Not a day goes by that I don't get an email from left-handed mutants wondering why I don't review mice made just for them. I believe I just answered that question.
What I can do, however, is review a gaming mouse for people both right and wrong-handed. A mouse that weighs its fearful symmetry to fight the never-ending battle against lefties having to make due with righties' gaming gear. A mouse that wields the power of lasers and optical sensors to deliver unparalleled accuracy and the ability to adjust sensitivity for any surface imaginable.
This is the Taipan Expert Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse from Razer, a company that's rapidly running out of snake names for its products. Now let's talk about self-pleasure.
Left-handed gamers have been putting up with our crap for far too long. They've made adjustments. They've purchased trackballs. They've paid ridiculous premiums for mice crafted specifically for people suffering from their disability.
Okay, I realise being left-handed isn't a disability. It makes you special. You are a magical person; a magical person that's had to make sacrifices. Just don't think for one second you're alone in your hardship.
What could possibly inconvenience a right-handed person, you ask? Let me share with you a dirty secret, and by dirty I mean really dirty and you should probably skip this part. This sentence is here to help you avoid seeing this accidentally. All good? OK. Millions of right-handed computer users masturbate with the wrong hand. I am right-handed, therefore technically I should masturbate with my right hand. In truth, I have never masturbated in my life, but if I did I would use the left. Why?
Because the right hand is the mouse hand. Think about it.
Razer, a company that after that paragraph will likely never send me another product to review again, has crafted a device that can help both the left and right-handed people of the world get along better with their video games (and their privates).
Here is what the Taipan looks like to a right-handed person.
And here's what it looks like to a left-handed person.
Yeah, I thought they just flipped the image in Photoshop too, but if you look at the logo you'll see these are legit representations of a mouse that looks the same on either side. Both sides share the same curves, the same extra two buttons, the same soft finish for ease-of-grip and the same rubbery thumb bits to make your thumbs feel as if they are resting on rubber (they are).
It's a design that caters to both sides of the coin, though in doing so sacrifices the comfort you get with a device rounded on the opposite side to act as a finger rest. My pinky and ring finger either rest on the mouse surface our curl up against the side like the legs of a dead spider (dead spider imagery provided in case you were stuck on that other thing).
Even Razer has to make sacrifices in the war between the left and right, but they make up for those sacrifices by putting a great deal of power under the Taipan's hood.
Hi! I'm a Taipan, and I don't have a hood, idiot.
The Taipan integrates Razer's top-of-the-line dual sensor technology, a combination of a laser and an optical sensor capable of delivering true 6400 and 8200 DPI performance. Where other mice might utilise software interpolation to fake high sensitivity, the Taipan does it all with hardware. This is illustrated on the Razer website with red and blue glowing lights working together, like the light and dark sides of the Force, or G.I. Joe and Cobra.
What this means to the more casual gamer, is that when you crank the DPI setting all the way up you can move your mouse a fraction of an inch and the pointer will explode out the side of your monitor, never to be seen again. For the hardcore gamer it means pinpoint accuracy.
This accuracy doesn't just stop at traditional mouse movements, either. The dual sensor technology also allows the mouse to automatically (or manually) adjust to whatever surface you place it on. Place it on a soft surface (like pudding), calibrate it, and the mouse determines the distance between the sensors and surface and adjusts accordingly. Place it on a hard surface (like frozen pudding), calibrate it, and you're good to go. You can even customise the height at which the sensors cutoff, so you can lift the mouse from the surface without worrying about jiggly mouse cursor disease.
All of this is incredibly helpful to the professional gamer, especially one that travels a great deal and plays on other machines. The Taipan is driven by the Razer Synapse 2.0 software, which not only automatically downloads firmware and driver updates, but also stores your custom settings in a magical cloud, just waiting for you to log into a different system and pull them down again.
I've been using the Taipan for nearly a month now, and it's performed its duties admirably and with nary a complaint. In truth the lack of finger support only bothers me when I stop and think about it, or when I switch to a system with a pointing device made for people that use the right hand. It's the sort of thing you adjust to over time. The power and versatility of the Taipan more than make up for that adjustment period, making the device easily worth its $79.99 asking price.
Razer does make a left-handed version of its popular Death Adder mouse for $US59.99, and the company has promised a lefty-only edition of the Naga MMO mouse for 2013. There are alternatives out there, ,but this is the cutting edge.
Plus, this is the Taipan Expert Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse. Ambidextrous. That makes it two times better than a single-handed mouse, and a hundred times better than the ill-fated antidextrous mice that just sat there looking all smug. It's as comfortable in your left hand as it is in your right, and we could all do with a little change now and then, if you know what I mean.
Snake image: Steven J. Taylor / Shutterstock