A couple of months ago we got acquainted with a very good symmetrical Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition, and today we had the opportunity to study the wireless version of this mouse, which is simply called Lancehead (even without the Wireless prefix). By and large, Lancehead can work over the wire, so Tournament Edition, of course, can be considered as a stripped-down version of Lancehead. But, in fact, this is far from the case. After all, although they are the same in shape and ergonomics, they have different sensors, and it is very good in the Lancehead TE. And how are things here? Let’s figure it out.
|Interface||Wired / Wireless (USB)|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor model||Philips PLN2037|
|Permission, cpi||100 – 16 000|
|Number of buttons||10 buttons + scroll (left, middle, right, two resolution keys, four additional side buttons, profile change key on mouse sole)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1–5|
|Maximum speed, m/s||5,34|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||–|
|Internal memory, KB||+|
|Cord length, m||2,2|
|Wireless receiver type||Nano receiver (USB)|
|Power, battery life, hours||Rechargeable lithium battery / 24 hours|
|Protocol (GHz) / range (m) of wireless communication||2.4GHz / 10m|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic, rubber|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, rear logo, side inserts left and right|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (Razer Synapse)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||126 x 71 x 39|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 / 10, Mac OS X 10.9 or higher|
|Additionally||Receiver pocket, extension cord, detachable cable.|
|Average cost, $||140|
Delivery and equipment
The packaging of the mouse turned out to be slightly larger in profile than that of the Lancehead TE, although the style as a whole remained unchanged. Razer marketers cited «gaming-grade wireless performance» with adaptive frequency technology, «the world’s most accurate laser sensor» and support for Synapse Pro software (or Synapse 3.0 — they themselves have not yet fully decided how to use it) as the three main advantages of the manipulator. exactly name) to implement the capabilities of the memory built into the device.
The inside of the package is multi-layered. Removing the top cover reveals a package with instructions, a welcome note from the company, a driver information sheet, and two traditional Razer logo stickers. Then the user will pull the strap towards himself and open another partition, glued from below with foam rubber, behind which the manipulator itself will be found. But that’s not all — the bottom of the box is double, and under it there is an adapter for the receiver and the receiver itself, along with the charging cable, folded into a neat bay, packed in a separate cardboard box.
Appearance and design
The hull shape of the Razer Lancehead is almost the same as that of the TE version — symmetrical, with slightly widened and rounded sides at the rear. However, there are also a number of differences. The material of the top panel is a fairly smooth plastic, painted in gray (gunmetal tone) with a slight sheen. In front of the scroll wheel there is a recess for connecting the cable, which is not occupied by anything in wireless mode. The panels of the two main keys are thin and movable, easily bending to the sides. However, they have no free play when pressed, the pressing force is average, the tactile feedback is clear. Click on volume below average. Behind the rubberized scroll wheel are two narrow resolution buttons. They are soft and quiet, the pressing force is small.
On the left side of the manipulator there is a large rubber pad, thanks to which the mouse tenaciously sits in the user’s fingers. Two additional side buttons are located in the right place, you don’t have to reach for them. As in the TE version, they are strongly recessed into the body, it can be difficult to find and press them. They work with an average volume and effort slightly above average, there is a small margin of free play. In the gap under the keys and the top panel there is a side lighting strip, consisting of seven individual LEDs.
The connector for connecting the USB signal cable is located in the recess under the scroll wheel, between two embossed parts imitating the air intake grille deflectors. The scroll wheel is built around a mechanical encoder that is quiet when scrolling down and clicky when rotated up. All fixation positions are felt very clearly, both tactilely and aurally. The switch under the wheel is taut, but has a short travel and an instant response with good feedback. The middle button is muted. Under the two main keys are Omron/Razer D2FC-FK(50M)-RZ switches, with an estimated MTBF of 50 million clicks.
To communicate with the computer Razer Lancehead uses a very ordinary-looking miniature USB transmitter operating in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. However, the manufacturer claims that everything is far from being so simple and this device has built-in adaptive frequency technology. Its essence lies in the fact that the frequency range is scanned every millisecond for the presence of interference and the link from the mouse and the receiver instantly switches to the frequency and channel that are the most stable and free from interference. Whether software is required for this, and where exactly the algorithm for this technology is sewn up — in the receiver, mouse or software, the manufacturer does not specify.
In addition, Lancehead can not only charge, but also work via a USB cable. The included cord is 2.2 meters long and has a non-standard mouse connector. It is fully braided and is soft and flexible enough to be used comfortably without an additional holder. Two reusable rubber ties are put on the cord at once, allowing you to adjust its length.
The cable can also be used to connect the complete extension adapter. This will allow you to place the transmitter as close to the mouse as possible and avoid unnecessary delays in signal transmission. The adapter has a large rubber leg in the form of a horseshoe and perfectly holds the table.
When assembled, the user receives a free USB 2.0 socket, where, in addition to the transmitter, you can connect something else you need. But there is also a dubious side to such a decision. For each charge, the cable will need to be removed from the adapter and inserted into the mouse. Given that the manipulator needs to be recharged on average once every two days, in a year and a half there are significant chances to loosen all the connectors to a state of unusability.
The signal cable is connected to the mouse exactly in the center, at a low height. Large anti-kink protection prevents it from rubbing against the playing surface. Pulls back out with a lot of effort. There is no special wire holder.
The right side of the mouse completely repeats the left sidewall. There is a rubber pad, two side buttons and a strip of side LEDs under the buttons. The mouse will be equally comfortable to use with both left and right hands.
There is an illuminated contoured Razer logo on the back of the manipulator. It is slightly raised up, on the sides of the back, just behind the rubber stickers, glossy plastic inserts are made.
There are three Teflon feet on the base of the mouse — one large on the back and two smaller ones on the front. Another Teflon insert in the form of an oval is glued around the sensor window. As a sensor, a Philips PLN2037 laser sensor is used here, which is easy to recognize by the characteristic shape of the hole, color and number of lenses.
Near the back leg there is a cover with rounded corners. On the left side there is a button for changing profiles and a slider switch for the wireless mode. There is a discreet RGB LED in the upper left corner of the lid, which glows white by default. When changing profiles stored in the built-in memory, it changes color to red, green, cyan or blue.
The lid is translucent. Behind it is not a battery compartment at all, but a place to store the transmitter. To call such a solution elegant is difficult, it is more typical for manufacturers of budget devices than for the leading company in the field of design, which Razer considers itself to be.
The shape of the Razer Lancehead is symmetrical and versatile. It is well balanced in weight and will suit any type of grip, both right and left handed.
Chroma lighting zones on the mouse include the Razer logo, scroll wheel, and inlays under the side buttons. Inserts on both sides are divided into seven zones, with an individual color. All zones are regulated separately for color and brightness, in total standard 16.8 million colors are available. The color reproduction of the LEDs looks quite decent, but there is blueness in the white color.
The Razer Lancehead series mice are currently supported by two software versions, Synapse 2.0 and Synapse 3.0 (beta). As the name implies, the third version is still under development and works with a limited number of devices, but it allows you to use the on-board memory built into the mouse data, and in general provides more options for setting up the device and recording macros. Therefore, today we will consider exactly it, but it is worth considering that the Lancehead mouse works quite correctly with Synapse 2.0, if you do not take into account the moment with internal memory.
Synapse launches along with the Razer Central app, which is the main add-on that allows you to manage all the other software from Razer. Online account is still required. From the program settings window, you can check for updates, go to pages on social networks, configure driver launch options, select one of 10 interface languages, and reset all device settings to default values.
From the main driver menu, there is direct access to individual modules, among which there are mouse settings, highlight editor, macro editor, developer feedback form, product warranty registration and verification, viewing compatible devices, access to the Razer store, and even to your own wallet containing «currency» from Razer. All modules that are not simple links are duplicated in the usual list of menus in the upper left corner of the application window. In the upper right corner there is access to the current user account.
On the Customize Mouse Buttons screen, it is possible to remap any commands for all nine keys and two scroll directions. The full list of available commands will be indicated on the tab on the left. In addition, you can quickly change LMB and RMB in places, for use under the right or left hand. And on the right is a list of profiles (a separate sliding tab) that can be written to the internal memory in four slots, marked in red, green, blue and blue. In the lower right corner, the percentage indicates the available memory space.
In the «efficiency» settings, the sensor resolution is adjusted from 100 to 16000 dpi in 100 dpi increments. You can set five separate sensitivity levels, or leave only one level. Separate or synchronous change of sensitivity along the X and Y axes is available. The positive acceleration of the cursor is set in the range from 0 to 10 units. There are three polling frequencies to choose from — 125, 500 or 1000 Hz. In addition, there is a direct link to a standard program for basic Windows mouse setup. The current battery charge is displayed in all tabs in the upper right corner.
In the basic backlight settings, it is possible to control lighting effects simultaneously for all zones in terms of color and brightness (ranging from 33 to 100%). In addition, you can set the time for the backlight to turn off when the screen turns off or when the mouse is idle, in the range from 1 to 15 minutes. For more complex settings, you need to check the «advanced effects» checkbox and go to the Chroma editor. And the effects can be synchronized for other devices that support Chroma backlighting.
The Chroma Studio configurator allows you to make very fine separate settings for all zones and lighting effects and arrange spectacular light shows with the mouse. Other apps that support Chroma lighting are also available from here.
In the calibration section, you can set the desired tear-off height or set several types of surfaces at once, so that later you can simply switch to them when moving the mouse. Calibration is only available with a wired connection.
Calibration allows you to adjust the height of the sensor separation from the surface for a specific type of rug. This can be done by selecting a Razer branded mat from a list of presets, automatically calibrating for any new surface type, or manually setting the tear-off height.
Two options are available in the battery management settings — the time to enter sleep mode when idle (in the range from 1 to 15 minutes), and the trigger at which the mouse starts blinking red on the scroll wheel, indicating that the battery level is low. This warning can be triggered when the level reaches 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25% of the battery’s full capacity.
The macro editor in the new Synapse 3.0 has received new functionality and appearance, has changed both formally and in essence. The left tab has a complete list of created commands that can be copied, imported, exported and deleted. Commands are recorded in the central window, where not only mouse or keyboard clicks are received, but even the cursor movement trajectory is recorded relative to a specific window or screen as a whole. The right tab shows the available command assignments, options for setting time delays, and a schematically recorded cursor path.
Fortunately, the statistics module has not yet been connected here. And there is hope that they will not connect.
Ergonomics and testing
The Razer Lancehead was tested on the Razer Goliathus WoT (Speed medium). The symmetrical shape of this manipulator is versatile, so not everyone will find it ideal, but it will suit everyone, on average, for any palm size and grip type. The material of the top panel is quite smooth, it does not cause delight to the touch, but there are no special comments either. Evaporates moisture well, but the button plates and rubber quickly become dirty during use. However, cleaning them does not cause any problems. The main buttons are set up perfectly, they have an informative tactile response, a well-chosen pressing force and a complete lack of free play. The scroll wheel is also well made — it is relatively quiet and very clear in feedback. But the side buttons are not very convenient, because they are heavily recessed into the case, in order to avoid accidental clicks. The legs of the mouse are thin and not particularly slippery. The backlight looks rich, although not the best implementation of white has already been mentioned earlier. As far as the software is concerned, it looks promising in comparison with Synapse 2.0, although it needs to be improved in a number of ways. Nevertheless, the appearance in the macro editor of the ability to record mouse movements and support for four on-board profiles without the need to install software is already a big step forward.
In wireless mode, the Razer Lancehead behaves quite stably. Once turned on, it takes up to 10 seconds to re-establish communication with the receiver. When you exit sleep, it fits in 5 seconds — by moving the mouse or pressing any button. There were no breaks in communication, as well as strong delays in signal transmission. Provided that the transmitter is within a radius of one meter from the mouse, there is practically no difference in use with a wired connection. The battery charge, according to the manufacturer, with the backlight on is enough for 24 hours of continuous operation. During our tests, this figure was confirmed. To fully charge the switched off device takes exactly three hours, two of which it spends charging up to the level of 80%. In wired mode, Lancehead behaves without comment. The only thing that makes me embarrassed is the charging socket. Installing and removing the cord from it requires effort and the chances that over time it can become very loose and fail are quite high.
The Philips PLN2037 laser sensor has retained all its advantages and disadvantages in this version of the mouse. On the one hand, it maintains high values of maximum speed and acceleration. On the other hand, the problem with the liftoff height (and the resulting Z-axis bug) did not disappear, although here it was possible to minimize it if the surface was properly calibrated. But still. Under certain conditions, this sensor starts to work chaotically, usually with an instantaneous acceleration of up to four meters per second. What exactly this is connected with is difficult to say, but to bring it back to normal, you need to reconnect the mouse, in some cases even with reinstalling the software and resetting all settings to default. In addition, this sensor also has a problem with slow movement — if you move the manipulator at the minimum possible speed, it may consider that there is no movement and leave the cursor in place. In other words, for everyday use and gaming, the PLN2037 is more than enough. But it’s hard to recommend it to gamers who play for the result in competitive disciplines.
In the Razer product line, the wireless Lancehead has taken the place of the symmetrical counterpart for the latest revision of the Mamba. In addition, it has become a testing platform for the built-in memory feature and the new Synapse software. It’s no secret that Lancehead had another strategic goal: to become a symmetrical answer to the flagship Logitech G900. I can note one thing — the mouse from Razer cannot withstand the G900 for one single reason, which is the extremely unstable laser sensor from Philips. What exactly prevented us from putting such an excellent sensor here as in the wired Lancehead TE? We will probably never know the answer to this question.
The current advantages of the Razer Lancehead include a versatile shape, reliable wireless operation, beautiful backlighting, high-quality main key switches, a nice scroll wheel, and built-in memory.
The disadvantages are obvious. This is an unstable sensor, raw software and a charging connector that can become loose over time.
The bottom line is that the Razer Lancehead TE is a great choice for avid FPS players, as it’s much better than the Mamba TE and offers slightly more features than the DeathAdder Elite. And the wireless Lancehead is for casual PC users who, for some reason, don’t like the wireless Mamba form.