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Microsoft Razer Habu Gaming Mouse

Labeled With  microsoft razer pc
Written by DM on Wednesday, May 09 2007

Razer has been making quality gaming mice for many years now. The Razer Boomslang pretty much owned the professional gaming mouse scene well before anyone had heard of an optical mouse. The 2100 dpi ball mouse was the epitome of PC gaming, and gamers sought it out. Now that PC gaming has become a mainstream event with players like Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel raking in the dough, the pro PC gaming market has exploded. Companies like Razer and Logitech produce a line of professional gaming accessories that are geared towards serious PC game players, and they all claim to help players get that extra frag or two.

While Razer has been in this business for a long time, Microsoft has only very recently decided that they want in on the pro PC gaming market. This has lead to the development of the Microsoft Habu Professional gaming mouse. This accessory is collaboration with Razer, and it shows, as much of the technology that sites inside the mouse is pulled directly from other Razer mouse models. This includes the 2000dpi optical sensor technology, the Teflon pads on the bottom of the mouse to ensure smooth movement, the patented Razer 1000hz UBS polling rate driver (more on this later), and even the “Synapse” 32kb of on-board hardware memory that is used to save customized control profiles for specific games. This is useful for gamers who attend LAN parties and tournaments frequently, and cannot take the time to or are not able to reset their control profiles on the foreign machine.

Now that I have told you how the Habu is the same as a Razer mouse, let me tell you how it is different. The Habu has the aesthetics, look, and feel of a Microsoft mouse, which to me, is a good thing. The Razer mice are great products, but they lack a certain ergonomic curve that long-session gamers like me may enjoy. The mouse has a curve that fits any right-handed gamers (sorry lefties), with two thumb buttons on the left hand side. These thumb buttons, by the way, are adjustable. Microsoft includes two left side plates which alter the position of the thumb buttons to be either more towards the front of the mouse, or more towards the rear. The standard buttons are all there, the wheel presses in for use as a button, and there are also two button just below the wheel. Of course, all the buttons can be set to whatever function your heart desires, but the default use of these buttons is on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. I left them set to the default function, as it is very useful while in-game.

As I mentioned earlier, the Razer mice all utilize the 1000hz Ultrapolling USB port drivers. For those of you who are not familiar with this “ultrapolling” technology, let me explain. Most USB ports run at around 125hz. This means that 125 times per second the USB port queries the device that is plugged into it and asks it for a report. Now, in the case of a mouse, the USB port is asking the mouse where it is located, so that it can compare it to where it was last located, and move the on-screen pointer accordingly. Now, the Razer ultrapolling drivers crank the USB polling rate up to an astounding 1000hz. This means the USB slot will report the location of the mouse not 125 times per second, as is normal, but 1000 times per second. You can obviously see the potential benefit this offers. Of course, potential and real world benefits often do not match up, and although many gamers swear by it, it is near-impossible to test how much difference a modification such at this actually makes. Personally, I like to think that it is indeed responsible for those extra few frags I can grab when using the Habu.

Installation of the Habu is a bit complicated. Remember, this mouse is not your average, bargain-bin, $5 dollar, blue-light special, and the drivers and installation reflect this fact. My mouse came with the 1.0 Habu firmware, which meant I had to upgrade. Before I attempted that though, I had to install the mouse’s Windows XP drivers. This is where I ran into problems. Before I go on, take note -- my PC runs on Windows XP Professional with SP2. Anyway, I tried to use the CD that came with the Habu to install the Razer drivers, but this resulted in the installation of the mouse configuration utility only – no Windows drivers. This meant that the utility could not detect a Habu mouse on my PC, even though the device was clearly plugged into the USB slot. After about 30 minutes, I finally got my PC to recognize the mouse using the automatic driver search in device manager. This issue seems to be a common problem among Habu owners. The only way some of us can get our PCs to recognize the Habu is by selecting the outstanding error in the Windows device manager, and forcing Windows to update the driver using the online driver search option. Microsoft has conveniently placed an updated version of the Windows XP Habu driver in their Windows Update driver database.

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Microsoft Razer Habu Gaming Mouse

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