Razer Viper Ultimate review

For those looking to scoop up a new gaming mouse this holiday season, Razer’s new Viper Ultimate has an extremely impressive set of features. Is it as good in practice as it is on paper?

As you can probably guess from the name the Viper Ultimate isn’t Razer’s first gaming mouse with the Viper name attached. It does, however, bring a few new tricks – the most noteworthy being wireless functionality in addition to a few other changes.

First impressions

Despite housing a ton of impressive tech inside it, the Razer Viper Ultimate has a very neutral look to it. It’s an ambidextrous mouse for left- and right-handed gamers, and it definitely doesn’t go overboard with on-board lighting either. There’s just a familiar Razer logo on the lower end of the mouse, and even that can be color-managed if you prefer something different than Razer’s green or it can even be turned off completely.

What’s also immediately clear is that the Razer Viper Ultimate is a lightweight mouse. At 74 grams it’s only slightly heavier than the previous (wired) model, but it’s still a lot lighter than wired classics like the Steelseries Sensei. But considering how neutral everything looks from the top, there’s a lot going on when you turn the mouse over and check out the bottom.

Here, you’ll find a DPI selector button to increase or decrease the sensitivity of your mouse (which shooter fans will no doubt appreciate), as well an on/off switch that you can use to conserve battery life when you’re not using it. There are connectors for charging the mouse when placed on its charging dock, and what looks like a battery slot actually reveals a handy storage spot for the tiny USB receiver.

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Speaking of that receiver and charging station – the receiver can also be plugged into the dock so that you only need one USB port on your computer or laptop. That’s unless you go for the wired option and don’t watch to switch cables around between the dock and the mouse, as the Razer Viper Ultimate can also be instantly turned into a wired mouse by plugging in the cable that is supplied with it. Not only does this give you the wired option if and when you need or want it, this also provides you with a secondary option for charging the built-in battery – as far as charging a wireless gaming mice goes, this one is extremely flexible in how you want to do it. There’s a comfort feature in the dock as well, as it can tell you how far your mouse is charged by way of its lighting strip at the bottom.

Comfort

I generally prefer a heavier mouse because it feels I have more control over it with my larger hands. The Viper Ultimate is a light mouse, but addresses this potential issue with rubber grips on either side of the mouse so you keep a firm grip on the mouse despite its lightweight design. There are well-placed buttons on either side of the mouse as well, which can be used for thumb control (and are programmable as well).

The Viper Ultimate also features Razer’s new optical switches for your button presses, which the company claims will yield reduced response times compared to mechanical switches. Which this definitely is a ‘pro’ feature that regular gamers won’t notice during actual gameplay (myself included), the new switch technology also means your new mouse (at least in terms of the buttons) should be a lot more durable. Your non-mechanical button presses do feel a little different since there’s less physical feedback from a button press, but it’s something I quickly got used to.

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Performance

In wireless mode, the Viper Ultimate is powered by a built-in battery with a battery life of up to 70 hours. I assume this is mostly with the mouse in an idle state, but I never had it die on me even after three days of consecutive use. Luckily, charging is easy as well and you can even use a non-charged mouse by connecting the included cable (which will also recharge it at the same time).

In addition to having wireless, the new Ultimate version of the Viper also has a brand new sensor, dubbed the Focus+. It ramps up all the way to 20000 DPI which is well beyond what any mere mortal really needs, but it also has a few extra tricks up its sleeve – especially in terms of the mouse’s Lift Off Distance (which relates to when and how it tracks when the mouse is lifted from the surface, even if it’s ever so slightly). In games with a ton of mouse movement, this is a nice feature to have as it can smooth out performance even when you get to the edges of your mouse pad.

The Viper Ultimate also nails all of the basics, especially when you look at the great wireless connection it offers – I had the connector in the dock right next to the mouse pad but having it plugged into the back of a desktop made no perceivable difference. However, despite the excellent performance it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t the kind of mouse you’re looking for if you’re planning on mapping a ton of features to it. No matter how great they work, your basic two buttons, along with the side buttons and a mousewheel you can press, is all you get to work with. There are programmable profiles, but your room to customize is limited.

These are minor issues though, because everything that the Razer Viper Ultimate does it does extremely well. This is absolutely a top product that bridges the gap between wired and wireless and combines it with top performance and excellent comfort. It comes with a premium price tag, but delivers with a premium product as well.

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