Less than 24 hours after I'd finished reviewing the Razer Viper, Razer's first entry into the ultralight mouse market, an image started floating around online. It was a wireless version of the same mouse, meaning Razer was finally gearing up to make proper inroads into proper wireless gaming mice.
Today, the Razer Viper Wireless is available for pre-order. It's expensive as all hell at $256.95, but it's easily one of the classiest gaming mice on the market. And the dock. We have to talk about the dock.
First things first. If you loved the Viper, the Razer Viper Wireless shares pretty much all of the same characteristics. There's a little bit of refinement on the chassis, with some slight tweaks to smooth down the gaps around the mousewheel and the left and right mouse clicks, but otherwise the shape and general materials haven't changed. It's an ambidextrous mouse that models a similar shape to Zowie's FK series, a longer device with a lower hump for the palm than what you'd see from Logitech's G Pro Wireless, Cooler Master's super-light MM710 series or the perforated ergonomic shapes of the Xtrfy mice.
There are a lot of gaming mice worth considering these days. But curiously, for a company that was at the forefront of marketing directly to Counter-Strike professionals and StarCraft teams, Razer's name had drifted a little from that conversation.
What's interesting is how Razer has engineering the Viper Wireless to be basically the same weight as the wired Viper - there's only 5 grams difference, bringing the wireless model to 74 grams. That's lighter than the G Pro Wireless and in the same territory as some of the larger "ultralight" wired mice, like the Glorious Model O and Ultralight Phantom, but the Viper Wireless doesn't have holes throughout the chassis, which is a huge advantage if you're worried about that stuff.
I really like the underside of how the Viper is engineered. When you take the mouse out of the box, the USB receiver is tucked away in a tiny little casing that sits just above the sensor. The housing is super lightweight plastic, so it doesn't add any extra weight. And a space on the underside has been carved out so the Viper can sit in its special dock, which is a really neat touch.
The mouse feet have been redesigned, too. The original Viper had a relatively thin mouse foot at the top and a large, more rounded one on the bottom, with a rounded square around the sensor. The Viper Wireless has five separate mouse feet now, all of which are smaller in size, but it glides just as well.
Coming with all of this, as you'd expect, is Razer's Synapse software. Synapse has come a hell of a long way. It's still a little too bloated for my like, and I hate the initial user experience of plugging in a mouse and having notifications pop up on Windows telling me I need to install drivers and other software.
But once you get through that initial phase, everything works just fine. You don't have to register an account to use the software, which means you can go through the pain once, save your preferred DPI profile to the Viper Wireless (or Viper, or any other Razer peripheral now), and then nuke the software from orbit.
The final part of this whole package is the nifty little dock that the Viper Wireless ships with. You don't have to use it, although I find it hard to imagine why you wouldn't. You plug the USB receiver into a little slot at the top of the dock, which is powered from your computer via a micro-USB cable. Charging the Viper Wireless is as simple as popping the device on the top. You don't have to turn the mouse off to charge, either.
Battery life is quoted at around 70 hours, although you'll get the most by disabling any RGB effects. The software lets you adjust the lift-off distance, and the whole mouse will charge from flat to 100 percent in about an hour and a half. I was able to get 10 percent charge within 10 minutes, which is nifty if you forget and you just need a quick bit of juice. The Viper Wireless is even compatible with the Xbox One too, which is a nice bonus, although I haven't been able to give it a full test on the console just yet.
Unsurprisingly, the Dock has its own RGB lighting which you can control from Razer Synapse. I left it to the standard breathing pattern, but jacked the brightness up to 100. It was a nice foil while sitting in at the front desk of the shared Kotaku Australia offices, with people wondering what the bright glowing thing on the desk was.
The Viper Wireless is expensive as hell. That's no surprise. It's priced at $256.95, about the same as the Logitech G Pro Wireless when it came out. And my recommendation for that applies here too. It's a banger of a device, and it's a fantastic bit of design on Razer's part, but unless you have the money to burn you can surely wait for prices to drop.
But if you can't, and you want a top tier wireless gaming mouse? You'd have to look at the shape, for one. Not all mice fit all hands. But what Razer have made is not only a really classy upgrade in terms of the wireless charging — the dock is elegant and works beautifully — but the mouse is a classy bit of kit. You can't remove the side buttons the way you can with the G Pro Wireless, but the Viper's rubber and plastic composite texture handles Australian temperatures a little better. (If you're really worried about gaming in the summer, the mice with holes in the chassis are actually the best option, provided you don't mind giving them a clean every now and again.)
The Viper was Razer's most interesting mouse in years, because it showed the company was paying attention to trends while maintaining some core design ideals. The Viper Wireless does one better: it's an absolute banger. It's not the best value for money, but it is certainly one of the best three gaming mice you can buy right now, with shipments due from November 1.