Review: Razer Lachesis gaming mouse

The legend — the myth
I’ve always wondered about Razer stuff. Before I touched this mouse, I’d never actually been in the same room as a Razer device. I knew they were respected and their mice considered true precision tools. So I was excited when I got this Lachesis to check out. Unfortunately, I think this has been a poor introduction to the world of Razer.

I now also have a Razer Lycosa keyboard which is excellent (look for a review shortly), so I know the company isn’t full of hot air, but I’m afraid the Lachesis is not a good example of their craftsmanship. First, though, let me tell you what’s good about it.

Yes, very pretty

It is a very good-looking mouse, as you can see. Its form evokes the serpentine theme Razer perpetuates in its products, and build quality is excellent. It is solidly constructed, though to me it felt a bit light and tended to bounce back a bit when stopping. That’s probably because they’ve almost completely eliminated friction from the system. The software it comes with for configuration is a bit frightening at first, but is powerful and thorough when it comes to tweaking everything about the mouse. Even the pulsing light-up logo is configurable, though it tended to flicker a bit when dimming.

It’s too bad, then, that no matter how much I tweaked and how much I tweaked it, the mouse never felt right. There are two reasons for this.

First, the shape of the mouse. If you see one in a store, grab it and you’ll see what I mean. Its bulbous body looks like it should fit one’s hand exactly, but I found that was not the case. If I tried to grasp the mouse around its “waist,” I found my pinky and ring fingers had nothing to rest on, and consequently had to curl uncomfortably around and grasp it on the other side. Gripping it thusly made even a simple click unintuitive. On the other hand (or, I suppose, the same hand), if I moved my hand back to grab it further from the cord, where my hand could hold it more comfortably, clicking was once again difficult and the front thumb button inaccessible. Furthermore, the lack of weight on the mouse made pressing my one available thumb button lift up the mouse slightly.

Second, the placement of the sensor. The mouse is designed for use with either hand, and consequently it is symmetrical and the sensor is dead center and for some reason quite far back towards your palm. This makes the movement unnatural for someone who uses any reasonably high mouse sensitivity, as we make smaller movements with our wrists and fingers, and do not drag the whole mouse all over the place. It leads to a disconnect from the pointer, much like having a badly configured wii-mote. And even after using the mouse for a week straight I still didn’t feel like I was shooting with any precision.

Tragic button
The buttons are also problematic. The placement would be good if they weren’t so damn hard to press. They have a lot of resistance and travel before you get that click. The thumb buttons on my old MX500 were light and clicky, but were just oh-so-slightly out of the way so they weren’t pressed on accident. Your fingers are meant to rest on the buttons of the Lachesis, but they are so stiff that it requires squeezing the entire mouse, and since your fingers are curled around the other side, there’s a good chance you’ll hit the opposite button as well. The scroll wheel is a little heavy but the clicks are solid and the button is relatively easy to push. It still doesn’t come near Logitech’s.

Configuring the mouse was quite easy and setting all the on-the-fly sensitivity/dpi points was a piece of cake. The four 1-10 sensitivities may be too much for some people, but I appreciated them. Profiles are stored in the mouse, so it will take your settings with it, and the automatic application profiling appeared to function just fine. The control panel is cluttered but presents all the information you could want. I could live without the loud glass-breaking noise from the double-click test area, though.

A final word
I look forward to testing other Razer stuff, because I can tell that this mouse is an individual failure. Its design didn’t work for me, but I can tell just by looking that their other mice are more my size and style. This one, however, has a weird shape, stiff buttons, and problematic sensor placement. I have to advise against getting this mouse in particular, but don’t let that taint your impressions of the Razer brand.