Hardware optimize

The Razer Lachesis gaming mouse: The Right Tool for the Job?

TechRepublic contributor Paul Mah dropped by Razer's Singapore office yesterday and got his hands on Razer's new Lanchesis gaming mouse. This hot little item is not yet even available in stores, but the promises of never-before-seen input precision were so dizzying that Paul couldn't wait. He nabbed a mouse from the first batch out of the factory, took it home for a test drive, and sent us his findings that same day.

I dropped by Razer's Singapore office yesterday and got my hands on Razer's new Lachesis gaming mouse. This hot little item is not yet even available in stores, but the promises of never-before-seen input precision were so dizzying that I couldn't wait. I nabbed a mouse from the first batch out of the factory and took it home for a test drive.

Razer Lachesis

The Job

Graphics designers and engineers working in either 2D design or 3D modeling require a level of precision from their input devices not typically found in your run-of-the-mill mouse. Till now, designers and engineers have had to settle for the standard, 800 dpi mouse like the ones used by civilians and, yes, even most IT professionals. However, as the screen resolution of a typical desktop has increased, and multi-monitor setups on a single terminal have become more common, the demand for a higher-resolution input device has also risen. In theory, improved input precision will help graphics and engineering professionals to be more productive with a higher level of accuracy -- as long as the input device delivers on its promises.

The Tool

Razer Lachesis

Enter Razer's Lachesis gaming mouse. Although the Lachesis is primarily targeted at hardcore gamers, we're guessing designers and engineers may find it useful as well. According to Razer's Web site, the cutting-edge Lachesis incorporates a newly developed 3G laser sensor with a sensitivity of 4000 dpi. The standard mouse has an 800 dpi optical sensor, so we're talking about movement at speeds five times faster than that of a standard mouse.

What does this mean in practical use? Well, during my test drive of the device, I found that the high dpi of the Razer Lachesis allowed me to dramatically reduce actual wrist movement while maintaining accuracy. In addition, on-the-fly toggling between various dpi modes allows for that final, precise adjustment even when zoomed in. I saw real productivity gains right from the start.

Razer Lachesis

Here's a summary of my findings after one evening with the Razer Lachesis mouse:

Pros
  • Extreme sensitivity gives you superb control
  • Ability to toggle dynamically between various fine-grained dpi settings via selector button
  • Can completely toggle off all the LED lights on the mouse via driver software for usage in complete darkness (the tracking laser does not emit visible light)
  • Excellent ergonomics
Cons
  • At $79.99, one of the priciest mice on the market
  • The kind of tool that gets stolen from your desk at work
  • ... or "borrowed" by your children at home
The Right Tool for the Job?

I initially wanted to end my mini-review of the Razer Lachesis with a sarcastic, cliche comment, such as: "If you have US$79.99 to spare... go for it." In the end, however, I was won over by the new mouse in spite of its hefty price tag. If you are a serious designer or engineer, you definitely should go for it. The price of purchasing this tool will be quickly recouped in increased productivity after only a few hours' work. The Razer Lachesis is the Right Tool for the Job.

Take a first look at the Razer Lachesis gaming mouse in this image gallery.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

37 comments
henreman
henreman

I own this mouse and since I have bought it, there is one really annoying problem; I cannot put my computer to Stand-by mode!!! It will always re-wake my computer up as soon as it enters stand-by mode. I always have to un-plug the mouse whenever I want my computer to go to Stand-by mode (e.g. when I'm going out). That is really driving my crazy!!! Is there any setting that I can turn this off??

kid_gohan
kid_gohan

This one doesn't need unplugging and replugging when I turn on my pc and it feels really comfy. You can feel the hump of it in your palm but you use your fingertips to move the mouse so kinda both. Been using in on css and got 4-5 headshots in a row i was just laughing so much i couldn't get the last guy.

simon.child
simon.child

Do's it have more than the 2 buttons and the wheel? Do's the wheel tilt left to right? This tool as you guys call it needs the above to be the right tool for either a gamer or a designer. No gamer worth his salts would use a mouse without a back and forward button at least gamers want more buttons. Just took a better look and i can see the buttons but what the hell is that wire doing there? Nothing worse than getting your wire snagged around all the stuff on your desk as your trying to pop a cap / firebolt in to someones head. Is it me or is that mouse ugly looking? Looks more like a rat to me.

a.southern
a.southern

Looks like it uses a white LED. Much better than 'kin blue LEDs. There are a lot of us out here that are Blue Light snesitive (majority of population are blue light insensitive and so don't actually see how bright Blue LEDs are). Us Blue light sensitive people either have to stay away from either "Blue Tooth devices" (I can imagine some by the numbers designers having an in depth discussion "hey, man, it's like BLUEtooth, you know, BLUEtooth, so let's make it a BLUE led, and as bright as we can get it dude!") or take a marker pen around with us to black out the lights on the devices. STOP PUTTING BLUE LEDs ON EVERYTHING. Just becuase you are blind to blue light, doesn't mean we all are. -Andy Southern.

ManfredBaur
ManfredBaur

What about driver support? I have some Razer Products on my shelf that are still waiting for Vista x64 compatible drivers. The best Product is only as good as its drivers.

keydesignz
keydesignz

Does this mouse work properly on a Mac or Linux? Please no - "who cares" comments just because you use Windows.

FXEF
FXEF

You sold me!! Will the Razer Lanchesis gaming mouse work as described in the review with Ubuntu Linux?

dest
dest

I have a Copperhead at the moment and I love it, I can't go back to normal mice. I will definitely be getting this around Christmas time, my only grief is it doesn't look nearly as cool.

wescrook
wescrook

I have a Copperhead and a blue plasma (can't remember the model) and they are awesome! The copperhead lets you store specific profiles for speed, DPI, sensitivity, and the drivers even let you adjust horizontal vs vertical movement speed. Very nice for quick side to side movements in games and slightly slower up and down movements. Plus, I can throw my DPI way up there for games, then lower it again for Windows or other projects. This mouse sounds like it has all the same functionality and more. It's definitely worth it!

ThatScottGuy
ThatScottGuy

I wish I'd had one of those when I was playing Battlefield 1942 in money tournaments! Does it write SQL scripts? No? Shucks. Looks pretty sexy though.

Dr. Tarr
Dr. Tarr

I already use a "Gaming Keyboard" because it gives me extra keys that I can assign functions and macros. I use a 22" "Gaming" monitor, and my Dell XPS was advertised as the ultimate off the shelf gaming rig. Other than Spider solitaire, I don't play games on the computer; I do use it for audio and video rendering and editing, CAD, and doing the math for large scale acoustic designs. It seems that engineers and gamers have more in common that a lot of folks realize, at least when it comes to specifying our computer requirements.

db28
db28

This device is actually called the Razer Lachesis. It is named after the largest pit viper in the world, the Lachesis Muta Muta.

fjp
fjp

Er, I think it's Lachesis (no 'n') as in Greek mythology. It's also written on the packaging.. :-)

haylocks
haylocks

.... graphics work? Accurate selecting and curved line drawing?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

For that reason, performance controllers like high end game gear seems to stick to the wired world. Sure it sucks to have your cable tangled (never happened to me with a good cable layout but anything's possible) but it'll suck much more if you get control lag from the wireless signal stabiligy. Worse still, imagine being in a game session where two or more competitors have the same wireless mouse and start conflicting with each other. (suddenly I want to bring my 2.4 ghz phone to a game competition and see how many wireless bits it blows off the network) You lost me on the moust button bit since this mouse has more than two buttons. I did like the idea of a tilting wheel though.. back forward, down and tilt would be interesting but then the question is; why not just have a scroll nobb rather than wheel?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've not heard of this before so I have to ask the question out of honest interest; what are the effects (signs/symptoms) caused by light on the "blue" wavelength? Is it just uncomfortable to have your eyes bathed in blue light wavelength. Does it lead to headackes like (in my case) being out in bright sunlight for too long in a day? Is it extreme enough to cause a skin reaction or does it just effect visual organs and cortex?

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

Mr. Only Blue light sensitive. What of those of us who suffer from achromatopsia! It is my vote we do away with all manner of light emitting devices entirely. Ostensibly for my own convenience mind you, but also for the greater good of mole kind.

theo
theo

Hi all, I thought I?d poke my head in here, say hello, and answer a few questions some of you have. I run the department at Razer focused on the specs, technology, implementation, and industrial design of our products. As a caveat, I?m neither an engineer nor designer myself and I won?t pretend to know better than you guys what kind of specific mouse performance characteristics are required for these fields. I?ll just explain what problems this mouse solves in gaming specifically, and you can decide whether that applies to you or not. Sensitivity - DPI is the native, hardware-based resolution of your mouse. When you fiddle with, say, your Windows sensitivity slider you?re applying a software interpolation layer to X/Y movement calculations, which can result in mouse movements not correlating exactly to cursor movements. Gamers basically want to set their native DPI as close to their desired sensitivity as possible without the interpolation layer. The 4,000 DPI of Lachesis doesn?t mean it?s intrinsically more accurate, but that it can support up to that DPI natively, which is of course good if you prefer very high sensitivity. What may matter more to most people is the size of the DPI steps that can be natively manipulated, which in the case of Lachesis is 125 DPI steps. Most mice out there jump in 400-800 DPI steps (or more). Speed ? This is where we really achieved the biggest breakthrough with the new 3G laser sensor. Previous laser-based sensors supported up to about 1.5 meters per second mouse movement before yielding cursor errors. That?s now up to 2.5 meters per second. This applies to people who use very low sensitivity for pixel-precise movements, but then need to quickly move the cursor position to the other end of the screen and do so by moving the mouse quickly. Programmability ? I saw a few of you guys touch on this earlier in the thread. Like most of our mice, this one?s fully programmable too. But we?ve added a pretty cool little sleeper feature to this one. You can now default your profile (of key bindings) to a specific executable. So if you have, say, separate profiles for PhotoShop and Firefox you can let the mouse driver know, and it will flip to that profile automatically (even if you?re alt-tabbing back and forth). This is for when gamers (rarely) actually stop playing games to do some work. Accuracy ? Ultimately what matters most is whether the cursor points where you want it to. Metrics like IPS (or m/s) and DPI define precision under specific conditions: e.g. whether you?ll retain accuracy moving at a certain speed, or whether software is interpolating your movements to achieve your desired sensitivity. Unfortunately there?s no clean metric to measure accuracy, so the best we can do is test against reference shapes and movements with robotic arms. Surprisingly, there are specific movements that are very hard for sensors (for example, drawing a series of perfect squares). It?s in these scenario-specific cases where the 3G Laser sensor has really solved most of the lingering accuracy bugs from the older generation laser sensors (the 2000 and 3200 max DPI ones). Mac/Linux ? Basic functionality may work, but the full driver feature set is not supported on either of these OS?s. We do support Mac on our ProClick (you can find it in Apple Stores in the US or on razerpro.com). As for Linux, there hasn?t been a big demand for it in gaming. Do a lot of you guys use it your jobs? Would you be interested in seeing a performance mouse support it? thanks for reading :) -- Theo Sanders (Razer)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I just thought to check the two additional buttons and sure enough, they both work (back/forward) but that's under KDE also so there. Some of the buttons on the gaming mouse may work alread under generic driver also. Hopefully this mouse lives up to the reviews and inspires someone to adapt some drivers too it for non-Windows systems or ideally, the manufacturer releases drivers or specs. I'm still looking to get one for home though. It'll be a monster under the Windows gaming boot and will work at least as well as this mouse under any of my non-windows boots.

jkaras
jkaras

It is called a gaming mouse for marketing purposes. If it was labeled as a CAD mouse it wouldnt sell, especially at that price. Gaming equipment is big money for computer manufacturers. Everyone wants that extra edge in competitive gaming. Does it make a huge difference in gaming? I dont know I havent mustered up the courage to pay a high price for a mouse. It may help a bit but nothing to the effect of increasing your scores dramatically. I could be wrong though. People that game should only spend this high price. From what I gather, gaming mice are not that durable and ware out quite quickly. I have a cheapy optical mouse from Dell and my scores are just as good as others with all the equipment they invest in. Skill is skill. If it makes you money, then hey get it and make life easier.

carareynolds
carareynolds

Right you are! Blog post corrected. Thanks. :-)

HypnoToad
HypnoToad

Dual monitors, wider resolutions, think outside the box.

fbspector
fbspector

I would deffinitely spend the money for this. Currently have spent WAY more on the Wacom tablet. The ability to do editing precisely with a mouse and not have to switch to the tablet ultimately saves time which translates into money for me.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

I do all my drawing with a mouse (nervous disorder makes my hands shake too much for tablet). I've used razor mice for years for this very reason.

carareynolds
carareynolds

Based on Paul's initial test drive with the device, I'm cautiously optimistic about this possibility, but in all honesty I think it's too soon to say. (I wouldn't spend $80 of my own just yet.) I'm looking forward to having Paul or perhaps a professional graphic designer do more extensive testing with this mouse on specific graphics projects.

simon.child
simon.child

bluetooth wireless is a lot more stable for your mice and keyboards(in my expeirences) the range isnt as good but who uses their machine from over 10 meteres away something you cant do with a wired mouse anway. Scoll nob hehe do you mean like the nipple that is present on a mac mouse. It makes me feel dirty.

last.irony
last.irony

Hi, I think you're wrong telling there isn't a big demand for a full linux support for your mouses. Your mouses really rocks, and more and more users play under Linux : lots of very good open-source games, and some good commercial games always come with a linux version (ID Software games, Unreal Tournament, ...). You can take a look at the home-brewed open-source razer configuration tools that some fan users have made for Linux. It's a proof of our need ;) * Copperhead : razertool (http://sourceforge.net/projects/razertool/) * DeathAdder : deathaddercfg (http://bu3sch.de/deathadder.php) So, we definitively need your mouses to be supported in Linux, it's so bad to have a great mouse and cannot use it at its full power :) Thank you, Laurent (sorry for my bad english, i'm french)

ivanong
ivanong

Yes agree - all the mice none the skill - no difference, Yes fell into this same trap 10yrs ago (and still falling for it years after) in the order of : 1)Razor Boomslang 2000dpi 2)Logitechs 2 eye laser mouse (Best still) 3)Razor Diamond Back 1600 4)Logitech G5 laser gaming Version(weight adjustable) 5)Logitech MX518 Gaming mouse And guess what i found out? Its probably 10% mice and 90% hand-eye cordination still. Yeah ... and 5 mice later i still suck at the bread and butter CS. Having said that - becos i suck at it - I proabably still & will pay (In vain hope that the mouse was the cause for 10 years of gaming heartache)that couple of bucks for that dam 4k dpi Lachesis - Sigh !

fjp
fjp

I thought the point about tablets was that they are 'low geared', allowing precision on screen, while the high-res mouse is designed for speed? I'd like to hear from a CAD user...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've kept my current five button mouse simply because there was no reason to upgrade further (no professional gaming or graphic design for humble me). The nine buttons on this alone make it worth considering. It'll also have a good solid design being higher end gaming hardware. Definately a nice chunk of plastic for most serious computer users.

The Listed 'G MAN'
The Listed 'G MAN'

Therefore it has been built for games. Games being the primary job it was designed for. I agree it would be good for other purposes however.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think it was in the context of "I prefer teh keyboard nipple over the track pad for control" and days after it kept making him giggle every time he went to move the mouse pointer on his machine. I've noticed that bluetooth doesn't get blown out by cordless phones while wifi does though both are on 2.4 ghz. That'll kill some of my fun should I ever take the old cordless out too a game session. I think there is still the issue of speed. Wifi is no where near wired for networking speed and I've always figured the same for other wireless radios. With the amount of data transfered by a mouse, it may be negligable but if this is professional combetitive gear then the smallest speed loss won't be acceptable. I'm unsure how the mice with there own dongle and radio protocols work. It's all theoretical for me anyhow as I'm not being sponsord to frag someone a pixel faster than the other guy.

DJWE
DJWE

Just to put in a slightly more optimistic "touch", I have felt that the Microsoft/Razer joint product called Habu is more comfortable to use in games like HL2:2 and the C&C-series as well as in everyday computer use. In fact, it relieved me of some shoulder pains I used to have when using its Microsoft high-sensitivity siblings for to long. I have no realy good explanation for this, except that it just feels smoother and I have to use extremely little force to move it on my 3D-steel textile mat. In addition it has a good software to set the sensitivity etc on the fly. If it is still available it should cost less than half compared to the new Razer one.

MarkWAliasQ
MarkWAliasQ

I also bought various mice and didn't start Pwning in CS until I bought my MS Explorer 3.0 and reduced the in game sensitivity to 3 and below. I use a Razor Copperhead now which is more accurate than the Explorer but the side buttons are poorly positioned and leave no room to rest your thumb beneath. When you get overly exsited in game it is then easy to grab at these buttons by accident. I set both mine to switch to gun which as you can imagine can be a nightmare.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Until the recent explosion of VM programs, all my systems where built against gaming specs. It insured a high end machine that could handle a heavy workload in and out of games. You can be pretty sure that a gaming video card will push 3d and 2d graphics just fine. These days, I build against a gaming/virtualization benchmark. If it can push the latest games and support multiple VMs at booting at the same time then it'll stand up to most of what I through at it. Point is; I wouldn't get hung up on this being a "gaming" mouse only. That just means it's been built to higher specs than your 5$ ps2 mouse in the bargin bin. It was primarily designed with gaming in mind but those same attributes are of value to anyone else who needs very detailed mouse control. After all, I've a G15 primarily designed for gaming but damned if the LCD display, back lit keys and on the fly macro recording doesn't come in handy outside games also. (souriously though; 9 buttons? frag me.. thats.. 18 keys mapped on the left hand and another 9 mapped on the right plus navigation.. oh damn I have to look into one of these monsters)