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Hardware Review - Razer Imperator vs Logitech MX-518

Last week I picked up a Razer Imperator to replace my aging gaming mouse. I was hoping that for the $80 price tag the Razer mouse would be quite a move up from my Logitech MX 518. I figured that the Razer ergonomics, laser sensor and higher DPI would all edge out over a 3+ year old 518.
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The Imperator has a really comfortable shape, a little more aggressive than the domed shape of the 518. Razer really has done their homework because their mouse shape is comfortable, and allows for really fast gliding movement.  My Logitech mouse is comfortable on the hand, but is a more conventional shape, more like other Logitech and Microsoft mice.  Both mice have the same number of buttons (R, L, Mouse Wheel, Fwd, Back, and 2 resolution buttons).  While I felt like the Razer mouse was more comfortable to hold, I didn’t like the slick texture of the thumb and pinkie area. I felt like the Razer was always just a little too slick in my hand. After more than a half hour of use, you get a little perspiration on your hand and your thumb starts to slip. The 518 has a matte finish and I've never had issues with grip. The Imperator has a very large scroll wheel and large front buttons that feel great under your fingers and respond well in games.  I like the scroll wheel on the razor a lot.  It’s wider and a better textured than most, and it’s really easy to roll through weapon choices with it.  I’d love to see more manufacturers add this style wheel to their designs.  
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After about 4 days of using the Razer, I've decided to take it back. It was a matter of personal preference. if you're looking for your first gaming mouse, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up. The issue I had is that it doesn't feel like $80 worth of upgrade over my trusty MX 518. I'm no professional gamer, so it's not noticably faster for me. It doesn't have more buttons, and the MX 518 still feels more natural to me. I paid $60ish for the 518 several years ago.  I have worn it out under warranty and had it replaced once for free, and it's still a great mouse. When the 518 wears out, I'll probably look into a mouse with more buttons and adjustable weights, and it’ll probably be a Logitech or Razer. 
My recommendation, if you're moving up from the mouse that came with your computer, look at Razer. Having the high DPI laser sensor and the comfortable surface is great.  You probably won’t have my weird grip preferences because the Razer feels great in comparison with cheap packaged mice.  I’ve just developed a weird affinity for the feel of my 518.  If you're looking to stay on a budget, watch for a $40-$50 deal or some kind of rebate offer on the Logitech gaming-series mice. They don't have all the glowing lights and macro writing software, but they are great products.

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