With gaming mice like the Razer Viper Ultimate, Razer continues to step up its game. There's a reason why both casual and hardcore gamers tend to gravitate toward the brand, after all, and it isn't just because of its attractive packaging or black and green motifs. This mouse marks a notable improvement to the brand, and may be one of the best gaming mice on the market.
However, with that step up in quality comes a major bump in price. The Razer Viper Ultimate will set you back a whole $149/£149/AU$249 – that’s a lot to ask for a mouse, no matter how svelte it is. To put it into perspective, it’s going up against the $119/£114/169 SteelSeries Rival 650. Razer is hoping that its unique technology and convenient charging stand makes up the difference, but does it?
Razer has clearly outdone itself with the Viper Ultimate, serving up a slim yet sturdy ambidextrous mouse that feels nearly just as responsive as your go-to wired mouse. It's lightweight, yet somehow it still feels like a tank – albeit amazingly light. We honestly don’t know how Razer was able to engineer such a product that feels like waving around nothing at all, especially on a plastic mouse mat.
If you're not into a lighter mouse, the Viper Ultimate does not offer weights or any way to shift out the way its heft feels in your hand, but if that's not a dealbreaker, it's still a very solid choice, especially for how smooth and responsive it feels to use.
With a matte, brushed black exterior and the iconic Razer logo where your palm rests, it's a quietly unassuming peripheral that belies a powerful interior. It's made out of a slick yet grippy plastic on both exterior sides and a scroll wheel that offers a pleasing bit of resistance – not too fast, not too slow, though it does come on a bit stronger than most other models' wheels. It can take some effort to browse with, but this gives the mouse even more of a premium edge. Plus, its ergonomic shape is perfect for users who spend all day on the computer.
Whether you're left or right-handed, you can swap between user modes by heading into the Razer Synapse software. As usual, Razer's proprietary software is simple to use, offering simple ways to change the color of the typically-green Razer logo on the mouse as well as what hue your charging cradle glows when it's nearly finished juicing up. But you won't have to charge it very much.
Razer says it lasts up to 70 hours between charges, a claim that does shake out. After spending a week or so with the Viper Ultimate during heavy usage in both games and while flying through day-to-day work, we notice that it drains extremely slowly. It certainly outlasts our MacBook Pro's Magic Mouse, something we appreciated immensely, as charging peripherals is not something you want to have to do often.
Unfortunately, one area it does tend to fall short in are its amount of customizable buttons: you've got left and right-click buttons, the clicking scroll wheel and two programmable buttons on both sides. This doesn't make it ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time playing games that require macros or abilities beyond four of them being easily accessible, but it's perfectly serviceable for just about any other gamer. Fortunately, actually clicking the buttons felt precise and satisfying. They register every single time, even when tested in twitch shooters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or when aiming in Red Dead Redemption II.
But the high quality doesn't stem only from its aesthetic appeal. Sure, you can simply admire the mouse from afar, but most praise should be heaped upon its Razer Focus+ Optical Sensor, which can also be found in the bigger, more customizable Basilisk Ultimate. The sensor is capable of running up to 20,000 DPI/CPI, which is a seriously impressive number. It's more than just a number, too – you can see the performance from the moment you pick up the mouse from its cradle and start using it.
Its tracking speed comes boasting 650 inches per second, which is also lightning high so that the mouse can keep up with your movements on-screen. We found that in music and rhythm games like Osu!, this was a boon – a mouse that finally felt as though I was using a stylus instead, with natural movements that felt natural and smooth.
Razer claims that its HyperSpeed Wireless tech provides markedly less latency than other mice available right now, and we can certainly attest to there being nearly zero. in our time with the peripheral. It tracked beautifully as well, even when we opted to put it on top of the blanket we’d wrapped ourselves in when trying out a round of Overwatch and switching between completing work-related tasks. We didn’t expect it to perform so well on a fleece throw, but it did, to our surprise.
While the Viper Ultimate is a strong performer in nearly every category, its one pitfall may see a wide variety of detractors: the price. Frankly, $149/£149/AU$249 is a high price of entry. You are getting what you pay for here, though. While you could certainly find a serviceable and comparable mouse for less, the Viper Ultimate is an exemplary wireless mouse that excels in responsiveness, visual appeal, build quality, and battery power.
For Razer fans, it's a no-brainer. For everyone else, it might take a bit of enticing to convince them to pull the trigger, but doing so will result in a fantastic buy, and perhaps one of the greatest wireless gaming mice you can find right now, especially out of Razer's cadre.