The Razer Lancehead is an ambitious new mouse from Razer that could have something special to offer tournament players — eventually. The Lancehead's big selling point is that it can store up to four onboard profiles, none of which require Razer's Synapse software to run. At the moment, though, the software to make the feature work is not available, meaning that the Lancehead is more or less just another all-purpose RGB gaming mouse. And, taken on its own merits, it's a pretty good one.
Razer, as a company, has generally been pretty good about putting out both right- and left-handed variants of its mice, but the company's ambidextrous models haven't been as good. The Lancehead is Razer's first ambidextrous mouse that really seems to work. It doesn't offer a passable experience for lefties; it offers a great experience, regardless of your dominant hand.
Although the Lancehead comes in a wireless version ($140), Razer sent along the wired Lancehead Tournament Edition ($80) for us to try first. Imagine an ambidextrous DeathAdder Elite, and that's about the sum of it. The Lancehead has a comfortable low profile that favors claw grips, and it has textured grips, as well as thumb buttons, on either side.
While it's not possible to make an ambidextrous mouse that's also ergonomic, the Lancehead comes pretty close. Whether it's worth an additional $10 over the DeathAdder just for the design is debatable, but if you have a leftie roommate or significant other, this one will work for both of you.
Missing in action
I'd like to tell you more about the Lancehead's special features, but at the moment, there's not a whole lot to tell. Like other recent models from Razer, the mouse offers full RGB capabilities, as well as the ability to program buttons, set up profiles and create macros with the Razer Synapse software. It all works exactly the same as before, and Synapse is as simple as ever.
On the other hand, to program the Lancehead's four onboard profiles, you'll need a program called Razer Synapse Pro. At present, the software is in beta, which is not really a problem, but also not available to anyone outside of Razer, which is sort of a problem. Razer isn't ready to share the software with either the press or the general public just yet.
In my experience, Razer is as good as its word. The company will share the software as soon as it's ready, and when that happens, the software will work as advertised. Switching between onboard profiles (using a small button on the underside of the mouse) should be a simple and intuitive process, as should programming them on Razer's new Synapse Pro software. But since the onboard profiles are the mouse's defining feature, it's hard to get a full sense of the Lancehead's capabilities without the profiles.
It's all about the games
Like with most mice that come my way, I tried the Lancehead out with four different games: Mass Effect: Andromeda, Heroes of the Storm, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Hex: Shards of Fate. (Normally, the fourth game I try is an MMO, not a collectible card game, but this wasn't a formal review, and card games are as good a genre as any other.)
The mouse performed admirably across the board. I didn't expect any weak spots and didn't find any. You can program a whole bunch of macros and assign them to the extra buttons, or you can leave the buttons alone and rely on your keyboard; either way, the thumb buttons are unobtrusive, but easy to find. Setting up profiles for multiple games is still simple, and you can use the software to preselect DPI levels, color schemes and anything else that might enhance your enjoyment of a game.
And that's really all there is to say about the Razer Lancehead for the moment. It's a comfortable, functional, well-crafted mouse that's just as easy to customize as any other Razer peripheral. When the Synapse Pro software comes out, the Lancehead could live up to its full tournament potential — but for the moment, it's pretty similar to other mice from the same company.
I only hope it’s something I get used to after having spent so much on it.