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Razer Diamondback Plasma LE
(hx) 05:38 PM EDT - Aug,20 2005

Having used a fair number of mice this one felt the strangest yet. Right from the beginning I knew I was in for something special. The mouse arrived in a retail-style box decked out in Razer's signature black and green colors with their tri-serpent logo, listing the mouse's impressive specifications. A transparent blister pack gives the potential buyer a good 360-degree view of the mouse. On the left-hand side of the box is a window showing the free Neoprene LAN pack storage case included with the Diamondback. The rear of the packaging offers some quick specifications and features of the mouse. It would be hard to ignore or miss this box hanging from a display rack in your local computer store!

Included in the Razer Diamondback Plasma Limited Edition box :
-
Diamondback Plasma Mouse
- Diamondback LANPak
- Driver CD
- Instruction sheet

Here are the specs:
- Infrared Optical engine powered by Razer Precision
- 1600 DPI, TWICE THAT of conventional high performance sensors
- Ultra large non-slip mouse buttons, tactile response design
- Award winning Razer drivers featuring On-the-Fly sensitivity adjustment
- Frame rate over 6400 frames per second (5.8 megapixels per second)
- 16 bit data path, as compared to 8 bit and 12 bit data paths used by other conventional mice
- Always On Mode - the optical sensor never powers down - provides instantaneous response at all times during gameplay
- High speed motion detection, up to 40ips and 15g
- Buttons - 7 physical buttons optimized for gaming response and independently programmable
- Non-slip side rails and new ergonomic ambidextrous design
- Zero acoustic Teflon feet for smooth motion over any surface
- Gold plated USB connector for maximum conductivity
- Size: 5.04" length x 2.5" width x 1.54" height, weight 90g
- 7 foot, lightweight, non-tangle cord
- Comes with custom designed Razer Diamondback Lan-Pack for storage and transport.

The Diamondback Plasma LE's specs put it at a 1600dpi resolution, capturing 5.8 megapixels per second at 6400+ frames per second!

Carefully engineered, the Diamondback Plasma LE fits perfectly into the "Lan-Pack".

There's no doubt that Razer designed this to be a hi-performance mouse for both right and left-handed enthusiasts and power-users. The transparent housing is smoked black injection molded chassis that allows viewing of the electronics stashed inside. With the Ice blue light illuminating from the inside out, the Plasma Limited Edition is visually stunning mice. The LED inside the mouse is bright, but it is not offensive. I should mention that Diamondback Plasma LE uses an infrared sensor which supposedly is even more sensitive for tracking on a mouse pad. The Infrared also does not emit any color, so you won't see the typical blinding red beam coming out of the bottom of the mouse.

The two main buttons are massive and cover roughly half the surface of the mouse. The buttons are quite sensitive and easy to click and the scroll wheel has a nice crisp feel to it. There are two side buttons on the sides of the mouse as well, and a pretty lit up scroll wheel that functions as another button. The buttons are pretty useful, as they are fully configurable using the supplied Razer software. However, the only complaint would be the stiffness of the buttons. Partly due to their placement, these buttons are pretty hard to press down. I'm also not found of the small plastic grooves used to help locate the two buttons. This is mainly because it is really just one piece of plastic rather than two individual buttons. I would have preferred two independent, low-profile buttons.

A comparison of sizes. From the left, MX510, Diamondback Plasma LE and MX 300.

The cord attached to the Diamondback Plasma LE is a full seven feet with a gold plated USB connector on the end. Seven feet is more than enough cord for anyone but useful if your gaming machine isn't right next to your monitor (my PC is sitting on the floor under my desk).

Installation is as simple as can be. Just plug the gold-plated USB connector into a USB port and load the drivers from the driver disc. You can use the enclosed CD, but I strongly recommend that you head out to Razer's website and download the latest version of the Diamondback Drivers. The Razer control center allows you to change pretty much everything about the mouse - the sensitivity of motion and your wheel, the mouse's DPI, the mouse acceleration, etc. You can also remap the buttons to whatever you want. 

I've been testing this mouse out among a variety of applications, including Photoshop CS, Dungeon Siege II, BloodRayne 2, Battlefield 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, Half-Life 2, CS:Source, Painkiller, Sacred Underworld, Restricted Area, and a lot of internet browsing in between. The sensitivity of this mouse is twice that of ordinary 800dpi devices, so prepare for some weird impressions in the first few hours of play -  you will have to re-train yourself to use a mouse of this speed and accuracy. It takes some time getting use to it, but that's nothing to worry about :) The high optical resolution is pretty useful when making minor adjustments to your aim in games such as Counter-strike, allowing you to shoot with precision even at a distance.

I we got exactly the response I would expect, the mouse is extremely precise and works without flaw. It's definitely the most responsive mouse I've ever tested!

The only complaint, once again, would be the side buttons, which were slightly too stiff to be used. For games, I rather disabled the side buttons. That's not a big problem for me since I don't use them either. However, there are a number of reasons why I prefer my old MX 300 over the Diamondback Plasma LE. It's not because its size and weight (which is almost the same). The main reason is that I use a mouse very differently to most people. Whereas the majority of mouse users will hold the device in their hand and move it around from the shoulder, I rest the heel of my hand on the desktop and move the mouse with my thumb and ring finger. Unfortunately, I found that the Diamondback Plasma LE don't fit my hand/fingers so good like the old good MX 300. Of course, it doesn't mean the mouse is bad!! Most normal people with a medium sized hand (who hold the mouse properly) will find this mouse comfortable.

Pros
- incredible precision and smoothness of motion
- tracking is absolutely superb
- wicked design
- comfortable for both right and left-handed users.
- blue LED is beautiful on the mouse
- On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
- low weight (90g) - your hand will hurt less after many hours of network battles
- well designed non-slip Teflon mouse feet
- free Lan-Pak lets you carry the mouse in style
- robust drivers
- good price

Cons
- some gamers may find the placement of the side buttons awkward
- no PS2 support (USB only)!!!
- not for fans of heavy mice

Overall, Diamondback Plasma LE is the best for all the first person shooters as well as high end graphics manipulation guru's out there. It takes some time getting use to it, but that's nothing to worry about. If you like to play games and you are thinking about getting a gaming mouse, the Razer Diamondback is a great choice.

related links: Buy Razer Diamondback Plasma Mouse ($40.84)

Note: I'd like to thank Razer for making this review possible



developer: Razer

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