Razer has done so much for the gaming mouse space. Heck, they helped create it in the first place many years ago with the Razer Boomslang, and the original DeathAdder hammered out a legacy that still influences performance and design choices to this day.
Now in 2023, Razer seems to be doing everything they can to leave this proud legacy behind in a dumpster. They abandoned the original DeathAdder shell in favor of something far less iconic. They cash-grabbed their most enthusiastic customers twice over the Viper Mini design. They continue to pump out clone after clone of Logitech’s popular G502 with their Basilisk series, adding a bright light to the latest revision in the hopes of winning your dollars.
But that was all apparently just the start. This past week, Razer launched the Viper V3 HyperSpeed — starting the new “V3” series of one of their most popular designs not with a Pro-focused model, but rather a budget battery operated edition. Before I tear into its design — this is all backwards even from a product release standpoint. The Viper is an enthusiast mouse brand, full stop. It was always meant for the hardest of the hardcore. It was the first mass production gaming mouse to chase the lightweight trends from the boutique space, and it did so without huge hole cutouts that some gamers found annoying.
Why then, would you launch the latest edition of this series with a “budget” model first? Why did the Razer Cobra series, itself based on the budget Viper Mini, launch with a $129 Pro model that costs almost double this new mainline Viper?
I’m already baffled and distracted. The true disappointment cherry on top here is that the Viper V3 HyperSpeed has none of the trademark design elements of its namesake. The swooping buttons? Gone. The flat low profile frame? Gone. The optical switches that ensure high speed click performance? Gone.
Instead, they’ve delivered what essentially looks like a clone of the ever-popular Logitech G Pro design, paired with pieces from the Razer parts bin. Yay?