For a little over a year, I’ve been using Logitech’s G305 with a lithium battery in it to reduce the weight. It came in at about 89 grams thanks to the light battery. I love that it’s wireless, and its small form factor is perfect for my smaller-than-average hands.
Over the last several months, I’ve been watching the rise and hype of the ultra light mouse trend with secret envy. I got curious about whether going lighter would be right for me, but the designs kept turning me away.
I didn’t want a mouse with tons of holes in it. I didn’t know if I could go back to a wire. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the larger shapes after months and months of using the smaller G305 and the older wired G Pro.
Further frustrating my curiosity was the near-total lack of retail availability in my area. Many of the most-popular and highly-rated ultralight mouse models are only available during special limited online order periods, and sell out as quickly as they come on the market.
Logitech has the G Pro Wireless widely available, but I’m not super crazy about its almost-cylindrical shape or its $149 price tag.
Razer finally put a stop to my indecision with the sudden launch of the new Razer Viper a few weeks ago. I bought one right away and I haven’t stopped using it since.
It’s my favorite Razer mouse since the original DeathAdder.
The Razer Viper is a $79 wired ambidextrous hyper light mouse. It weighs just under 70 grams, and uses Razer’s “opto-mechanical” switches for the main buttons, similar to those in the Razer Huntsman keyboard.
Those switches eliminate the need for “debounce delay”, a special software trick that helps mouse switches not accidentally register a double click as they bounce back to the neutral point. All standard mechanical mouse buttons will wear down over time and eventually start registering clicks incorrectly as the software compensation gets out of sync, the original Razer DeathAdder infamously among them.
I personally experienced the double click problem with my DeathAdder after about 18 months, but Razer promises this new switch type will help eliminate that particular issue. If that turns out to hold true, that alone is a potential game-changer for long-term use and reliability.
Unlike many other ultra light models, you can find the Razer Viper quite easily. It should be in stock at most Best Buy stores and is available online as well. I was relieved to walk into a Best Buy on launch day and just find one on the shelf.
I was worried that the Viper would be a little too big for my hands, but my fears were unfounded. The shell is slightly shorter than the average Razer gaming mouse, and its button comfort grooves are nice and deep, resulting in a shape that should work fine for most hand sizes.
The ambidextrous design is really cool. The side buttons are recessed in such a way that they’re really easy to hit with your thumb, but really hard to hit with your pinky or the side of your hand.
I haven’t had a single mis-click of the opposite side buttons in three weeks with the mouse so the design does its job.
Some of my previous wired mice have had an issue where the cable grinds against my dumb desk. So far I haven’t had this problem with the Viper, even though I’m recklessly not using a mouse bungee.
The cable exits the mouse at a slight upward angle, and is made out of a very flexible material similar to paracord, but with a thickness approaching the feel of a traditional Razer mouse cord. It’s quite malleable, I can’t really feel its presence at all…and it collects dust almost instantly.
Dust is the big reason I never want a mouse with holes in it. As you can see from the few photos of my personal desk in this article above, dust is a constant challenge for me. I dusted this room a few days ago, but between my apartment’s lack of central AC and the fan I run to keep myself cool, and all the black peripherals…dust is a factor for me.
The Razer Viper’s shell manages to feel solid and durable while also still somehow feeling super light. Whipping the mouse around on the desk is more comfortable and pleasant than using the G305.
I’ve played many hours of Fallout 3, Skyrim, Oblivion, BioShock, Torchlight, and more to test out the accuracy and I’ve had some of my best mousing experiences in years while using the Viper.
I’m not a competitive online gamer, but I’ve played many thousands of hours of Diablo III and single player FPS games, and I feel confident saying the Viper is an exceptional mouse for precision.
The buttons are light and satisfyingly clicky and don’t require that much force to actuate, which is great.
I like that you don’t have to use Razer Synapse if you don’t want to, thanks to the Viper’s hidden onboard sensitivity switch on the underside of the mouse. The only thing you need Synapse for is lighting controls. The single RGB light here is integrated well. It’s seamlessly hidden under the cover of the mouse, and when the light is off the mouse is essentially a plain black color.
I don’t know what feats of engineering Razer had to do to make a mouse this light that’s also so sturdy-feeling.
It probably took a large R and D budget.
I honestly think that the Viper is going to dominate the light mouse market, and it’s a great first choice for people who are curious about whether a light mouse is right for them. The opto-mechanical buttons should be more durable than previous Razer switches (only time will tell on that one), the sensor is Razer’s best optical model, it has on-board controls if you hate software, and the cable doesn’t drag at all.
And you don’t have to go to great lengths to buy one. Or carve up your own existing mouse following an online mod guide. Or have to own a 3D printer.
I went from being nervous about giving up my G305 to completely enthralled in one afternoon, and I’ve given zero thought to switching back in the weeks since.
The Viper is a great product top-to-bottom and one I have no reservations wholeheartedly recommending if you’re in the market for a new gaming mouse.