The world of PC input devices can be a bit of a minefield, and often it can get very expensive very quickly. Razer’s Abyssus Essential is the latest mouse attempting to find the sweet spot between hardcore performance and an entry-level price.
Broadly speaking, the Abyssus Essential is a stripped-back version of the other high-end Razer mice on the market, retaining the absolutely key features for decent utility in games while jettisoning the extras that ultimately end up driving the price up to that premium mouse range. The newly-released Abyssus Essential retails for $50 – a similar price as its predecessor but with far more features and a far higher quality in general and also a good half of the price of its bigger, badder siblings.
This is a really, truly stripped-down mouse, however: it doesn’t even feature side shortcut buttons or a DPI switch. If you’re the type of PC player who wants the maximum performance, speed and accuracy but doesn’t need any of the bells and whistles, this may very well be the product for you. After playing with it for a while, it’s a solid option for splitting the difference without spending near enough three figures on a top-tier gaming mouse.
Where it matters, the Abyssus Essential is packing the power you want: 7200 DPI optical sensors mean the mouse can be as twitch accurate as you might require in a super tense firefight in the likes of CSGO or PUBG, while that’s supported by what feels to be a decent quality if not top-of-the-line sensor, which seems fair for the price point.
Performance-wise there’s absolutely nothing to complain about – the Abyssus Essential functions well and has a good, dense feeling to it that lends the impression of a quality build despite running on the lighter side compared to other enthusiast-targeted gaming mice. A generally pleasing package in terms of a minimalist, sleek matte black shell and a neat ambidextrous shape that does something very rare in the mouse market: it doesn’t screw over lefties. Part of that is thanks to the minimalism, of course – if the side buttons are gone, they can’t become uncomfortable for left-handed users.
The biggest draw beyond performance will likely be the support for Razer’s Chroma RGB Lighting solution. This is Razer’s ace in the hole – it’s an excellently designed lighting decision, and all of their Chroma products, which include keyboards, mouse mats and even speakers, are cross-compatible and can be made to synchronize a light show for you while you play. On the Abyssus Essential that manifests itself best in lovely-looking under-lighting around the base of the mouse, creating a gorgeous-looking underside glow against your mouse mat. It’s particuarly impressive when paired with the Razer Goliathus mouse mat, which itself has a neat under-glow effect.
The lack of side buttons and DPI switch did prove a bit of a problem for me, but that’s because I’m used to using them. My DPI switch habit is actually used more while editing video and the like than while gaming, but others may find that they’re missing the button they usually assign to a less important action like going prone – so if you need more buttons, be forewarned that this one might not be for you.
Everything feels pretty well-constructed and designed, then, though the minimalism sometimes does feel a little stingy – especially with that entry-level price of $50. It’s certainly an entry-level product, and one of the better ones I’ve seen, but rival companies have their awfully close-feeling competitors on the price for less, albeit with less impressive lighting options.
The quality certainly seems as though it might be there for the price, but the feature set is still a bit of a question mark. The Abyssus Essential is ultimately a great mouse, and if you’re desperate for something Chroma-compatible on a budget, have a younger player who’ll fall in love with the lighting or simply find it on sale, this is an attractive little piece of hardware.
The Razer Abyssus Essential is available via Amazon and other retailers now.