Remember when computer mice had balls instead of optical sensors? We’ve come a long wait since then, but peripheral makers like Razer are still looking for new ways to up our games, improve our mousing experiences, and sell us new mice. With Razer’s Viper mouse, the company is hoping that optical switches will be the next big thing.
The Viper mouse, which will retail for $80, will swap out traditional mechanical switches for snazzy new optical ones.
As with the keys in most keyboards, buttons in our mice generally depend on mechanical switches to receive and relay mouse clicks. When you click a mechanical switch, it makes contact with a metallic surface to initiate the signal. While the switches are likely more responsive than they were 20 years ago, they work on basically the same principle.
A render of Razer’s optical switch
Optical switches don’t require that physical contact. Instead, the click causes a shutter to interrupt an infrared light when you click. There’s no bounceback, Razer says the switch actuates three times as fast as a traditional mechanical one. According to Razer, mice with mechanical switches also require a de-bounce delay to ensure that one click registers as one click. The infrared beam allows the mouse to skip the de-bounce delay, which will let players click faster and more accurately.
Razer rates the switches for 70 million clicks (approximately one Diablo 3 session). For comparison, Razer’s DeathAdder Elite is rated for 50 million clicks, while the wired version of Logitech’s G502 mouse is rated for 20 million.
A few other features
The Viper boasts a few other noteworthy features, too. It weighs in at an almost anemic 69 grams. Razer’s ultra-light Abyssus V2 is 83g, in comparison. To get much lighter, you’re looking at those honeycombed mice like the Final Mouse Air58. The mouse also features Razer’s low-drag Speedflex cable, the 16,000 DPI 5G sensor, and customization of the mouse’s DPI and 8 programmable buttons through Razer’s Synapse 3 software.
The Razer Viper mouse is available right now for $80 through Razer’s website and through retailers like Amazon.