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The Logitech G Pro Wireless (Check on Amazon.com) has been the best wireless FPS mouse for more than a year, but now Razer has launched a worthy competitor. The Razer Viper Ultimate (Check on Amazon.com) is near perfect and is superior to the G Pro Wireless in many ways, but it is also much more expensive.
A year has passed since Logitech launched the G Pro Wireless, a lightweight wireless mouse with a premium sensor and good battery life. Razer now decided to fight back with the wireless version of the Viper, the Ultimate.
Razer Viper Ultimate – Design
Unlike the Basilisk Ultimate (Check on Amazon.com), the Viper Ultimate is a slightly lighter and more compact model, albeit longer, and features less programmable buttons. Designed to be used with both the left and right hand, this mouse has a neat and elegant ambidextrous design with aggressive cutouts that grant it a rather unique aesthetic, similar to a G903 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon.com).
The symmetrical design is undoubtedly one of the strengths of this mouse, and we must credit Razer for thinking about the left-handed. Although most mice designed to be used only with the right hand generally benefit from improved ergonomics, thanks to the asymmetrical design, the Viper Ultimate offers a comfortable and secure grip. Since it is neither small nor particularly large, it addresses a wide audience. It is also ideal for a Fingertip or Claw type of grip. Only users with really small hands can hope to use a Palm grip with this small a mouse. In any case, the mouse is very comfortable and will never slip under your hand.
All this was to be expected, after all the wired Viper (Check on Amazon.com) was already an excellent device, ergonomically speaking, thanks to its low weight, good gliding feet, and a flexible cable, but the Viper Ultimate is even better — even though a tad heavier. The reason for this is not only the absence of a cable but above all the new gliding feet: the cordless Viper Ultimate uses pure PTFE feet (they aren’t painted), which makes the wireless version glide noticeably better than the standard Viper, even in wired mode. As a result, the gliding characteristics of the Viper Ultimate are noticeable superior to those of the G Pro Wireless.
The Viper Ultimate might have inherited its shape from the wired variant, but Razer did improve on the materials. Both the mouse’s surface, as well as the rubberized flanks, have been slightly revised. The former shows an, even more, coarser texture, reminiscent of PBT keycaps. The two rubberized sides are not just glued, but appear to have been inserted into the housing, which is great for durability. They are also a definite advantage over the satiny, slippery flanks of the G Pro Wireless or the much more textured coating of the G502 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon.com).
The RGB illumination is still discreet, limited to the Razer logo on the back of the mouse. In addition, there is a light-emitting diode hidden on the underside of the mouse that indicates the sensor’s resolution.
Razer Viper Ultimate – Features
The Viper Ultimate is a wireless mouse that features Razer’s new HyperSpeed technology, which allows you to use a continuous high fidelity connection while continuously tracking the signal that connects to the best available connection, without the user noticing any jumps each time it changes frequency. The 2.4Ghz dongle offers data transfers up to 25% faster than other wireless connections, with almost zero latency and minimal power consumption that makes it possible to boast a huge autonomy without the need for a heavy battery.
This mouse features six buttons: two main buttons (right and left click that use optomechanical switches) and two thumb buttons on each side. This means that both the Viper Ultimate and G Pro Wireless offer the exact same layout, but Razer’s mouse has the advantage: both mouses feature a secondary assignment of each button (via software), but with the Viper Ultimate we can also assign a secondary function for the mouse wheel, thus having two more buttons available.
So, the Viper Ultimate can have six additional buttons (not counting the left and right-click nor the mouse wheel’s primary function) while the G Pro Wireless has only four. If you are capable of operating also the two side button on the opposite side of your thumb (using your ring and pinky finger) the Viper Ultimate and G Pro Wireless can potentially offer up to eight or six programmable buttons!
The other advantage of the Viper Ultimate over the G Pro Wireless is the switches. The latter uses the tried and true Omron switches with a lifetime of 50 million clicks. The Viper Ultimate, on the other hand, uses Razer’s new optomechanical switches that use light to signal inputs. This makes them more durable (they are rated for up to 70 million clicks, due to reduced mechanical wear and tear) but also “three times faster”, since they can boast a response time of just 0.2ms!
The end result, however, is that the two primary buttons of the Viper Ultimate feel and sound duller. Meanwhile, the speed advantage is measurable, but not perceptible in real use.
The Viper Ultimate uses the PixArt PMW-3399, now advertised as “Razer Focus+”. It is the first one to offer a native sensor resolution of up to 20,000 DPI and can deliver speeds of up to 650 IPS and acceleration of 50G. Both values are, of course, far away from what is practical. The fact that Razer claims to be able to process even higher speeds with this new sensor, but not to measure this objectively, must, therefore, be considered technically impressive, but not relevant.
The true advantage of the new sensor comes from the fact that it is more efficient, thus the Viper Ultimate can achieve a comparable battery life to the G Pro Wireless while lighter. The second advantage comes from Razer’s “Motion Sync” technology that promises a more even tracking. This explains Razer’s advertised latency, which is about 25 percent lower in relation to the G Pro Wireless. Converted into absolute time, however, this value is clearly below one millisecond and thus also below the framework of human perception.
Two less significant but more easily noticeable innovations are the automatic sensor calibration and a lift-off distance that can be adjusted separately for the lifting and repositioning of the mouse. In practical terms, all this means that the Viper Ultimate can be used more or less equally well on a fabric mouse pad and a wooden table without using the Synapse software for calibration. As a result of this, the lift-off distance can be as low as possible, so that the wireless Viper can be both more responsive and accurate under optimal conditions.
Thus, Razer actually retains the right to claim the Focus+ to offer the best mouse sensor at present — neither Logitech’s Hero nor older PixArt derivatives are fully enough to the performance of the PMW-3399. However, the differences are so small that a person cannot benefit from it; only automatic calibration and low lift-off distance can benefit from a purely practical but not necessarily improving precision.
The charging station is a pleasure to have! Small, elegant and functional, it connects to the computer via a soft and braided micro USB cable and sports a very discreet USB port that allows you to insert the 2.4GHz dongle.
A Chroma RGB band located on the base gives you information about the mouse’s battery level and can be configured via the Razer software suite.
The Viper Ultimate is particularly enduring, although slightly less than the Basilisk, which has an autonomy of up to 100 hours. The Viper Ultimate can last up to 70 hours with the lights turned off.
The companion software, Razer’s Synapse 3, is very complete. There are many customization options, including the different Chroma modules to manage the RGB lighting of all your Razer devices. You will also be able to program all buttons, while the Hypershift mode allows you to assign a second function to each one.
Razer Viper Ultimate – Performance
The build quality is great; there were no creaking or other sounds while gaming and the rattling sound when shaking the mouse is due to the mouse wheel.
The precision is outstanding, the latency is non-existent and the gliding is first-class. The haptic feedback of both the buttons and the mouse wheel is extremely pleasing. The slightly dull tactile and acoustic feedback of the otherwise flawless optomechanical switches is a matter of taste and getting used to. In addition, the bigger internal memory (that lets you save entire profiles and not just DPI settings) makes Synapse constantly active in the background largely superfluous.
The Viper Ultimate is also the first lightweight mouse to offer the same battery life as the G Pro Wireless with comparable (if not superior) sensors. The battery takes longer to recharge (twice as much), but Razer’s mouse is still a little lighter.
In the end, the question arises whether the G Pro Wireless finally found its master. The answer depends: Logitech’s mouse is better suited for users with very large hands or for those who prefer to use wireless charging while in use via Logitech’s PowerPlay mouse pad.
In all other cases, however, the Viper Ultimate offers a better overall experience thanks to a more grippy feeling, better sliding properties and the potentially higher number of programmable keys.
Left-handers should also consider the wired Viper which costs “just” (Check on Amazon.com). The Logitech G903 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon.com) is a valid alternative if you want an all-purpose mouse and not just for gaming.
The Razer Viper Ultimate (Check on Amazon.com) is definitely the best wireless mouse on the market: it is lightweight and brimming with technology. Apart from its “disgusting” price, the Viper Ultimate encompasses everything you can wish from an eSports mouse.