The Razer Naga gaming mouse is a hardware team favorite at PC gamers. What makes the Naga line unique is the ability to switch between three side panels with different button layouts to suit different uses or types of games you may be playing.
Personally, my favorite was the Naga Trinity, released a few years ago, which featured an additional panel with a circular design with six buttons. I’ve played quite a few Heroes of the Storm games when I first tried the Naga Trinity, and assigning skills to each of these buttons felt great. I would even go so far as to argue that it made me a slightly better player. I was also allowed to play almost entirely without a keyboard, a wild way of playing a competitive MOBA. The circular selection also served as a handy item and weapon wheel for shooters for games like Fornite or Apex Legends.
When I heard the new Razer Naga X drop the interchangeable panel design, I was obviously curious about the layout that Razer had opted for.
Unfortunately, my beloved key circle didn’t make the cut in recent revisions and was replaced with a two-row, six-button configuration when the wireless Naga Pro was released last year. So I already knew I was in trouble.
This year, Razer decided to ditch the swappable keypad with the Naga X entirely – to offer a cheaper, lighter version of the popular mouse – and stuck us with the narrow, four-row, twelve-button side panel. The Naga X also offers a little less than 18,000 DPI than its wireless counterpart.
I’m not necessarily against the layout as it is basically aimed at MMO users. It makes sense if games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14 are more popular than they have been in years. The problem is, Razer still hasn’t found the right spacing, feel, and size for this mass of buttons.
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(Image credit: RAZER)
RIP to a real, six-button mouse wheel.
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(Image credit: RAZER)
The button wheel is unloaded for a two-tier solution.
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(Image credit: RAZER)
Razer pulls out the detachable panels for just twelve side buttons for MMO players.
Naga X Mini specifications
price: $ 80
Sensor: Razer 5G optical sensor
Sensitivity: 18k dpi
Programmable buttons: 16
LEDs: Customizable RGB
Cable length: 6 foot Speedflex cable
Weight: 85 g (0.3 oz)
Last week I spent a lot of time going back to my favorite MMO Star Wars The Old Republic and shooting Jedi as Imperial agents. In the PvE settings, I was able to go through my skill rotation relatively easily.
The problem arises when things get hectic in PvP or more intense raids. You have four rows of keys that are pretty close together and all of them feel the same. It becomes easy for your thumb to slip over the wrong buttons in the wrong row in the heat of battle.
However, a common problem was accidentally pressing two buttons at the same time. If you have bigger hands and thumbs this is easy to spot. If I couldn’t have my circular design, I personally would have preferred nine buttons in three rows that are somewhat spread out to give it a more distinctive feel.
(Photo credit: future)
The main problem is that the keys are too full and it is difficult to find your way around something that is not on the top or bottom row. This is why the ability to swap out panels made so much sense in the original Naga designs.
Otherwise the Naga X is a good mouse. Razer is now pretty good at repeating its popular designs. It’s lightweight (almost 30 percent lighter than the Naga Pro) but still big enough for palm-gripped users, and it uses Razer’s second-generation optical mouse switches for quick press and click.
I like that the buttons can be mapped to almost anything and there are a ton of decent non-gaming uses out there. I keep forgetting how incredibly convenient it is to assign my shortcuts to mouse buttons in Photoshop and Premiere.
And I can see the Naga X appeal. At $ 80, it’s significantly cheaper than the Naga Trinity and Naga Pro. You can pick a left-handed version of the Naga X for $ 100, which feels like a left tax, but that’s an item for another day.
If you’re a hardcore MMO gamer or need access to a variety of buttons while playing, you will be hard pressed to find another gaming mouse to fill that void. I just think Razer chose the absolutely wrong configuration.