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Razer's Naga Trinity gaming mouse reviewed


A snake with three skins

Way back in 2009—nearly 10 years ago—Razer released the original Naga MMO mouse for the button-crazy. By that time, I had already been thinking that mice didn't have enough buttons. We had all these keys under our left hand, but had to make do with just five mouse buttons under our right-hand fingers? The Naga and its 12 side buttons seemed like an answer to my prayers, so I snapped one up as soon as I found it at retail and rushed home with it gleefully. I had some frustrations with the mouse, but I used it for a good while.

The first Naga turned out to be the first and last Razer product I've used. It's not that I hated it—it's just that name-brand gear is usually too rich for my blood. I tend to stick to cheaper alternatives. Still, I can't deny that I've been a little curious about what the company's products were like these days. Fortunately for me, Razer stepped up to the plate with its latest Naga Trinity. This isn't the newest gaming rat that the company sells, but it's certainly the one with the most buttons: up to 19.

Razer Naga Trinity
Interface USB
Polling rate 1 KHz
Programmable buttons 9, 14, or 19
Sensor Razer 5th-generation
(PixArt PMW3389)
Maximum resolution 16,000 DPI
Maximum tracking
speed/acceleration
450 ips/50 g
Built-in lighting Razer Chroma RGB LED
Weight (without cable) ≈120 g
Cable length ≈6.6 ft (2 m)

Yes, "up to." How many buttons the mouse actually has will depend on which of the three included side plates you decide to use. This trio of panels is the reason this mouse is called "Trinity." The three side-plates offer the classic Naga 12-button numeric keypad, a circular seven-button cluster, and a simple DeathAdder-style side plate with just two buttons. The seven-button cluster has a rubber grip pad in the middle of the buttons, while most of the two-button side plate is occupied by a larger version of that ribbed grip.

Swapping out the side-plates is just a matter of tugging on the bottom of the one that's installed and then snapping on a new one. There's no physical retention mechanism at all. Instead, Razer uses a magnetic latching system not unlike that found on the power adapters of certain fancy tablets and laptops. While I was using the Naga Trinity, the side-plates were completely secure and didn't slide around or shift while pushing buttons. It felt just like any other mouse, which is a very good thing.

The two primary buttons up front are split (as usual) by a mouse wheel with strikingly severe detents, although they've softened a bit with use. The mouse wheel supports four-way scrolling, though not out of the box. More on that in a bit. The two buttons behind the scroll wheel are set up to cycle the DPI presets by default, although both can be re-bound. The Naga Trinity supports four completely-separate profiles that you can toggle through using a hidden button on the bottom.

While there might be utility for some in the Naga Trinity's swappable side panels, I didn't find a lot of value in the two-button or twelve-button side plates. If you're going to use the two-button plate, you might as well have bought a simpler mouse, like Razer's own Deathadder Elite. That said, if you often switch between FPS games and MMOs or MOBAs, for example, the Naga Trinity can adapt in seconds instead of forcing you to grab a different mouse off your shelf.

In theory, I like the twelve-button side plate, but in practice, that side panel makes it almost impossible for me to move the mouse without accidentally pressing buttons. Folks with a palm grip may have less difficulty in that regard. Those folks will also appreciate the Naga Trinity's wide body and high-end-of-midrange weight.

Swappable sides aside, the Naga Trinity is exactly what you'd expect from a top-end gaming mouse. It feels solid and the buttons are responsive, with sharp feedback. Razer might make a lot of noise about its "5th-generation sensor", but the reality is that the Naga Trinity uses a PixArt PMW3389 optical sensor. That's not a bad thing: the sensor in Razer's mouse is the best on the market. It's difficult to get excited about it when everyone else is using the same thing, though. It's possible that Razer has customized the sensor in some meaningful way, but if so it isn't obvious in use nor in thorough MouseTester benchmarking.