Mice are an exceptionally important component in your gaming rig and im surprised quite often to find many gamers are using a "stock" mouse - quite a sad state of affairs. Following on from Julians review of the tasty Razer Viper Gaming mouse we have the opportunity to test two more gaming mice from Terratec: The Mystify Mamba and the Mystify Boomslang 2100.
The Terratec Mystify Mamba is a 5 button (programmable) 800 cpi "counts per inch" game optimised mouse with a rated speed of 35.6 cm per second, its also ergonomically designed for both right handed and left hand users and comes with a 2.5 meter USB cable. This mouse retails at around £30 inc VAT (UK) - its the more expensive brother to the Viper which retails for around £5 less.
The Terratec Mystify Boomslang 2100 is a 5 button (programmable) 2100dpi resolution (dynamically adjustable), which is also suitable for DTP and CAD applications and users, this mouse has an optical index of 6 million instructions per second with a pretty potent 36 PPR (pulse per revolution) scroll wheel which is also ergonomically designed for both right and left handed users. Its not an optical mouse, so terratec have created a dirt proof ball holder to protect the movement during movement.
Supplied with the "special edition" Boomslang 2100 is a Terratec Mystify gaming surface which is a great addition to your purchase, especially as the total package costs £50 (UK). The surface of this mat is intentionally "rough" and I like the design, well crafted and sizeable enough to allow plenty of room when moving during a heated online gaming session.
In addition to reviewing the Mamba and the Boomslang with its supplied partnering mat I recently received the ICEMAT2 which is quite unique. The mat is custom made with a cloudy glass covering/surface. This is wonderful for those of you who like the minimalist look. It measures 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep, and its about 1/8 inch deep larger than the older icemat. A very sizeable mat indeed.
As you can see from the pictures above, the ICEMAT2 on the right is a completely smooth surface whereas the Terratec Mystify Mat on the left has a rough surface, two very different designs which in practice work very well.
Above you can see the Mamba mouse (far left), the Boomslang (middle - with USB swappable adaptor) and the trusty old Microsoft bluetooth mouse for sizing comparisons. Getting a good shot of the ICEMAT2 isnt easy as the surface reflects light but as you can see from the picture above on the right its not only a very minimalist and cool looking mat its alot larger than most.
Supplied with ICEMAT2 is teflon, called "Padsurfers" which you apply over the feet of your mouse, when applying you have to ensure the edges are down tight against the mouse chassis so no dirt can get under. Its pretty straightforward even for hardware newbies, and certainly makes a difference to movement when on the ICEMAT2. Very smooth movement indeed.
Setting up is straightforward and just a simple install from the CD supplied, I like the design Terratec have incorporated into the tabs, vastly different from the usual run of the mill panels.
Here are a selection of the shots from the Razer control panels.
Nicely designed, and I like the interactivity for testing, such as the scroll wheel, double click timings and the vast array over sensitivity. Both mice worked best with the sensitivity at full.
Ill cover the Mamba first, its a very solid mouse with great sensitivity during FPS fragging and I noticed quite an increase in accuracy when set up correctly playing a game such as Unreal Tournament. It takes a little while setting up the options to get the best precision without it appearing over sensitive so a little perseverance is needed. Using this mouse on the supplied Mystify board was very good indeed but really the mouse didnt come into its own until I put the teflon on the feet and moved over to the ICEMAT2, I dont think ive ever felt such wonderful smooth motion with a combination of mouse and mat to this date. I confirmed this with my MX700 another wonderful mouse but as I found out not quite in the league of the Mamba for pixel accuracy. Aesthetically the MX700 wins is in the chassis shape and design, this will of course be a personal matter of taste but I have large hands and the mamba is quite a petite mouse - slender in shape. After an hour or so of use I partially adapted to it, but not the perfect shape for my hands. The scroll wheel is at best average, it gives enough feedback to be usable for weapon changing in game for example but it could be better, overall though I walked away impressed with this mouse.
I thought I would hate the Boomslang 2100 - I mean seriously who on earth uses a ball mouse in 2004? Boy did I eat my words after a few hours of gaming with this - not often you can forget you are using an old style ball mouse when relying on pixel perfect accuracy in the heat of an online battle. I did. Its a large mouse with quite an unusual shape so for those of you who dont have medium to large palms forget it now, you will HATE it. This mouse suited my hands better than the Mamba and the mouse buttons stretched right to the ends of my finger tips. A downside to using this mouse is, it really needs a very good surface so you cant cut corners here - the supplied Mystify mat with the "special edition" package works perfectly, just as well in this case as the icemat2 - the ridged surface no doubt adding to the ball grip. The scroll wheel on the Boomslang is one of the best ive used, with a fantastic feeling of feedback evident while gaming. An interesting point to note is that the teflon strips from the ICEMAT2 package worked just as well on the Mystify mat which was great as I was constantly switching between both mice and mats to get the best combinations and settings.
I enjoyed this review alot and put both the mice through their paces in a variety of games - Unreal 2004, Painkiller, Warcraft III and Farcry, all combinations of mice and mats worked great, with some having a little more success than others. The shapes of these mice will have the most impact on your choice of purchase, the mamba better suited to smaller hands, while the boomslang is for those of you like myself who need something substantial to grip while playing. I never thought id say this but the ball/optical debate has very little to do in the purchasing of one of these mice, the boomslang is so well engineered and balanced you forget its not an optical mouse and performs up there with the best of them. The Boomslangs 2100cpi is certainly not almost 3 times "better" compared to the Mambas 800cpi resolution would have you believe when gaming but its more than capable of near perfect pixel control in games or high end design applications which require the finest movement you can get.
Terratec have created some wonderful gaming mice and I can recommend both with a wholehearted thumbs up, both are reasonably priced, well designed and with the boomslang "special edition" now coming with a first class mat - either will make a wonderful upgrade for all your gaming needs !
The ICEMAT2 didnt make much difference with the Boomslang but made quite a substantial difference to the "glide factor" with the optical Mamba and would be a recommended purchase if you wanted to get the most from your gaming optical mouse.
Mystify Mamba and Mystify Boomslang 2100 both receive the Heavenly Gold Award.