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Snakes on a Mouse: Copperhead Review

Hardware Reviewer Jeremy Star takes a look at the Razer Copperhead mouse, the last part of Razer's "Holy Trinity of MMORPG" gaming.

Snakes on a Mouse: Copperhead Review

And we're back. Well Chuck, that certainly was some last review.

“Yes it was, Jeremy. Say, what have we got this week?”

Well, Chuck, we have another offering from Razer. This week we'll be reviewing the Copperhead laser mouse.

“Wait, did you say the Razer Copperhead mouse? Hasn't that been out for quite a while, Jeremy?”

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Yes, yes it has, Chuck.

“Er..so, they updated it, or something?”

Not exactly, Chuck. In fact, there's nothing new at all going on with the Razer Copperhead. The company sent it in for a review as part of its “Holy Trinity of MMORPG gaming” - the Razer Tarantula, the Razer eXactMat, and the Razer Copperhead.

“Oh, well that's great Jeremy. With that being said; Leeeeeeeeet's get ready to ruuu..”

Chuck. Chuck! Stop, this isn't a boxing match.

“Oh, right. Sorry, got a bit carried away there.”

On with the show.

The Hardware – No, it's not a phone.

The Razer Copperhead is a wired, laser mouse that uses a gold plated USB interface. Of course, this is Razer we're talking about. I wouldn't hold your breath for anything different in any of their upcoming mice. They know as well as the next manufacturer that in the gaming world, wireless is equivalent to junk, and when you have a good thing going, why mess with it?

The Copperhead features a 2000 DPI laser, 7 programmable buttons, a 16-bit data channel, zero-acoustic Ultraslick Teflon feet, and an Always On laser system.

The Technology – Frickin' laser beams!

The Copperhead uses a 2000 DPI laser system to track movement. Laser mice are supposed to be much more accurate, due to the ability to detect minuscule changes in wavelength and translate those changes to movement, but in reality, optical mice are catching up fast. (Well, gaming optical mice, anyway.)

For a slightly more detailed explanation of DPI, and why you want a high one, check out my Razer Krait review.

Aside from having a high DPI, the Copperhead follows suit with Razer's other mice by using the “Always On” technology. This basically means the mouse doesn't ever enter a power saving mode, so it's always ready to translate your wrist flicking in to a deadly, but beautiful Night Elf/ Michael Jackson dance routine. It also shares the 16-bit data path, 1ms response time, and 32 Kb of Razer Synapse memory that other Razer mice use. All that means the mouse translates your frantic movement almost as soon as it happens, and it can port your saved mouse configurations to another PC, so you can bring your mouse with you wherever you go without reprogramming it.

Appearance – Copper? I prefer Bronze.

The Copperhead is fairly similar in appearance to a host of other Razer mice. It shares the same elongated, low-riding shape that the Diamondback and the Krait use, and it has the lit mouse wheel and rubberized tracks of the Krait. The light comes in three varieties: Blue, red and green, also a trait shared by the Diamondback. And, like the Tarantula keyboard, it has a pulsing Razer symbol. All in all, it's a pretty attractive mouse, although the green variety that they sent us for review is rather bright in a dark room.

Performance – If I'm anxious, it's not about the performance...

Like most Razer mice, the default settings on the Copperhead drivers are very hard to control. Also, like the other Razer mice, once you turn the sensitivity down a few notches, it performs admirably. I actually had to turn the Copperhead's sensitivity down a couple more notches than the other Razer mice due to the higher DPI.

I test moused my way through several sessions of Tabula Rasa, 2 Moons, Everquest II, and – of course – World of Warcraft. The mouse moves smoothly, action is translated very well, and it is very accurate. All in all, exactly what you would expect from a high-end gaming laser mouse.

I did, however, have issues with the side buttons. Not with the function, but with the placement. I will go in to details in...

Conclusion – Copperhead or copper tub?

With so many “gaming” mice on the market today, it's sometimes hard to make some of them stand out. There are only so many features that people really use, and then you're just adding things on to say that you have them, so you can stand out.

Razer did kind of the opposite with the Copperhead. It's a good mouse, with features that every gamer can put to good use, but it doesn't have anything that really makes it stand out, and it has some comfort issues.

What I think of it:

Using the Copperhead was like using a lot of Razer's other mice. As I said before, it is very similar to the Diamondback and the Krait. Needless to say, I liked it for the most part, as I have liked most of Razer's other mice.

Except the side buttons.

Now, don't get me wrong. They work. I like that there are two on each side. I like that I can actually set a button to do the on-the-fly sensitivity changes and still have the two buttons on the left side work as game buttons. That's nice.

What I don't like is that the side buttons are under a rubberized strip that juts out from the side of the mouse. Instead of lying flat against the side of the mouse, as is the case with other Razer mice, it resembles sort of a dull sword edge. Not only is resting your thumb on it uncomfortable, but it also makes it hard to click the buttons under it. I had to sort of make my thumb in to a claw to dig under the strip and click the side buttons. Perhaps if the sides of the mouse didn't slope so sharply in towards the center under the strip, or if the strip wasn't edged, it may have been easier to use all those side buttons. It's a very strange design choice, and one that I think ultimately makes this mouse more of a pain, rather than a pleasure.

Who I think can benefit the most:

Perhaps my hands being somewhat large increase my irritation with the side buttons, so people with smaller hands may find this useful. Again, all gamers – casual or hardcore, raid-until-I-have-to-change-my-Depends types – can benefit from a good, high DPI mouse. The Copperhead is also completely ambidextrous, so the lefties aren't left out in… left field.

So, if you happen to have an old mouse, and you have a limited choice of new mice, the Copperhead is a fine buy. Otherwise, you might be better off with another high end gaming mouse.

Final Thoughts:

The Copperhead is a decent laser mouse for gaming, but I feel the strange placement of the side buttons and the uncomfortable side strips keep it from being good. Which is too bad, because it looks very cool.

I give the Razer Copperhead 5 Slytherin cheers out of 10.

Pros Cons
  • Accurate, smooth motion
  • High DPI laser
  • Plenty of programmable buttons
  • Strange side button placement makes them hard to click
  • rubberized strip is “edged”