Razer Ouroboros Ambidexterous Gaming Mouse Review
Back in 2009 Razer began desiging a new mouse. With the concept being inspired by the Lamborghini Reventon and Batmobile they were aiming for a structural, edgy chassis and transformable/customisable options. Between then and now we have seen some of their existing products receive a customisable facelift, such as the NAGA gaining changeable side panels but that concept from 2009 took time to develop and refine.
Recently Razer released their Lamborghini inspired mouse, the Ouroboros (that´s going to take some typing in this article!). With multiple interchangeable parts, ambidextrous layout, wired and wireless operation, changeable shape and a distinctive design it looks to compete with some impressive gaming mice at the high end of the gaming market.
The Razer Ouroboros Mouse
Shown above is the Ouroboros as it is when unboxed for the first time and our first task is to choose which side buttons/grips we want to use. The top two sit flush to the mouse and Razers testing shows this is preferred by fingertip and claw users. The two larger sides offer a finger/thumb rest which Razer say is preferred by palm grip users.
The top surface of the Ouroboros is a hard, textured plastic as are the rests with the textured claw/tip sides using a rubber coating.
The two side options are shown above and as this is an ambidextrous mouse there are two silver function buttons on each side. As an added bonus we can also press in the side panels which act as an additional button (drop DPI as standard) on either side… more on that shortly.
Looking at the front of the Ouroboros we can see that it has a car inspired front grill underneath each of the main buttons and between them the mini USB socket which allows us to charge the mouse or use it wired. The scroll wheel sits above this port and behind it are two function buttons that are assigned to DPI up/down as standard.
Flipping over the mouse we can see two key features which relate to the side panels, lock switches. These enable/disable the ability to press in the side buttons, adding extra stability for those who need it. We can also see the varied low friction pads used by Razer and that this mouse features two sensors. One is laser, the other optical and these work in tandem to maximise mouse tracking on varied surfaces and the maximum dpi of the Ouroboros is 8200 with variable lift off distance. The mouse is rated for 200 inches per second with 50g acceleration and 1000Hz ultrapolling/1ms response time.
Adding to the customisable options Razer allow a significant amount of flexibility with the mouse arch. In addition to this it can also be completely removed to reveal the AA battery compartment. The two areas of change here are that we can extend the length of the mouse as well as the height of the arch.
This gives the Ouroboros dimensions of 122 to 137mm length, 71mm width and 42mm height with the weight hitting 135g with battery (115g without).
As is normal for Razer the Ouroboros also features LED lighting. On each side of the mouse we have a trail of green around the thumb buttons. The scroll wheel is LED lit on both sides and then in the palm area we have a battery charge indicator.
The Software – Razer Synapse
As we would expect with a new Razer mouse to take advantage of the full functionality we need to install the Synapse 2.0 driver and control panel which also handles our firmware updates. As the screen above shows all of our Razer devices share this interface (in our case a BlackWidow Ultimate accompanies the mouse). To configure the Ouroboros we click its image in the bottom area of the software and the first panel gives us the ability to configure the mouse buttons, scroll wheel and profiles.
Clicking Macro´s takes us into the standard Razer editor.
Moving to Performance the settings for sensitivity and acceleration as well as polling rate appear. We can set 5 steps for the DPI up/down buttons if desired or enable separate X-Y sensitivity options.
Next up is the Lighting configuration. Green is the only colour option on the Ouroboros and we can set the brightness separately for wired/wireless mode with four settings available.
Calibration is our second from last tab and allows us to select a pre-configured profile which matches a Razer pad or add a custom profile for an alternative brands surface. A lift-off slider is also present here.
In our final screen we find options to set when the mouse goes into sleep mode and when it should warn us about low charge. A graphic also shows the current charge and elsewhere on each screen within Synapse 2.0 we also get links to Razer web and social media sites as well as a button to check for updates.
Note: Synapse 2.0 also allows us to store our settings remotely and access them on any PC provided it has an internet connection.
User Experience and Conclusion
Looking first at the build quality of the Ouroboros we have a mouse which feels solid in the hand. For many years we loved the soft touch coating of Razer mice and in more recent times they have tried out plastic surfaces but this is the first time it feels like a quality we would associate with a high end brand. There is plenty of grip in the textured surface and the solid feel of the mouse is enhanced by the good weight (especially with battery). The side panels also fit well and feel sturdy enough that the uneducated user wouldn´t even know they were removable then adding an extra level of quality the cable is braided which is always good to see.
Could the build quality be improved? Not in any significant way, no.
Moving to design it is clear that with a 3-4 year development process which involved pro-gamer, end user and ergonomic scientist feedback the Ouroboros has a fair bit of thought in every physical aspect. On the whole each area has been executed well and the variable side panels along with extending length and arch height changes allow us to find a shape which best suits our grip. This is something which is aided by the interchangeable side panels.
What did we opt for? Left rest, right flat, full length, low height with a palm/claw mix of grips. This arrangement actually highlighted a minor change which we feel would benefit the design. At its shortest the Ouroboros is compact, at its longest it isn´t much different to some competitor mice and a few extra steps on the length may have benefited those with larger than normal hand size. Variable angle for the thumb side panel would be an additional bonus and the ability to install some weights in the arch would also add some extra configuration options.
For value we have a simple comparison in this case as the Ouroboros very clearly goes head to head with the Mad Catz R.A.T. 9 and there we find a small problem. The RAT is £30 ($50) cheaper than the Ouroboros. Razer do offer a far more intuitive and attractive software suite and an extra couple of thousand DPI but that range isn´t necessarily enough in the day to day use to justify that much of a difference. A more aggressive price, even by £10 would serve Razer well here.
On the performance front the Ouroboros excels. It tracks well on every pad we tried, Razer or not and the calibration tool offered a noticeable improvement on some surfaces which is great to see. The speed available at 8200dpi is easily competitive with other high end mice and the mouse switches to lower DPIs instantly which is key for some games. Some may find the side panel buttons a little difficult to master but they do become easy to use and the mouse glides with ease which is essential.
A mouse which offers a high level of customisation, great build quality and stand out appearance. The sensor technology ensures we get great performance and a good software suite rounds off a great product.