There is a glut of identical mice on the market, each from a different company but all share the same basic design and function. So, we took notice when Razer introduced the Viper Mini Signature Edition (SE) today, a wireless mouse that appears to have forgotten to get dressed.
According to Razer, the magnesium alloy chassis “exoskeleton” is what makes up the Viper Mini SE. There is a web-like pattern and large, gaping holes made by the dark grey lines that cover the mouse’s palm. Razer has taken the honeycomb design for mice to its limit, employing drilled holes in the chassis to lighten the device. But the holes on the Viper Mini SE are so large that it appears like you could stick your finger through them, whereas on a standard honeycomb mouse, such as the Glorious Model I, there are many fewer holes that are smaller.
I had doubts about the mouse’s longevity after my initial glance. Despite Razer’s assertions, I believe that a mouse with 18 holes is more likely to be damaged by me than one with none. While more holes mean more dust and debris may fall through, the mouse should be easier to clean with an air blower than a honeycomb mouse with a more densely packed top.
Razer generously included a 3-year guarantee with the mouse, which is an extra year compared to the 2-year warranty it often includes. We’re interested in reading about how the Viper Mini SE holds up over time and in the hands of heavy users like gamers who are notoriously rough on their mice.
Taking a positive outlook, the hand resting on the cavernous mouse might be able to keep its temperature down. Users may experience less hand fatigue during prolonged, high-effort use if there is less direct contact between their hands and the electronics and more air can circulate around them. Unlike Marsback’s Zephyr, though, Razer did not include a cooling fan in the mouse.
The Viper Mini SE is Razer’s lightest mouse, and its large holes are a big part of that. Compared to the Viper Mini, which is the same size and weight (2.15) but significantly heavier (1.73 ounces), this one represents a significant weight savings of roughly 30 percent. It’s not the lightest mouse, but it’s not the heaviest either. Even lighter mice are available; Finalmouse has sold mice that weigh only 1.48 ounces, and Cooler Master’s MM720 is also 0.11 pounds.
To make it really ambidextrous like the Razer Viper Ultimate, it would have been wonderful if Razer used the saved weight to add buttons to the right side of the mouse.
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Razer opted to make the mouse out of magnesium alloy due to its superior “strength-to-weight ratio.” There was a claim that drilling holes into plastic made it weaker and didn’t result in much weight savings. Even though it was lighter, stronger, and sturdier than steel, titanium was difficult to work with due to its brittleness. Finally, Razer was unable to use carbon fiber for the Viper Mini SE because of fabrication constraints and because it is heavier than plastic.
As stated in the official news release, the mouse is constructed “using an artificial skeleton that is injected with mold and then CNC machined and polished. After the exoskeleton shell is passivated to prevent corrosion, it is painted and put together. Every component is checked thoroughly at each stage…”
The Razer Viper Mini SE is designed for players who need a mouse that can be flicked as quickly and easily as possible. Users of increasingly high-resolution monitors and multi-screen setups, as well as those who find their arm or hand getting fatigued while mousing, may appreciate the benefits of a lightweight mouse with a high dots-per-inch (DPI) rating (up to 30,000 DPI in the case of the Viper Mini SE).
There are better options out there if you want a lot of chassis for your money. Coming out on February 11 with a hefty price tag of $280 is a wireless peripheral.