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Technology Razer Viper Ultimate wireless esports mouse enters HyperSpeed

18:45  18 october  2019
18:45  18 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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Razer seems to be aiming for the title of "fastest wireless mouse on the planet" with its new Viper Ultimate, a more-than-just-wireless version of its recently released Viper esports-targeted gaming mouse. It introduces a host of new and updated technologies, including a 20,000 dots-per-inch sensor and improved wireless bandwidth and stability over its previous mice (and, Razer claims, better than the competition's). Plus, it has a pretty cool dock to go with it. And I think it's just become my new favorite.

a black computer mouse on a desk: Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Viper Ultimate, available now, comes in a bundle with the dock for $150 or dockless for $130 -- the dock by itself costs $50. (Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products referenced on this page.) That's more or less comparable to competitors such as Logitech's G502 Lightspeed Wireless and G Pro Wireless ($150) or the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless ($120). For comparison, the wired Viper is $80 (£80, AU$135).

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  Razer Viper Ultimate wireless esports mouse enters HyperSpeed © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
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It has the same symmetrical ambidextrous design as the wired version. I really like it -- I'm a palm gripper who occasionally "goes claw" depending upon the design of the switches. It may not be not to everyone's taste or comfort, though; it fits well in small or medium-size hands, but if you've got large hands you may find it too cramped. If it does fit your hand, it's low-profile enough to easily switch among different grips.

And while it's not as light as the wired version, 74 grams to the other one's 69 grams, it's still pretty light. But after swearing up and down that I prefer heavier mice -- I've been using the SteelSeries configured to a whopping 136 grams for a while -- adapting to this featherweight was surprisingly easy.

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There have been some complaints about the the wired Viper's feet making it feel a little more frictiony, and for the Ultimate Razer replaced the large pads with smaller, less draggy ones made of polytetrafluoroethylene (the same material used by HyperGlide Mouse Skates). They deliver a really, really smooth glide on most surfaces, especially hard ones, though only time will tell if wear and tear will change that. They don't seem to collect schmutz along the edges, either, thanks to a gradual curve around the outsides. Instead, dust seems to collect inside the indentation where the mouse fits into the dock.

a black and silver phone: Dust and other particulates seem to collect along the inside edge of the cutout where the mouse rests on the dock instead of along the edges of the feet. Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Dust and other particulates seem to collect along the inside edge of the cutout where the mouse rests on the dock instead of along the edges of the feet. Sarah Tew/CNET

Like the regular Viper, the Ultimate incorporates optical switches which respond more quickly, are less subject to registering unwanted clicks, and (theoretically) experience less wear and tear than mechanical ones. They do feel a little less stiff than those on Razer's other mice, without sacrificing the satisfying (or loud, depending upon your point of view) click.

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But the Ultimate also has a lot of internal improvements over the original. It uses a new sensor developed with Pixart, the Razer Focus Plus, with industry-leading 20,000 dpi resolution and a high tracking rate of 650 inches per second (IPS) on top of the same acceleration rating of 50G.

The wireless performance seems to have gotten good enough to demand its own branding -- HyperSpeed Wireless. Razer has further optimized its Adaptive Frequency Technology to sustain a faster connection and to significantly cut the lag in communication between the mouse and the computer so that can more accurately track the cursor coordinates (Razer brands that as "Motion Sync"). It doesn't hurt that you can stick the wireless dongle (2.4GHz)  into the dock so it's parked right in front of the mouse.

a hand holding a cellphone: There's a little compartment to store the wireless dongle if you don't have the dock. If you're a big loser-of-dongles, this comes in really, really handy. Really. Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. There's a little compartment to store the wireless dongle if you don't have the dock. If you're a big loser-of-dongles, this comes in really, really handy. Really. Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer claims all these add up to an accuracy rate of 99.6%, compared to 99.4% for the standard model. That sounds like a trivial improvement, but translates to 2 "good" clicks out of every 1,000, or 2 every 1.7 minutes if you're a decent player (10 clicks per second) and every 1.1 minutes if you're a good one (15 cps). Over the course of a long day of playing, that can add up; even more so if wasted clicks tend to throw you off. Still, unless you're in the tippy-top class of speedmeisters, you probably won't see a difference there.

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It also boasts improved power efficiency, rated up to 70 hours of battery life, though without illumination. Anecdotally, in a full days' normal (office) use and about an hour of gaming (I was tired!) with the illumination at 100%, the battery dropped by about 25%.

When you place it on the dock, the lighting scheme changes to indicate an approximate battery level, which is nice, and of course charges it. The bundled micro USB cable connects either the dock or the mouse. You can operate the mouse wired, and it's the same braided-but-flexible SpeedFlex cable that's used by the wired Viper.

a black computer mouse on a table: Underlighting is the best lighting. The dock has a nonskid base that seems to form a loose seal with hard surfaces. Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Underlighting is the best lighting. The dock has a nonskid base that seems to form a loose seal with hard surfaces. Sarah Tew/CNET

New Smart Tracking technology lets the mouse recognize different surfaces and apply presets -- or let you manually specify -- liftoff and landing distances. In my brief time testing, the defaults worked okay. There aren't really any tools for "calibrating" to surfaces or liftoff/landing in Razer's Synapse 3 software, though, just trial and error.

Though the dock is optional, it really does seem worth the extra $20 to get it in the bundle -- $50 standalone might be a bit much. In addition to the ability to charge the mouse and hold the dongle, it's got the elegant underglow that syncs with Razer's Chroma lighting ecosystem, and makes it findable in the dark. The one drawback I've found, though, is that after using the mouse to put the system to sleep, docking it wakes the system up. Oops. There's probably some setting somewhere to circumvent that which I just haven't had the time to look for yet. Hopefully.

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a black computer mouse on a table© CNET

And my one quibble with the design of the mouse is the the dpi indicator. The switch is on the bottom, which makes sense if you're worried about accidentally triggering it during gameplay, and since I change it in-game I remapped it to one of the side buttons (there are 8, plus Razer's HyperShift for a total of 16 programmable states). It can show onscreen when you switch levels, but that doesn't work in-game, at least in fullscreen mode. The indicator LED is on the bottom of the mouse, and though larger than it is on the wired Viper, that means you can't tell what the current setting is while in-game. I wish it could be mapped to Chroma.

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The SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker, Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, QuietComfort 35 II and SoundSport Free headphones are among the products being discounted.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.

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