(Pocket-lint) – The Viper Ultimate is not just another one of several gaming mice available in Razer’s line-up – which includes the tiny Viper Mini and the 8000Hz polling rate Viper 8K – it’s the cream of the crop at the top-end of the Viper stables.
This is a lightweight gaming mouse that seemingly offers it all. Alongside that classic Razer design, you also get a whole host of features that includes superb low-latency wireless, excellent battery life and much more besides.
But does it bite? We’ve been getting our game on to find out.
A powerful Viper
The Razer Viper Ultimate certainly looks like it means business. It sports that angry Razer design with an ergonomic ambidextrous shape.
Under the hood, it packs some serious specs that include Razer’s Focus+ Optical Sensor, Razer Optical Mouse Switches, and of course that Hyperspeed wireless technology too.
Razer’s Hyperspeed Wireless connectivity not only offers a solid connection but a low-latency one as well. Combine that with 650 max speed (IPS – i.e. inches per second, ensuring the mouse can keep engaged with sizable movements), 50G max acceleration (i.e. how quickly the mouse can adjust for velocity changes) – and that adds up to an agile and accurate mouse that responds in a flash.
At just 74g, this is a lightweight wireless gaming mouse that’s designed to still give you the competitive edge. It’s actually one of the lightest wireless gaming mice that you can buy. It’s also a pleasure to use and game on. That’s partly down to the powerful specs and partly down to the intelligent and convenient design.
Comfortable grippy design
- HyperSpeed Wireless design with charging dock
- True-Ambidextrous form-factor
- 5 onboard memory profiles
- 8 programmable buttons
- Speedflex Cable
As you might have gathered from the shape, the Viper Ultimate is an ambidextrous mouse that’s a great fit for left- or right-handed games. It’s symmetrical with two thumb buttons on either side, making for a total of eight programmable buttons.
We thoroughly enjoy the overall design of the Viper Ultimate. The textured grips on the side make it comfortable to hold and ensure it doesn’t slip through your fingers during a fast-paced gaming session. It has a semi-rough overall texture too. It’s not shiny, slick or slippery like some other mice we’ve tried.
That said, we do have a couple of issues with the overall fit. It’s a little on the narrow side for us. Certainly long enough to fit in a large hand – but not wide enough side-to-side.
The thumb buttons are unfortunately a tad too recessed and not easy to feel when you’re gaming too. This has the advantage that they’re not accidentally getting pressed when you’re simply moving the mouse about your desk, but it makes them harder to press than we’d like.
Flip the Viper Ultimate over and you’re greeted by a few other treats, including a little hatch that hides away a dock for the wireless USB dongle. You can use that spot to stash the dongle when it’s not in use so you don’t lose it. You’ll also find some slick PTFE feet (also known as Teflon), which help the mouse glide effortlessly across the desk. There are also buttons to turn the mouse on and off and another to switch profiles.
You can set five different profiles within Razer’s Synapse software. These can then be switched between easily with that profile-switch button. This means you have different settings for buttons and DPI levels (to adjust the sensitivity) for different uses. There’s also an indicator that changes colour to let you know what profile you’re using at a glance.
The Viper Ultimate can be used either wirelessly or plugged in with its lightweight Speedflex Micro-USB cable. There are also pins for charging on the underside. This system works by letting you plonk the mouse onto its charging dock when it needs some extra juice.
That dock is a little fiddly to use, but certainly makes for more convenient charging than plugging a wire in every time. Plug the cable into the dock and keep it on your desk, then drop the mouse on it when you need. If you forget you can just pull the cable out of the dock and plug it into the mouse instead.
There’s also a USB passthrough on the inside of the dock, so you can plug the wireless dongle in there and extend the range or simply reduce the number of USB ports you’re using on your PC. Naturally that dock has an RGB ring around the bottom of it – and it’s Chroma compatible, so you can use it to light up your desk with some Razer RGB lighting goodness.
Sadly, RGB lighting is one area where this mouse lacks. Only the logo itself is adjustable in Synapse, otherwise there’s nothing to light up your life. However, the RGB does have one use – it also doubles-up as a visual indicator of battery status. When the battery is running low on the Viper Ultimate you’ll see the logo change colour and flash to warn you, which is a great touch.
Battery life is one area the Viper Ultimate also impresses. Razer claims 70 hours before it needs plugging in – and we certainly found we were rarely having to worry about doing so. Even less so if we’d remembered to dock it when not in use.
The Viper Ultimate can be customised in a number of different ways within Razer’s Synapse software. This lets you re-programme buttons, adjust DPI, and tweak various other settings. You can also create different profiles then switch between them using the button underneath.
Within Synapse, you can tweak the eight buttons easily, but you can also set up a Hypershift button. That then lets you program a different second action for all the other buttons on the mouse once that Hypershift button is pressed and held. That means you can nearly double the number of programmable buttons easily.
You can do all sorts of other things too. From setting keyboard button presses, to changing lighting, DPI levels, launching apps, and much more besides. If you find you don’t need all the buttons then you can disable them individually with ease.
You can set DPI in as many as five different stages between 100 and 20,000 DPI maximum. In our mind having 20,000 is insane, really, but it’s nice to have multiple adjustable stages. Maybe some peoples’ wrist movements are just that wildly different to ours.
Other highlights here include the ability to tweak power settings to send the mouse to sleep when not in use for a certain period of time. We find that the Viper does a good job of managing power on the default settings, but if you need more then tweaks here might help.
The Razer Viper Ultimate is a capable, fast and accurate gaming mouse with high-end specs and some top-end features to boot. There are a few minor niggles, like the fiddliness of the charging dock and the recessed side buttons, but overall it’s a fantastic mouse with a lot to enjoy.
Sure, it’s not cheap, but if you want a seriously awesome wireless mouse then you’ll often have to pay a premium. And in the Viper Ultimate, you’re getting what you’re paying for. Once bitten you’ll be smitten.
Razer Basilisk Ultimate
This also has a charging base and similar specs, but it has more buttons (11 in total) and a nicer shape that’s more comfortable for right-handed gamers.
Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O Wireless
A surprisingly good gaming mouse with fantastic style and gaming prowess. It’s lightweight and also more affordable than the Viper Ultimate – which might make it more appealing too.
Writing by Adrian Willings.