It’s difficult to precisely describe the design of this mouse, since it’s been built to be so customisable that it actually comes in multiple pieces. The whole mouse has a smooth, rubbery touch which feels comfortable enough – and the aforementioned customisability makes it suitable for claw grips, palm guys and righties or lefties alike. There’s a little bit of backlighting but it’s not too over the top, with just a bit of lighting in the wheel, side buttons and battery level indicator in the centre.
It reminds me a bit of the Roccat mice, with lots of gaps and fins and bits that you can turn. The design was supposedly based on the Batmobile and Lamborghini, and I guess you can see it.
It’s an ambidextrous mouse, with magnetic clip on side attachments for a left or right thumb. You can even choose what kind of clip on side you want – a flat, compact side piece with a roughened texture or a smooth one that protrudes horizontally for your thumb to rest on. One thing to note is that when clipped in the parts were very secure – they didn’t slip out or change position while the mouse is being used.
The palm rest slides back and forth, adjusting the mouse from 12.5cm to 14cm in length. If that isn’t enough, you can also raise the palm rest up and down by spinning a small metal wheel at the back of the mouse.
Razer has set out to make a mouse that will suit anybody – and I think it’s safe to say they’ve succeeded. One thing I didn’t like about it is that it does feel a little plasticky, but this is an issue I generally have with all Razer mice, so Razer fans are unlikely to be put off by it.
The Ouroboros is a wireless mouse, but you can plug the cable directly into the mouse itself if you prefer the feel or the battery is running low. The cable is good quality, with a braided cover and gold USB connectors. One thing I did like about it is that you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries – the mouse charges itself on a small wedge-shaped stand that it rests on when not in use. 3 LED bars light up to show how much charge is left in the device.
That said, you can use a standard AA battery in the device if you so desire, but this is unlikely since you can simply plug in the cable and have it charge while you’re using it. A single charge will last about 12 hours of continuous gaming, fine for most days but a little short if you’re going to a weekend-long LAN.
The Ouroboros features 11 programmable buttons, but of course some of these are going to be harder to access depending on whether you’re a rightie or a leftie. Still, it’s a nice to have the option. The mouse works well in concert with Razer’s Synapse 2.0 software, which allows you to assign keys to the buttons as you see fit.
Despite this mouse’s versatility, there were a couple of features that weren’t customisable. One of these, surprisingly, is the colour of the LEDs – most gaming mice of this sort let you switch between three or four colours, but with the Ouroboros you’re stuck with Razer green. Perhaps more significantly, the weight is fixed at a relatively hefty 135g with the battery in. If it is too heavy for you a ghetto solution is to remove the battery (taking it down to 115g) and playing wired, although obviously that’s not exactly ideal. Discerning gamers may be nonplussed by the lack of a customisable weight tray.
The DPI clocks in at 8200 (more than you should ever actually need), with Razer’s “Dual Sensor System” and a more than acceptable polling rate of 1000Hz. In actual gaming use I didn’t run into any issues at all, it glided smoothly across the pad and there was no noticeable jitter. The DPI buttons were also easy enough to access for those long distance sniper shots. With the high DPI, comfortable grip and abundance of programmable buttons it’s safe to say this mouse is suitable for almost any game, be it RTS, RPG or FPS.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Ouroboros is one of the most comfortable mice I’ve ever used. Razer’s everything-is-customisable approach was ambitious, but they’ve managed to execute it well. That being said, I was a little underwhelmed by the build quality, especially at an RRP of R1,499.
R1,499 is a big, big ask for a mouse, and you’ll have to get something pretty spectacular for that kind of money. My main issue is this – you’re paying for a mouse that can suit anybody, but it only has to suit one person – you. You’re unlikely to want to switch between a claw and palm grip (or indeed, left to right), so it makes sense to spend less money on a mouse that’s tailored to suit what you like.
I imagine this mouse would appeal largely to left-handed gamers who want a solid wireless option and don’t mind shelling out a little extra. It’s an impressive design, it functions very well and it’s comfortable to use, the seemingly fragile build quality just leaves me a little concerned about running into issues a year down the line.