Why Razer Synapse 2.0 Still Isn't Worth The Effort
I'm going to come right out and say it: I love Razer. I love their products. I hate Razer Synapse. I mean, hate. If I had 387.44 million miles of printed circuits divided into wafer-thin layers, and those circuits had the word 'hate' engraved on every nanogram, it would not equal one billionth of the hate I feel for Razer Synapse at thie moment.
Okay, maybe I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but I've definitely got a strong dislike for the application. I've a number of reasons for that. The way the authentication service works is actually the least of them.
I should explain. See, about a year ago, everybody was raising a big stink over Synapse, claiming that it was essentially poorly-designed DRM. I'm not going to argue with that. You're forced to create an account in order to use Synapse. That you can utilize the application in offline mode after the fact doesn't change a thing.
Perhaps it's something of a jaded stance, but so many websites and organizations are involved in data mining that if you don't have at least one business collecting information on you, you probably aren't on the Internet. To me, it's a sign of the times, and I've taken a rather fatalistic stance on the whole thing.
Plus, I've an ad blocker and script blocker. Those help.
No, my biggest problem with Synapse is it makes the process of installing and using a Razer product needlessly complicated by introducing a middleman into the equation. Whereas before you could simply plug your device in and immediately start fiddling with the advanced features, now you're forced to go through an account creation and authentication process. Worse, if the servers are down when you're performing your initial install...sorry, looks like you're out of luck.
It's inconvenient, it's poorly conceived, and it feels wholly unnecessary.
That's to say nothing of the fact that every time I've actually tried to use Synapse 2.0, without fail, it's caused my mouse and keyboard (both Razer products) to effectively suffer a nuclear meltdown. The first sign that it's coming is that my mouse will stop working. Once that happens, it's all over for me. My speakers start emitting a rapid beeping sound, and my keyboard shuts down soon after. Though my system still runs smoothly otherwise, I'm left without any input devices, and thus have no choice but to perform a hard reset of my system.
Though this may be related to hardware (or drivers, perhaps), I've yet to run into the issue with Synapse disabled. Couple all of the above points with the irritating tendency Synapse has to hog computing resources, and it's pretty easy to see why the whole experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
In theory, Synapse 2.0 is a great idea. The ability to save all of your device settings and preferences to the cloud, accessible wherever you go, potentially opens up a whole new arena for 'plug and play.' In practise, however, these features could easily be provided by custom firmware, and the clumsy, resource-heavy means by which Synapse is implemented makes it more of a chore than a boon
In spite of all this, I still very much support Razer as an organization. I've almost never had a physical issue with any of their peripherals. Case in point, I consider the Black Widow Ultimate keyboard to be one of the best purchases I've ever made.
If Synapse 2.0 is terrible, it's a small road-bump in an otherwise brilliant product line. I'm not going to recommend against buying Razer products. All I'll say is that if you do, roll back to Synapse 1.0. The newest version simply isn't worth the trouble.