If I've learned anything in my experiences both reviewing peripherals and discussing them with friends, especially gamers, it's that if keyboards are particular to the individual, mice are even more so. A good friend of mine and I swore by the Logitech G500 for completely different reasons: I liked the texture and freewheel, he liked the adjustable weight.

Today I have on hand two shiny new mice from steelseries and Razer: the Sensei Raw and Ouroboros, respectively. The Sensei Raw is priced on the upper end of gaming mice at $59, while the Ouroboros is a ridiculously high end beast costing a staggering $149.

steelseries Sensei Raw

If I had to peg the steelseries Sensei Raw as anything, I'd label it as a high end Microsoft IntelliMouse. Old school gamers will know what I'm talking about; when optical mice were in their infancy (and Razer elected to continue shipping ball mice until optical sensor technology had improved), the IntelliMouse was a big deal.

The Sensei Raw is ambidextrous and features two buttons on each side. I'd recommend against the glossy finish model (the one I have in for review), as for me it's an unpleasant texture once my hand starts getting clammy. But sensitivity is anecdotally stellar, the "CPI toggle" basically lets you switch between two user configurable sensitivities, and the illumination is both user configurable and subtle even on its highest setting. The bottom surfaces are smooth, though, and glide very well even on an old, beat up mousepad.

Where I think the Sensei Raw falls apart a little is in the software, which is extremely limited compared to the more robust and polished offerings from Razer and Logitech, and in overall build quality. You do get control of the basics and some fairly robust macro programming, but there's no on-the-fly profile switching. I get the sense that this is the Clevo Notebook of mice: powerful internal electronics in a middling shell.

Overall it's a lighter mouse at just 90 grams, and it's rated at 5700 "counts per inch" and a 1000Hz polling rate, so I get the feeling that for a twitch gamer or someone who needs extra precision, it's probably going to be a good fit. Southpaws who rightfully refuse to adapt are liable to appreciate it. The $59 price tag seems just a little steep, but this is a worthwhile option and definitely a worthy successor to users who miss the IntelliMouse of old.

Razer Ouroboros

Coming in at the complete opposite side of the spectrum is Razer's flagship Ouroboros, a $149 combination wired/wireless mouse similar to Logitech's G700s but with a mountain of extra trimmings.

In terms of feel, Razer breaks away from their standard rubberized grip towards what I consider a more breathable matte plastic. This is an ambidextrous design that features two buttons on each side, and the side panels themselves can be removed and replaced with wings if you're the type of mouser who gets irritated with your pinky or thumb brushing your mousing surface. The palm rest can also be both height and length adjusted using a small dial on the bottom of the mouse. Razer claims a maximum sensitivity of 8200dpi with what they call their "4G Sensor," which is a dual laser and optical sensor capable of also reading z-height and "calibrating" to the mousing surface you're using.

Since this is a combination wired/wireless mouse, it's heavier than a corded mouse due to the included battery. I found wireless latency for the most part imperceptible, but interestingly, Razer doesn't allow any wireless power adjustment the way Logitech does on the G700s (useful for conserving battery life). The charging dock is connected by mini-USB and performs double duty as the wireless receiver. I'm perplexed as to why you have to pair the Ouroboros with its receiver, though. Suspecting bluetooth, I tried pairing the mouse directly with my Alienware M17x R3, but no such luck. If Razer is indeed using a form of bluetooth with the Ouroboros, this is most definitely a missed opportunity.

The Razer Synapse 2.0 software offers a tremendous level of configurability in a fairly intuitive interface, allowing you to specify how the mouse sensitivity may be adjusted on the fly, switch profiles, configure backlighting, program macros, and generally program the mouse to function however you like. This software is global across all of Razer's products, which is greatly appreciated; Corsair, steelseries, and Roccat are still using individual drivers for their peripherals, while Logitech has only recently unified everything under their G series driver. Unfortunately, the fly in the ointment continues to be Razer's requirement of an account and log-in for the software. While the cloud support is a useful feature, it should be opt-in and not mandatory.

Yet despite all of these trimmings, I'm incredibly underwhelmed by the Ouroboros. One of the sacrifices made for adjustability is the series of broken surfaces along the top and sides, and these surfaces have edges that are uncomfortable to the sides of my fingers. And for all the adjustability, I just can't get it particularly comfortable in my hand. It's nowhere near the disaster Thermaltake's Level 10 M is, but it's definitely a major step down from the Logitech G700s I use as my daily. This is an issue of personal preference, though, and other users may find it vastly superior.

The press kit is impressive to say the least.

What I find most troublesome are the middling glide surfaces on the bottom of the mouse (which were clearly designed for high end mousepads and little else) and the fact that there are no basic hardware switches/buttons for pairing or powering the mouse on or off. To pair it, you have to squeeze the four side buttons at the same time until it goes into pairing mode. To power it on or off, you have to simultaneously hold down the two buttons under the mouse wheel. This is more trouble than it needs to be, it's not convenient, and these buttons have functions. When my G700s needs to travel, I flip it over and switch it off. I don't hold the sensitivity buttons, hope I don't accidentally tweak the sensitivity on the fly, and then wait three seconds for it to power off.

And that's kind of where I'm at with it. Recognizing that these are very personal devices, I still feel like at $149 I shouldn't be able to nitpick anything. But Razer's Synapse 2.0 software, despite the functionality being excellent, still frustrates me with its mandatory online account; meanwhile my G700s has had all of its functionality programmed and stored on the mouse's on board memory, so I don't even have to install the G series software ever again; cloud be damned, all of my settings just go where the mouse goes. The adjustable grip is nice, but you're still going to have to determine whether or not the feel is right for you, and either way there's no reason Razer couldn't have a smoother glide on the Ouroboros.

With all that in mind, though, there are undoubtedly going to be users that will absolutely adore the Ouroboros. It's not the ultimate wireless gaming mouse, but it's a very strong contender. I just have a hard time recommending it when Logitech's already high end G700s can be found for at least $60 cheaper, and when at the end of the day, I'd personally rather use the G700s.



View All Comments

  • psuedonymous - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately, the fly in the ointment continues to be Razer's requirement of an account and log-in for the software. While the cloud support is a useful feature, it should be opt-in and not mandatory.
    Razer are still pulling that nonsense?

    I'm glad Sixense cut their ties with Razer and went independent (and issue their own drivers for the Hydra). While Razer continue to require a phone-home to active a damn driver they're not getting another penny from me.
  • teiglin - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    Totally agree with this. I have an old (pre-Synapse 2.0) BlackWidow Stealth and used for years an Imperator, but when the latter had a button start to crap out, I replaced it with a G500 and haven't looked back. Razer makes some good kit, and I haven't had the reliability issues some people seem to, but they've gotten way too heavy-handed with this crap, and as a consumer, I just decided to say no. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    it's 2013 everything is tied to the cloud nowadays. people are just gonna have to start learning to deal with it. Same with removable batteries in cell phones and micro sd expandable storage, Physical Video Game Disc, ect.....

    just get used to it, razer will continue to be successful and sell thousands of these devices rather you two buy one or not. You just have to sit down and figure out if your pride is worth missing out on the latest and greatest.
  • Tams80 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - link

    I refuse to 'deal with it' and will vote with my wallet by buying a product that does what I want it to do.

    'Dealing with it' does not lead down a good path.
  • JPForums - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    it's 2013 everything is tied to the cloud nowadays. people are just gonna have to start learning to deal with it.

    That's not the way it works. They are a company and I am a consumer. They are trying to sell me a product. If what they offer doesn't suit me, I don't buy. If a large enough group decides not to buy for an identifiable reason, then they are compelled to address that reason. However, whether they address it or not in the future has no bearing on the fact that what they offer doesn't suit me now. When there are so many high quality alternatives from the likes of Logitech, Roccat, etc. there is no reason for me to just "deal with it".

    You just have to sit down and figure out if your pride is worth missing out on the latest and greatest.

    Actually, it has very little to do with a consumer's pride and more to do with the pride of the company when they risk sales by forcing unnecessary requirements on its customers. Furthermore, it is arguable at best (and mostly preference) whether Razer mice qualify as greatest. Even for people who prefer them, I'm willing to bet there is a comparable product from another manufacturer that will suit them just fine if the requirements Razer imposes are a show stopper.

    Why does this bug you anyways? If enough people use alternate mice, Razer would either be compelled to make the offending feature optional (which doesn't hurt you) or lower their prices due to lack of demand (which hurts you even less). What interests do you have in forcing cloud on people who don't want it?
  • Squishygiblets - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    I agree completely. I use a G700s and couldn't be happier. I "test drove" the Ouroboros and while it was a nice mouse, it wasn't $150 nice. Also not a huge fan of the Razer software and having to make an account / log in every time. Reply
  • SLOB - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    I've had more Razer peripherals crap out in seven months than I've had Logitech in seven years.

    Just say no to overpriced hunks of junk.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    As long as we're confusing anecdotes for data: Both of my Razer mice are going strong after several years of use. Of the 4 logitech mice I've had in the last 7 one is dead and the wireless on it and two others has had occasional glitches since I opened the box. The only mouse of theirs I haven't had problems with is an old low end wired red LED model that still works like new. Reply
  • aarste - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    My Razer Abyssus has started getting sticky after 2 years, the rubber coating is coming off I think. Unfortunately I made it worse by cleaning it with washing up liquid then trying isoprophl alcohol in an attempt to remove the stickyness. Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    No thanks.. I stopped buying Razer stuff a while ago. Pretty much everything already discussed here is valid knocks against Razer and some of the reasons why they lost my business. Reply

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