Ouroboros is usually depicted as a snake eating its own tail. It is a distinctly different concept to that of something existing for infinity, because it means an endless cycle of death and rebirth. So to name a mouse, and especially you're new top of the range model, as Ouroboros is a strange choice on the part of Razer. Are they implying that this mouse will die and need to be renewed, or that if you purchase it then it will soon be replaced in the endless cycle of different mice that can be classed as the top of the line?
We think that the tagline for the Ouroboros, "Hold infinity in the palm of your hand", means that Razer haven't actually looked too deeply into the meaning and have taken the generally held, and false, view that it stands for infinity. So maybe it's just a cool name and we shouldn't look too deeply into it. Especially because we've clearly thought more about it already than Razer did. Since the Boomslang we have had snake-based nomenclature for the Razer mice, so we'll leave it at that.
Working out the lineage of the Ouroboros isn't difficult as the mixed wireless and wired capabilities clearly invoke the Mamba, whilst the quality of the sensor and pricing edge towards the Taipan.
As you can see from the page image, the Ouroboros looks a bit like the Cyborg Rat range of mice, and the first item on the specifications hint and why it looks the way it does. Beneath the hood is the outstanding 8200DPI 4G sensor we saw on the Taipan, and 11 buttons. Enough preamble, let's take a look shall we.
As we explained in our Ares II review, we enjoy a sense of occasion when opening something at the very top end of what is available. The Ouroboros definitely provides that. Coming in a seriously sturdy case with the Razer logo on top, when you open it you're presented with everything neatly laid out. We need to be clear though this is limited edition press packaging, sadly the retail versions will not get sent out like this. The cut-outs for each part are impossibly precise, as we'd expect from such a premium model. From left to right is the cable, battery, changeable side panels, mouse, USB thumbstick with manual and drivers, receiver, right panels and the charger.
The cable is used for charging, or if you prefer the precision of a wired arrangement the Ouroboros can be plugged in directly. As our review sample was pre-production we're not sure if everyone will get the USB stick with the drivers and manual on it, but we absolutely love it. Very handy.
The receiver and charger is reminiscent of the one we saw from Gigabyte with their Aivia. The Ouroboros just sits on it perfectly and charges via the prongs.
Here it is in all its glory. The gap in the middle is definitely going to split opinion. Behind the scroll-wheel is the LED indicator for the battery level.
So much of the Ouroboros is adjustable. Firstly, the rear portion can slide to and fro for those who have different sized hands (which will be all of us). On the left it is as closed as possible and on the right as stretched as it can be. As we said above the gap will something that will divide opinion, and certainly when it's extended it doesn't look good in our opinion.
Up Close Continued
If you keep pulling the rear panel, which adjusts by pressing the button at the back, then it slides off. This reveals the battery compartment.
Thankfully Razer have gone with a AA battery for the Ouroboros. With a central position ensuring excellent weight distribution and AA batteries being absolutely everywhere you wont have any trouble keeping running.
On the underside we have, from top to bottom, locks for the two side buttons, the sensor and the charging points. The interchangeable side panels connect via magnets and can be depressed as an extra button, which defaults to a clutch for those finely-tuned headshots. If you're the type of person who has a death-grip on their mouse then you can disable them individually.
The wheel visible on the first photograph on this page adjusts the angle of the rear panel, here shown at its maximum and minimum levels. Because the forward/backward buttons are placed so near the back of the Ouroboros we recommend a claw grip rather than a palm one, so the value of this is variable, dependant upon your play style.
The Razer Ouroboros certainly looks purposeful with its very angular surfaces. The F22 Raptor has a lot to answer for when it comes to recent mouse designs. Below the scroll wheel is the input for the cable should you want to play and charge, or just run wired.
When powered on there is a gentle green glow around the side buttons, the scroll wheel and, of course, on the battery level indicator.
Finally a look at the two different types of side cover available. On the left are the short slender ones, and on the right the ones that have been in place for the majority of our photographs. These are a two second change, thanks to the magnet switch system. Exactly like that we saw on the Tiamat headset.
Let's take a look at the Synapse 2.0 software.
The Razer Synapse software is one of our favourites, being incredibly versatile and easy to use. Customising your hardware with it is simplicity itself, and the Ouroboros is no different. Pick your button, customise it from the drop-down box and you're good to go.
The software handily points out what button is what and has a tooltip to remind you what each button is bound to.
As you'd expect from such a high-end mouse, there are five DPI steps available and you can adjust the horizontal and vertical sensitivity separately. Whilst it would be distracting on your desktop, dampening the vertical sensitivity ups your accuracy in FPS', as people tend to be on your level.
As with any wireless mouse it's important to extend the lifespan as long as possible between charges. The Synapse software can be set to darken the lighting and be very aggressive in its timeout speed if necessary. It's all about keeping you fragging for longer.
There are many things to cover with the Ouroboros, so let's crack on. The packaging is incredible, the Ouroboros comes in probably the most blinged-out package of any mouse, ever. Just a shame this will not be the retail packaging. You would need a certain level of confidence if you took it to your local LAN party so you didn't look like a ATGNI guy as you undid the briefcase.
The software is, as we expect from the Synapse 2.0, brilliant. It's intuitive, fast and has a small footprint. With the cloud storage you're not only able to use your settings wherever you are, but don't need to worry about backing them up before a reformat. We can't be the only people who have reinstalled Windows and then realised with horror we'd forgotten something. You can be up and running in moments thanks to the speedy battery installation solution and ease of the cable connection. The Ouroboros can be run in a play-and-charge mode, so no waiting around when you first get it either. Although it's worth noting that there isn't a spare battery provided, nor a method to charge one whilst using the Ouroboros. Of course, as it uses AA batteries, most of us have some on charge somewhere nearly 24/7.
The sensor is spectacular. Really something special. At every sensitivity from the bottom of the scale all the way up to the 'mere mortals need not apply' maximum of 8400DPI, it's responsive, smooth and certainly could never be used as an excuse for why you're dead. Amazingly it's just as capable when you're wireless as it is when tethered. The days when choosing a wireless mouse would impede you at the highest level are nearly history, and certainly the lines are getting blurred. We're not good enough to notice the performance drop off, and we're damn good.
The design of the Ouroboros is a little harder to quantify. Like all mice it can be used with any grip of your choosing. The adjustments available to the back, both length and height, imply it should be used with a palm style of play. However, the positioning of the forward and back buttons definitely are designed for a claw grip, because they're too just far back. If we didn't know better we'd have thought the designer had lost their thumb at the joint. They are perfectly placed for a claw grip though, which makes the adjustable back section pointless because nothing ever touches it.
The Ouroboros has been one of the harder things to decide upon an award. The packaging is stunning, the sensor is exceptional, the software brilliant and the buttons have a solid, reassuring click to them. The battery is centrally mounted and uses the common AAs so it's easy to replace if needed. The wireless is probably the best we've experienced and the choice of slender or shelf-style side panels mean it's everything you could want. All things that would lead to a Gold. Except the placement of the side buttons is wrong if you're using a palm style and the adjustable back, and right if you're using a claw style which renders the adjustable back needless. This isn't helped by the adjustability leading to a design that's very much a love it or hate it thing.
If the Ouroboros was priced with other high-end mice at £80 or £90 then we'd be slightly cautious but the positives would be enough. When it's £120 it has to be flawless, and it just isn't. For £120 we'd want to be able to change the colour of the LEDs, and if you're going down the customisation route we want to be able to move the side buttons too. Finally although the changeable side-panels are nice you'll know which you want straight away and the other pair will just gather dust. In the end the Ouroboros is nearly brilliant, but all adjustability leads to compromise and at £120 we don't want any compromises at all, and for that we award it the OC3D Silver Award.
Thanks to Razer for supplying the Ouroboros for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.