As mentioned earlier, in the Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed review, the main focus in 2019-2020 of the leading manufacturers of gaming peripherals is on wireless devices. And the main place in the range of Razer as of today was divided between two models — Basilisk Ultimate and Viper Ultimate, moving all variations of the wireless Mamba off the pedestal. Both mice are built on the same platform and provide, in essence, a choice between a symmetrical and asymmetrical body shape. And if we are still waiting for a review of Viper Ultimate, then we can talk about Basilisk Ultimate right now.
|Model||Razer Basilisk Ultimate|
|Interface||Wired/Wireless (USB 2.4 GHz)|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor Model||PixArt PMW3399 Focus+|
|Permission, cpi||100–20 000|
|Number of buttons||8 buttons + scroll and tilt wheel (left, middle, right, two resolution select buttons, three side buttons, tilt wheel left and right)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1–3|
|Maximum speed, m/s||16,51|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125/500/1000|
|Frame rate, fps||–|
|Internal memory, KB||+|
|Wireless receiver type||Nano receiver|
|Power, battery life||Built-in lithium battery, up to 100 hours of operation with backlight off in 2.4GHz mode|
|Protocol (GHz) / range (m) of wireless communication||2.4GHz up to 10m|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Illumination zones||Logo, scroll wheel, eight zones on the left and four on the right|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (Razer Synapse 3)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||130 x 75 (60 by grip width) x 42|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 x64 or higher|
|Additionally||HyperSpeed wireless technology, cable-ready, 70M keystroke main optical keys, adjustable scroll wheel hardness, magnetic charging dock, detachable third button metal pedal|
|Average cost, $||170|
Contents of delivery
The package design is made in the traditional Razer black and green style. There is a strap on the top for hanging the box on a display case.
The lid of the box rests on a pair of magnets and allows you to immediately look inside, where the mouse and the docking station are in the arms of soft dampers.
In the package you can find instructions, congratulations from the CEO of the company, three stickers, a cable, a docking station and a metal pedal of the third side button. The transmitter, if anything, is hidden in a special mouse compartment.
Basilisk Ultimate has no significant differences in form from earlier variations of this model. The top cover is a smooth matte plastic that gets dirty and easy to clean, while glossy plastic inserts in the middle and sides make the device even more similar to its main competitor in the face of the Logitech G502 Wireless. The two resolution switching buttons have become more embossed. By the sound they are very quiet, by pressing they are light and “empty”. The LMB and RMB panels sit tight, under them now there are Razer branded optical switches, with a MTBF of 70 million clicks and a response speed of 0.2 ms. In tactile terms, the main buttons have a small margin of free play before activation, the operation is quite quiet, and the effort required to click is small. The cut-off at the buttons is well felt.
On the left sidewall, a small hexagonal rubber texture is again made here, which, in my opinion, is successful, both in terms of tenacity and resistance to dirt. The two large, glossy side keys are easy to operate, with a moderate click and little backlash. Of the subtle changes, it is worth noting the RGB LED strip built into the slot along the entire length of the left button panel. Beauty that requires sacrifice in terms of battery life.
The landing hole for the third side button is closed by default with a rubber plug.
The pedal is metal, elongated. It instantly magnetizes to its place, is pressed quietly, easily and softly, without free play. The moment of operation is felt clearly. Pedals of different lengths are not included, if you need them, you can buy them in the Razer store.
The Razer Basilisk Ultimate’s scroll wheel is unique in its own way. As with the premiere wired Basilisk, it is adjustable for rotational resistance. You can «tighten the nuts» and each scroll position will be firmly indicated by sound and tactility. Or you can release the mechanism completely, the fixation will disappear completely and the rotation will be silent. In addition, the wheel with minimal play tilts to the sides, allowing you to execute two more additional commands. The middle button is tight in terms of pressing force and muffled in terms of the sound of operation. Still ahead there is a USB connector for cable connection.
The cable is excellent. Made with Speedflex technology, it is light, soft and highly flexible. The lacing-type braid makes it thicker in profile, but does not hinder movement in any way. The length of the wire is 1.8 meters, there are protective caps on the connectors on both sides, the length can be adjusted with a rubber tie.
The connector has a shape with specific guides, and not every wire can be connected here. When connected via cable, the mouse switches to wired mode, and it remains a priority, no matter what position the power slider is in. Charging and cable operation are possible at the same time.
The entire right side of the mouse is also covered with a textured rubber finger pad. Its relief is the same as that of the overlay on the left. Oddly enough, RGB LEDs are also hidden in the gap under the right button on the side. Even if the user never sees them there.
On the back of the mouse, there is an illuminated contoured Razer logo in the form of a three-headed snake.
The ergonomics of the mouse body is designed for the right hand and fits any type of grip for owners of large palms. If the hand is small or medium in size, then the palm grip will be most comfortable. The weight of the device corresponds to the declared and is 107 grams. The weight balance is well centered and has no perceptible shifts when lifted off the ground.
There are a lot of different elements on the sole of the mouse. There are six properly placed Teflon feet, and they are now grey. There is a scroll wheel resistance adjustment mechanism at the front. A large recess in the center at the back is needed to put the mouse on the docking station. It has a magnet, just in the area of two round metal contacts. Hidden behind a tiny window is the best-in-class PixArt PMW3399 Focus+ optical sensor. To the right of it is the current profile indicator, the profile switching button and the power switch slider. Near the right ledge there is a compartment for a USB transmitter covered with a smoky cover.
To reduce signal transmission delays to the level of a wired device, the nano-receiver uses technology with the marketing name HyperSpeed. According to Razer, it is 25% faster than other similar wireless protocols. This is achieved by optimizing the data transmission protocol and using adaptive frequency technology, in which all wireless communication channels are constantly checked and the signal is sent through the most interference-free channel. All this is complemented by reduced energy consumption.
One of the main problems with using a wireless mouse is the need to charge it. Razer solved it in a classic way and added a stylish docking station to the kit. On the front of the device, there are two gold-plated contacts and a green connector for the USB receiver. A magnet is hidden inside near the contacts. There is a rubber foot around the entire perimeter of the base and one common RGB lighting zone in a circle.
The mouse cable connector is located on the back. The docking station performs not only the role of simple charging, but also serves as an extension cord for the receiver, because it is usually located not far from the rug.
It will take some time and practice to get the hang of properly installing the Razer Basilisk Ultimate on the charging station. It does not magnetize perfectly when approaching a surface. First you need to hook on the protrusion in the middle in a horizontal position, and when the body no longer slides, lower the mouse down until the magnetic hook is activated. By the way, the backlight on the station can display the current battery level in one of the modes, which is very convenient.
The mouse has four localization zones of beautiful RGB lighting. These include a scroll wheel, a logo on the stern, eight individual diodes under the left button and four more under the right. Everything glows very beautifully and correctly in terms of color reproduction. And about how this adversely affects the battery, I will talk a little later.
Basilisk Ultimate uses the Razer Synapse 3 universal driver (current version 3.4.1112.111915) as software. The driver is installed with the Razer Central user account control program and branded applications. Synapse starts through it. The software is updated both automatically and forcibly.
In the settings, you can select one of a dozen supported interface languages, and configure driver autorun settings. The official product manual is also available from here, as well as the choice of interface color — light or dark.
In addition, you can reset the connected devices to their default values, and reset the start guide to view it again.
The Synapse 3 start screen has a «modular» program layout structure. The new version of the utility has the ability to refuse to load extra modules, such as the Chroma visual effects studio or the macro editor. The developer feedback form, warranty form, information about supported devices, a link to the Razer store, and a link to the proprietary zVault currency system have remained in place. All modules that are not simple links are duplicated in the usual list of menus in the upper left corner of the application window. In the upper right corner there is access to the current user account.
In case of urgent need, the missing modules can always be quickly downloaded and installed in one click through the menu of the same name.
The docking station is defined in the driver as a separate device. Here you can adjust the background illumination, or link its color to the current battery level of the mouse.
On the Customize Mouse Buttons screen, you can remap any commands for the eight primary keys and four scroll directions. The full list of available commands is indicated on the drop-down tab on the left. In addition, you can assign additional functions to the Hypershift mode, in which, when a certain key is pressed and the mode is activated, the functions of all buttons change to an alternative set of commands. The tab for selecting and linking a profile is located at the top center. The mouse has built-in memory for five profiles, in order to save the current settings there, you need to drag the profile from the list on the right into the slot of a certain color. There is a visual battery level indicator in the top right corner.
In the “efficiency” settings, the sensor resolution is adjusted in the range from 100 to 20,000 cpi in increments of 50 units. Separate settings are available for the X and Y axes. You can set five separate sensitivity levels, or leave only one level (disabling the corresponding slider). There are three polling rates to choose from: 125, 500 or 1000 Hz. There is also a direct link to a standard program for basic Windows mouse settings.
In the basic mouse backlight settings, you can adjust the brightness (between 0 and 100%). There is a slider that allows you to turn off the backlight completely. You can set the time for the backlight to turn off when the screen turns off or when the mouse is idle, from 1 to 15 minutes. In quick effects, you can choose reactive, pulsating, static lighting, cycling colors, or audio-visualization mode, when the mouse winks in time with the sound. Color and effect settings are selected separately, with different options depending on the current mode. Effects can be synchronized for other devices that support Chroma lighting. For more complex settings, you need to check the «advanced effects» checkbox and go to the Chroma Studio editor. In the Chroma Studio editor, you can fine-tune the parameters of all zones and lighting effects separately, edit layers and superimposed effects, and arrange real light shows with the mouse, viewing changes in real time.
Innovations have appeared in the calibration section of the height of separation of the sensor from the surface. Smart Tracking has a fixed lift-off height of 1mm to 3mm to choose from. But at the same time, you can also separately set the landing height of the sensor, which will be 1 or 2 mm less than the lift-off height. Alternatively, a Razer branded mat is selected from the list, where the option to manually adjust the tear-off height will also appear in the range from 1 to 10 units.
In the «Power» tab, you can configure the function of the mouse to go to sleep. The timer for this operation can be set for an activation period ranging from 1 to 15 minutes of inactivity. In addition, you can set the charge level at which the low power mode is activated.
The macro editor has wide functionality. The left tab has a complete list of created commands that can be copied, imported, exported and deleted. Commands are recorded in the central window, where not only mouse or keyboard clicks are received, but also the cursor movement trajectory is recorded relative to a specific window or screen as a whole. The right tab shows the available command assignments, options for setting time delays, and a schematic cursor path.
Ergonomics and testing
The Razer Basilisk Ultimate mouse was tested on a plain black Mionix Alioth M cloth mousepad. The receiver was located in the docking station, less than 20 cm from the mouse, practically next to the gaming surface. The solution with charging turned out to be pretty, taking into account the backlight. But, as mentioned above, it is not always possible to get into it and fix the mouse the first time. The manipulator itself has a fairly comfortable shape and a balanced weight. In the hand sits firmly thanks to tenacious rubber sidewalls. The top panel coating is pleasant to the touch, but quickly loses its appearance, collecting fingerprints. Luckily, it cleans up easily too. There are questions about the work of LMB and RMB, because before activation they have a small margin of free play. It is not clear whether this is the case for all specimens, or only for the one under consideration. There are no comments on the rest of the keys. A unique feature with adjustable scroll wheel resistance allows you to customize the nature of his work as you like — loud or quiet, with or without feedback. So far, other manufacturers do not offer this in their mice. The implementation of the third removable side switch also looks interesting. It is convenient to reach it, and if there is no need for it, then you can remove it. The mouse glides on new legs well, smoothly and without inertia. By the way, when connected via cable, its presence is practically not felt.
The Razer Basilisk Ultimate has no problems with wireless operation. He quickly «wakes up» from the movement, perfectly keeps in touch and reacts without delay. Autonomy is very dependent on the backlight and sensor settings. If the backlight is turned off and the sensor performance is set to maximum, then the charge is really enough for more than 100 hours of intensive use. In my case, charging was needed only for 11 days of work with 8-10 hours at the computer. But it is worth turning on the illumination, and on the second day the mouse will insistently ask you to charge it. In other words, 10 hours with backlight is the limit of the battery. Was it necessary to equip this device with LEDs at all? A full charge of an empty battery takes about two hours.
The mouse is equipped with Razer’s proprietary sensor, developed in close collaboration with PixArt — PMW3399 Focus +. And although the capabilities of the family of these sensors have already gone beyond human abilities for a couple of years in order to stand out from the competition, for 3399 they still raised the maximum resolution to 20,000 cpi, and the speed to 16.51 meters per second. The only really new feature is the ability to adjust the height of the separation and landing of the sensor on the surface separately. It really reduces the cursor shift when moving the mouse to a barely noticeable minimum. Otherwise, everything is fine and this sensor works perfectly at all speeds and surfaces.
The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is a top-of-the-line wireless mouse that sets a new benchmark in this segment of the peripheral market. The device is equipped with the best optical sensor, excellent wireless transmitter, lag-free and low power consumption, has a balanced and comfortable body, a one-of-a-kind scroll wheel with resistance adjustment, an ultra-soft cable, a docking station, built-in memory, backlight and advanced software. And, of course, ultra-fast optical switches for LMB and RMB.
And what is the main disadvantage of Basilisk Ultimate? In cost. And even Razer itself recognizes this, promising to soon release a lightweight version without a docking station with a reduced price. But it seems to me that this is the wrong way. All you need to improve this device is a magnetic charging cable, without the classic USB connector. And also remove most of the backlighting from it, which consumes a lot of valuable energy and dramatically reduces the battery life of the mouse. Another negative point can be mentioned a small margin of free play of LMB and RMB before activating the buttons, although it is possible that this is a feature of this test instance.
Comparing the recently reviewed Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed and Basilisk Ultimate, it seems to me that it is the former that has every chance of winning the people’s love as a well-balanced wireless gaming mouse. Whereas Basilisk Ultimate is more of a showcase for the company’s peak technological capabilities and is unlikely to be popular with gamers. At least until the recommended retail price drops. But there is also the Viper Ultimate, built on the same platform, but priced at $20 less.