Razer Viper – Design and Features
The Razer Viper is hardly the most thrilling gaming mouse I’ve ever laid eyes on, but it’s really not here to put on a show. Rather, it’s an all-business, professional gaming mouse that sticks to a completely black paint scheme. The only embellishments you’ll find here are the two textured rubber side grips and a few lines of glossy plastic.
The slightly hourglass-shaped silhouette of the Razer Viper follows a very traditional design for ambidextrous gaming mice, but it works. The lightly scooped-out sides give your thumb, ring finger, and pinky just enough of an area to grip the sides.
Speaking of grip, most palm grip users will feel right at home with this low-height mouse, but those who prefer holding on with claw style might find this model a little too long for their liking. Personally, the Razer Viper is too short for me. I prefer gaming mice that are tall and offer a large bump for me to rest my whole hand on.
But the good news is no matter how you’re holding it, the Viper’s eight mouse buttons are all easily accessible. The well-defined left and right clicks are the only buttons on this peripheral that incorporate Razer’s new optical mouse switches (more on this later), but they feel as mechanical as ever.
Less satisfying are the two sets of very recessed, but still clicky side-buttons. On the bright side, if you rarely use them anyway, they’re almost impossible to hit accidentally. There’s also no bothersome DPI switch below the scroll wheel, as that’s been moved to the bottom of the mouse—a good change more hardware manufacturers have been implementing recently.
While the design of the Viper is serviceable enough, Razer focused more attention on making its newest gaming mouse its lightest one yet at only 69 grams. There are no optional weights here, so those looking for a heavier mouse will have to look elsewhere.
This gaming mouse also comes sporting Razer’s new Speedflex cable, which is essentially a sleeved cable with a finer, tighter stitch. The sleeve on the new cable is a little thicker and looser than on the company’s previous gaming mice like the Razer Basilisk Essential, but it’s more flexible and drags less often.
Razer Viper – Software
Among all the mouse software I’ve used, Razer Synapse 3 is perhaps the most streamlined. Setting up the Viper is pretty simple. The software has four tabs to set button layouts, sensor performance, customize lighting, and calibrate the sensor.
The software can set up any of the buttons to trigger a macro or Windows shortcut function on top of acting as the usual numbered mouse buttons. You’ll also be able to adjust the DPI range from 100 up to 16,000, which you can set in increments of 100. It also supports 125, 500, and 1000Hz polling rates.
RGB lighting here is also pretty simple since there’s exactly one zone and it’s the triskelion Razer logo that isn’t even visible when the mouse is in use. Lastly, you can calibrate the optical sensor for better tracking on your mousepad, gaming desk, or any other type of surface you game on.
Razer Viper – Gaming
What is it like to game when you’re clicking at the speed of light? Well, it’s honestly not really all that different from gaming with a regular mouse with traditional mechanical switches—and that’s a good thing.
Clicking with an optical switch feels and sounds as tactile as a traditional mouse, so you don’t have to worry about the weightless button presses on the Viper. The optical switches do allow you to click as fast as possible, which may make a difference at truly pro-level play.
Traditional mechanical switches register clicks by using long metal strips that act like diving boards. Hitting a mouse button is like springing off this said diving board, but doing so generates subsequent vibrations even after you’ve lifted off, which your computer then has to ignore otherwise they generate accidental clicks—this whole period after a single mouse click is known as the debounce delay.
Razer’s optical switches avoid this entire issue not registering clicks with physical contact, but infrared light beams. Basically, Razer added a laser emitter underneath a traditional mechanical switch, which when triggered, pushes a plunger down to interrupt the infrared beam and signal a mouse click. It might sound like the optical switch just adds an extra step—and it essentially has—but it eliminates the debounce delay. What’s more, it reduces the response time to just 0.2 milliseconds, which is three times faster than traditional mechanical switches (according to Razer).
Although it may sound too good to be true on paper, the faster response time definitely lets you click faster. I felt I was able to fire Ashe’s repeater much quicker in Overwatch and shoot more rounds down range in CS:GO. As you can imagine, it’s great for quick-time events too. If you need a gaming mouse that simply lets you click as fast as possible, this is the one. But that alone isn’t enough to crown the Viper the new king of gaming mice.
The Razer Viper has an MSRP of $79.99 and it’ll be available starting on August 2nd.
This article was originally published by IGN.COM