Customizable Hyperesponse Buttons
- Powered by Razer™ Chroma with approximately 16.8 million customizable color options
- Approximate dimensions: 124 mm / 4.88 in. (length) X 75 mm / 2.94 in. (width) X 43 mm / 1.69 in. (height)
- Approximate weight: 95 g / 0.21 lb (without cable)
We’ve all seen the Razer Basilisk before. Some of us only as another expensive item to drool over and some of us managed to acquire it and experience the maximum performance options made available with it. Touted as the world’s most advanced FPS gaming mouse, the Basilisk makes a strong argument for the title with its sleek design, precision accuracy and a variety of customizable options that include being able to customize the resistance of the scroll wheel. Let’s not forget the DPI clutch that allows you to change the sensitivity of the instrument for even greater precision on the fly, without having to change the overall DPI settings.
The Basilisk Essential still sports a sleek design that is reminiscent of the original, though the surface employs a different gripping design, implementing the nonslip rubber side grip. The mouse is a teeny bit lighter, due to the lack of certain customizations, but some might consider the loss of weight a good thing. The USB cord is wrapped in braided nylon which, whether it’s true or not, always suggests quality to me. Sometimes, it’s the little things. The original boasted a 16,000 DPI optical sensor, and the Essential offers just a 6,000. Despite the difference in possible DPI, I’ve never been one to fully utilize DPI settings over 4000 anyway, and the Basilisk Essential easily met my own performance requirements in this facet. Control was quick and precise, no matter what game I was playing.
Rather than two options for the clutch lever, the Essential offers the one smaller-sized paddle along with a removable rubber thumb cap in case you decide you have no use for the clutch. The clutch is especially handy for those that prefer higher DPI settings, but find themselves in need of a softer touch as they race around corners or focus for the perfect shot. The scroll wheel resistance control is nowhere to be seen, but honestly, as a casual gamer myself, I can’t say it would have ever occurred to me to use it.
The Essential version also only has a single DPI speed button that up-cycles through five different, user-determined settings. While the original Basilisk two, one for up-cycling and the other for down-cycling, I found the single up-cycling button to be adequate, if only a little less convenient. Another visually obvious difference is that the scroll wheel no longer lights up at all. Before you ask, the iconic Basilisk symbol is still present and fully customizable with the Razer Synapse software, which infers being powered by Razer’s Chroma Studio, package that can be downloaded from the Razer site. In fact, plugging the Basilisk Essential into your Windows 8 or later PC will bring up an automatic prompt to download the software. You’ll be happy to know, as I am, that it still functions with Chroma Connect, automatically syncing with devices and apps or games that allow integration for some truly fun and immersive lighting effects.
Another wonderful option made possible by the Razer Synapse package is remapping every button on the mouse. All seven of them, even the clutch. The Basilisk Essential, itself, has a memory that holds up to four different profiles that can be accessed on any PC via the Razer Synapse interface. Which brings up the Hypershift option. Using the Synapse interface, the user can designate literally any of the mouse buttons to be the Hypershift button, which allows any of the other mouse buttons to act as completely new buttons as long as the Hypershift button is held down. Like a shift button, only it’s hyper. This effectively doubles the functions of the mouse, allowing for greater customization of keybinding and playstyles. My personal preference was to use the DPI clutch lever as the talk button for Discord, though that did cause a bit of awkwardness when using the Multifunction paddle and Mouse 4 or 5 buttons simultaneously. Obviously, each individual is going to find what is most effective for them, and I’m quite certain that my initial setup is somewhat less than the most efficient settings.
The Basilisk Essential is a quick, precise, and highly effective device that laudably carries on the Basilisk name. For some of the more casual gamers, like myself, it may actually be a bit more towards our tastes as it avoids some of the complexities of its more specialized parent. Not to mention, a bit easier to stomach in the pocketbook department. Or, if you’re like me, the “wad of cash I keep under the pillow for PC upgrades” department. In the Basilisk Essential, Razer has done an admirable job of pairing down the Essential to make it more available to players, while still maintaining a standard of quality and specialization. The Basilisk is a high-quality tool painstakingly designed to facilitate excelling in a specific field and the Essential version is not far from it.
- Comfortable, quick, effective
- DPI max: 6.400
- Not as customizable as original Basilisk
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.