Apr 18, 2013 Taimoor Hafeez
The Razer Onza was a great first entry for Razer in the console accessories space, and with the Sabertooth, Razer hopes to improve and eliminate imperfections with their latest Xbox 360 and PC wired controller.
The Razer Sabertooth has one mission: to give you competitive advantage. And the way Razer achieves this is both clever and subtle. The inclusion of extra buttons was a given, but their placement is what makes using them so easy.
So you have six extra buttons in total on the Sabertooth, two small buttons (Multi Function Buttons) near the shoulder buttons. Both of these are small and inwards towards the center of the controller, so using them form the tip of your index fingers is pretty easy.
Next up are two triggers placed on the underside, with the MFT (Multi Function Triggers) moveable front and back, thus giving you four programmable buttons. In case you decide not to use the bottom triggers (which you shouldn’t) there’s a small Torx screwdriver with which you can take off the triggers and put a rubber flap to cover the connectors.
Two improvements made over the Onza is that the Sabertooth has now tension rings under the analog sticks making them standard height, and the D-pad which is a nice combination of the original Xbox 360 and PS3 controller. The buttons are responsive, although a bit squishy to touch.
The analog sticks themselves, while having their tension rings removed (form the Onza) get customizable sensitivity instead. In fact, customization is the name of the game with the Razer Sabertooth. You can customize each of the extra six buttons, remapping the face buttons (XYAB) to the MFT. It basically means that you’ll never have to take your thumbs off the analog sticks if you want to use the face buttons. This fact alone means that the Sabertooth will never be allowed in MLG or competitive tournaments.
All of these customizations, i.e. button remapping and analog stick sensitivity can be changed on the fly through the small OLED screen at the bottom of the Sabertooth. You’ll also notice two small buttons; left button allows you to switch between two profiles (each with different mappings and sensitivity) and the right buttons goes through different menus. You can even test the sensitivity of each analog stick in real-time before actually assigning a setting.
As for the face buttons, they are thin which lends to initiating commands quicker compared to the thick buttons on the regular Xbox 360 controller, earning them their ‘Hyperesponse’ nickname. Furthermore they are backlit and also have a very tactile feedback thanks to their clicky nature, making them very satisfying to use.
The Sabertooth has a nice build quality, with a slightly rubberized finish to it. There are also two detachable grip pads for the analog sticks. As for the 10 ft braided cable, it actually screws onto the Sabertooth, with a quick-release split near the other end where the USB plugs into your Xbox 360 or PC.
Overall the Razer Sabertooth was a joy to use, with some much needed improvements over the Onza. The OLED screen with switchable profiles and in-depth customization does take the Sabertooth above and beyond any other Xbox 360 controller we’ve seen. However, justifying the high price depends on whether you’re willing to use all the buttons and customization options.
After making the jump from auditing to editing, Taimoor loves to burn up hardware in the name of science. When he's not doing that, you'll find him nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.
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