With a recent trend toward more affordable gaming laptops, it's no surprise that peripheral-makers are jumping onto the bandwagon to create accessories for a market clearly in need of more portable gear. Razer, one of the more prominent makers of gaming mice and keyboards, has made its Orochi mouse for just such a customer. Usable in both wireless Bluetooth and wired USB modes, the sleek black mouse has a comfortable rubberized grip, plenty of customizable buttons, and a sensitivity of up to 4000dpi. At $79.99, is it worth the investment? We have to admit, there seems to be very little lost in translation with this sized-down Razer mouse. It all depends on whether you like a mouse to be a little larger in the hand, or can work with a smaller form like the Orochi.
First of all, be forewarned that the Orochi's at its most hyper-accurate in wired USB mode only. In Bluetooth mode, the Orochi's resolution drops down to 2000dpi--absolutely fine for any basic mouse user, but a dip nonetheless. A fabric-sheathed USB cable plugs below the scroll wheel at the front of the mouse, seamlessly integrating into the Orochi. When plugged in, the mouse can be programmed to map any of its two main buttons, four side buttons (two left, two right), and scroll wheel with features, including a macro recorder that also accounts for key-press timing. It's nice that the mouse supports left- and right-handed gamers with its symmetric design, and the smooth, grippy surface of the Orochi feels comfortable.
Setting up the Orochi was as simple as plugging it in and downloading the latest Razer driver from the Web site, which brought up advanced customization controls (the mouse also worked without downloading the drivers, but couldn't be customized). In addition to resolution, acceleration and polling rate can also be adjusted. Snapping off the top and adding two AA batteries for wireless power was effortless. The Razer Orochi comes with a zippered neoprene pouch for easy carrying, and, as a total package, we liked it quite a bit. Although we'd be hard-pressed to explain who's enough of a gamer to be desperately in need of a portable mouse with such very high sensitivity, it's still a top choice for anyone looking for a high-performance mouse in a small package.
We tested the Orochi on a bare desk surface and on the $19.99 Razer Kabuto microfiber mouse pad, which also doubles as a keyboard/screen protector insert for laptops. The Kabuto gave it superior performance, and wouldn't be a bad pickup if you're a gamer perfectionist.
The Razer Orochi works with Windows XP, Vista and 7, as well as Mac OS X.