Hardware Review: Razer Orochi

My Logitech Wireless Mouse/Keyboard combo has been serving me well for just over a year now, but recent FPS games made me realise that it just isn’t suited to proper FPS gaming. Pushing 2+ buttons and using the mouse turns into a jittering mess that makes accurate aiming all but impossible. This and the fact that I desperately needed a Laptop mouse for work, as my trackpad was irritating every inch of me made me conclude that I needed something else.

Thus I went hunting for a new mouse, and I have to say that the pickings were slim. Obviously I needed a small mouse that could travel with me wherever. This also suggests that wireless operation would be a nice feature, but I don’t want to have to carry around batteries in case they decide to fail in those critical moments. I knew that at one point my brother had a nifty little wired/wireless mouse, but try as I might I couldn’t find one. Until I started looking higher up the techno-tree, to Razer’s offerings.

One of Razer’s latest and greatest is the Razer Mamba, a beast of a mouse if ever there was one: Wired/Wireless(it has its own lithium battery pack), comes with a dock(charger/receiver), and DPI that seems slightly unreal. Razer, clever people that they are, realised that with people going for desktop replacement laptops (Portable computers, rather?) figured that there might be a slight niche in the market for on the go gamers. Thus they spawned the little brother of the Mamba: the Orochi.
It’s small, obviously, as it’s made with laptops and travelling in mind, but Razer didn’t use that as an excuse to skimp on features. The packaging contains everything you need, from a certificate of authenticity to a pair of AA batteries, except a Bluetooth dongle or a driver CD (the latter you have to download). Most laptops do come with Bluetooth connectivity nowadays, but if you plan on using it wirelessly on your desktop, take note.

The casing is really nice, the matte top cover with the glossed sides and bottom is always a winner and there’s something about Razer’s use of angles and curves that speaks to me. The blue light-up mousewheel is a cute added touch that actually helps find it when you’re sitting a dark room and it’s on top of a black mousepad (It’s practically invisible otherwise). Popping off the top to put in batteries is also extremely easy, and it pops back with a nice distinctive “click”. Other than that there’s only the micro-USB connector between the left and right button, below the mousewheel for when you want to connect it via cable. This is also pretty easy and the cable is generally long enough.

Hooking it up and installing the driver is quick and painless (ignoring the fact that you need to download them, of course) and in next to no time you can get to fragging zombies (or whatever else irks you).

In wired mode the DPI and polling rate are 4000 and 1000 respectively. I haven’t had a gamer mouse before this (so I can’t really compare it to them), but it’s the first time that I’ve had to go into a game and set the mouse sensitivity down; most of the time I have to set it to three quarters of the maximum. I played some Borderlands, Quake (kicking it oldschool…) and Dragon Age: Origins and it works great. Smooth aiming and gaming, and and sensitive enough that there’s enough real estate on a really tiny area.

In wireless mode the DPI and polling rate drop down to 2000 and 125 respectively, but for my day to day activities it really doesn’t make a large enough difference. Connecting it to your Bluetooth is easy enough if a little awkward – you have to push and hold all 4 side buttons for a few seconds. Leave it standing for a bit and it switches to a power saving mode that is a little jarring if you’re switching between it and your keyboard frequently, but it is nice if you’re typing a long document (like this one) or leave your desk and forget to turn it off.

All in all the Orochi is a great mouse, if a tad pricey (though I have to add that you get what you pay for). If you’re a gamer and you’re on the go and you need a mouse that you’re going to be using just about all the time, then this is what you’re looking for.


About HawkiesZA

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