There are many cookie cutter mice that, while made by different manufacturers, share the same shapes and features but rely on slight changes in color or sensor specs to differentiate them. Today, when Razer announced the Viper Mini Signature Edition (SE), a wireless mouse that looks like it forgot to dress, it caught our attention.
The Viper Mini SE uses a magnesium alloy body, an “exoskeleton” as Razer describes it. Dark gray lines stretch across the palm of the mouse, creating a web-like design and large, gaping holes. Razer uses an extreme variant of honeycomb design, drilling holes in a mouse’s body to reduce weight. However, the typical honeycomb mouse, like the Glorious Model I, has many more holes that are smaller, while the Viper Mini SE has holes so big it looks like you could stick your finger through it.
At first glance, I was immediately concerned about the mouse’s durability. Despite what Razer claims, I still think I’m more likely to break a mouse with 18 holes than one without. Large vents can also attract dust and dirt, but larger vents should make it easier to clean the mouse with an air blower than a honeycomb mouse with more, smaller vents.
Razer mercifully backs the mouse with a three-year warranty, which is a year longer than mice are usually given. We look forward to reviews and long-term experiences with the Viper Mini SE to see how it performs, especially with power users such as gamers who tend to use their mice aggressively.
From a half-full glass perspective, the cavernous mouse might have the benefit of helping the hand stay cool over it. With less contact between the user’s hand and the electronics, and more airflow, users may find their hands less likely to get jammed during long hours of intense use. However, Razer didn’t go as far as including a fan like Marsback’s Zephyr in the mouse.
Large holes make the Viper Mini SE Razer the lightest mouse. It’s 1.73 ounces, which is about 30 percent lighter than the Viper Mini (2.15 ounces) with the same form factor and nearly identical dimensions. However, it’s still not the lightest mouse. For example, Cooler Master’s MM720 also weighs 0.11 pounds, and Finalmouse has sold mice weighing just 1.48 ounces.
With the weight savings gained, it would have been nice if Razer had added buttons on the right side of the mouse so it could be truly ambidextrous like the Razer Viper Ultimate.
Razer used magnesium alloy for the mouse because it had the preferred “strength-to-weight” ratio. Plastic is less stable with drilled holes and has a comparatively minimal weight reduction. And while titanium was lighter, stronger, and more robust, it had manufacturing limitations. Finally, manufacturing limitations and being heavier than plastic prevented Razer from making the Viper Mini SE with carbon fiber.
According to Razer’s press release, the mouse “is manufactured using an injection molded exoskeleton that is then CNC machined and polished. The exoskeleton shell is then passivated to reduce any susceptibility to corrosion, after which it is painted and assembled. At every step, every unit is meticulously inspected…”
The Razer Viper Mini SE is aimed at gamers who are looking for a mouse that is as easy to move around their desk as possible. But a featherweight mouse with a high dots-per-inch (DPI) spec (up to 30,000 DPI in the case of the Viper Mini SE) may also appeal to users of increasingly high-resolution monitors and multi-screen setups, or those finding their arm or the hand gets tired when moving the mouse.
If you’re looking for a lot of chassis for your money, this isn’t it. The wireless peripheral will cost a whopping $280 when it launches on February 11th.
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