Closer Look: Razer Ouroboros
As always, the Razer packaging is designed to impress. There is not a box to speak of in the traditional sense, rather a transparent acrylic cube with the Ouroboros suspended on a pedestal within. While I can understand and appreciate the effort put in to displaying such a unique (and arguably expensive) product, there’s a tiny part of my brain that wonders how much of the MSRP is in the presentation. I can’t argue with the end result – one can’t help but feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth before they even use the product.
For such a fancy enclosure, Razer did a remarkable job making it simple to extract the mouse and accessories. Contained within the acrylic pedestal is the wireless dock for the Ouroboros, while underneath the quick start manual and certificate, stickers and product guide rest the rechargeable battery, braided USB cord and extra side grips. The mouse itself is locked in rather tight, but simply press down on the acrylic tab and it should pop right out.
It’s certainly a looker. While I don’t possess the academic qualifications to launch into a discussion on design, it is pretty apparent the Razer team were pretty serious when they mentioned the Reventon and Batmobile as design influences. While “glowy lights” and aggressive designs aren’t for everyone, most people still can’t resist turning their head when a Lamborghini rolls by – this mouse has a similar effect. Whether you love it or hate it, the Ouroboros is undoubtedly an eye-catcher. Still, it’s almost as if the design team knew this mouse was a pretty extreme design and tried to appeal to the sophisticated crowd as well. The scroll wheel green LED shines through a finish that looks like a silver metal when the LED itself is turned off; the mouse itself is conservative with the green lighting especially relative to some of their other designs. The Razer logo on the palm rest is a muted glossy black on a matte black finish – in fact, there’s very little of the “piano black” gloss typical of earlier Razer mice. The textures used on the top surfaces are different than the earlier models as well, forgoing the soft rubber for a harder matte finish. It isn’t as grippy as the rubber coating Razer uses, but seems to do the job adequately nonetheless.
The scroll wheel is of the “notched” type – Razer has historically stayed away from the freewheeling scroll wheels, as that function has little use for gaming. The wheel itself feels solid, and the middle click function has great tactile feedback as well. My only complaint is the rows of rubber protrusions on the scroll wheel felt a little more vague than some other textured designs – I struggled more than once changing weapons in Battlefield 3 as the feeling of the wheel didn’t seem to match up with the actual detents that send the “scroll” signal to the computer. This is one of those “most people probably wouldn’t notice” nitpicks though, and your experience might be different.
You can also see the mini-USB port under the wheel for the dual-purpose charging cord, allowing for hybrid wired/wireless functionality. I like this option, and appreciate the ability to easily switch between the two connection types.
While the extended “wings” are installed by default, they are easily swapped out for a slightly narrower set of side panels. Both of the designs are secured by three magnets, and are easy to remove and replace. The narrower set of grips also uses a soft, pleasantly textured rubber to enhance your grip – mainly designed to cater to those that prefer a claw style grip. I myself use a strange combination of claw and palm (which probably helps to explain my peculiar taste in peripherals, along with my never-ending search for the perfect fit), and the Ouroboros is highly adjustable to fit most grip styles.
Rounding out the externals, you can see the 3-bar battery indicator located on the “spine” of the mouse, between the DPI buttons (which are programmable as well) and the adjustable rear palm rest.