Most of you guys probably already know all about Razer and their gaming mice. Today I will be taking a look at the newest addition to the Razer lineup namely the Lachesis. The Lachesis is probably one of the most hyped mice at the moment due to its third generation laser sensor. It seems that Razer has skipped second generation sensors in favor of going with a completely new type of sensor technology. The third generation laser sensor that the Lachesis sports has a maximum resolution of 4000 DPI (Dots Per Inch) which should be enough to satisfy even the most hardcore high sensitivity gamer.
With this so called third generation sensor Razer hopes to conquer some of the many pitfalls associated with laser sensors. According to Razer's own home page the 4000 DPI sensor is capable of maintaining coherent tracking up to around 100 IPS (Inches Per Second) which is a lot compared to current second generation laser sensors employed in mice like the Logitech G9 and upcoming Saitek Cyborg mouse.
Another interesting aspect of the Razer Lachesis is the somewhat unorthodox symmetrical design. Let's see if this all new mouse is the revolution that Razer will have us believe.
The specifications listed on Razer's home page for the Lachesis:
- 4000 DPI Razer Precision 3G Laser™ sensor
- 32KB Razer Synapse™ onboard memory
- Nine independently programmable Hyperesponse™ buttons
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
- On-The-Fly Sensitivity™ adjustment
- Variable true dpi setting adjustments in increments of 125dpi
- Always-On™ mode
- Ultra-large non-slip buttons
- 16-bit ultra-wide data path
- 60-100 inches per second*
- Ambidextrous design
- Scroll wheel with 24 individual click positions
- Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon feet
- Gold-plated USB connector
- Seven-foot, lightweight, non-tangle cord
- Approximate size: 129mm (length) x 71mm (width) x 40mm (height)
As with most recent Razer products the Lachesis gaming mouse comes in a black cardboard box. If you open the front of the package you can inspect the mouse for any visible faults. One of the main features of the Lachesis is its 4000 DPI third generation laser sensor that you can read all about on the package.
On the back and side of the package you can read a lot about the features of the Lachesis. Right from its symmetrical design to its state-of-the-art laser sensor. When it comes to specifications the Lachesis seems to be well ahead of its competition both when it comes to shear sensor performance and usable features. The Lachesis has way fewer gimmicks per square inch than the Logitech G9 and the much debated Microsoft Sidewinder mouse.
One of the things that I have always appreciated with the current generation of Razer mice is the bundle. You get everything you need to install and maintain the mouse. As you may already have noticed the Lachesis doesn't feature any form of weight or size adjustment which means that you can't customize the Lachesis as much as, i.e. the Microsoft Sidewinder or Logitech G9. I have owned several mice with weight adjustment kits and the likes. I found that most mice either perform or they don't, the customizable weight systems are just a marketing gimmick. I know some of you probably swear by either a heavy or light mouse, but if you just try using the mouse with the same weight for a while I bet that you will find that the weight of the mouse is irrelevant to a certain degree.
I think it is safe to say that the new Razer Lachesis doesn't look anything like the other recently reviewed Razer mice. The "Batmobile" looks are accentuated by the rather odd combination of curves and slopes that run along the full length of its body. The basic shape of the Lachesis reminds me a bit of the old Razer Boomslang because it had the same tight back body that curved outwards towards the buttons and scroll wheel. What really sets the Lachesis apart from the other high DPI Razer mice is the fact that it's way wider which should make it more comfortable, at least in theory.
The Lachesis is the newest high DPI mouse from Razer which is clearly aimed at high sensitivity gamers due to its shape and performance specifications. What surprised me a lot was the fact that the new 4000 DPI sensor from Razer can produce coherent tracking even at the speeds in excess of 60 IPS (Inches Per Second). Back in the day when the laser sensors first hit the market the first performance feature to suffer was in fact high speed tracking, in favor of a sensor which had a higher resolution. Now after a couple of years after their initial release we begin to see the first laser sensors able to compete with optical sensors in that part of the performance specter. This is of course a pleasant surprise because it undoubtedly will allow people using a low to medium sensitivity to benefit from laser sensor technology.
The most odd design feature of the Lachesis is by far high palm plate that looks so strange at first glance.
The whole design of the front section of the mouse is pretty similar to what we have seen on the latest generation of Razer performance gaming mice. The scroll wheel is still illuminated with a blue LED and placed dead center along with the rigid cord mount. The only new addition featured on the front of the Razer Lachesis is the arrival of designated DPI up and down buttons which should help to make DPI switching in-game even easier and faster. The buttons are placed a bit closer to your palm than the scroll wheel, but they are still within reach and easily accessible.
The scroll wheel area on the mouse looks quite clean. Razer has opted for a solution where you have a couple of buttons right in front of the scroll wheel (looking at it from your palm). The buttons are usually used to alter the sensitivity or DPI setting of the sensor, but can be reassigned through the driver to pretty much every key you want them to replicate.
If we take a look at the mouse from the side it's pretty evident that Razer has tried to create something radically different from their other mice. What is interesting to note is the fact that the palm plate is raised quite a lot compared to the Diamondback and Copperhead. Since the Lachesis is a symmetrical mouse you get two sets of side buttons. These thumb buttons on either side are quite firm and have a really short travel length. The buttons themselves are really firm and feel durable because they don't give way to pressure like, i.e. buttons on a Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0.
When it comes to build quality the Lachesis is no let down either. It's probably one of the best built Razer mice, and everything seems to be very well constructed from a durability point of view.
As with pretty much all available Razer mouse today the Lachesis features a bulky gold plated USB connector. Both the connector and the cord assembly on the mouse are a pretty sturdy construction.
The Lachesis features some of Razer's brilliant soft Teflon feet. They are a bit thicker and a bit softer than what the competition uses. For normal use on a mouse pad the Teflon feet work flawlessly, but take note that they will wear down relatively fast if the mouse is used on a normal hard wood desk and they are quite difficult to replace once worn down due to their strange shape. When you have gone through a pair of Razer mouse feet you are only left with two options: 1. buy a new one, or 2. buy some gaming grade mouse feet Teflon (since nobody produces precut kits for the Lachesis yet).
Another interesting feature that the Razer Lachesis sports is 32 KBs of internal non-volatile memory used for storing profile data. Since the mouse lets you store sensitivity and DPI settings within the mouse you can actually access these settings even when the mouse is plugged into a computer without the proper driver installed. This is a really neat feature if you often format your hard drive or want to use the same mouse with more than one PC.
The most revolutionary feature of this particular mouse is by far its state-of-the-art laser engine. The sensor has the maximum resolution of a whooping 4000 DPI which is 800 DPI more than any of the competing mice in this market segment. Now DPI isn't the only performance aspect of the sensor that Razer has managed to increase with the Lachesis. Also the ability to produce coherent tracking is much improved over last generation laser mice. The Lachesis sensor is said to be able to track movement accurately at 60-100 IPS, which makes it the first laser sensor to be usable for low to medium sensitivity gamers, at least theoretically.
The length and width of the Lachesis is pretty much the same as the DeathAdder and Diamondback. However, the shape and curvature of the shell is radically different. The bulky back end and flat front makes the Lachesis feel unnatural compared to mice like the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 or the DeathAdder.
The bundled software suite works just like any other driver that Razer has coupled with their latest generation of gaming mice. You have all of the essential controls on the main screen. For all other more advanced functions you just expand the advanced functions tab. This will allow you to control every aspect of the mouse's performance.
The main driver screen is composed of several key features of the mouse. At the top you have all of the regular button assignment features that one might need when tweaking a mouse for one's preference. Personally I think that the button assignment that Razer includes to be very well suited for both gaming and Photoshop use since you can assign macros to all of the buttons. Besides that the standard functions the driver lets you assign cover all your basic needs completely.
Further down on the main driver screen we find some of the more unusual driver features such as profile controls and light options. As with the Diamondback 3G the driver lets you turn of the scroll wheel and Razer Logo lights. The profile lets you save and store profiles directly on the mouse in its onboard memory.
As with all Razer drivers you can adjust both polling rate and DPI setting of the mouse. The real innovation behind the DPI switch on the Lachesis is that it lets you alter the DPI setting of the sensor in 125 DPI increments. This feature is unique to the Razer Lachesis and you won't find a feature like this on any other mouse on the market today. The native scaling options on this third generation sensor also means that the sensor should have the exact same tracking characteristics at all DPI settings, as opposed to most normal mice that alter tracking characteristics depending on DPI setting.
Overall the third generation laser sensor is a much more mature and fully fledged technology than the second generation.
By expanding the "Advanced Settings" tab in the driver you get a lot of functionality that's essential if you want to get the most out of your mouse. One of the most valuable options is the mouse acceleration control. In order to get consistent tracking you need to turn this feature off, otherwise precision will be compromised. Now acceleration control isn't the only feature hidden away in the "Advanced Settings" tab. In the advanced section you can also fine-tune the sensitivity per axis and Windows pointer speed. Because the sensitivity control increments are so small you can tweak it to fit your style of play very accurately.
Storing a profile on the mouse is a relatively easy task. All you do is setup sensitivity and buttons and then use the drop down menu to locate a vacant slot in the memory. Then you just point and click and the profile is stored on the mouse. If you want to change the active profile you don't even have to enter the driver software all you got to do is press the "Profile button" on the bottom of the mouse and it lets you go through all of the profiles stored on the onboard memory.
The performance of a mouse is always hard to judge objectively because there are so many unknowns. What I try to focus on in my performance tests is if the mouse can produce coherent tracking at both high and low speeds and that the acceleration and mouse movement in game matches the moves I am doing on the mat. To further test the capabilities of modern sensory technology I do all of the tests at different DPI settings since this sometimes has a huge impact on the sensors performance.
Besides the obvious performance details like tracking under acceleration and precision I also test what the lift-off distance is while using several different mouse mats just to get an idea how the surface impacts the mouse.
When buying a mouse one should always be aware that a good high sensitivity mouse will not always be good for medium or low sensitivity gamers because the performance demands at different sensitivities differ a lot.
For testing purposes I use the following equipment: SteelSeries S&S, Razer Mantis Speed / Fnatic Everglide Titan mouse mat, NOIDpad Eclipse (3.5 mm thickness).
To start off with I entered CounterStrike:Source to test the Lachesis in a fast paced First-Person-Shooter game. At the beginning the shape of the mouse bothered me a lot due to the rather odd shape of the shell I just couldn't get a good enough grip for the mouse to be playable at low sensitivity. This is actually pretty annoying because when you play with low sensitivity you tend to move the mouse around a lot and lift it to the center of one’s mouse mat. And when you feel as if you could lose grip of the mouse any second it removes your focus from the game. Of course this isn't all the mouse fault I have a fairly large hand, but it's definitely something you should consider when buying this mouse, the bigger the hand the worse the shape becomes for low sensitivity gaming.
Even though the shape of the mouse wasn't ideal for low sensitivity gaming the sensor functioned really well. The lift-off distance was about the same as my Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 and nothing like last generation laser mice where you have to lift it like 3 cm off the table. I tried measuring it and I came to the conclusion that the lift-off distance for the new 4000 DPI sensor is about 1.5-2 mm, of course depending on the nature of the mouse mat you are running it on. The fact that the lift-off distance is really small even compared to standard optical or infrared mice is a real breakthrough and could mean that we will see laser based mice aimed at low to medium sensitivity gamers the next year.
As I bumped up the overall sensitivity by increasing the DPI of the sensor it became more and more clear to me that the sensor of the mouse is perfect for high sensitivity gaming. Even though the DPI of the mouse was maxed out, the tracking was still flawless and precise. Sometimes with high DPI mice you have a small, almost delay-like movement at the beginning of a movement, but with the Lachesis it felt spot on all the time. The general shape of the mice works best if you only use your fingertips to move the mouse around if you try to grip it like an ordinary mouse it will be uncomfortable and feel awkward.
This mouse will without a doubt suit most medium to high sensitivity gamers with ordinary sized hands just fine, but at low sensitivity the shape of the shell will inhibit you from getting a decent gaming experience because it feels awkward and less precise than a normal shaped mouse.
The laser sensor is placed almost dead center and the mouse feels quite balanced to use at any sensitivity.
After using this mouse for a week I'm confident that this mouse is one of the best mice for high sensitivity gaming on the market today, perhaps only rivaled by the highly customizable Logitech G9. The tracking capabilities of the Lachesis are far beyond that of traditional laser mice and don’t have the usual flaw of a high lift-off distance. Besides that the sensor seems to perform equally well at any DPI setting which makes it easy to tweak the sensitivity to exactly your needs.
The Lachesis's odd shape makes it almost unbearable to play with for a low sensitivity gamer. The shape makes it impossible to get a decent gaming experience because you need to maintain a firm and controllable grip. It's clear that the Lachesis's shape wasn't intended for people who use low sensitivity. Strangely enough the shape of the Lachesis functions really well once you turn up the sensitivity and only use fingertip actions to control the mouse. Because you are only using your fingertips to control the mouse the base of your palm can actually rest on the odd positioned palm support on the mouse and you are able to get a comfortable gaming experience.
In other words the only people who will be able to appreciate the shape and function of this mouse are medium to high sensitivity gamers.
The Lachesis mouse is one of the best built Razer mice to date. All of the buttons feel firm and well bonded to the mouse. Since the Lachesis uses the same type of top coat as the DeathAdder you can scratch it with a nail if you are unlucky. My main concern is that the soft and performance wise brilliant mouse feet will wear down relatively quick. When comparing them to the mouse feet on my new Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 they seem rather thin.
Value & Conclusion
- The Razer Lachesis is available at Razerzone for $79.99.
- The best laser sensor on the market by far
- Killer looks
- Lots of buttons
- Adjustable DPI in 125 DPI increments!
- 4000 DPI max resolution
- Balanced performance throughout its DPI range
- Excellent drivers
- Ergonomics (not the best mouse for low sensitivity gamers or people with large hands)
The Lachesis sets the benchmark for all high sensitivity mice with its 4000 DPI sensor that can be adjusted in 125 DPI increments. The fact that the performance of the sensor scales so well makes it easy to adjust to because it performs equally well at all DPI settings. One of the performance aspects of the new 4000 DPI laser sensor that shocked me the most was the fact that Razer has managed to overcome the problematic high lift-off distance that most second generation laser mice have. With a lift-off distance on most surfaces of only 2 mm the Lachesis is almost as good as an old optical mouse in that particular aspect and actually pulls ahead of the infrared sensor equipped Razer mice.
It's clear that Razer has solved a lot of the problems with laser sensors in the Lachesis and has successfully created a mouse that suits medium to high sensitivity gamers perfectly.
The comfort level achievable with the Lachesis is quite good if you have a normal sized hand and only use your fingertips to control the mouse. I wouldn't recommend this mouse to any low sensitivity gamer because of the shape, it simply doesn't work well when you place your hand on top of it due to the placement of the palm support.
Overall the Razer Lachesis is a remarkable mouse for medium and high sensitivity gamers that features a uniquely performing laser sensor that promises a lot, and delivers.