Razer Viper Gaming Mouse
Product Name: Viper Gaming Mouse
Review Date: 07.09.04
A mouse is a crucial part of any PC users system. It?s the tool used to interact with your computer and its applications. Most people settle for the standard, off-the-shelf, optical mice which work great for the everyday user. So what?s so special about a Razer Viper? If you?re a hardcore gamer, professional graphic designer, or a person who works with anything on the computer which requires precise tracking of your hands every movement, the Viper could be the mouse for you. With a powerful driver disk packed with on-screen features such as on-the-fly sensitivity, mouse wheel speed, and X and Y axis adjustments, the Razer Viper is easily the most technologically advanced mouse on the market. Team one of these babies up with a 1030 Surface mat from FuNc and you have the most kick-ass mousing setup available. Will this Razer mouse live up to the hype? Let?s check it out.
The packaging was very nice to say the least; the mouse came in a plastic protective shell inside a cardboard box with the whole mouse exposed without opening the box. It is, after all, just a box, but its cool packaging nonetheless.
Here are the specs as listed on the box:
Inside the cardboard cover, I saw the mouse, with the cord wrapped in a circle with a gold USB connector, an instruction manual, and a driver disk under that.
I opened the plastic packaging and got my first good look at the mouse outside of the plastic. Finally, I got to hold it in my hand. The Viper is noticeably smaller in height and width when compared to the Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical - my favorite $15 mouse. There are three standard buttons, a left click, right click and a scroll wheel. The buttons are all non-slip, with a rubber coating over them, and they felt very soft and smooth. Also note the buttons come back on the base of the mouse much further than a conventional mouse making it easy to do a left or right click with the entire finger rather than just the tip. The buttons are approx. 3? long, which is considerably long on a 4.5? mouse. A generic optical mouse will usually have buttons about 1.5?-2? in length.
The scroll wheel is very clunky and does not roll with much ease. My guess is, when you are gaming, you wont accidentally scroll one notch too far when selecting a new weapon in the heat of battle. If this is in fact the reason, then Razer has thought of it all! All in all it has an excellent comfort factor. I would much rather use this mouse than any other mouse that I have tried in the past. Appearance-wise the Viper doesn?t fall short either. Its sleek design really compliments its name. The clear rubber side rails, clear acrylic body, smooth silky buttons and clear white scroll wheel give this mouse a very??clear? look.
The end of the cable sported some bling-bling with a nifty gold-plated USB connector. Now we?re ensured the best possible connection to the PC, alright! Needless to say it?s not important, but you can tell that Razer is trying to make the Viper the Ferrari of mice. The bottom of the mouse also has a Razer hologram covering the screw hole and interestingly only has three feet instead of the standard four.
So the mouse looks sweet, but how does it do with performance?
Installation of the Viper was a breeze. I hooked up the USB connector to an open port on the back of my PC, set the mouse on my FuNc 1030 Surface mat and I was in business. The mouse did come with a driver disk with some promising features so I popped in the CD and loaded the software.
After installation, I have this nice GUI that lets me control all of the different aspects of the mouse. You can tweak the sensitivity, the double-click speed, the mouse wheel speed, the X and Y axis, and a left/right hand button configuration. The small application is incredibly easy to use, yet so powerful that I can?t imagine going back to a mouse that doesn?t have this software! Let?s take a look at the main screen after installing the software.
You can see that the application first opens with the sensitivity screen. In the advanced setting under the sensitivity meter I changed the setting to show X and Y axis independently.
On this screen you can manually change the sensitivity of the X or Y axis, you can activate the on-the-fly sensitivity, and you can change the double click speed. There is even a nice gray test box where you can see if you like the double click speed and it shatters like glass with a nice little sound effect. Pretty cool, and very useful! If you decide to have on-the-fly sensitivity just click YES and check the box that says show-on-screen. This way when you hold down the scroll wheel and roll it up or down, you can adjust sensitivity on the fly, even in game!
This feature blew me away. I love using this feature now, and as I said before, I wouldn?t be able to go back to a different mouse now that I have tried the Viper!
Now we?ll take a look at the second page titled ?scroll wheel?. Not hard to figure out what you can do on this page, but we?ll check it out anyway.
There is a scroll wheel speed selector and then a test area to try it out. It is nice to be able to test the speeds and see if you like them, after all, that?s why you?re changing them in the first place, right? After a few clicks and scrolls I decided I wanted my scrolling speed right in the middle.
The buttons page lets you decide whether you want a left or right handed setup, cool for all you lefties, and it also allows you to assign keys to functions, or give the three buttons on the mouse a special assignment, such as double-click, menu, on-the-fly sensitivity, etc.
Now that?s a lot of features in a mouse tweaking application! It?s clear that Razor wants you to be in complete control over every aspect of this amazing mouse. All my settings are now set. I?m happy with the sensitivity (and we can always change it later, even on the fly!) so let?s take a look at how well this thing actually works!
The Teflon feet glided perfectly smooth on both the smooth and rough side of the FuNc 1030 mat. When moving the mouse around, I barely noticed the plastic body of the mouse. To my pleasant surprise, all I felt were silky smooth, rubber-coated buttons and the nice non-slip rubber side rails in my hand. The scroll wheel is also rubber and it grips your fingertip well. After an hour of internet browsing, my hand felt perfect on the mouse and I was ready to try using it in a game.
The first game that I could think of using this mouse in was Counter-Strike because it requires such twitchy movements and fast reactions. Since that?s what this mouse was made for, I decided to see how it would feel in an online game. The mouse felt pretty normal in-game except for the fact that it tracked a little more precise than my old Microsoft mouse and never jumps when you move it left to right incredibly fast. Now I can?t blame my bad score my mouse! The mouse only has three buttons, but that didn?t bother me because I never use 5-button mice for gaming. If you can?t live without the little thumb buttons on the sides for talking on your headset, then steer clear of this mouse because it only has the standard buttons! The mouse itself is so light and small that I could lift it and move it all over the pad with ease. A light mouse is really essential for gaming when you need twitch-reactions like in CS. Holding down the mouse wheel button makes the on-the-fly sensitivity meter pop up in the lower right corner of the screen. When playing an Open GL game, the menu flickered, but I could still easily see the number that I was setting the sensitivity to. This feature is just awesome, I picked up a sniper and then I upped the sensitivity and my sniper was deadly accurate moving the mouse only millimeters. Hours of gaming definitely prove that the Viper does live up to the hype.
Whether you?re gaming for hours, scrolling through internet web pages, or designing in Photoshop, this mouse is perfect in everyway. The only drawback that I could find is the fact that there are only three buttons, but to some people this is not an issue. The rubber coated, long buttons work great for any game or application and never let your finger slip. The scroll wheel with its rubber grip and stiff scroll makes it easy to change weapons without any mistakes in game. Rubber grip side rails makes slipping impossible, and the Teflon feet on the bottom glide over any mouse pad surface extremely well. I highly recommend the FuNc 1030 surface mat in combination with this mouse for overall best performance. The tracking optics are flawless; I could not make the mouse glitch or jump no matter how fast or how crazily I moved it around on the pad. In game, the mouse is very comfortable and I had no problems using it for a prolonged period of time. The software included with the mouse, packs a serious amount of features to tweak every aspect of the mouse to your specific needs and liking. And if you need to switch sensitivity in-game, just hold down the mouse wheel and scroll up or down! The Razer Viper is easily one of the best gaming mice on the market. I could find absolutely no flaws in this mouse, and Razer went the extra mile with their software. I highly recommend this mouse to any serious PC gamer or user.