Razer Sabertooth ReviewClayMeow - May 20, 2014
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Razer Sabertooth Conclusion:
The Razer Sabertooth is billed as an "Elite Gaming Controller" and as such, it unsurprisingly comes with a premium price. With an MSRP of $79.99, that's more than twice as expensive as other Xbox 360 controllers on the market, and if all you care about is using it for a PC, one of the highest rated PC controllers on Amazon is a quarter of the price. But as the old adage goes, "you get what you pay for."
While the extra programmable buttons and triggers are certainly a welcome addition, it's the build quality that impresses me most. The Sabertooth is extremely light, at just over half a pound, yet feels solid and well constructed. The analog sticks are as good or better than any I've used in the past, they snap back nicely to the center, and I did not notice any dead zones. The green rubber covers are also a nice touch, and though I haven't used it enough to get it all sweaty, it's nice to know I can always remove them and wash them with soap and water if it ever gets to that point. The separate D-Pad buttons are outstanding and should really be standard on all controllers. Lastly, the face buttons (ABXY) are mechanical, so they should last quite awhile, but I'm not necessarily a fan of the "mouse-click sound" they make; if for no other reason than people around me probably think I'm doing something silly like Cookie Clicker. The back-lighting of ABXY is also completely unnecessary, but whatever.
Arguably the Sabertooth's biggest flaw is the inability to set macros for the additional buttons. I understand that it would have never passed official Xbox 360 certification, but having macro support on the PC side would have been nice, even if it required external software to configure (eg. Razer Synapse). That being said, I did find the underbelly triggers quite useful for certain situations, so those extra buttons are not entirely wasted. And, though it does take some getting used to, those aforementioned underbelly triggers are quite ingenious. This is especially true if you play console shooters, as you can use them to map ABXY and never have to take your thumb off the right analog stick. The additional shoulder buttons not so much, at least for me; I just couldn't find a comfortable way to hold the controller and still be able to easily access those. Regardless of their ease of use, configuring them is easy and intuitive, and requires no additional software.
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that, for the price, most people would probably expect it to be wireless. With a nice long ten-foot cable, you should have no problem reaching your PC or console under normal circumstances, but a lot of people simply don't like cords. I personally don't trust the response rate of wireless devices for gaming, but I concede that I'm in the minority; at least for console gamers. I would have loved to see Razer implement the dual wired/wireless technology it has on the Razer Mamba gaming mouse; though seeing as that's priced at $129.99, that may have substantially increased the price of the Sabertooth beyond what most gamers would be willing to spend.
If you do not care for wireless, then you'd be hard-pressed to find a better Xbox 360 controller on the market than the Razer Sabertooth. The same holds true for PC unless you really prefer parallel analog sticks, or unless/until Razer comes out with a new Xbox One controller. Razer products always come with a slight premium, but in the Sabertooth's case, it's backed up with unmatched quality and enough bells and whistles to justify the added cost. If all you care about is using it with a PC and not an Xbox 360, then the price may be a bit hard to swallow, but if you have (and still use) both, then it's more than worth it.
- Build quality
- Sleek design without looking gaudy
- Individual D-Pad buttons!
- Six extra customizable buttons/triggers
- The underbelly triggers are particularly useful for shooters
- Sensitivity of the analog sticks can be adjusted
- Two on-board profiles; no additional software required
- Long (10'), detachable, braided cable
- Added convenience accessories (carrying case, rubber analog stick covers, hex-screwdriver)
- Full PC support via USB 2.0
- No macro support
- Not wireless (problem for some people?)