Razer Viper Ultimate Review
Over the course of the past few months we've seen a number of really exciting gaming mice being dropped on the market, and it seems like the race to innovate and push boundaries is fiercer now than ever before. A while ago Razer released the Viper: a well-received lightweight gaming mouse that perhaps went a bit unnoticed in a sea of other (lightweight) releases.
The same can't be said for the Viper Ultimate, however. From the moment it was first leaked, enthusiasts started licking their lips at the possibility of a lightweight wireless gaming mouse to contend with the ever-popular Logitech G Pro Wireless. A short while ago the Razer Viper Ultimate was announced and subsequently released. With a brand new sensor, optical switches, a bunch of interesting features (including the fact that it's wireless) and a weight of just 74 grams Razer definitely hasn't been making any compromises, so it's no surprise that a lot of gamers are giddy with excitement about this one.
Is the Viper Ultimate all that it promises to be? Could it be the ultimate gaming mouse? Read our reviewer's report to find out.
"The wireless speed on this mouse is really fast and it doesn't feel like I am playing on wireless. The sensor is very accurate too which is important when you need to kill your opponents fast."Taco, CS:GO pro, on Razer's website
Razer Viper Ultimate - First Impressions
There is a lot to unpack about this mouse, and I mean that literally as well as figuratively. The device itself looks very sleek and 'stealthy,' with the little cutout between the shell and the main buttons being a noticeable design element. The RGB factor comes in the form of a programmable Razer logo at the back of the mouse. What's cool here is that, if you turn that lighting zone off, the logo becomes almost invisible.
The Viper Ultimate comes with a charging cable that you can plug straight into the mouse so that you can keep playing while you're charging the mouse, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that since you also get an amazing charging dock. This dock doubles as a receiver extender: there's room for the USB dongle to be plugged in on the top so that your receiver is right next to your pad at all times. It's a really cool way to combine two actually useful functions, and even the RGB (it has a strip all along the bottom of the unit) serves a purpose, as you can program it to display the current battery level.
The Viper Ultimate is light. On my scale it weighs in at 74 grams, which is light even for a wired mouse so it's really impressive to see this in a wireless product.
It's a medium sized (though pretty long feeling) ambidextrous design with side buttons on both sides, meaning that it can be enjoyed fully by lefties as well as righties.
On the bottom you'll find a tiny hatch that stores the USB receiver along with an on/off switch and a DPI selector button (and indicator LED) and then also the two connector elements for the charging dock.
Inside the box you get the mouse along with a charging cable and the aforementioned mouse dock.
There's also the usual documentation as well as a printed note from Razer's CEO thanking you for purchasing their stuff and a pretty generous amount of Razer stickers.
What I like here is the fact that the box opens from the side via a magnet system. This makes it really easy to repack the mouse (and extras) in case you're going to a LAN or something to game.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
The Razer Viper (Ultimate) is an ambidextrous mouse with very little curvature anywhere. It does flare out a tiny bit at the back but this isn't substantial in any way so I don't think this could get in the way of anyone, regardless of grip style. It's also pretty long and flat, with a gradual curve at the back as opposed to a sudden one, so if you like to have a filled palm this is something to note. Overall this is a pretty safe shape, and if you like this sort of flat ambidextrous design (think Zowie FK or Glorious Model O) it's hard to imagine that there's anything to dislike here.
The coating consists of two parts; you've got matte black on top of the shell and the main buttons, and then on the sides you'll find textured rubber elements. Those of you who read my reviews with any sort of regularity will know that I love rubber side grips so I adore the way this mouse feels in my hands. The combination of the nice shape (for me personally; always remember that shape is subjective) and the rubber sides gives me a great grip under all circumstances, and the non-rubberized parts of the mouse feel great too.
Even after a CS:GO marathon spanning just over eight hours the mouse looked as if it was just taken out of the box. As someone who gets sweaty hands pretty easily when gaming I don't like it when mice have a tendency to pick up skin oils, and the Viper Ultimate handles all of that like a dream.
Both side buttons are nicely placed for me, but I do have to say that I clicked the side buttons on the right side by accident once or twice during my testing. This isn't a big deal, especially since there's not a lot of travel to them and I deactivated them so my erroneous clicking was of no consequence but I thought I'd mention it regardless in case you're someone who's sensitive to this sort of thing.
On the bottom there are four medium sized feet along with a ring that surrounds the sensor, all made out of pure PTFE. These skates feel great, providing a really smooth and consistent glide straight out of the box. After the 'lightweight and paracord cable revolution' of the past months it seems like companies are now also shifting their focus towards the feet, and that's lovely to see.
Buttons and scroll wheel
The release of the original Razer Viper also meant that Razer's optical switches saw the light of day for the first time. Compared to a traditional mouse switch, these don't need physical contact in order to send a signal to the PC and that, according to Razer, results in a response time of 0.2 milliseconds. I say 'according to Razer' because I obviously don't have the equipment to do tests that require this amount of precision, but what I can test is how it all feels and performs.
The main clicks on the Viper Ultimate definitely do feel less crispy and snappy than what you get with (quality) mechanical switches so if you're really sensitive to how your clicks feel this is something to consider. I can't really say that I notice the fact that they're supposed to actuate faster than mechanical switches (it's not like there's a noticeable delay with regular switches anyway) but I never had any issues with accidental or unintended clicks, and the fact that these switches last a lot longer than regular mechanical ones (70 million clicks versus 50 million) and make debouncing delay obsolete makes them a hit in my eyes.
I don't particularly need extremely snappy clicks so I'd take these more durable and faster switches over traditional ones any time of the year, but don't come away from this thinking that your ingame reaction times will be three times faster after getting this mouse or anything like that. It's a great innovation, and the added durability along with the fact that these switches eliminate the possibility of accidental double clicking makes them worthwhile, but in actual gaming situations you don't really feel a difference between this and other top tier gaming mice.
What you do definitely feel is how nicely they've implemented the buttons; there's no sideways movement and while there is a tiny bit of post click travel on my unit it's barely enough to even mention, so as a whole I really love the overall clicking experience with this mouse. The side buttons follow right along, too. They actuate with a pleasing click and there's barely any travel to speak of there as well.
Something that I'm a bit less excited by is the scroll wheel. It's just not sticking out of the shell enough in my opinion, and I also feel like it's a bit too rigid. I don't know if this is something that's only on my copy but scrolling down feels notably easier than scrolling up, making for a bit of an inconsistent feeling. It does register everything just fine and it's almost perfectly silent so it's definitely not a bad wheel, it just doesn't suit my personal tastes and I'm not a fan of the inconsistency between scrolling up and down.
Quality and cable
Shaking the vertically reveals a little bit of scroll wheel rattle, but other than that I can't find any flaws on this front. The shell is very sturdy all throughout and there's absolutely no way to accidentally actuate a (side)button by applying pressure on the shell so the build quality is up to scratch as far as I'm concerned.
In lieu of a cable, the Viper Ultimate sends signals to your PC through Razer's HyperSpeed Wireless. This does exactly what you'd expect it to do, but more on that in the next section. Wireless products, as we all know, need power to perform. This mouse comes with a rechargeable battery that can provide you with enough juice to game for 70 consecutive hours. Should you by any chance go on a medically miraculous 70-hour binge or you forget to charge your mouse you can always plug in the included charging cable and game while the mouse is charging up.
This cable securely connects to the device in such a way that it looks and feels as if it's a wired mouse and I'm honestly impressed by how nice the cable is. It's not quite paracord style (it's a bit too thick and rigid for that) but it's definitely nice enough to use in a pinch for gaming. With the convenience of the charging dock you shouldn't ever be in a situation where you need to use the cable, but it's still nice to know that you won't be slinging around a fire hose in case you have to.
Performance and sensor
Razer has really been throwing the kitchen sink at this mouse; not only did they make it wireless and included their new optical switches, they've also equipped the Viper Ultimate with a brand new sensor. The Razer Focus+ is the result of a collaboration with industry standard sensor manufacturers Pixart, and boy does it pack a punch. This one goes up to 20000 DPI, but aside from this fairly useless increase in sensitivity it also has a number of really nice features.
My personal favorite function is the Asymetric Cut-Off. With this you can not only customize the LOD but you can also set at what distance the mouse should resume tracking after you've picked it up. This doesn't sound super useful for people with a high or medium sensitivity but if you pick up your mouse a lot due to your low sens this is a really nice feature to have. There's also Smart Tracking, where you have to run your mouse over your entire playing surface after which the software (Razer's Synapse) will calculate the ideal LOD.
The sensor itself is, as you would expect from a top tier gaming mouse, flawless. It tracks every move with pixel perfect precision and my testing found no evidence of smoothing, acceleration, angle snapping, or any other tomfoolery. It feels extremely responsive ingame and with its ability to keep tracking as long as your hand moves under 16 meters in one second it's every bit as reliable as you want it to be for high performance gaming.
All of this would be moot if the wireless connection packed its bags and left every couple of minutes but Razer's HyperSpeed Wireless performs every bit as good as their wired mice. There's no perceptible latency at all and the connection didn't drop even once during my testing. Razer's done an outstanding job here, both with this sensor and with the wireless tech.
You can adjust the lighting and create macros and all of that good stuff in Razer's software but the Viper Ultimate also has onboard memory for up to 5 profiles for that complete plug and play feeling.
Overall the Viper Ultimate is a joy to use, but I also have to give a special shout-out to the dock here. Setting the mouse down on the dock whenever you're not going to be behind your PC for a while is very easy and satisfying and it ensures a constantly charged battery. On top of looking pretty damn sweet with the RGB (I know this isn't of importance for a performance product at all) its double function as a charging dock and a neat place to store the receiver right next to your pad makes it way more than a silly added gimmick.
This mouse has a pretty safe shape but it is rather long and flat so this, in theory, isn't ideal for palm grippers or for people who like a filled palm in general.
If your hands are on the smaller side I'd try and get those same hands on a real life model (the Viper wired is the exact same) before purchasing, because this isn't exactly the smallest mouse on the market.
For anyone else this should be a good one; due to the fact that there are no awkward curves or grooves it houses a very large variety of grips with ease and there's plenty of room everywhere on this mouse to ensure a comfy hold no matter how you like to place your fingers.
Conclusion & Recommendation
This is one of the easiest recommendations I've made in my career. Razer might have (had?) a bit of a reputation for releasing overly marketed 'form over function' products in some parts of the community but this release proves that they absolutely know how to make a top tier product.
The fact that this is a wireless mouse with a lag-free connection and flawless sensor, complete a rechargeable battery (with a life of around 70 hours) at a mere 74 grams is impressive enough on its own but Razer has managed to get over the proverbial bar and then set it even higher with a number of interesting upgrades.
The optical switches may not feel as clicky and crispy as their mechanical counterparts but they do eliminate accidental double clicking entirely and you also get the added durability and speed, even though that last aspect isn't actually noticeable ingame in my opinion. The sensor doesn't only do the usual (useless) 'we've raised the DPI' trick but also gives you actually handy features such as Asymetric Cut-Off. Whether or not these things apply to you as useful will depend on your playing style and preferences but it's really nice to see how Razer tries to push the boundaries here.
Even if you totally ignore the new features that Razer has added you've got one of the best gaming mice in recent years here; the only thing I can actively criticize is the scroll wheel and the fact that the optical switches aren't as snappy as mechanical ones.
With a great shape, low weight, flawless sensor, great stock feet, a perfect wireless connection, and a number of interesting features this is one of the best gaming mice you can buy right now and without a doubt one of my personal favorites.