As laptops become more and more powerful, they have begun to replace dedicated gaming desktops, providing comparable performance in a slimmer, easily-portable form factor. In light of this increased mobility, Razer launched last year the original Orochi, a high-performance 4,000 DPI gaming mouse that can serve double duty as a wireless bluetooth mouse for the road. More recently, they introduced the impressive-looking Black Chrome edition, clad in a glossy, reflective finish.
The Black Chrome Orochi is in every functional way identical to the original matte-black mouse, so this review still applies should you decide that shiny things aren't for you.
Look & Feel
The Orochi keeps with Razer's current design philosophy, with its modern-looking combination of swooping curves and sharp ridges that cradle your fingers very comfortably. Beyond aesthetics, the overall shape makes the Orochi feel surprisingly natural for such a diminutive mouse. The main buttons, for example, have ridges on the sides that help keep your fingers in place during quick motions, and the sides are sculpted with finger ledges to prevent dragging. Its ambidextrous design makes it suitable for anyone, but unlike many other ambidextrous mice it hasn't sacrificed any degree of ergonomics.
There are a total of seven buttons–left, right, scroll wheel, and two thumb buttons on each side–all of which are very well placed and have just enough resistance to prevent you from accidentally hitting them.
Under the scroll wheel is a micro-USB port for Razer's 36-inch braided cable. The 4000 DPI laser sensor is placed exactly in the center of the mouse's multifaceted underside, between four slippery Teflon feet.
In the past, I've been a fan of large, heavy, non-ambidextrous mice, using primarily a Logitech MX1000 and later its MX1100 successor. I had this preconcieved notion–reinforced by a multitude of uncomfortable, cramped mobile mice–that bigger was better, and that I needed a large "ergonomic" mouse that would nestle nicely in my palm. Now, I'm not knocking the Logitechs in any way. They're massively comfortable and reliable, and I still like them very much. But the Orochi taught me that a well-engineered small mouse could be just as easy on the joints as a large one, all the while delivering superior gaming performance.
In wireless mode, the Orochi connects via bluetooth and is a responsive, accurate notebook mouse. Sensitivity is limited to 2000 DPI, rather than the maximum 4000 in wired mode. Razer's 3G Laser tracks well on virtually all surfaces, glossy or textured, although it won't work on glass.
Once you plug it in, though, the responsiveness and sharpness jump from merely "excellent" to virtually telepathic. You hold the mouse in your fingertips, rather than palming it like with a larger mouse, allowing you to make finer, more precise adjustments that take full advantage of its hi-res sensor.
Razer advertises three months of usage out of the pair of AA batteries powering the Orochi, although you should see more than that as the batteries aren't used in wired mode. Razer's software is intuitive and unobtrusive, and it allows you to change virtually any characteristic of the mouse, record macros, and create separate profiles for different applications. Note, however, that the software and its benefits and adjustments work only when the mouse is plugged in.
The Razer Orochi is, as far as I can tell, the only mobile gaming mouse currently on the market. It strikes an excellent balance between a dedicated gaming mouse and a compact mobile one, providing the benefits of both and downsides of neither. The only real negative point to the Orochi is the price–at $79, this is easily the most expensive notebook mouse there is. To be honest, though, once you get to know it, the performance and versatility make it well worth the money. Size isn't everything.
- Bluetooth 2.0 and wired functionality (USB cable is detachable)
- 4000dpi Razer Precision 3G Laser sensor
- Razer Synapse On-board memory
- On-The-Fly sensitivity adjustment
- Powered by 2x AA batteries
- Size in mm: 99 (L) x 67.8 (W) x 35 (H)