Top critical review
63 people found this helpful
Very solid wireless gaming mouse with some modularity
on November 16, 2012
After using this thing for about a week, I have to say that this was a fitting replacement for my old RAT 7 which more or less became unusable after about a year when the sensors became very inconsistent. I'll break down my review into the following and will be comparing it closely to the RAT series from Mad Catz as its by far the closest alternative already available on the market:
Packaging: as is the case with most of Razer's flagship products, the packing is slick and done in similar form to the Mamba wireless, with the Ouroboros shown prominently in a plastic display case shaped into a large cube. The attached materials are standard Razer fare and the box itself is definitely eye-catching. However, the practicality of it is rather limited as given the only alternate parts on the mouse consist of 2 side-panels, there is no small metallic storage case like the RAT 7 which means you'll have to either keep them in the bottom of the large cube which can be a hassle or put them somewhere else instead and risk losing one of them. This is a small issue but I would have hoped for a small travelling pouch of some sort to have come with the thing especially given that the overall price tag is on the very high end of what one could spend on a mouse today.
Appearance, Form and Comfort: Although the primary configuration of the Ouroboros can come off as a complete ripoff of the RAT at first glance. There are a few subtle but important points to of differentiation. First, the replacement side panels of the Ouroboros allow you to change the ergonomics of the mouse to a more traditional one, without the trademark thumb and pinkie holders of the RAT which will be very appealing to users that either find them to be uncomfortable or prefer the simpler and more streamlined look that it offers (with the holderless panels attached, the mouse resembles something that's much more along the lines of the traditional Razer look and comes across very similarly to the Razer Taipan in both shape and button placement). Second, unlike the RAT mice the Ouroboros is completely symmetrical, meaning that with a few firmware configurations the mouse can be easily adapted for use by left-handed gamers who may appreciate the ability to use a wireless mouse that also offers the option for ergonomics similar to a RAT. The Ouroboros also fits comfortably in my grip and I experienced no discomfort during extended periods of usage (note: I use a more traditional grip so people who grip their mice like a claw may want to seek some information elsewhere.)
Modularity and Button Placement: Aside from the changeable side panels, the mouse can also be modified to change its general length, giving users some options to find a better fit for their hands. The mouse also comes with squeezable side buttons on both sides which can be disabled by locking them with two switches on the bottom. They can be used in games to simulate the sensitivity lowering "snipe button" that's found on the RAT 7 although I found its use to be slightly more awkward at first. People who tend to squeeze their mice really hard on the side will also have a big problem with this as you'll constantly set off the buttons when you don't want to so keep that in consideration as it means you'll likely have to keep these buttons locked at all times. Depending on the configuration you choose, you can end up with anywhere between 10-12 buttons which is significant although I can't speak for how effectively placed all of them are as I tend to not use more then 4-5 buttons when gaming. It may help to look at some reviews for the Taipan as the button placements for the two mice are again, fairly similar. Overall, its less modular than the RAT as it doesn't come with the 3 different sets of palm and pinkie rests that the RAT offers and there is no way to increase/decrease weight which is a definitely strong point of the RAT series. With that being said the switching of panels is easy and quickly done through a magnet system that feels sturdy and the one set of panels that you can switch on changes the ergonomics of the mouse much more radically than the RAT does in my opinion so it more or less comes down to what you value more.
Performance: As far as wireless mice go, this thing did not disappoint and was probably the best wireless mice I've used since my old Logitech MX rev. Response times were great and overall I couldn't notice any significant differences between wired and wireless modes. The Ouroboros uses a standard AA battery (it comes with a rechargeable one) and is said to offer up to 12 hours of continuous use although I think 6-8 is probably a much more realistic number. The use of batteries instead of a lithium-ion battery pack seems a little cheap especially considering the cost of the mice but it's probably a smarter decision in the long run since its much easier to replace the AA then have to order in a replacement pack. Overall, the Ouroboros offers the type of performance that I expect from a Razer flagship product although people that like to game wirelessly for a prolonged period of time may want to keep a few spare AAs around. Razer's Synapse 2.0 is also a breeze to use when it comes to button/macro programming and you can definitely derive some additional synergies if you're also using other products from the company. Overall, I'd say I'd prefer Razer's firmware to the Cyborg's as the overall integration and intuitiveness is better but that may just be a function of taste.
Build quality: Overall, the build quality of the mouse has a solid light feel that most Razer products have and is an improvement from my last Razer mice, the Naga. My overall experience with Razer's build quality to date has been around a 7-8/10. My old Naga functioned very well although one of the small side buttons stopped functioning 6 months into use (the rest of the mouse still worked fine but I was unhappy given what it cost), the lycosa keyboard I had was sturdy and the Black Widow Ultimate that I upgraded into is to date, still the best keyboard I have ever used with the only quirk being some occasional backlight flickering from one of the numpad keys which probably has more to do with my repeated abuse of the keyboard(I have spilled things on this keyboard).
Conclusion: Anyone who's looking for a high end mouse with a decent array of features, adjustability and great wireless performance will be quite happy with the Ouroboros. However, the price is high compared to what's on the market today so I would recommend people think about this a little before putting money down just to ensure they'll actually end up using some of the cool features that come with the product. I'll update this review for additional thoughts but overall the Ouroboros is a solid 4/5 in my books and a definite option to consider for users who are willing to pay up for a mouse.
UPDATE: After some further use and scanning of the forums I'm updating this review for 2 recurrent issues that are worth mentioning. First, switching from wireless to wired and vice versa disables the left click button on the mouse from time to time which can be very frustrating if you're in the middle of a game because it will require a unplug/replug of the usb cable to get it working properly again. This wasn't a 100% occurence for me which leads me to believe that it potentially has something to do with the firmware so hopefully a future update makes the necessary improvements. The second issue that I've read about on some forums is the tendency for the mice to lock for 2 seconds when switching sensitivities on the fly. I haven't personally experienced this but I'm also not an avid fps gamer for which this feature would be vital. I've tried replicating this and was able to do so although I could only make the freeze happen (and even then I'd say it was well below a second) when changing the sensitivity in short time intervals which again leads me to believe that it has more to do with firmware than hardware. Given that there are lower priced mice out there that can perform this function without any hang ups this is pretty unacceptable for something that's at the top of the price range. At this point, I'm going to opt to reduce my rating to 3 stars pending additional firmware updates that should hopefully resolve these issues. Overall, this is still a very nice piece of hardware, but it's not properly integrated from a software standpoint which really makes me retiscent to reccommend it to anybody at this point when there are other models out there that don't have these issues.