Razer Viper Ultimate hands-on: Making the best gaming mouse even better
The best mouse for competitive gamers just went wireless. Which is enough of an achievement in itself, but it's far more than just a cable cut.
The Razer Viper is the best gaming mouse to come out this year. Not only did it (finally) replace my old, much loved DeathAdder Elite, during my review, it was essentially impossible to find a flaw with. Razer's approach to making it was so carefully thought out that it is as close to the perfect gaming mouse as you'll get right now.
There's only one thing that you could possibly fault it for; it's a wired mouse. But what about if Razer made an even more impressive version of the Viper, but without the cable.
That's now a reality, and it's on sale starting today. This is the Razer Viper Ultimate, and once again, Razer is changing the conversation about what a gaming mouse can be. And it's already been tested in one of the biggest CS:GO tournaments of the year, so you know it's good.
Making the best even better
Topping the Viper was never going to be an easy task for even Razer, and while it's far from being replaced or suddenly knocked down the pecking order, the Viper Ultimate is perhaps true to its name. Perhaps this is the ultimate gaming mouse?
The shape and build of the Viper Ultimate are the same as the regular model, which means it's ambidextrous, reasonably low profile, and extremely light. It's a whole 5g heavier than the Viper at 74g, but honestly, it's hardly noticeable. I've never held a wireless gaming mouse that feels this light in the hand. The outstanding optical switches from the regular Viper also make their return with a 70 million click durability.
The feature set is mostly the same as well. Nothing is taken away, only things added, which means that like the regular Viper, the DPI switch is on the bottom, and there is onboard storage for up to five profiles, perfect for the professional gamer who travels.
Being wireless, you, of course, need to charge the mouse, and this is done either with the included dock, which thanks to its Chroma lighting will keep you informed on the charge of the battery, or you can just attach the USB cable directly to the mouse.
But then we get to what's underneath and what makes this wireless gaming mouse so important.
Hyperspeed and Focus+
We'd all love to have no cables in our lives. A gamers desk is a messy place to be, with cables for keyboards, mice, sometimes multiple of each, monitors, even RGB mousepads and charging stations. But why don't we all just buy a wireless mouse and relieve some of that?
Whether it's sound, an internet connection, or gaming, cables are always the absolute best performers. Whether performance or quality, there's no real substitute for just pushing data down a cable. But with the Viper Ultimate and Hyperspeed, Razer has come the closest yet to the performance of a wired mouse.
Hyperspeed is a claimed 25% fasted that other wireless technologies being used in gaming mice, and, similar to the Lancehead, automatically switches to the best frequency channels to keep lag at bay.
The click latency is as low as 2-3ms in a clean (read, free of numerous wireless connections) environment, or 3-5ms if you're surrounded by other signals. The polling rate of 1000Hz and data transmission speeds of < 195 usec are both above the closest competitor, Logitech's Lightspeed. Razer says the Viper Ultimate has the highest stable rate of any wireless gaming mouse.
Hyperspeed is also designed for power efficiency and as a result, longer battery life. The Viper Ultimate claims up to 70 hours of use between charges.
The sensor on the Viper Ultimate has also got an upgrade. It's a brand new piece of hardware that Razer is calling Focus+, and the days of DPI and tracking speed being the only metrics for success are over. That's not to say DPI isn't still a thing. The Viper Ultimate sensor has 20,000 DPI, higher than any other Razer gaming mouse. But it's what else Focus+ does that's important.
For starters, this has the highest tracking speed and resolution accuracy yet. The smart features are perhaps what's most interesting. Smart tracking is a neat feature, particularly for those that move around with their mouse, allowing the Viper Ultimate to automatically calibrate itself to whatever surface you're using it on. Yet another feature that no longer requires Synapse to be installed on every PC you use the mouse with.
You also get customizable landing and lift-off distances to suit your own gaming style, and motion sync sounds a little bit like Freesync or G-Sync but for a mouse. It keeps the mouse and PC in perfect sync, with the PC always receiving the latest mouse position. It's not a metric you'll physically be able to quantify, but as Razer puts it, it could be the difference between a headshot and missing entirely.
I haven't spent long with the Viper Ultimate, but first impressions on performance are very high. It feels very much like the existing Viper, which is high praise anyway considering the lack of a cable. I'm looking forward to putting it side by side with the current Viper to see just how good it really is.
A truly incredible gaming mouse
At first glance, the Viper Ultimate is a truly fantastic thing. Being in a position to have a wireless gaming mouse with no drawbacks compared to a wired one is an excellent place to be. In fact, on early impressions, the only thing that might be offputting is the price. At €170/$150, it's certainly not for the masses, instead squarely in the crosshairs of the most competitive of PC gamers.
For the right audience, the price is largely irrelevant considering the hardware inside the Viper Ultimate. And the bundled charging dock will be cross-compatible with future mice, too.
The Viper Ultimate is on sale from October 18 in Europe and North America.
The best gaming mouse around just went wireless
The Viper Ultimate takes the best gaming mouse on the market, chops off the cable, and adds some exciting new tech to truly live up to its name.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine