Razer Viper Mini Shrinks The Size And Price Of The Popular Viper
Razer Viper Mini03/04/2020
Ultralight gaming mice have taken over and won the hearts and hands of gamers all over and Razer is not sleeping on the success of their Razer Viper with the Viper Mini. They have taken the concept and design of the Viper and shrunk it down to 90% of its original design, stripped away true ambidextrous support, added underglow lighting, and somehow still managed to shave HALF off of the MSRP. Voodoo, this is.
That, in a nutshell, is what the Razer Viper Mini is. It's a smaller and lighter version of the original Razer Viper that launched back in August of last year. While it mostly seems like a Honey I Shrunk The Mouse moment there were a few things that got the price point down to an incredible $39.99 MSRP. Starting with the switches, while they're still the delightful optical switches their rating is at 50m clicks rather than 70m of the OG Viper. Again, right side buttons have been removed so this is a righty only mouse. And, they have let their 5G sensor stay on the full size Viper and Viper Ultimate. But, do these cuts hurt the overall experience? Let's find out.
Viper Mini Size Comparison
The cord is continuing to shake things up with its new Speedflex Cable design just like its big brother uses. Gone is the tightly braided cables like the Mamba and the Basilisk had and is replaced by their new 2.1m Speedflex cable. Similar to a paracord design but a bit looser the speedflex cable is a bit thicker than I had expected but is super flexible and doesn't get bunched up and stiff like other cables Razer uses. It's a good move and welcomed although with the lightweight nature of the mouse it actually feels heavy. A very important note on the design that the cord is not angled slightly upwards from the mouse body to extend the point which hits your mouse pad out by a little bit on the big Viper, a little thing but missed for certain.
The Razer Viper Mini features an ambidextrous design but isn't truly ambidextrous as the right side does not feature any buttons. Coming in at 118.3mm long, 53.5mm wide and a short 38.3mm tall the Viper Mini lends itself perfectly for a claw or fingertip style grip with my hand that measures in at 177mm, I know I have small hands. On the top of the mouse you'll find the scroll wheel, right and left mouse buttons along with the DPI adjustment button, a pair of forward/back buttons on the left side and these can all be modified in the not-required synapse software (more on that later) and the Razer logo is under the surface so it has a frosted look to it for the only RGB that's present which is pretty nice and this model has been upgraded to feature underglow while you're going fast and furious style.
The Razer Viper Mini comes in at a very light 61g from the 69g of the big Viper and managed to do so again without blasting it with buckshot thanks to very strategic internal shell designs. This was done by shrinking the size to 90% of the big Viper and dropping the need for additional components for the right side buttons. Even if you love the size and weight of the big Viper this one could offer itself to the perfect companion mouse to toss in a carryon bag for laptop use, and it'll add very little weight to the bad you'll be toting all day.
Flip the mouse over and you'll find two glide pads at the top and bottom of the mouse that is 100% PTFE and they're nicely sized. It does have glide pads surrounding the 3359 optical sensor with an adjustable 8,500 DPI, while that's lower than the 16k of the big Viper I never found it to be an issue. Tracking felt good and I never came across an issue with it but I kept the DPI at 1800 where I'm most comfortable. Thankfully this one has the DPI selection on the top so I can quickly switch in games depending on whether I'm on foot or in a vehicle in a shooter.
What about the scroll wheel? It's wide and has a good grip, but the scrolling motion feels muddy and unresponsive, definitely a low point on the mouse. The switches are much more interesting, however. They're implementing their new Optical Switches for instant actuation. But while the instant actuation is nice having been someone who suffered from losing a mouse in the past to the left click wearing out and double-clicking no matter what thanks to the debounce delay taking a dump I can appreciate no longer having to worry about it.
These switches are able to do that because they actually do not have any physical contact points, they're actuated entirely by light passing through the switch as it moves down. Thanks to this design they're able to extend the lifespan to 50 million clicks, count them up if you want on your own I can't validate this claim. Another claim is that they're 3 times faster than normal switches but that time frame is so small already you'll likely be like me and not be able to tell the difference. Sound-wise they have a nice solid thud and aren't very clicky sound, not very loud either.
Not everyone loves the Synapse Software for one reason or another and if you fall into that camp you'll be very happy to know that it's not needed unless you want to change the color of the cycling logo. There are 5 presets for the DPI saved to the onboard memory of the mouse, you heard me right ONBOARD MEMORY, and while you can use the Synapse software to change the settings of each and they'll stick it won't save the RGB configuration so you'll be left with a color cycle effect when you take the mouse off to use on another computer or want to uninstall the Synapse Software.
Razer nailed it. At $39.99 there really isn't much to critique. They took the look and feel of the Razer Viper and managed to shrink it down ever so slightly and shift a few things around in a way that makes sense for the price point they were trying to hit. They did that all while still managing to add even more RGB. The mouse clicks are solid and satisfying, the mouse feels good and solid in the hand while still being light enough to flick about in FPS titles. The scroll wheel, on the other hand, is a big let down, the step actuation is soft and mushy and the center click is passable at best. But at the price point if that is all I have to complain it's hard to fault the overall package, now if Razer would make these in Mercury White...
The Razer Viper Mini surprises in build quality, features, and even more when you see the price tag. Only let down slightly by the weak scroll wheel, the Viper Mini is an overall excellent package
- Competitive price
- Ultra Lightweight
- Onboard DPI storage
- Doesn't require Synapse
- Optical Switches
- Not true ambidextrous
- Disappointing scroll wheel