Razer's HyperFlux Mamba is a self-charging mouse with no wires and no battery

No strings attached (hopefully)

Credit: Razer

Logitech’s Powerplay technology was one of my favorite bits of hardware in 2017—a wireless mouse that actually charged without wires, thanks to a mousepad with built-in inductive charging. It’s so revolutionary, I assumed the competition wouldn’t be far behind.

I was both right and wrong on that account. Today at CES, Razer announced a new version of its RGB-enabled Firefly mousepad, the Firefly HyperFlux. That “HyperFlux” surname is of particular importance, as it’s the name Razer’s given to its version of Powerplay—though there are key differences you should know about.

Empty inside

Chief among them: HyperFlux has no battery.

See, Logitech’s Powerplay uses what’s essentially just a normal wireless mouse, complete with battery. The G703 and G903 mice are both Powerplay-compatible, but you can also buy or use a G703 or G903 separately—they both ship with Logitech’s standard wireless mouse dongles, can be charged through USB like normal wireless mice, and store a charge if you take them off the Powerplay mousepad.

Razer HyperFlux Firefly and Mamba Razer

Like Powerplay, HyperFlux transfers power wirelessly from the redesigned Firefly mousepad to a special version of Razer’s Mamba mouse. The similarities end there though, because where Logitech stores that power in a battery, HyperFlux simply powers the Mamba directly.

Or as Razer puts it: It’s a wireless mouse with the weight of a wired mouse.

That’s the main benefit. Batteries are relatively heavy, with both the G703 and G903 coming in over 100 grams as a result—107 and 110 grams, to be specific. And that's shockingly light for a wireless mouse. Most wireless mice come in around 120 or 130 grams.

Some people—competitive gamers in particular—love lightweight mice though, with 100 grams commonly cited as a tipping point. That makes Razer’s new Mamba a potential winner, as it’s listed here at 96 grams. And for comparison, the current wireless Mamba (with battery) is listed as a whopping 125 grams, so ditching the battery’s saved Razer quite a bit of weight.

Razer HyperFlux Mamba Razer

But I’m curious to see how HyperFlux works day-to-day. I was skeptical of Powerplay before it released. “Could it really solve the charging problem for wireless mice?” And then it did, and I was bowled over.

HyperFlux is similar in theory, but the lack of battery means we’re in uncharted waters again. For instance, there are certain areas of Logitech’s Powerplay mousepad where my mouse doesn’t receive a charge—mostly along the extreme edges and in the corners. The charging field also extends only a few millimeters at most above the mousepad, so I lose power whenever I lift and adjust the mouse. And that’s fine, because there’s a battery to fall back on.

What happens in the same scenario with HyperFlux? Does the mouse lose power entirely? Or has Razer managed to extend the powered field across and significantly above the entire Firefly mousepad? An important question, and one I probably won’t solve until I’ve had some time with HyperFlux.

I’m also curious to see whether I miss the wireless capabilities when I’m away from my desktop. With Powerplay, I just pack the G703/G903’s standalone dongle and bring it with me. With the HyperFlux Mamba, you’ll need to bring along a USB cable and use it wired until you’re back at your mousepad. Will that matter? Again, I don’t know.

Razer HyperFlux Firefly and Mamba Razer

The most confusing aspect though is the price. I already thought Powerplay was expensive—it’s $100 for the mousepad, and then an additional $100 for the G703 or $150 for the G903. Expensive!

I half-expected Razer to compete on price, especially since the Mamba doesn’t include a battery. No such luck, though. The Firefly HyperFlux and Mamba package lists for $250 flat, so not only are you not saving money, you’re actually spending as much as Logitech’s premium package. That seems pretty wild, considering Logitech gives you a standalone wireless mouse and Razer doesn’t. The G903 is also a more complicated mouse than the Mamba.

My guess is that the RGB lighting in the Firefly pushed the price up. But hey, maybe HyperFlux is just that good.

[ Further reading: The best gaming mice ]

Bottom line

In any case, the HyperFlux-style setup seems to be the way the industry is headed. That’s why up top I said I was both right and wrong. Companies are competing with Powerplay, but they’re coming at it from a slightly different angle. Razer was actually beaten to the punch by Mad Catz last week, which announced essentially the same system (dubbed the RAT Air) so we now have two versions of this battery-free wireless concept. That’s enough to dub it a trend, as far as I’m concerned.

Whether HyperFlux and Mad Catz’s solutions will be as seamless as Powerplay? Now that’s the question. We’ll keep you updated.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CES 2018

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?