Review: Razer Imperator 4G and Scarab Battlefield 3 Edition

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The newest game in the Battlefield franchise has become a call to arms for most PC gamers. Many liken it to when Crysis was first released, with gamers scrambling to create monster rigs to be able to play the game in ridiculously high resolutions. Gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer has come out with a line of Battlefield 3 branded devices, which are basically hi-end models swathed in BF3 livery. But since we haven’t reviewed these products yet, we’ll be diving into them just the same. First up, the Razer Imperator 4G and Scarab BF3 edition.

The original Imperator came out in 2010, and has generally received a lot of favourable reviews. The Imperator 4G takes the original’s design and outfits it with a 4G sensor system that combines both an optical and laser sensor to deliver 6400dpi performance. This ergonomically designed mouse has two adjustable thumb buttons on the left side and two additional buttons near the scroll wheel that allows users to adjust the sensitivity setting on the fly. The whole device is swathed in Battlefield 3livery. Fans of Razer’s glowing snake logo might not appreciate its omission, though the scroll wheel lights does have an LED light on it that you can configure. Like most of Razer’s USB peripherals, the Imperator 4G uses a gold plated USB connector.The overall ergonomics of the Imperator 4G is very good, and is very comfortable to hold and use, even with long gaming sessions. Unfortunately, we noticed that the Battlefield 3version of the Imperator 4G still has the original’s gloss black side instead of the rubberized, non-slip grips that’s in the plain Imperator 4G, which translates to a slippery grip especially if you’re someone whose hands sweats a lot. The two programmable keys on the right side of the device can be adjusted forwards and back, depending on your preference by a switch on the bottom of the mouse. The scroll wheel gives you the right amount of tactile feedback without being noisy.At the heart of the Imperator 4G is the dual optical and laser sensor that Razer says help in accurately calibrating the mouse to any surface for exceptional tracking. After using the Imperator in a variety of games from Battlefield 3 to Skyrim, we wholeheartedly agree. The Imperator 4G tracked well enough on the different surfaces that we used it with, but we found that it performed the best on the Scarab gaming pad that it was sent with.

Like Razer’s previous offerings, the Imperator 4G comes with its own software suite that allows you to fully customize your experience with  it, from the sensitivity down to the color of the LED light. Your settings are also coded into the device itself, so your settings remain even if you take the Imperator 4G with you and plug it in into a PC without the software suite.

The Scarab is absolutely swathed in BF3 livery, with the picture of the iconic soldier dominating the whole mat. What makes the Scarab better than your standard hard gaming mouse mat is Razer’s Fractal 2.0 Textured Surface which the company says helps tremendously in tracking.

We primarily used the Imperator 4G with the Scarab, though we did spend some time with a generic mouse pad for comparison and unsurprisingly, the Imperator 4G tracked better on it. The Scarab also comes in a nice carrying case, if you ever feel the need to take it to a LAN party.

Aside from the obvious Battlefield 3 branding, the Imperator and the Scarab also contains exclusive codes to unlock Razer’s virtual snake dogtag for use in BF3. While the dogtag doesn’t really give you an innate advantage over your opponents, it’s still a nice extra nonetheless, and we’re pretty sure not everyone will be walking around with it.

We’re a firm believer in skill over equipment here at Gadgets, but to be honest, we did notice the advantage when we started using the Imperator 4G and the Scarab. We had better control over shots and our character, and the effortless glide of the Imperator 4G over the Scarab meant that we only hade to make small movements to turn around and shoot enemies. In fact, we had to dial down the sensitivity of the Scarab 4G because it felt to jumpy with the default settings.

Is the set worth it? Short answer is most definitely a yes. The Battlefield 3 editions of the Imperator 4G and the Scarab gives you that edge when it comes to competitive, multiplayer play. While they’re a bit pricey (the Imperator 4G is pegged at $79.99 while the Scarab is at $39.99), the BF3 editions are basically priced the same as the plain versions. If you have the cash and want to declare your love for BF3 out loud, then the BF3 versions of the Imperator 4G and the Scarab are the products to pick up this Christmas.

Razer Imperator 4G Battlefield 3 Edition

What’s Hot:

Comfortable to hold and use
Adjustable thumb buttons
Dual sensor system

What’s Not:

Gloss black side finish may be an issue for sweaty palms

Razer Scarab Battlefield 3 Edition

What’s Hot:

Mice tracks well on surface
Great visual design

What’s Not:

A bit expensive for a mouse mat

Bottomline:

The Battlefield 3 editions of Razer’s Imperator 4G and Scarab are the peripherals to pick up for the die-hard BF3 fan.

Buymeter: 8.6