Razer is an innovator in the PC gaming world, has been around for years and, rightly so, has a fairly staunch set of followers. My first “gaming” keyboard and mouse were Razer made and while I’ve used many different brands over the years - some of which I really loved and lived on my desk for quite some time - I find myself coming back to Razer again and again. Razer’s ability to iterate on their products and improve on solid designs is a big reason for that; they are constantly taking what was best about the previous generation and keeping it while working on areas that can use improvement. We are taking a look at one such case in this review where we got our hands on the new Basilisk v3 which sports the same classic and comfortable design while giving us a feature or two we had no idea we wanted.
- Current Price: $69.99 (Amazon)
- Eleven independently programmable buttons
- 4-way Razer HyperScroll tilt wheel with electronically actuated notched and free-spinning modes
- 11 Razer Chroma lighting zones with 16.8 million customizable color options
- 26,000 DPI Focus+ optical sensor with 99.6% resolution accuracy
- 50 G acceleration / Up to 650 inches per second
- Advance Lift-off/Landing distance customization
- Optical Mouse Switches rated for 70 million clicks (Gen 2)
- Customizable on-the-fly sensitivity presets (default 400/800/1600/3200/6400 dpi)
- Ergonomic right-handed design
- On-board profile storage
- 1.8 m “speedflex” cable
- Size: 5.1in x 2.44in x 1.7in (LxWxH)
- Weight: 101g (excluding cable)
What’s the same?
It should be obvious that the first thing to remain unchanged is the physical design of the mouse. Razer struck gold, at least as far as my hands go, with the design. The mouse fits perfectly in my hand and suits a palm-grip style quite well. The rubber-gripped sides offer just enough friction for my fingers to rest without slipping off and the thumb rest both keeps my thumbs from sliding on the mouse mat and simultaneously positions it perfectly for the thumb-side trigger button and forward/backside buttons.
Razer’s optical switches make a reappearance as well and while I don’t necessarily see the need to have your own in-house switches when a quality product like OMRON mouse switches exist Razer has done a fine job with their optical switches. The switches boast a 0.2ms response time and Razer claims that they are 3 times faster than traditional mechanical mouse switches though that’s a hard thing for us to measure on our end. What I can say is that optical switches are a great option, eliminating the need for mechanical and physical contact for the on/off signal which frees up Razer to tune in a precise resistance and actuation to the mouse buttons. I can keep my hand pretty relaxed when idling on the mouse without much worry of accidentally clicking the right or left mouse button.
The New and Improved
Firsty, RGB fans can rejoice as the Basilisk V3 brings 11 lighting zones to the previously mono-colored mouse. The vast majority of these zones provide a wonderful underglow to the mouse and maintain the standard scroll-wheel and logo lighting zone. I’m not going to go into extreme detail about the RGB lighting system with Razer but it’s one of the best around when it comes to customizability and even interacts with some AAA gaming titles like Valorant and Fortnite to provide light-based feedback to in-game events.
Another upgrade comes in the form of an improved optical sensor. The Razer Focus+ of the Basilisk V2 was already impressive enough with a 20,000dpi sensitivity rating but Razer apparently wasn’t happy with that and has pushed the envelope to 26,000 dpi while maintaining the Smart Tracking, Motion Sync and Asymmetric Cut-Off features, which together provide an extremely accurate experience with polling that’s synced up with the internal polling of your PC and on-the-fly automatic calibration to the surface of the mousepad. Now I simply can’t say at all that the Basilisk V3 feels any different at all when it comes to mouse tracking - which makes touting the new 26,000 dpi feel a bit over-the-top. I simply can’t tell the difference when using the v2 and v3 side by side for mouse tracking.
Where I can tell a big difference, however, and the feature I think makes the Basilisk v3 most worth it is the new HyperScroll Tilt Wheel. Ditching the adjustable resistance of the mouse wheel on the v2, Razer opted to simply let users switch between a tactile mode and free-spin mode. The big change, however, is the ability to automatically switch between these two modes with a fast flick of the wheel. When this automatic mode is turned on if you give a quick scroll up or down of the mouse wheel the tactile feedback and friction will vanish and the mouse wheel will simply spin away like a runaway tire down a hill. As someone who spends a bit of time scrolling through documents and spreadsheets, this has become my all-time favorite feature. Even with this automatic switching turned off, giving a good flick in tactile mode will result in a good spin of the wheel - the resistance used to stop the wheel from spinning feels like just the right amount. Gone are the days of throwing your index finger into muscle fatigue trying to scroll up or down a webpage.
The Razer Basilisk v3 sports some great features just like the v2 before it. If you liked the Basilisk v2 there is no doubt you’ll like the v3. It can be really difficult to say “this is the mouse for you!” because everyone has a different idea of what is comfortable. What I can say is that Razer has put obvious care and effort into the feature on the Basilisk and has been committed to improving upon the design in the best ways possible. If you’re right-handed and in the market for a new mouse I wholeheartedly recommend giving the Basilisk v3 a try. If you already own the V2 and don’t much care about RGB and scroll wheels the reason to upgrade probably isn’t quite there.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.