Razer Sabertooth ReviewClayMeow - May 20, 2014
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Razer Sabertooth Closer Look:
The Razer Sabertooth box is held shut via clear tape and can be opened on either side. While it seems minor, I found it pretty neat that the tape on both sides had a non-sticky tab that allowed me to easily pull it off the side and open the lid – no knife, scissor, fingernail, screwdriver, or any other apparatus needed to slice it open! The inside of the box is the bright Razer-green color through and through, with a black carrying case nestled within. In between the case and box, you'll find a Quick Start Guide, a letter congratulating you on your purchase and informing you of Razer's social media pages, and a pair of Razer logo stickers. The Quick Start Guide provides a "device layout" diagram to familiarize yourself with all its buttons and features, along with instructions on how to use the OLED to program the additional buttons (more on that later).
The carrying case is a black, textured rectangle with rounded corners, featuring a green-rubber zipper and the Razer logo embedded in the top. Opening the case unveils what we've all been waiting for – the Razer Sabertooth controller itself! The Sabertooth sits within a molded foam inset, while the top of the case contains two mesh pouches, loosely sealed via Velcro. The top, larger pouch contains the detachable, braided cable, while the bottom pouch contains analog stick covers, a tiny screwdriver used to remove or reattach the multi-function triggers on the underside, and two rubber covers if you decide to remove those triggers.
Looking at the face of the controller, it's quite apparent that it's an Xbox 360 controller. Not only does it have the Xbox's unparallel analog sticks, Razer even included the Xbox button at the top center with the Xbox logo, flanked by the Back and Start buttons. The Razer logo, on the other hand, is imprinted, black-on-black, on the right grip. Aside from that, there are probably a few other differences you'll notice right away: the OLED screen toward the bottom flanked by two buttons on either side, the detachable cable connection at the top, and the directional pad (D-Pad) with separate, distinct buttons for each direction. This is a marked improvement over a standard Xbox 360 controller, which has it all in one piece. Peeking just under the OLED screen is a 2.5mm headset jack. The face buttons (ABXY) are "backlit Hyperesponse action buttons", which have a distinctive click to them, like the sound of a mouse-click.
No controller these days would be complete without dual-analog sticks. As I mentioned earlier, and as you'd expect from an official Xbox 360 controller, they're unparallel. As you can see from the close-up, they're slightly textured, but if you're like me, that won't matter because you'll quickly pop on the bright green rubber covers. They were fairly easy to get on and feature a hexagonal pattern in the center for added grip. I don't foresee ever removing them except maybe to clean them.
Of course, the other things modern controllers wouldn't be caught without are shoulder buttons, and the Razer Sabertooth certainly has you covered there. Aside from your typical shoulder bumper buttons (LB/RB) and triggers (LT/RT), you'll also notice two additional multi-function buttons (M1/M2) toward the center. These additional buttons are much smaller than the additional shoulder buttons on the Razer Onza, which means there's less likelihood of accidental presses.
If those two buttons weren't enough, flipping the Sabertooth over to expose its underbelly reveals its most unique feature: four removable multi-function triggers (M4/M6 on the left and M3/M5 on the right). These triggers are actually more like rockers and activated with your middle or ring fingers, depending on how you hold the controller. If for some reason you find them uncomfortable, you can use the provided screwdriver to remove them and replace them with rubber covers. Removing the triggers was extremely easy, as was popping in the rubber covers – the reverse, not so much. The rubber covers sit so flush that it was not easy getting them back out. Once you do though, screwing the triggers back on is easy. The one thing I did find odd was that the rubber covers are labeled L and R, yet the triggers are not. Considering they're both identical, it's not a big deal, but so are the rubber covers, so that didn't really make much sense. That being said, there's no point in removing them anyway, as even if you don't want to use them, they can be completely disabled while still attached, and they don't provide any discomfort, at least for me.
Last, but not least, is the detachable cable. The connection is notched and fairly easy to screw in without any tools necessary. The cable is 10 feet (or three meters) in length and fully braided, save for a couple of plastic sections. One such plastic section is roughly six inches from the USB connection, and actually allows you to "break" the connection, though I don't really understand why you would ever need to – if you ever want to transport the Sabertooth in its carrying case, you need to completely detach the cable anyway. And before you say it's so you don't have to reach behind your computer if using a rear USB port, that argument would have maybe made sense if the breakaway point was closer to the controller and not within inches of the USB port.