Razer Basilisk Essential
Gaming Mouse (Wired)
When the word Essential gets tacked onto an already known or established name, especially when dealing with bits of tech, the result is often a stripped-back or pared-down version of something we’ve seen before. With the goal being to provide a more affordable option to consumers, going Essential sometimes means getting an inferior product. After spending some time with the new Razer Basilisk Essential gaming mouse, those concerns quickly and assuredly vanished.
As part of a new line of Razer peripherals aimed at delivering high-performance for fewer dollars spent, the Basilisk Essential manages to retain the look and feel of the original whilst simultaneously changing or re-designing various aspects of the design. Thankfully the original’s claim to fame, or feature that made it stand out, the adjustable thumb-button/clutch button – makes a return here.
Although it shares the same ergonomic feel as many Razer mice we’ve seen throughout the years, the Basilisk is the one with the dedicated thumb rest – making it a mouse purely for right-handers. Which, truth be told, is just about everyone. Even in Essential form the Basilisk is comfortable to use with a finish and textured grips that feel great. Weighing it at 95g (which is less than the non-Essential Basilisk), for fast-paced titles and shooters like Apex Legends, Battlefield, or The Division 2 – it’s smooth and precise.
There are a few noticeable cutbacks though, the scroll-wheel doesn’t feel as great this time around nor does the DPI switcher – which feels a tad flimsy. Nothing that’s outright terrible or even bad, but as we were able to compare the new Basilisk Essential with the standard Basilisk these were the things that stood out. Surprisingly the clutch and thumb button return, albeit less versatile, but still interchangeable allowing for easy access to programmable functions like push to talk and on-the-fly DPI switching for smooth sniping. Something that we used quite a bit with the original and the sort of feature we’re glad made the jump over to the Basilisk Essential.
- Sensor: Razer Optical Sensor
- DPI: 6,400 fully customisable
- LED Color: RGB (Razer Chroma)
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Buttons: Seven Programmable
- Weight: 95g
- Cable Length: 2.1m
Underneath the hood is where we see the biggest changes made to get the overall cost down. Gone is the high-end Razer 5G Optical Sensor, replaced with the hardware maker’s tried and true regular one. This in turn means an overall DPI drop from 16,000 down to 6,400 – which although sounds drastic is still well within the range of what one might consider a high-performance gaming mouse. Outside of that, and having one less button overall, the Basilisk Essential still feels very similar to its counterpart. The standard Optical Sensor in our testing performed exceptionally well, and with the updated Razer synapse software suite being far more intuitive than it used to be, programming each button and setting up the various DPI profiles gives it more of a premium feel.
All in all, like with the recent release of the new Razer Kraken, the Razer Basilisk Essential continues the trend of more budget conscious Razer peripherals that doesn’t sacrifice build quality and performance for the sake of a lower price. If the idea of a dedicated thumb button that can double as a DPI clutch sounds like something you would use, then this is a great choice. Or for any sort of competitive shooter action really, which is seemingly what the Basilisk is designed for.