For a product that isn’t given the same billing as Razer’s headline brands, like the Deathadder, it’s pretty astonishing how good the company’s revision of the Orochi wireless mouse is.
There’s a lot of gaming mice out on the market, but they both suffer from a couple of problems. Firstly, many are targeted at the ultra hardcore gamers, especially the wireless offerings. The trend of honeycomb chassis isn’t for everyone, and most of the wireless mice on the market have generally been on the larger side.
If your hand is on the smaller size (especially for a lot of women, who often get ignored completely when it comes to the peripheral market), or you wanted a wireless gaming mouse that could also serve really well with laptops or an office environment, there wasn’t a lot that fit the bill really well. Also, good wireless mice could be really expensive.
So after a ton of lobbying and a bit of working servicing what they saw as the larger parts of the market, Razer took all the good work they’d done elsewhere and started focusing on something a little … smaller.
Available in black or white for $114.95 directly through the Razer store, the Orochi V2 is the second revision of Razer’s mobile-centric gaming mouse. The Orochi was meant to be used for people travelling who wanted a good mouse for gaming while they were stuck on work trips or away from home. It was small enough to tuck away in a bag, didn’t have any flashy RGB, and supported both bluetooth and wireless connections for ease of use.
The Orochi V2 has all those features as well, but the internals have been upgraded substantially. The latency from Razer’s in-house sensors and their HyperSpeed wireless tech is basically indistinguishable from any wired mouse — my click tests of the battery-powered Orochi V2 returned results as fast as the wired Viper and Viper Mini mice, and the difference against the Logitech G Pro Wireless was negligible. (The latest revisions of the Razer Viper Ultimate are a fraction faster courtesy of their updated optical switches, but beyond that the Orochi’s mechanical internals are just as fast as any other gaming mouse today.)
A main design choice with the Orochi is the use of a AA or AAA battery. Using batteries does increase the weight of the Orochi V2 by quite a bit, from 60 grams to 65 grams (with an AAA battery) or 75 grams (with a AA battery). Some clever users have already modded the Orochi to use button cell batteries to counter this; others have been even cheekier, going as far to use tinfoil to wedge the lighter AAA battery into the AA slot. If you do opt for the heavier battery, which I’ve done, you’ll get longer life. Razer has quoted a maximum battery life of 425 hours over 2.4GHz, which is the better connection for gaming, while Bluetooth usage can last as long as 950 hours with a AA. I haven’t been able to max out the battery yet with the time I’ve had, but it’s been running perfectly fine for more than 8 hours a day over the last fortnight or so, and I’ve found the greater weight of the AA battery is better for weight distribution (because the AA slot is more central).
All of this is possible, incidentally, because Razer made the Orochi V2 so moddable to begin with. Most mice have their screws on the underside of the mouse, typically hidden under the mouse feet. The front cover of the Orochi V2 flips out entirely, which is where you’ll find the wireless receiver when taking the mouse of the box for the first time. (This also helps Razer save space on packaging, which is another bonus.)
And because that front cover is removable, it opens up all kinds of artistic and 3D printed possibilities. Razer knew this in advance, and in international markets users can buy the Orochi through the Razer Customs store, unlocking a whole suit of seriously cool covers. (I’d totally go the white/purple trees on the far left of the photo below if it was available here.)
Sadly in Australia, all we can get is the bog-standard white and black. It’s not a matte black, mind you. The outside has a slight texturing that feels good underhand, and there’s no rubber that’s liable to wear out and get sticky in hot Australian summers. The side buttons of the Orochi are well pronounced, so you won’t struggle to find them with your thumb, but they also have a good amount of rigidity so you won’t press them by accident.
What’s actually most impressive about the wireless Razer egg is the chassis design. The left side has a perfectly-sized indent for your thumb, and there’s just a slight inward curve on the left and mouse buttons for your fingers. The right side of the mouse, meanwhile, juts out a little bit further to provide a perfect rest for your fourth and fifth fingers as they curve over the sides.
I’m calling this out because this design makes the Orochi way more comfortable in the hand than what you’d expect from a mouse this small. It’s basically the opposite of what Logitech did with the original G Pro mouse and the G203, which doesn’t have the same comfort grooves.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Some users have had to send their Orochi V2 mice back to Razer after some mice shipped with uneven mouse feet, preventing the mouse from sitting flat or wobbling. To their credit, however, Razer have been super responsive about honouring all RMA requests immediately, and the review sample I received has had no issues whatsoever.
The Orochi’s sensor placement also takes some getting used to, as it’s much higher up than what most mouse have. The default mouse feet are pretty good, and the Orochi has onboard memory, so you can apply your settings and then delete Razer’s software suite if you choose. (It will ask you to restart your PC when installing the Razer drivers, however.)
But what’s really surprising about all of this is that the Orochi is just really well priced. If you wanted a good wireless mouse for gaming, a lot of manufacturers would happily charge you $120, $150, sometimes over $200. And while the Orochi V2 has an extra cost with the use of batteries, it’s also liable to get some nice discounts throughout the year, as Razer often does with all its products in the Australian market.
So if you were after a good wireless gaming mouse that wasn’t built like a tank, or you just wanted a smaller wireless mouse that works in different settings, the Orochi V2 is surprisingly capable. Razer hasn’t given this the sort of fanfare that it would devote to some of its other high-profile peripherals, but maybe they should have: it’s genuinely one of the best things they’ve made in years.