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Razer Viper eSports Gaming Mouse: Razer’s Raising Their Game

By Christopher Coke on August 06, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Razer Viper eSports Gaming Mouse: Razer’s Raising Their Game

If you’re a competitive gamer, you need every advantage you can get to one-up the competition. Today, we’re looking at a brand-new mouse from Razer designed to do exactly that. Coming in at only 69-grams, the Razer Viper eSports gaming mouse comes with optical switches, a top of the line sensor, and an ergonomic design to keep you on target and at the top of the leaderboards. Does it achieve those lofty goals? Join us as we find out in our official review.

Specifications

  • Current Price: $79.99
  • Razer 5G Advanced Optical Sensor with true 16,000 DPI
  • Up to 450 inches per second (IPS) / 50 G acceleration
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Optical Mouse Switches with 70 million clicks life cycle
  • Razer Speedflex cable
  • Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel
  • 69g lightweight ambidextrous design
  • Razer Chroma™ lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Eight independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
  • Onboard DPI Storage (Up to 5 DPI stages)
  • Razer Synapse 3 enabled
  • Approximate size: 4.99 in (L) X 2.61 in (W) X 1.49 in (H)
  • Approximate weight (excluding cable): 69 g / 0.15 lbs
  • Cable length: 2.1 m / 6.89 ft

Ultra-lightweight mice are taking the gaming world by storm. The trend seemed to start with Finalmouse, whose iconic honeycomb look and sub-60g weight you’ve surely seen by now. The demand (and Final Mouse’s inability to meet it) has quickly led to competition in the market, first with the Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O (67g), then the Model O- (58g), as well as several others that we’re not allowed to talk about yet. The reason for this is simple. In the heat of the moment, your mouse should be an extension of your arm; the less weight, the better your aim.

But there’s a limit, Razer says, and it’s based on their collaboration with leading eSports athletes like MIBR Taco. A competitive mouse should be lightweight, but it should also be in control at all times. That collaboration didn’t just inform the weight of the mouse, however. Esports is the driving force behind the Razer Viper and it’s included in every facet of its design: speed, control, ergonomics, and durability.

I’m no eSports athlete but I do enjoy competitive shooters and I’ll admit to being skeptical of the whole “ultra-lightweight” trend. Past a certain point, your mouse might feel like it’s not even there, and at what point does drilling holes in the shell of the mouse just make it easier to break? And don’t even get me started on the chances of an early death from the constant exposure to dust and debris that honeycomb causes. The Viper, on the other hand, is a different beast entirely.

When Razer designed this mouse, it’s clear that they wanted to have the best of both worlds and I’m happy to say, they achieved it. Unlike its competition, the Viper has an enclosed shell, so there’s no worry about the electronics being exposed to early wear. Despite coming in at an airy 69g, the frame doesn’t feel cheap. There’s no flex or creaking. It feels solid and well-made.

But let’s talk about that weight. It’s true that it is heavier than the Ninja-branded Finalmouse or either Model O but they’ve struck a great balance between weight and control. The Viper is excellent for quick flicks and rapid reactions but never feels too sensitive. My main concern going in would be that such a lightweight mouse would lead me to being off­­-target due to unintentional movements, but that simply never happened.

It helps, of course, that the size and shape are about perfect for my hand. The shape reminds me of nothing more than the Logitech G502, which is one of my favorite mice ever. It’s just a touch wider and a fraction of an inch shallower, which lends it that extra bit of control. Often, FPS mice are designed for fingertip users but I was able to comfortably use my hybrid palm-fingertip grip, which made using the mouse feel natural right away. I didn’t have to waste time getting acclimated to the Viper, it was a plug-and-play competitive advantage, it’s as simple as that. I also liked how well the mouse buttons cradled my fingers to keep me right about the switches 100-percent of the time.

Underneath the buttons is a first for the world of gaming mice: ultra-durable Razer Optical Switches. Like the optical switches found in the Razer Huntsman Elite, these new switches operate with an infrared light beam, completely free of traditional mechanical contacts. When resting, the light beam is blocked. Pressing the mouse button opens a shutter, allowing the beam to pass through and trigger a mouse click.

This design means several very important things. First, just like the Huntsman, these switches are incredibly responsive. Without the need for electrical contacts, there’s no debounce delay and each can register an input in just 0.2ms. More importantly, it means the switches are eminently more durable and should never suffer from the double-clicking issue that plagues aging and malfunctioning mice. If you’ve ever had a mouse button fail, you’ll know what an improvement this is. They also offer a satisfying, tactile click.

The Viper also includes Razer’s own 5G optical sensor. In my testing, I found it to be pixel perfect accurate whether I was playing at low or high DPIs. I wasn’t able to get it to spin out or confuse the sensor with Rocket Jump Ninja’s slam test. You can also store multiple DPI profiles on-board, all the way up to 16000, though you’ll need to install the Synapse software at least once to program in your settings.

The Viper is an ambidextrous mouse, which means the left and right sides are mirrored. I’ve had trouble with ambidextrous mice in the past, accidentally pressing the side buttons with my ring finger. If you’re a competitive player, miss-clicks can be devastating, so Razer needed to have a good solution to this problem or risk handicapping it for professional use right out of the gate. Their answer has been to position the buttons just above where your ring finger rests and to recess them ever so slightly to keep them out of the way. In the week I’ve used it as my daily mouse, I’ve experienced absolutely no miss-clicks which may just be a first for me with an ambidextrous mouse. The textured rubbed grips also help with this because they prevent your finger from sliding during use.

The control offered by the Viper also has a lot to do with Razer’s new Speedflex Cable. The braid is looser against the internal wires and it’s extremely flexible, not unlike the paracord found on competing mice. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that any wired mouse truly feels wireless, this is certainly one of the best I’ve used. Simply holding it by the wire and smoothing it once with my hand removed any kinks from packaging and left it smooth and completely unobtrusive to my gameplay.

Final Thoughts

I’ve used a lot of different mice from Razer and this is my hands-down favorite. It’s just lightweight enough to feel like air in the hand but is solid enough to feel durable. The addition of optical switches is a great move for the long-term durability and the kind of cutting-edge responsiveness pro gamers demand. That’s not me. I can’t tell the difference between 0.2ms and 0.5ms. What I can tell is that this mouse feels great in my hand, it’s exceptionally accurate, and is as close to wireless feeling as a wired mouse is going to get. The Razer Viper ESports Mouse is a real winner that may help you become the same.

Pros

  • Great size with excellent ergonomics
  • Very comfortable to use
  • Optical switches promise no double-clicks, even over time
  • Tasteful RGB
  • Excellent balance between weight and control

Cons

  • Eight buttons may be too few for MOBAs and RPGs

The product discussed in this review was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.


Christopher Coke / Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight