The Naga Epic comes with a braided power cord that attaches to either itself or to its magnetized and weighted base unit. The base unit and parts of the mouse are shiny but the top button area is smooth and matte, the way I like it. I mentioned this WAY back in the Corsair 800D review, but I equate matte finish with class and quality.
The mouse has three magnetized detachable side pieces of varying width. This allows the user to adjust the size and shape of the mouse to suit their hand and play style. I use the very thin piece, as I like to pinch the mouse with my thumb and ring finger, which allows for VERY precision control. The gaming section of the video shows how I can maneuver my characters with almost no hand movement.
Like the original Naga, this one comes with stick on rubber pieces to help train the user to locate certain of the 12 side buttons. I don't use them, but you might find doing this useful, as it DOES take a few weeks to really get used to using a mouse like this.
Vs. Original Naga
Aside from the obvious, being that the original Naga was wired, the Naga Epic has a few changes. The removable side pieces are the major attraction, but they also moved the two macro buttons from the edge of the left click button where they were prone to being accidentally hit to the middle of the mouse right under the wheel where they're more practical. The wheel is still large, heavy, "clicky" and reactive. It's also larger and more pronounced this time.
Razer wisely consolidated their software into one cloud driven interface to support all of a user's devices. Why? Two main reasons:
One install to support your mouse, keyboard, or the proprietary functions on the Blade laptop. I may soon have some of that stuff in the lab, and I'll get more into the software at that point.
The other is that you can now move your mouse or keyboard to any computer and load up your profile. Great for LAN parties.
The mark of quality of a mouse is how it feels and responds in use.
When I first installed the Synapse software the mouse would completely lose connection to the base unit at least once per day, and only pulling the cord and replugging it would solve the issue. I did some Internet research and found that this was a known issue. I've been using the mouse on several machines with a mix of Windows 7 and 8, and after three updates to the software in the time that I've had it, the issue has gone away, and doesn't affect my overall impression now.
The original Naga was game changing. It's not to everyone's taste sure, but it's not JUST an MMO mouse. I also use it for FPSs, RPGs, even driving games or games with driving elements such as GTA IV. If you put the hand brake on the mouse, it makes driving easier.
With the included software there's an almost ridiculous amount of customizing you can do with the buttons, but I swear by a pretty standard set up where the side buttons stand in for the number keys. This allows me to easily control any RPG without having to deal with separate profiles for each, but if you're into creating complex macros you can do that with all of the keys, and even store banks of separate macro sets.
It's not a "fault" per se, but battery life on this mouse is next to non-existent. I have a Microsoft mouse that's been running strong for six months on the same batteries without a recharge. Sure, this is a higher end mouse, but that kind of difference is pretty dramatic. You'll need to keep the mouse on the charger when you're not actively using it. It should be enough for a decently long gaming session, but if you forget your charge, you have to put the mouse on the cord, assuming the charger is within reach, which in my system, it's not.
I know from experience that the Naga is delicate. Even with the careful handling I'm known for, my Naga eventually gave up the farm, and had to be replaced. It was too far out of warranty, and the RMA dept at Razer wasn't the most efficient, but to their credit they ARE working on this, and I'm assured that this is a high priority. Therefore, I'm not worried about it. As long as the mouse lives up to the warranty we should be happy, but how long will that battery continue to live through an epic raiding session?
Matte, LEDs, super fast lasers and it's own tracking software. Autonomous killing machine or computer peripheral? Does it really matter? We live in awesome times.
Some perspective for next time
There's a six button version of this mouse, and I need to see that one soon as well, but if I had to make a wish list for the next gen wireless Naga, I would start with better battery life. Having to shake the mouse to wake it up and wait a second or so for it to react is a bummer. How much more can they squeeze out of it? Who knows?
I am not a fan of the slippery and shiny surfaces and I would love if they go to an all matte finish. That shiny surface can make your fingers sweat, and pick up dirt.
I would also love to see a longer warranty. For a product THIS premium the consumer who pays that price deserves a bit more support than is normal. But for what we get right now, this is THE mouse to have.