The Razer Basilisk Essential is a highlight reel of what makes the Razer Basilisk one of the top FPS gaming mice going. Launching alongside the Razer Kraken headset and Razer BlackWidow keyboard, its mainline FPS mouse has been sliced and diced into a more affordable package. Yet, with the same ergonomic shell, high-grade construction, and clutch DPI functionality, what the heck has Razer cut to keep costs down?
The short answer: Razer hasn’t shaved much in its cost-saving measures, only knocking off £15 from the OG Basilisk’s £65 price tag. At £50, the Basilisk Essential rubs shoulders with its muse in the product stack, and much of the core functionality and styling of the popular gaming mouse is alive and well with the latest addition to the cult of Razer.
The Basilisk’s tried and tested sloped design has survived Razer’s mild cost-cutting measures, and that lends to a comfortable, albeit exclusively right-handed, gaming mouse. After a solid eight hours of use, both gaming and productivity, I experienced no unusual fatigue or wrist strain. And I worry about these things in my advanced age.
One of the headline features of the Basilisk has always been its multi-function paddle. While previously endowed with two interchangeable paddles of varying lengths, the Basilisk Essential offers only a single, removable switch. But it’s still pretty darn sweet. Useful as a quick DPI adjustment, or sniper mode, the switch can also be reprogrammed to any macro you desire – as can any other of the seven buttons on the mouse.
|Razer Basilisk Essential||Razer Basilisk|
|Sensor||6,400 DPI optical||16,000 DPI optical|
At 95g the mouse isn’t the heaviest of the bunch, but falls short of the lightweight Logitech Wireless Pro or ultra-lightweight barebones esports mice. The extra weight is noticeable coming from a lighter mouse, but the Basilisk Essential is agile in its own right. Able to withstand 30G of acceleration, it’s zippy enough for speedy flicks and accurate ADS adjustments – although a little less capable than the 50G rated Basilisk.
The Razer Basilisk’s excellent 16,000 DPI optical sensor, the Razer 5G, has not survived the full body transplant. Instead it has been replaced by a far more modest 6,400 DPI optical sensor. That still means plenty of dots per inch to play with, however, and the polling rate remains unchanged at 1,000Hz. With consistent tracking and no erroneous spin-outs at high velocity, the pared down sensor is still plenty sufficient for high-octane gaming.
Lighting has also been reduced from two lighting zones to just one located under the palm on the rear of the mouse – controlled via the Razer Synapse app and compatible across the Razer family with Chroma support. A travesty on all counts, I’m sure you’ll agree.
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With a more modest price reduction in comparison to the Razer BlackWidow’s lofty cut, there’s a hair’s breadth between the Basilisk and the Basilisk Essential. Especially when the former is available for £60 on Amazon.
Yet for £10 of your hard earned cash you can net yourself a better sensor, scroll wheel RGB lighting, interchangeable thumb switches, adjustable wheel tension, and an extra DPI switch centre mouse. That all sounds like a better deal to me.
The Basilisk Essential is at least a touch cheaper than the rival Corsair M65 RGB Elite; market share Razer will be keen to snap up.
And there is still something to be said for simply offering gamers a little more choice at the tills. The Razer Basilisk Essential is a welcome money-saver, and that moderate investment will net you a svelte, rock-solid gaming mouse with a proven track record. If only it could’ve shaved off a few more pennies.