There’s a trend right now in competitive gaming, for your primary piece of hardware to be lighter, smaller and more efficient. Some of these gaming mice look like cheese graters for your hand, others have shed so much weight that they feel like a bootleg of the original brand even when they are official. Enter Razer, a brand that is always looking to current trends and how best it can enter that market.
They’re no stranger to the gaming mouse market, with their wired options earning a level of trust from diehard supporters. They’re now venturing into a more compact segment of esports with their latest range of Viper Ultimate peripherals, ones that are designed to not only be perfect for any game but also leagues ahead of anything that the competition has to offer. What they’ve come up with, is an absolute champ that may cost plenty but more than earns every single cent you’re willing to invest into it.
Now full disclosure: I’m not a PC gamer. Playing with a mouse and keyboard feels absolutely alien to me, but there was a learning curve well worth getting reacquainted with. In terms of ergonomics, the Viper has a nice feel to it. It’s made for ambidextrous use, sitting in the middle of hand shapes that can rest on it and striking a Goldilocks spot on size. Not too big, not too small but just right.
It has some clever design as well, as the USB attachment to pick up its wireless signal fits snugly inside of the mouse when you’re not using it. You’ve got the bare essentials for playing a game as well: Two clicks up top, a ridged wheel for scrolling and a pair of inputs on the side. That’s all you really need, and that minimalism results in a lightweight device with almost zero heft to it.
Razer hasn’t been shy to roll out numbers for the Viper Ultimate either, claiming that you’ll be capable of a 650 inches per second tracking speed, a latency of less than 0.2ms and a resolution accuracy of 99.6%. In practice, it certainly does feel up to speed. Playing Fortnite (Because I’m a cheap bastard and I don’t feel like being teabagged by CS GO players), the mouse was exquisite to use once I finally remembered how to play games the old fashioned way.
Having used a wired Logitech mouse for the last couple of years, I found that input lag was non-existent and I was able to easily acquire a target before I was mercilessly gunned down. Again, not too good at the PC games over here. In terms of movement and accuracy, I felt comfortable and once I’d played more with the five included DPI settings on the mouse and finding something to suit my personal preferences, I finally started racking up a few kills.
I’ve got an ancient mousepad from an E3 long past, a more modern roll of polyester and a few magazines to test the reaction of the Viper, and it passed pretty much every test that those surfaces could throw at it. I do think that some work could be done to the scroll wheel, whose rigid stiffness won;t allow you to wildly scroll through options with reckless abandon. Maybe I’m too used to my Logitech mouse having that function, but I prefer smooth over ribbed any day of the week and I know I’m not the only gamer out there with such a preference.
Possibly good for gaming, not too good for browsing and other desktop tasks with that wheel I reckon. What is astonishingly good, is the battery life on the Viper Ultimate. Included with it is a charging dock with stereotypical RGB lighting, with Razer saying that you’ll easily charge it up with over 70 hours of go-go juice within two hours. I believe that hype, as in the few weeks that I used the mouse I only needed to recharge it once. This beast of a battery will most likely survive an apocalypse if pushed into the corner.
There is a catch here though, and that it lies in the fact that more intense rounds of gaming will put more of a strain on the battery. Measuring tools for the Viper Ultimate showed it losing juice when it was needed to fire on all cylinders at a quicker pace, although dropping from a 70-hour running time to a still impressive 50-odd hours according to the Razer Synapse software, isn’t something that I’m going to complain about.
If there is a gripe, it’s that the Viper Ultimate’s greatest strength also creates a subtle weakness. It’s as light as a Razer-branded helium balloon and yet I just could not help but feel I was one rage-click away from breaking it. It’s probably paranoia on my end, but the thinner construction materials used to make it a featherweight device still had me worried that it was one ham-fisted session away from shattering. It’s also not cheap, costing north of R3200 on Takealot currently but you definitely do get plenty of bang for buck if you’re at all serious about having an advantage in the cutthroat world of esports.
Last Updated: March 4, 2020