Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fifteen Years; Still Stupid: My 5-Day Adventure with the Razer Imperator

It's all my fault. That much I'll admit. I'm sitting here with a dud mouse that disconnects every 15-30 minutes as if it was pulled from its USB port. Sometimes I have to cold boot my PC to get the Razer Imperator to wake up again. Everyone's talking about Razer's new Blade gaming laptop, I know, but bear with me. I'm a desktop PC gaming dude and will die with a mouse in my hand; gaming laptops, iProducts, Fruit Ninja, and stuff like that frighten me.

I'm certain this is a case of a poorly designed peripheral. Razer's stuff is usually fairly decent, but someone's head was pretty far up his wazoo when he signed off on the Imperator.

I'm not going to bitch and whine about, though. Here's the thing: I spent fifteen years as a game-related hardware reviewer. I beat the shit out of stuff that showed up on my desk and then spit out a score before deadline. Now I no longer have the luxury of collecting peripherals and stuff. I wanted a new mouse, I read a few editorial reviews and compared prices, and asked for the Imperator for my birthday. It seemed logical.
In how many languages can you say "let the buyer beware?"

As a snotty expert, I felt that editorial reviews - especially those by my respected peers - were the only way to learn the truth about a product. User reviews tend to be more passionate, but much less informative: e.g. A dweeb gets a defective product, flees to Amazon and gives it one star out of five, announcing in all caps that THIS THING FUKKIN' SUX DONT BYE IT YOU WILL REGGRET.

Amazon,,, and sites that cater to the general consumer are not sources of very many valid reviews, wolf moon shirts or otherwise. I have come to discover, however, that tech specialty sites like Newegg have some of the best, most thorough, and most balanced reviews around. The same goes for certain message boards like the [H]ard|forum (Kyle, if I didn't love you, I woldn't bother with that goofy bracket thing), Guru3D forums, and such.

I ended up with a steaming lump of crap on my mousepad because I didn't check out the true user experience, by educating myself at those and other notably helpful communities. The problem with the Imperator disconnecting is noted all over the place.

So it's my fault for not trusting you, the people for whom I spent more than a decade writing about this kind of stuff. Now I'll have the glaringly lovely opportunity of going a few rounds with a tech support team - but that's for another column.

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