The gaming mouse has come a long way since the arrival of Razer’s Boomslang, a pioneer of PC gaming in the late 1990s. Razer’s first gaming mouse used a 1,800dpi sensor, perfect for thwarting alien bad guys in the shooter of its time, Quake II. It wasn’t flashy by today’s standards, with five buttons plus a scroll wheel glowing in Razer’s signature “Secret of the Ooze” green. I mention the Boomslang because the new Razer Abyssus Essential ($49.99) reminds me in many ways. This is our Razer Abyssus Essential Review.
But unfortunately, the Abyssus is far from the revolutionary must-buy that the Boomslang was in its time. It’s more of a niche mouse for left-wing users and Razer enthusiasts. Mouse times – and value propositions – have indeed changed. The Razer Abyssus Essential also glows, now in the required 16.8 million RGB color options, to make your mouse surface into a disco. But that’s an essential bit of flair, and more than fifty dollars for a mouse with only two buttons and a scroll wheel whose spin resistance cannot be adjusted is challenging to sell.
Still, this mouse is therefore called “Essential” – Razer frankly states that the feature set is no frills. Because so many buyers today at least the option for beautiful lamps, the most significant appeal is the adjustable RGB lighting. As long as you think that’s cool, this mouse is a great buy; know that the light and the Razer mysticism are what you pay for here, not a range of in-depth hardware features.
Razer Abyssus Essential Review: Design
The reason for the better grip: two shiny sections of silicone on the bottom. These mouse feet are designed to be smooth, but Razer has made them more significant than usual for this model, giving them both excellent gliding properties and a decent purchase on your pad. They should prevent the mouse body from slipping and specifying your position if, for example, you are looking for nooks and crannies around a map in PUBG.
The overall shape of the Razer Abyssus Essential reminds me of Halo’s energy sword. On the front, the two mouse buttons are separated by about half an inch. The buttons form the sides of a small gap overlooking a plastic divider, from which the rubberized USB cable protrudes the front. Behind that opening is the scroll wheel with a dotted surface. Although you can’t adjust the spin resistance level like you can on the Editors’ Choice Razer Basilisk, the standard shear resistance is satisfactory.
It was not so light that I overshot when switching weapons in Fortnite, and not so heavy that it was a chore to go to the next slot. Meanwhile, my index and middle fingers were resting comfortably enough on the right and left mouse buttons. Better yet, given its symmetrical shape, the Abyssus Essential accommodates the often-neglected base of left-wing gamers.
The real star of the show, however, is not the edgy but minimal look; they are the lights. Not every $50 mouse has full-fledged RGB lighting that can be adjusted via software, which may explain tradeoffs in other, perhaps more crucial, areas, such as the un-braided cable or a low number of buttons.
The Abyssus Essential has a single lighting zone that covers two main areas. Like most Razer mice with mood lighting, the logo shimmers here in one of 16.8 million colors at once, and then the re’s the under-glow. Note that the top shell of the Abyssus Essential has a matte black coating that, I discovered, can wear out if you don’t pamper it, exposing unwanted RGB light to dot-like dots. The bottom half of the Abyssus Essential has a more robust texture than the top, which in addition to durability, also helps with grip.
In my Razer Basilisk review, I noticed that Razer’s Synapse 3 software needs some work in one crucial area. Granted, it’s still in beta at the time of this review, and it will undoubtedly see improvements with the official release expected in June. But as it stands, Synapse 3 remains incompatible with many other Razer products. For example, if you need to use the Abyssus Essential with an older Razer keyboard, you also need to install an earlier version of Synapse.
That said, you can assign any button on the Abyssus Essential to an action of your choice: a mouse function, an application launcher, or a macro (a combination of included keyboard and mouse functions). Notably, this mouse also supports a feature called Mouse Usage, which optimizes it for left or right-handed players depending on their dominant hand.
In the Performance column, you can select the sensitivity level, ranging from 800 dpi to 7,200 dpi. From the re, you can adjust the polling rate to 125Hz, 500Hz, or 1,000Hz. (Most users have to leave it at 1000 Hz.) Under Illumination, you can choose from Breathing, Reactive, Spectrum Cycling, and Static presets, or you can turn off the Illumination to save power.
If that’s not comprehensive enough, you’ll find Chroma Studio in the Advanced Effects tab, but since the Abyssus only has a single lighting zone, everything you do here applies to the entire mouse. You get a handful of Chroma Studio exclusive effects (Fire, Ripple, Starlight, Wave), in addition to the ability to stack effects on top of each other, but that’s the extent of the appeal here. The advanced effects can only get so advanced on a gaming mouse of this base.
Razer Abyssus Essential Review: Performance
The mainstream gaming mouse that we have tested that is most similar to the Abyssus Essential is the Logitech G Pro ($60.00 at Amazon). It is also one of the best rated in recent times. An ambidextrous mouse with a more complicated six-button layout, the G Pro is a mainstay for gamers looking to save money. And the reason why you might consider the Abyssus Essential has as much to do with the number of buttons as it does with pure performance.
Take the maximum tracking resolution. While the more expensive Abyssus Essential is maximum at 7,200 dpi, the Logitech G Pro pushes a limit of 12,000 dpi. Now DPI is not everything; some would argue it is an arms race factor. However, the Logitech G Pro feels smooth, follows well even on large, high-resolution screens, and has a braided cable to boot. In combination with a single 1080p monitor, the difference between these two mice is negligible. But I’d recommend opting for the Logitech G Pro if the re’s a good chance you’ll be upgrading to a QHD or 4K panel along the way; the higher DPI institution may be more convenient in that situation.
What increases the cost of the Razer Abyssus Essential is the RGB lighting. If you live without it, the Logitech’s G Pro is your better option. And if cheap RGB is close to your heart, the Corsair Saber RGB is another unit to look at. It has a sensitivity of up to 10,000 dpi and has the same color palette of 16.8 million. The only caveat is that the Saber is not an ambidextrous design; the wide grip reminds me of the original Xbox “Duke” controller, suitable for gamers with big hands but clumsy for others.
The Abyssus Essential, for now, serves a niche of gamers who prefer fewer buttons but must have showy lighting. You don’t get any extra attributes outside of the personalization you can perform in Razer’s Synapse 3 software, such as button function assignments, performance adjustments, and of course, RGB effect adjustments.
Razer Abyssus Essential Review: Conclusion
Fifty dollars is in high demand for a base mouse, and given the sacrifices the Abyssus Essential demands – settle for the fewest buttons and beta software – the price seems high. While the mystical underglow will entice those looking for affordable RGB, others will complain about the hardware compromises made to get the re, such as the non-braided USB cable, lower sensitivity than the packaging, and the sensitivity to chipping on the surface.
However, some advantages balance the disadvantages. You won’t find many left-wing friendly RGB gaming mice, period, and none come from a company as renowned as Razer. Other non-RGB ambidextrous gaming mice, of course, exist. The Logitech G203 Prodigy first comes to mind, and a little searching reveals the Asus Cerberus and BenQ Zowie FK2, among other things. Unfortunately, some of these two-handed mice are not quite symmetrical, like the Abyssus Essential is.
Some have buttons on one side only, and still, others have a form that favors right-handed players, even if they are also marketed for left-handed players. If you looking for something different, then do check our Logitech G Pro X Review
The Razer Abyssus Essential is a satisfying piece of equipment for PC players, but rarely pushes the boat in terms of exciting features.
- Minimal yet effective RGB lighting
- Fast and responsive movement
- Ambidextrous support is welcome
- A basic set of features
- Cable feels cheap and flimsy