When you decide to purchase a computer there are two main choices that have to be made. Do you go for a Desktop system which has the benefit of being hugely powerful for your money and upgradable, but a bit of a non-transportable monolith. Or do you go the compact and bijou route of a laptop which looks great in the local coffee shop, is useable on the train, but hideously expensive for the amount of power you get.
If you fancied playing something that required a little more oomph than Commander Keen or Freecell, then really you had to go desktop. Thankfully modern advances in performance and pricing have meant that although they are still expensive you can get a decent laptop for a reasonable amount of money. Unfortunately the hardware side pretty much stopped there. It's portable, but if you wanted great sound and a good gaming mouse you best pack a large suitcase.
Razer have seen this yawning chasm in the market and designed the Orochi to be all the gaming mouse you can require, with the compact size necessary for easy portability.
Being a mouse thankfully we're table free today. A quick trip to the Razer site and we find the following :
Razer Orochi Specifications
Detachable three foot, lightweight, braided micro-USB cord
Up to 4000DPI sensitivity
1000Hz Ultrapolling™/ 1ms response
As you can see that although the Orochi has Bluetooth wireless connectivity if you really want the best gaming performance you need to use the wire. That isn't to say the wireless performance is bad.
Anyway, let's take a look at the mouse.
In keeping with the small nature of the Orochi mouse, Razer have gone for very small packaging. The plastic used is slightly on the thin side but you wont be needing it for transport as we'll see soon.
The right side has the obligatory RazerGuy comment which is marketing blurb disguised as something easy to digest.
The back has the standard feature set we all expect to see. With the mouse and plastic removed we have the de rigueur Razer green, but with a really cool design. If you were a major Razerhead it would look epic on the side of a case.
As you can see the Orochi itself follows the standard Razer design which we all like so much. Although it's irrational as you rarely see your mouse, nonetheless the aggressive lines of the front really are aesthetically pleasing.
For the southpaws amongst you'll be glad to know that the Orochi is ambidextrous.
Flipping the mouse over we have an impossible to miss guide to how to pair the mouse with your PC or Mac. With that removed we have the centre-mounted sensor and the vital on/off button to save your valuable battery life.
At the rear of the packaging is the always impressive collection of Razer goodies. Although the content is fairly commonplace, it's the quality of execution that is so impressive. Nobody would ever confuse it for anything but Razer.
Also included is a very high quality case to carry the mouse around it that fits it snugly and will protect it well.
Without anything to compare it with you'd be forgiven for wondering exactly what makes this a laptop mouse rather than a standard gaming mouse. So for size comparison purposes we put it against the outstanding Imperator we reviewed recently.
The Imperator is a decent sized mouse, not huge but not designed for the more feminine hand, but still the Orochi looks miniscule in comparison.
As you can see from the front view it really is just a shrunk version of the easily recognisable Razer shape.
Hopefully this reduction in size without much adaptation of the design doesn't cause ergonomic issues.
For todays testing we're going to use the mouse both in its Bluetooth mode, and using the USB wire adaptor. As the Bluetooth provides a much reduced sensitivity level we will be taking this into account. Although it has to be noted I'm not Thresh so hopefully it wont prove too obvious.
Also although I am testing this with a desktop setup I shall be trying a variety of surfaces to mimic the out-and-about nature of mobile gaming, especially considering that whilst your laptop is portable not
Firstly, before we move on to gaming tests, we need to see how the Orochi performs in its primary role as a main mouse. Although all Razer items are designed for gamers, they are also priced at a point whereby it is unlikely you'd use it as a specialist gaming item. If you are good enough to have a mouse solely for gaming you're unlikely to choose the Orochi. Hence the testing.
At the risk of stating the obvious, you move the mouse and the pointer moves. When dealing with applications such as Exchange, Word and Internet Browsing the 8ms response and 2000dpi of the Bluetooth mouse is more than enough, and the gains to be had from using the USB cable are negligible.
Ok before you all say "what?", let me explain the rationale. Firstly it's one of those games that is the equivalent of opening a new jar of coffee or popping bubble wrap and it's link to Facebook ensures that most people will have played it. It also is frantic, so we're going to be able to test the accuracy and speed of the Orochi. Finally, because it's more addictive than you think, you will be playing it for longer than you expect and so the ergonomics are tested too. See now you understand.
Speed and accuracy cannot be faulted. Even when the time is getting short and the mouse had to become a part of our body it performed excellently. Despite the urgent nature of some of the movements the Bluetooth didn't flinch at all, which bodes well for our, more standard, test set.
Modern Warfare 2 and Bioshock 2
Although these are both lumped under the First Person Shooter category we have placed them together for two reasons. Firstly they are both worse than their predecessor, and secondly they require similar skill sets and abilities from the mouse, but in different contexts. MW2 is frantic all the time and so will enable us to test the comfort and response, whilst Bioshock 2 has a more measured pace and limited ammo so needs the mouse to be a pussy cat and a tiger in equal measure, but still provide accuracy.
Once again the performance of the Razer Orochi sensor cannot be faulted. All our movements were precise regardless of if we were sneaking, sniping, or running into the middle of a total firefight. The buttons are well placed and give a good firm click providing great tactile feedback.
Onwards for the final test and our conclusion.
Company of Heroes
What would a mouse review be without the greatest RTS of all time? Well a page shorter I guess.
The great benefit of CoH, apart from being a delight to play, is that it combines everything our tests do into one overview. We know it's an accurate responsive mouse, and that the wireless abilities of it are excellent, so really we're looking mainly at comfort and just making sure that we haven't missed anything.
Indeed we haven't. All the good features we saw on the previous page remained good here and no amount of poking, prodding or playing like a clutz could put the Orochi off its stride.
So with all the tests out the way, what can we conclude?
Let's start with the bad. Or at least, the not as good. I carefully avoided mentioning it in our tests for fear of repetition. However if, like me, you're blessed/cursed with good sized hands the small stature of the Orochi is quite a pain. As a palm player I really like all the extra size I can get and the small size of the Orochi became quite a pain. I was constantly aware of having to hold it differently and if I stopped concentrating I quickly found myself clicking buttons that weren't there because they were under my knuckles.
If you are a fingertip player, or perhaps have tiny hands, then this wont be an issue at all. You always have to remember that all input hardware is very subjective when it comes to comfort. The actual design of the Razer Orochi is up to Razers usual high standards and as long as size isn't an issue then comfort and button placement wont be.
There is a lot of black magic going on inside the Orochi. Whether we used Bluetooth or the USB cable it responded instantly and it was very difficult to tell if you were wireless or not. I'm sure that there are some pro-gamers who are sniffing in contempt right now, but the reality is for 99% of people the difference between 1ms and 8ms is inconsequential.
Battery life is presumably good. Certainly despite a fortnight of near 24/7 usage we didn't need to change them once. For a mouse of this sensitivity and ability that's fine indeed.
Finally we tested on a proper mouse pad, a desk, a book and even our leg, and the sensor didn't flinch. Razer really have got sensor technology nailed down tight. No matter which of their models you choose you'll never doubt the excellence of it's optical technology.
The only blots on the copybook of the Orochi are the aforementioned size, of which allowances for design purpose have to be made, and the price.
At around £65 this is expensive even by Razer standards. Only the Mamba is pricier in their line-up. Sure you could argue this is the cheapest wireless mouse Razer make, but it's also more expensive than all of their wired mice. This isn't helped by the fact that it's such a niche audience Razer are targeting. If you demand absolute wireless performance then you'll pay the extra £20 for a Mamba. If you want good wired performance there are more mice than you can count in a month of Sundays. If you're a pro-gamer you wouldn't think of a small wireless mouse anyway. And if you're only using it because it's small and easily portable, again you've plenty of choices. It's just too expensive.
If, however, you are a professional laptop gamer who has tiny hands and doesn't want to put a big mouse in their pocket, Razer have just the product for you. For the rest of us, there are countless other options.
Thanks to Razer for providing the Orochi for today's review. Discuss it in our forums.