Ever since Razer announced the original Viper, it was natural that the company would eventually want to shell out their entire product stack. And after servicing the top end of the market with a wireless offering, the company had to service cost-conscious gamers.
So anyone looking for smaller, superlight mice that don’t break the bank, Razer has a very serious offering: the Viper Mini.
The Viper Mini is a shrunken version of the original wired Razer Viper. It’s deliberately designed to cut down on costs, size and weight: Razer is selling the device for $69.95 locally, targeting gamers who might have bought a Glorious Model O- or Coolermaster’s MM710 but were hesitating because of the whole “giant holes in the chassis” problem.
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The Viper Mini, like the Viper and Viper Ultimate wireless mouse, is completely encased, so no spillage problems. The whole unit weighs 61 grams and has the same optical switches has the other Viper mice, and an optical 8500 DPI sensor with a maximum IPS of 300. Most people will never flick a mouse hard enough for that to be a problem, or use a mouse at DPI settings that high, but it’s worth noting because the Viper Mini doesn’t have the exact same sensor as the Viper or Viper Ultimate. (There’s also only two mouse feet instead of the three on the Viper and Viper Ultimate, although the feet themselves are much larger now.)
In an email interview with Kotaku Australia, Razer product evangelist Ben Goh said the Viper Mini is using a lower power sensor. “While our Focus+ Optical Sensor has a lower power consumption and offers the highest sensor specifications in the market, the Razer Viper Mini’s optical sensor also offers a solid and precise solution without sacrificing too much; as power performance is not as [much of] a concern with a wired mouse,” he said.
Goh explained that Razer trialled a string of prototypes and 3D models, all trying to avoid the current trend of mice with perforated chassis. “We’ve even had prototypes that weighed from as low as 60g to 85g, where we worked through feedback from esports players like [MiBR]’s Taco,” Goh said.
The Viper Mini has the same basic ambidextrous structure as the Viper, and the same “Speedflex” cable which is light enough to the point where most gamers won’t notice it’s there. Interestingly, the Viper Mini is slightly taller than the Viper, but it’s thinner and shorter to compensate. (It’s worth noting that the Viper Wireless has the same physical dimensions as the base Viper, but it’s 5 grams heavier to account for the wireless sensor and battery.)
|Razer Viper & Viper Mini Specifications|
|Dimensions||126.7mm x 57.6mm x 37.8mm||118.3mm x 53.5mm x 38.3mm|
|Sensor||Optical, 16000 DPI||Optical, 8,500 DPI|
|Speed||450 IPS||300 IPS|
Here’s another look at the underside, and what you can expect after a couple of weeks of usage. A fair bit of dust will accumulate around the ridges of the mouse feet, and there’s a tiny groove above the Razer Viper Mini name that is great for trapping dust as well. It’s pretty small, so if you want to get rid of this gunk after a while, a toothpick is your best bet.
What I like here, though, is that the sensor in the middle has the same general shape as the Viper and Viper Ultimate. That means you can basically get a spare set of third-party mouse glides, and the centre should apply just fine to the Viper Mini. The PTFE fine are slippery enough as is, though. And the sensor performs just as well in fast-paced shooters like CS:GO, Fortnite, Overwatch and any game you care to throw it at.
Other than that, everything that was good about the Viper has been ported over to the Viper Mini. You can save settings to the mouse and then delete Razer’s software suite forever, never having to hand over your details. The DPI button on the front, instead of the rear like the Viper and Viper Ultimate, is a godsend. The mousewheel is that perfect balance between soft and easy to scroll without being loose. The slightly texturised plastic is also much nicer to grip in hotter temperatures, which is a huge plus over other mice with smoother plastic coatings (I’m thinking the Zowie mice, or the Logitech G Pro Wireless).
Of course, mice are all about the shape. So if you don’t want a flat ambidextrous mouse, or you want something that sits in the palm of your hand a lot better, than the Viper Mini isn’t going to be for you. And that’s totally fine: Razer and every other manufacturer have plenty of offerings if you want chunkier mice to grip. But if you want to get a real good, high performing mouse for a decent price, the Viper Mini is absolutely worth considering. It reminds me of what gaming mice used to be like: high quality materials with minimal bullshit for a very, very reasonable price.
The Viper Mini is available through the Razer Australian Store, and should make its way to local retailers before too long.
The question now is: will there be a wireless Viper Mini one day? Honestly, I’d take one in a heartbeat.