As a hardcore gamer and developer, I always believe peripheral is a key to success. My very first ergonomic keyboard is the legendary Microsoft Natural Keyboard. I immediately addicted to it, it not only helped me to correct my bad typing behavior, it also increase my typing speed by 10-15%. Of course, it takes time to get use to a keyboard (and I also get used to Japanese layout keyboard). I also owned Natural Keyboard Pro, Office Keyboard (nice scroll and cut/copy/paste keys), Multimedia Natural Keyboard (with matching Optical Blue Mouse), and Japanese-layout Wireless Optical Desktop Pro. And now, the latest keyboard I got is Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, and is the most comfortable keyboard I ever used.

I dreamed to get a Razer mouse long time ago. Cool kids at Microsoft Hardware division teamed up with Razer to create a next-gen mouse call Habu, with proven ergonomic engineering from Microsoft and award-winning precision from Razer. What I can say is it would be my ultimate mouse (unless they made another one that is compatible with XBOX360 in white/green combination).

Microsoft Habu 

Surprisingly, Microsoft is not doing software/driver stuff this time. Instead, Microsoft is focusing on design, marketing and support, and Razer is doing software/driver and hardware stuff. This idea is new and, to me, it means "hardcore gaming mouse, excellent ergnomic design". I prefer software from Razer in this situation as it gave me confidence that my mouse is just another Razer mouse inside.

As a end-user point of view, installing the driver is not an easy step. If you are going to get a Habu mouse, there are three points to remember:

  1. Newer driver are not backward compatible with older firmware. And Habu always have kind of "fail-safe" mode to fallback as a normal HID mouse. So, you must install newest firmware first, then install newest driver. Of course, at the earliest stage, you must use the stock CD driver to talk to your 1.0 mouse. And you can't find version 1.0 driver elsewhere except on the disc, so don't lose it!
  2. Make sure the Habu application recognize your mouse and show the firmware version, otherwise, you can't take advantage of Habu.
  3. Changing mouse frequency requires a system reboot. This is not mentioned in the application, but perhaps, it's known thru all Razer users.

After I get my Habu mouse working with Razer driver, I feel the mouse got super fast response time (it claimed to be 1 ms). Let's say, what do you feel when you install plain Windows ME on a Core 2 Duo machine equipped with 2GB RAM? (Nope, BSOD is not an answer). Right, lightning-fast response, that's what I got now.

Microsoft Habu mouse rate result 

I played it with a classical mouse rate checker application and what I got is an average of 1200-1300Hz. I also plugged in a classical Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue side-by-side (it is the "default" mouse of my team), but what I got is only 80-90Hz. Yea, I know I may able to boost it up to 250Hz, or use a PS/2 mouse and overclock to 200Hz. But they are nothing compare to my Habu.

The specification say (and let me convert to human-readable figures):

  1. Maximum movement is 45 inches per second (or 2.6 MPH/4.11 KPH). Do you think you can move your mouse 1.1 meters or 3.75 feet within a second?
  2. 20G acceleration (that's 0-60 MPH within 0.14 seconds).
  3. 7080 frames per second (it would take 4.9 minutes of film to record just 1 second of mouse movement)
  4. 32KB on-board memory (requires firmware 2.01, now you can replace all 7 mouse buttons with multiple keystrokes in 5 different profiles and bring it anywhere)
  5. 1 millisecond response time (8 times faster than a normal USB mouse, or 4 times faster than an overclocked one)

The feel and response of that non-slippery mouse buttons are also great, I am pretty sure you can do double click much faster with Habu mouse than normal one. Habu also comes with Razer standard spare Teflon feet and two different thumb button layouts I like the stocked layout but it is always a nice to have an alternative layout, right?

If you like to pick up your mouse and "scrub around" for 360-degree view in FPS, Habu can still track its movement around 1 cm up from the surface. It is a little bit inconvenience for me but I get used to lift Habu higher for this "scrubbing" action.

If you are looking for a new mouse that's around $60, Microsoft Habu is the only one that I could recommend.