After the five-star Epic Razer is back with the Hex, another Naga-series mouse. "Hex" no doubt refers to the hexagonal arrangement of six thumb buttons on the left-hand side of this mouse, which is primarily aimed at fans of hack and slash games like Diablo III and Torchlight II.
As you can imaging, there are plenty of avid gamers in our offices, with specialities ranging from FPS to sports games to strategy-based epics. However, if there's one thing we've all got in common, it's the fact that we've clearly grown out of fluorescent green lighting effects. So while the Taipan (for left- and right-handed users) kept its look relatively subtle, Razer has really gone to town with the Naga Hex. Still, the design of a mouse is above all a matter of personal taste, so our opinions on the mouse's aesthetics aren't taken into account in its final score here. We just hope you like green.
We may not be able to give the Hex a score for its looks, but we can assess its design in terms of comfort and practicality. The main thing to note here is that the glossy-looking finish on the top of the mouse can make your hand get pretty sweaty after a long gaming session. The edges of the mouse, however, are finished in matte black plastic.
Otherwise, the Hex is a nice mouse to handle. Like the Naga Epic, it sits nicely in your hand (your right hand, mind you) but at 11.5 cm it's not quite long enough to support your wrist, which could make it uncomfortable for users who don't like rest their wrist down on the mouse pad or desk. There's also a rest for your ring finger on the right-hand side of the mouse, which helps you keep firm hold of the Naga Hex when moving it quickly.
The sliders seem to be just like those seen in the Taipan. Movements are therefore smooth but they aren't always silent. You'll especially notice this slightly annoying noisiness when resting your hand down fully on the mouse.
The Naga Hex has a notched scroll wheel that can't be set to smooth scrolling. As well as the main left and right buttons, the Naga Hex has two extra buttons on the top (just behind the scroll wheel) that are used to adjust the dpi on the fly (from 800 dpi to 5200 dpi).
On top of that, the Hex has six buttons on its left-hand side. Right-handed users will therefore be able to assign six commands or macros (chains of actions) to these buttons for quick, easy access under the thumb. The hexagonal arrangement allows you to keep your thumb placed at an equal distance from each button. This means that they can all be accessed effortlessly, which isn't the case in Razer's Naga Epic, where you sometimes need to bend your thumbs around uncomfortably to reach the furthest away buttons. On top of that, we found this mouse really easy to get the hang of using. We were quickly up and running and ready to play, even in fast-action games.
These six buttons are particularly handy in FPS games. In games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 you can use them to aim, shoot, use a knife, use grenades and all kinds of other accessories that are usually controlled via keyboard shortcuts. This can really speed you up. And here too, it's nice to see that the mouse is easy to get used to using, as it won't have too much impact on your stats in multiplayer games.
Non-gamers may also find the Hex an interesting option, as the six thumb buttons can be assigned any function in any program (Photoshop scripts, Windows shortcuts, etc.). The driver is relatively easy to use and lets you set up several profiles to switch between as and when you like, as well as profiles linked to certain programs that can be loaded automatically.
With a maximum polling rate of 1000 Hz, the Naga Hex is sure to satisfy most day-to-day users (office computing, web browsing, etc.) as well as those looking to work with greater precision (gamers, graphic designers, etc.).
A gaming mouse needs to track movements
of at least three metres per second. That's no problem for the Naga Hex!
The 1000 Hz polling rate means that the Naga Hex reports its position to the computer every millisecond. Still, you'll need a powerful computer to handle the extra work that imposes on the CPU (CPU use from 35% to 45% depending on the type of movement). When using a laptop with a limited amount of processing power (like a netbook or a notebook with a low-power CPU), you'll be better off switching the polling rate down to 500 Hz in the driver to keep things running smoothly.