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Manufacturer: Razer
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: USB Port

Razer Viper
August 19, 2004 | Scott Turner

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Viper Mouse
The first day the sleek black Viper mouse rolled its way onto my desk, I could tell it wasn't for everyone. The Viper is a slick, highly accurate precision aiming machine developed most certainly with either the hardcore or professional gamer in mind. I also tested the Viper on Razer's specially designed (and thoroughly geek-worthy) hard mousing surface, the eXactMat Control Pad, which gave the Viper even more gamer oriented customizability and comfort.

If you spend most of your day doing office work or web surfing with the Viper, you've missed the point. As is stated on Razer's website, this mouse was built specifically for fast and furious mousing, and when appreciated for what it was built for, the Viper is a very solid product.

"There are more mice, on heaven and earth..."
The Viper mouse obviously caters to the type of person who likes their computer experience given to them in blinding overdoses, as even the Viper's packaging screamed that it was far too cool to be looked at unless I was really serious about playing games. The mouse has a nice extended cord all wrapped up neatly in a plastic mold, and it also comes packed with a driver and settings software CD arranged in a nicely folded paper CD case. Inside each fold of the case are instructions for those who find the mouse too difficult to plug in or CD too hard too insert, but again, this mouse is aimed at a level of "extreme-ness" that is far beyond my comprehension.

As seems the status quo for generic Mac/PC peripherals these days, the Mac software had decided to skip the party on the CD and leave its .exe friends in its place. This means that Mac users miss out on a significant selling point of the Viper, the ability to change sensitivity settings on the fly in many popular games with Razer's specially tailored driver software. Thankfully, as is normally the case, the right mouse button was configured automatically by the Mac OS to function as control-click, and once plugged in via its USB cable the mouse was instantly recognized.

Not Your Grandma's Mouse
When I layed my hand on the mouse, the ambidextrous, elongated design kept my fingers comfortably lounging on both of the polished plastic buttons. The pinky and thumb grip onto translucent rubber strips, one running up each side of the mouse, and they provide excellent support to reposition the mouse by helping you to easily pick up the Viper. The scroll wheel and buttons provide a smooth, gentle feedback with each click that I came to enjoy very much, and they always seemed to require the right amount of force to activate. When moved, the mouse's interior would light up brightly, illuminating the internal ciruitry of the mouse and the raggedy text emblazened on the front, "Razer, Viper"

Upon first nudging the Viper, I almost missed the cursor as it sped across the screen. The sensitivity for this mouse is insanely high— and Razer wants it that way. The product box touts the Razer as not only the most accurate mouse available (1200 dots per inch of resolution read by the optical sensor as opposed to 800 of most optical mice,) but also one of the most sensitive.

"For those of you who play and compete at low sensitivity settings, we do not recommend the Viper mouse."

Indeed. Heed the words of Razer— when you move this mouse on your desk, the cursor will move very accurately. But it won't just'll fly!

Every game I used the Viper in, however, it accurately read my hand movements 100% of the time. There was no skipping nor jumping of the cursor, and while speedy, the mouse was defininitely in my control. I fall in the middle when it comes to craving a fast and responsive cursor, so I found that it took a few hours to really get a hang for the speed of the device. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take advantage of the speed in a competitive manner like I had hoped, and neither could my gaming companions— our win rate with the mouse remained relatively unchanged. The mouse was highly comfortable ergonomically, and I enjoyed the Atkins-like slim form factor when I played for long periods.


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