See the Video version of this Review here..

First a big thank you to Microsoft for providing the Microsoft Habu Gaming Mouse for this Review.

Recently I had the chance to test out the Microsoft Habu Gaming Mouse and when you first look at the design of the mouse it sure is a slick looking device. With the black finish and the led lighting your sure to impress people with this mouse. But is the mouse more then just good looks? This is what we are about to find out…

When you look at the box this mouse comes in you see the features of the mouse listed and they are the following..

2000 DPI Razer precision laser engine with 1000-hz Razer ultrapolling
Super fast, 1 ms response time to give you the control edge.

On the fly sensitivity
Real time DPI adjustment for precision targeting.

Always on Laser-Pioneered by razer
Near zero-lag response time.

Razer Synapse 32-KB onboard memory
Store up to five profiles in your mouse.

High speed motion detection
Up to 45 inches per second and 20 G acceleration, more then 7080 frames per second.

7 Customizable buttons with razor hyperesponse
Added flexibility, ultra-tactile feedback, greater actions per minute (APM).

16-bit data path
Enhanced bandwidth to support high resolution.

Zero-acoustic ultraslick teflon feet
Smooth and quiet gliding.

Ergonomic design with glowpipe side rails and large rubber-coated buttons
A comfortable, user-friendly grip that is slip resistant.

Thin, flexible wire
the speed of wired, the feel of wireless.

Gold-plated USB connector
Superior conductivity, minimum response time.

Before I address the features of this mouse I should say a few things. On the box you see the term Powered by Razor. This means that the mouse look and feel was handled by Microsoft but the guts of the mouse and the driver for the mouse were in fact done by Razor.

Before i got this mouse i was a huge trackball user. I stopped using mice about 15 years ago and have never looked back since. Recently though when my Microsoft trackball explorer started to die i decided to see what was out there in terms of new trackballs. After doing a fair amount of looking around the only trackball i could find that had enough buttons that i needed was a Logitech one and that trackball was cordless something i don’t like at all, i hate batteries. So the next move was to get a hold of Microsoft and see if they still made my trackball explorer that i had been using for the last five years and they had stopped making that as well.

Below is a picture of the very old and worn out Microsoft trackball explorer.

So i was running into dead ends in the search for a new trackball and it was at this time i decided i would take at look at what the current mice had to offer. After doing some searching around i come across the Habu gaming mouse and figured i might as well start my testing with that mouse and see how it goes.

When i first unpacked the box and set it on the table i was struck by how the buttons felt on each of my fingers. The rubber coating on the buttons is smooth and yet at the same time provides a good grip for your fingers. It should be noted that not every button on the mouse has the rubber coating, only the two primary mouse buttons do. All the other buttons with the exception of the scroll wheel button are all your standard plastic type buttons.

If your into things that light up you will be happy with this mouse as well. The mouse has two lights on it, the first light is the scroll wheel that lights up. The next light happens to be a light rope that goes around the outside edge of the mouse. If you happen to be the owner of a Microsoft Reclusa keyboard you will also be happy to know that the mouse lighting matches the keyboard lighting. The Black finish on the mouse also matches the black finish on the Microsoft Reclusa keyboard as well.

Below is a picture of the Microsoft Habu gaming mouse in darkness.

The actual feel of the mouse in your hand is also really good. The Teflon feet on the mouse make it slide very smoothly and there is hardly any noise at all when you move the mouse on a smooth surface.

As for the buttons on the mouse you have 7 of them and all 7 can be programmed anyway you like pretty much. The two thumb buttons can be taken right off the mouse by hitting a switch on the underside of the mouse. When you buy the mouse you get a extra set of thumb buttons that are spaced a bit differently and you can swap those in from the default buttons that are on the mouse.

In the picture below you can see the extra thumb button that comes with the mouse.

The next picture is a close up of the thumb buttons on the mouse.

In the next picture below i have flipped the mouse over so you can see the under side of the mouse and the button you have to push to pop the default thumb buttons off the mouse.

In this next picture below you get to see what the mouse looks like without the thumb buttons on the mouse.

The one cool thing i like about this mouse is the fact you can adjust the sensitivity on the fly. In the picture below you can see two buttons above the scroll wheel and these button will adjust the mouse movement sensitivity either up or down for you. You can also program these buttons to do pretty much what you want to if you don’t want them to adjust the mouse sensitivity.

I would have liked to have seen at least two more buttons on this mouse. The fact it lacks two lean buttons on the scroll wheel that could be used for leaning in first person shooters is not a good thing. Some people will say but you can program the two buttons above the scroll wheel and do the leaning and while true when you do that you loose the mouse sensitivity function. In any of the First Person Shooters i like to play some times i like to be a sniper and in that roll you have to crank the mouse sensitivity way down when your zoomed in on a distant target.

Also i feel that on the right hand side of the mouse they could have put one or two more buttons there as well. Maybe this is something that could be added in the future so lets keep the fingers crossed. I think if this mouse had at least three more buttons it would be a hard mouse for any other mouse to contend with.

As far as the actual movement is concerned this mouse is something else. The laser in the mouse makes it so that very little movement of the mouse can translate into your mouse cursor on your screen flying left and right in a hurry. If your the type who doesn’t want your mouse cursor flying all over the place you can adjust the sensitivity of the mouse in several ways.

Below is the picture of Habu mouse driver interface.

As you can see in this screen shot where the driver has the advanced features up you can tweak numerous things with this mouse. You can make the X and the Y axis move at different speeds if you choose to do so. You can also have up to 5 game profiles loaded into the mouse as well. Also unlike the Microsoft Reclusa gaming keyboard you can turn the lights completely off on the mouse if you are not into the lighted look of the mouse.

The only real problem i had with the mouse driver is that you can only have 5 game profiles loaded. If you have more games then this you are going to have load the profile up from disk. Also like in Microsoft Reclusa gaming keyboard i think the macro language is weak that you get in the mouse driver as well. They have to make the mouse driver so you can insert your only delays into a macro right down to the millisecond. Having a fixed default value may work for some stuff but i know that i have made macro’s in the past and if i had to rely on fixed values for delays i would have been screwed.

Over all though the driver for the mouse is fairly complete if they made a few updates and gave the macro language a bit more power and made it so you could have more profiles i don’t think there would be much bad to say about it.

The one thing that stood out for me as very strange was when i got the mouse i hooked it up and right away went to the razor web site and there i found a mouse driver update along with a firmware update for the mouse so i downloaded both and installed them. The process was real simple except when i had to do the mouse firmware update, you were told to have a another mouse hooked up to the machine to be able to complete the firmware upgrade. You need the second mouse because when the first mouse gets updated you can’t use it do to the fact it is being updated. So make sure if you get this mouse and want to do the firmware update to have a second mouse kicking around.

Also something to keep in mind is some settings in the mouse driver require you to reboot after you switch them. Changing the polling rate for example is one of these settings. Have a quick run through the help file that comes with mouse and it will cover all you need to know in that.

In conclusion before i started the journey of looking for a good mouse i wondered if anything will ever be as good as the trackball i had and i think this mouse is as good. There are short falls for example if you play something like BF2 or any game with tanks and your trying to do a 360 degree spin with the tank gun a mouse sucks for that. My trackball on the other hand, one spin of the trackball and the tank gun would spin right around. The other small complaint i have is with the marketing of the mouse in that the box tries to make you think that a gold plated mouse connector on a digital device will improve your response times and i think thats a load of crap. But despite all that i think the good far out weighs the bad here and the mouse overall is a very good product. At the time of this article you could purchase the Microsoft Habu gaming mouse for about $60.00 U.S.

Update December 13 2007…

Well I didn’t think I would be updating this Review anytime soon but here I am. After several months of daily use the Habu mouse finally died on me. I was using it one day and while using it I heard my computer do the beep you here when a USB device is connected. I was scratching my head wondering what was connecting to the computer and it was at this time I noticed the mouse cursor wasn’t moving on the screen.

After moving the mouse cord around I found the problem, and that was the mouse cord developed a short in it. Every time I would move the mouse around I would notice the mouse lighting going on and off and at the same time I was hearing that USB beep.

I’m not sure how common of a problem this is with the mouse cord shorting out but if you look at the mouse cord it does look rather flimsy. I noticed this when I first Reviewed the mouse but since I have never had a mouse cord short out before I didn’t pay much attention to it.

So after seeing this problem I have to recant my previous conclusion and say if your thinking about buying this mouse keep in mind the mouse cord may not last very long…