Cool, frills-free gaming mouse

The Razer Abyssus Essential is a no-frills gaming mouse with two click buttons and a clickable scroll wheel. There are no buttons for changing DPI (dots per inch, for mouse sensitivity) or switching profiles. And it has none of the bells and whistles that come with many of Razer's high-end gaming mice.

In other words, the mouse, as its name seems to suggest, packs only the essentials.

However, its three buttons (the scroll wheel is counted as a button) are what Razer calls Hyperesponse buttons, with a durability of up to 10 million keystrokes.

It has an ambidextrous design that caters to both right-and left-handers. It has a matte plastic finish, which I prefer over a rubber coating that might disintegrate over time in Singapore's humid weather.

But it has no side grips and is rather small for a gaming mouse, which might not be ideal for those with big palms. In addition, there are no contoured bumps on its top for the palm to rest on.

Most PC gamers use either the palm grip or claw grip. Palm grippers rest their palm on the mouse, while claw grippers arch their hand and their fingers to grip the mouse. Given its small size, the Abyssus Essential suits claw grippers more than a palm gripper like me.

But I like its clean design, with the Razer logo on top and perimeter light underneath that glows when the mouse is connected.

The Abyssus Essential is the first Razer mouse to have this cool underglow effect. Plus, the mouse supports Razer's Chroma lighting with options of up to 16.8 million colours.

  • SPECS

  • PRICE: $79.99

    SENSOR: 7,200-dpi optical sensor

    ACCELERATION: Up to 220 inches per second

    BACKLIGHT: Up to 16.8 million colours

    CONNECTIVITY: USB

    WEIGHT:  78g (without cable)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

It has a high-grade 7,200-DPI optical sensor for optimal performance. The bigger-than-usual glide pads on the bottom of the mouse allow for a quick change of direction and smooth gliding.

Whether I was playing action role-playing games or first-person shooters, the mouse performed admirably.

On the downside, it lacks a more durable braided USB cable and uses a rubber USB cable instead.

And I think it needs a dedicated DPI switch for the quick change of mouse sensitivity.

While you can change mouse sensitivity either via Razer's Synapse software or by customising the scroll wheel, both options are not ideal. Using the software could be too slow, while the scroll wheel is usually used to toggle between weapons during games and so might not be available for this function. But if you do not change mouse sensitivity, then it should not be much of an issue.

• Verdict: For those who want a frills-free but cool gaming mouse with RGB lighting, the Razer Abyssus Essential is for you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2018, with the headline 'Cool, frills-free gaming mouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe