Updated Tue, Feb 28, 2012 by Stow
Gaming mice have always been somewhat of an oddity to me. Whether they sport too many buttons or too high of a price tag, there has always been something holding me back in terms of functionality for cost in the Razer catalogue. Then I got my hands on the Razer Naga Hex, a mouse specifically targeted at me. Either I’ve been wrong all along, or Razer finally got it right!
I say this mouse has been targeted at me because it’s designed specifically for MOBA and MMO gaming. While the topside is nothing more than a standard 3 button mouse, the side sports a sleek 6 button hexagonal layout that corresponds to the six item slots that can hold items in a game of League of Legends, for instance. These six buttons can also trigger your potent cooldowns in World of Warcraft if you desire, so there’s a lot of room for experimentation and millisecond time saving because your thumb is always ready to press one of them.
RIght from the start, the feeling when working with the Naga Hex is that it's beautifully designed, and that feeling stuck with me through a few weeks of use. I have medium-sized hands, and the contoured buttons let my fingers rest perfectly. However, this mouse is extremely sensitive and takes some time to get used to. You’ll click things by accident for a few days while you adjust to it.
One of my main gripes is with the wheelmouse. While it has solid gear-like construction for precision scroll up or down action, it is a goddamn nightmare to actually press. It is definitely raised more than any mouse I’ve used in the past, and the actual force needed to depress it is far more than the right and left mouse button combined.
The six item/ability buttons correspond to either 1-6 or numpad 1-6, which can be with a quick button on the underside of the mouse. These can thus be used for MMOs or MOBAs with next to no configuration required, a plus if you’re taking it out to a friend’s place or using another computer for a while. The buttons are mechanical and feel very firm on depress, although they don't require as much force as the middle mouse button.
However, the actual position of the hexagonal 6 button format puzzles me. If I rest my hand on the mouse normally, the rubber thumb rest falls directly on the middle joint of my thumb, so I have 6 buttons to press around this location. A quick shift/curl is more than enough to press the top 3, however, the bottom three are more problematic. My thumbs are fairly small as well, but even with this, I would occassionally fudge it and hit two buttons at once. So I feel like you’re actually supposed to keep your finger flexed and resting on the button in order to have the utmost precision.
Like the basic buttons, they take some getting used to.
The Razer Naga Hex weighs in at $79.99, and that’s a pretty penny for a mouse. While it offers a set of amazing buttons and some functionality you don’t get anywhere else, there’s going to be a learning curve to overcome before you start getting the most out of this mouse. You won’t be making big plays the minute you get your hands on it, but if you’re a player having trouble with item or cooldown use, this is an investment that will pay off over time. When the payoff is victory, you couldn’t ask for more!