Razer Ouroboros Gaming Mouse: Hardware Review

Ouroboros in wireless mode. Unfortunately it won't go into standby on its own.

Ouroboros in wireless mode. Unfortunately it won’t go into standby on its own.

The Razer Ouroboros is a high-perfomance, ambidextrous gaming mouse with the unfortunate setbacks of ugly design, poor ergonomics, and a whopping price tag.

Carrying an expensive AUD$130 price tag, the mouse features customisable side plates, adjustable back height and body length, and a choice between wired and wireless modes.

Its biggest market is arguably left-handers. Aside from kidney-shaped mice, on paper there is nary a mouse that comes close to offering lefties what the Ouroborous promises.

It sports a twin-optical array to ensure optimal precision and performance, and we must admit that we haven’t used a mouse that glides so smoothly across a surface with such precision thanks to the HUGE glide pads beneath it.

Speed freaks will be pleased to know that you can add or subtract wing-like side panels that keep your thumb and/or little finger from creating any unnecessary resistance on your gaming mat.

The mouse wheel looks chunky yet is nimble and easy to scroll. There are around nine usable buttons, and two DPI buttons, which is fairly standard for a mouse of this class, although perhaps not enough to satisfy MMO gamers.

Unplugging the USB cable, which changes the Ouroborous from wired to wireless mode in a jiffy. You then plug the same USB cable into the wireless stand. Nice and easy.

Unplugging the USB cable, which changes the Ouroborous from wired to wireless mode in a jiffy. You then plug the same USB cable into the wireless stand. Nice and easy.

Yet, in practice, the Ouroboros is as challenging and obscure as its name.

Let me begin with the wireless stand: it is almost impossible to mount the mouse on it without wondering where on earth the charging prongs are. The stand is too narrow, and there’s no guide or support to help you position the mouse.

Furthermore, the mouse has no ability to enter standby mode on its own while wireless, even when you shut down your computer and place it on the stand, which seems ridiculous for a mouse of its class and price range.

This means that in wireless mode you have to press and hold the two DPI buttons for 3-5 seconds to turn the mouse off when not in use. Otherwise, the rechargeable battery will drain, leaving you with a nasty situation the following day. In wired mode, our preferred option, the mouse turns on and off with your computer, as it should.

Then there’s the ergonomic design, or lack of. For a top-range customisable mouse, you’d expect, as any gamer should, that at least one configuration would fit your hand like a glove.

Yet it turns out that the most comfortable configuration I could muster was with both sides of the mouse sporting flat panels (no wings), the butt pushed in, and raised as high as it could go. It looked as kidney as they come, and it wasn’t for lack of trying that I couldn’t enjoy the mouse in any other configuration.

The underside clearly shows the dual optical array as well as the locking mechanisms for the two side-grip buttons. I keep them locked as I don't find it particularly easy to press during gameplay.

The underside clearly shows the dual optical array as well as the locking mechanisms for the two side-grip buttons. I keep them locked as I don’t find it particularly easy to press during gameplay.

Sadly for the Ouroborous, there is no way your hand can operate it in anything other than a flat position. It lacks the convexity of more sophisticated mice in the rear, and because it aims to please both right and left handed crowds, it doesn’t have a moulded shape to cater for natural, lateral resting of the wrist, nor can it be customised in this way.

For half the price, ambidextrous or left-handed gamers can purchase my mouse of choice, the SteelSeries Sensei, or any of Razer’s other ambidextrous mice for that matter.

In fairness to the Ouroborous, I know that mouse preference can be subjective. But I struggled to find a friend who could see the $130 value in the design of the Ouroboros.

Make no mistake – the performance of the mouse is excellent, and its supporting software will help you to develop custom configurations for your games.

But for the glamorous packaging, the over-hyped marketing, the Transformer-like industrial design, the lack of comfortable ergonomics, and the extravagant price tag compared to the competition, I find it very difficult to recommend an Ouroboros to anyone unless they are able to try it before they buy.

Even left handers (yes, I’m sorry guys and gals!)

RATING: 5/10

PROS:
– Great performance
– Option of wired or wireless is handy
– Razer’s software is excellent

CONS:
– Extravagant price
– Poor ergonomic design
– Not smart enough to enable standby in wireless mode
– Wireless stand is tacky

 

Side plates use three tiny yet powerful magnets to clip on. They are strong and stable when connected, but easy to remove when you want to change them.

Side plates use three tiny yet powerful magnets to clip on. They are strong and stable when connected, but easy to remove when you want to change them.

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