If you’re sitting at your PC and looking at the mouse under your hand wondering if there’s something better.. the answer is certainly yes. If you’re into gaming or just a mouse that’s fast to aid in increased productivity, then you should take the time to consider what’s out there.
One of the latest entrants on the market is the Razer Viper. This mouse offers some great features at an affordable price point, so those looking for an upgrade should definitely consider it.
I’ve spent the past few weeks with the Razer Viper as my primary mouse and its now time to detail what’s great and what’s not about the gaming mouse.
Curves in all the right places
With a matte black finish, visually interesting segments and multi-coloured logo controlled by Razer’s Chrome Studio, the mouse certianly looks the part for a beginner to intermediate gamer.
The design of the Viper is ambidextrous, which I like from a business perspective and the efficiency that offers to make a single design and have it be used by left and right handed gamers. From a user’s point of view, I much prefer a dedicated right-hand mouse. Given the amount of hours I use a keyboard and mouse per week, the ergonomics matter, a lot.
The design feels comfortable enough and for casual use, I’m sure it’s fine, but as the hours into the night tick by, the mouse needs to feel like a an extension of you hand.
Designing the scale of a mouse is a difficult challenge, given you have to sell to a market of people of all sizes. Hands actually differ dramatically and as a taller person, I’ve got decent sized hands. I find the Razer Viper a little on the small side, but I think most people would be fine.
One of my favourite design elements of the Viper is the cable. Known as a ‘speedflex cable’, the cord had more of a fabric, than plastic feel to it. This makes it a dream to use. Unlike the firm plastic cables found on most wired mice, the cable moves freely, an important attribute in gaming when fine, precise movements are required.
FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE
How does it perform and what features do you get?
Optical Mouse Switch
One of the biggest reasons you’ll buy this mouse is how the clicks feel. The Razer Viper is the first Razer mouse to house Razer’s fastest mouse switches.
Traditional mechanical switches send electrical signals via metallic contact, creating a residual bouncing effect that can introduce multiple signals. To make sure only a single click is registered, a debounce delay is used – resulting in a slower response time.
With Razer’s Optical Switches, no physical contact is required to send an electrical signal – eliminating the need for debounce delay. Using an infrared light beam that passes through a shutter to fire an electrical signal to the computer, the switches respond instantaneously to every finger press. Actuation is achieved at the speed of
light, generating the fastest response time in gaming at 0.2 milliseconds, or around 3 times faster than traditional mechanical switches.
It sounds weird to think about the click of a mouse in this detial, but ensuring the mouse clicks instantly and only when you intend, can be the difference between winning or losing.
By avoiding the mechanical contact for the transmission of electrical signals, the Razer Optical Mouse Switch is less prone to wear and tear from extensive usage. This offers as many as 70 million clicks, as compared to around 50 million for others in the industry.
5G Optical Sensor
I don’t love companies using 5G for non-mobile applications, but in this case, Razer are referring to their 5th generation optical sensor. This now offers a 99.4% tracking accuracy and up to 16,000 DPI.
Despite the more affordable price tag, this mouse features the very same top-end sensor used in the Razer Deathadder.
When switching between driving windows applications, to controlling the camera in your favourite first person shooter, you’ll want to switch easily between at least a couple of DPI settings. To do that, Razer offera DPI switching button in the bottom of the mouse, not the most conveninet, given you may need it multiple times per day.
Thankfully increasing and decreasing the DPI are functions that can be mapped to any of the 8 programmable buttons. I personally went with the buttons on the right side of the mouse which are accessible, albeit fairly difficult to press for a right-handed gamer.
If you do go with the button in the button of the mouse option, it’ll move you through a range of 5 DPIs and a corresponding LED colour. By default, this inlcudes 400 (red), 800 (green), 1800 (blue), 2400 (light blue), 3200 (yellow). These can all be configured in the Razer Synapse desktop software.
Being fast and precise means you want a mouse that is light and tipping the scales at just 69 grams, the Viper is Razer’s lightest wired mouse ever. We’ve all probably picked up the cheap, inlcuded mouse that comes with some PCs. These are too light, so light that they feel like they have no internals. Thankfully Razer’s focus on being light is done so in a way that means the mouse still feels strong in the hand and is light, without feeling cheap. There will be some who have used weighted mice that miss the opportuntiy to adjust the distribution of weights, but at this price point, that’s expecting a little much.
8 Programmable Buttons
Devices really only feel like they’re yours once you customise them. To do that, you simply fire up the Razer Synapse 3 software and set the 8 programmable buttons to your favourite macros and secondary functions to execute your moves with ease. These can be set globally or per game, making it great for those who play across titles.
Not everything’s perfect
With the Razer Viper, they get the basics right, however if I’m going to replace my current mouse, it has to be far better. With the Viper, its symetrical design works for the company to appeal to both right and left handed users. As an owner though, you want a mouse that’s ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hand and that isn’t the Viper.
I also miss the free-wheel option that other mice offer. At the press of abutton, you can flick the scroll wheel and get right to the bottom of a document or web page. This isn’t available with the Viper.
Razer says the DPI button on the bottom is in response to feedback that users don’t want a setting that can be induced accidentally. Ok, they’ve come up with a response to that, but I think a recessed button, or capacitive button you had to hold for 3 seconds would have been a better response.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
Before we get the price tag, it’s important to reflect on exactly what’s on offer here.
- Razer 5G Advanced Optical Sensor with true 16,000 DPI
- Up to 450 inches per second (IPS)/ 50 G acceleration
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- 69g lightweight ambidextrous design
- Razer Optical Mouse Switches with 70 million clicks life cycle
- Razer Speedflex cable
- Onboard DPI Storage (Up to 5 DPI stages)
- Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel
- Razer Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
- Eight independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
- Razer Synapse 3 enabled
- Approximate size: 126.73 mm / 4.99 in (Length) x 66.2 mm / 2.61 in (Width) x
37.81 mm / 1.49 in (Height)
- Approximate weight (excluding cable): 69 g / 0.15 lbs.
- Cable length: 2.1 m / 6.89 ft
If you’re looking for a new gaming mouse, you’re really spoilt for choice right now. There’s so many available, that a mouse really does have to offer a great combination of features and value to win your dollars.
The Viper from Razer is a solid offering, but does have some issues that mean it’s not right for me personally. The Viper does have one big trump card and that is it’s manufacturer. Razer is a brand that you may already have products from. If you do, you’re likely already leveraging their RGB lighting platform to customise your hardware to represent your team, or your favourite colours. It is for this reason that the Razer Viper gaming mouse will likely appeal to more customers than it otherwise would with the same set of features with another logo.
If you’re looking for a gaming mouse and are getting into eSports, then check out the Viper, but for those already into their eSports careers, it’s likely you have something better on your desk right now.