Gaming peripherals are an amazing industry. It is constantly developing and growing, despite economic crises, pandemics, wars and natural disasters. And all because people do not stop playing games even in the most difficult life situations. It is the special vitality of this industry that attracts to the periphery manufacturers, at least somehow connected with computers. And this is not just a tribute to modern fashion, but an additional support for any company during periods of financial instability.
The American brand Patriot is known to the vast majority of enthusiasts thanks to RAM, solid state drives and flash cards. The company also has its own “gaming” brand called Viper Gaming. And since 2015, she began to develop not only the direction of memory, but also the line of peripherals. And the subject of this review, as many have already guessed, will be the Patriot Viper V551 mouse. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we do.
|Model||Patriot Viper V551|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor model||PixArt PAW3327DB-TWFUND|
|Permission, cpi||50 – 12 000|
|Number of buttons||8 buttons + scroll up / down (left, middle, right, two keys for changing resolution and profile, two side buttons and one additional)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||30|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||3|
|Maximum speed, m/s||5,59|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 142 / 166 / 200 / 250 / 333 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||Variable|
|Internal memory, KB||Yes|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, LED strip on the sides and back of the base edges, logo on the stern|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||130 x 70 x 42|
|Average cost, UAH||1379|
Contents of delivery
The packaging of the Patriot Viper V551 turned out to be catchy. A toxic green-black combination of colors and an interesting geometry of the side faces involuntarily attract attention. The only pity is that there is very little useful information about the product itself.
If you remove the top cover, then inside you will find a small window through which the mouse is visible. Another way to increase the intrigue of unpacking. On the sides, the device is supported by soft liners.
The kit contains one of the world’s most concise user manuals, and its more detailed version can be found on the official website. There were also supposed to be stickers with the Viper logo in the form of a cobra head, but someone must have already found them before us.
Patriot Viper V551 has an ergonomic and asymmetric body shape. It is quite distinctive and does not repeat the contours of the models of other manufacturers known to me, although at first glance it seems similar to the DeathAdder. However, there are a number of subtle differences in the case and it feels very different in the hand. And by the way – very comfortable. The top panel is solid and made of smooth, but non-slip plastic with a slight glossy sheen. It gets dirty easily, but it also cleans up without any problems. The panels of the left and right buttons are made rigid, without visible backlash. They are pressed with medium effort and a distinct click of the average volume level. In the left front corner of the mouse there is a small pedal to which you can assign some additional command. The switch under the scroll wheel tactilely differs little from LMB and RMB, except that it works a little tighter and quieter. The button with the letter “M”, as well as the one following it, work easily and very quietly. They are responsible for instantly switching the current profile and resolution level.
The left side conditionally consists of two separate parts. The front and the central part of the sidewall are made of glossy plastic, and the rear third is a continuation of the material of the top panel. In the middle, a tenacious rubber pad with a fine texture is glued to the gloss. Ahead from the bottom there are two blue LEDs that indicate the current resolution level with their light: the first level – the LED is off, the second level – the front lamp is on, the third level – the rear lamp is on, the fourth level – both diodes are lit. The two side buttons are soft, loud, and have plenty of free play. In profile they have a triangular shape, which makes it easy to press them at any angle. And at the very sole lies a chain of decorative LEDs covered with translucent plastic.
When looking at the mouse from the front, the excessive rigidity of the main button panels becomes clear. Here they have massive ribs that occupy half of the front end. The signal cable enters the housing exactly in the middle, at a small but sufficient height so as not to touch the surface during active movements. At the point of contact there is a short protection against bending the cord. The scroll wheel is rubberized and has horizontal tactile grooves. The encoder rotates almost silently, without play and with slightly perceptible fixing positions.
The weak point in this mouse is the cord. It is quite rigid, easily remembers and maintains a given shape. For comfortable use, he will need a holder. The cable is 1.8 meters long and is equipped with a nylon braid and a ferrite ring near the USB connector. There is also a reusable Velcro tie on the wire to adjust its length.
The surface of the right side of the mouse is decorated with a matte plastic insert with good grip. There is nothing more worthy of attention here. Except for the strip of LEDs that runs along the edge of the base.
There is a Viper logo on the stern at the top. Its function is to color-code one of the five current profiles. The LED strip continues below.
The asymmetric shape of the Patriot Viper V551 is designed for the right hand and will appeal to owners of large and medium-sized palms. The mouse is comfortable for all types of grip, but the most ideal fit is achieved when held with the whole palm. The weight of the manipulator without cable is 108 grams. The weight balance is generally well maintained, although there is a slight shift towards the stern
Most of the base of the mouse is covered in a hexagonal glossy texture. The optical sensor window is located exactly in the center. Four narrow legs are glued on the front, back and sides. The serial number sticker is located near the front leg.
The backlight of the mouse consists of eight addressable LEDs along the bottom edge of the base and one located under the scroll wheel. They are regulated separately. The LED below the logo takes on any given color depending on the currently active mouse profile. Trying to achieve white from them is not worth it, these lighting elements are not capable of demonstrating it in principle. But the rest of the color scheme in their performance looks convincing. There are four lighting effects, plus the ability to set a constant color for each of the nine bulbs individually, or set them to pulse mode. The color of the resolution indicators always remains blue and cannot be changed.
In order to disassemble the Patriot Viper V551, you will need to remove the rear and both side legs. Then unscrew the mounting screws hidden under them. The bottom of the body must be gently pulled back and down to release the front internal hooks.
Under the lid, two weights weighing 7 grams each were found. If the manipulator seems too heavy, you can remove them. At the base of the mouse is an insert made of transparent plastic to diffuse light, and most of the LEDs are soldered on the back of the circuit board.
Beneath both side buttons, permission and profile keys are Huano mechanisms with white bumpers. Under the scroll wheel is a TTC with a red button. The main buttons activate the Omron switches.
As stated in the official specifications, the PixArt PAW3327DB-TWQU sensor with an external infrared illumination diode is soldered here.
The scroll wheel encoder is made by TTC. The clock square switch is responsible for the additional left button. The resource of Omron mechanisms is 10 million clicks. It was not possible to consider their marking completely.
The Patriot Viper V551 has its own software, which will need to be downloaded from the official website and installed. In this case, the driver will be registered in autoload and will remain constantly active. The first section that meets the user when the application starts is called “Buttons”. Here you can reassign commands for all buttons and two directions of scrolling, with the exception of the “M” key, which switches profiles. All changes can be saved in five separate profiles, which are contained in the mouse’s memory and are instantly switched by the corresponding button. Each of the profiles can be assigned a different logo highlight color to make it easier to identify them visually. To do this, just hover your mouse over the icon with the name and select a color. Too bad you can’t rename them.
For all buttons, you can assign mouse actions (12 options), keyboard commands (any buttons including multimedia), special functions such as changing permissions, enabling anti-aliasing, launching the driver menu or the Sniper function, macro commands, or recording sequential key cycles. The main difference from other similar applications is that all available functions are demonstrated clearly in the form of icons.
In the sensor settings, each of the four resolution levels can be set to values ranging from 50 to 12,000 cpi. The X and Y axes can be adjusted separately. But the most exotic setting is hidden here under the name “automatic speed”. In fact, it is precisely controlled acceleration. For example, a high speed setpoint will be set on jerky mouse movements. And low – with a slow movement of the cursor. To be honest, this is the first time I have encountered such a sensor setting option. And there is definitely a logical grain in it.
The macro editor is no less impressive. Its functionality looks very thoughtful and understandable, while not trying to confuse the user with an abundance of unnecessary functions. On the left there is a list of created macros. Above it is exactly the amount of available internal memory. On the right is the recording window, where all actions are clearly numbered and where you can add mouse commands, keyboard commands, time delays, and even the cursor movement trajectory. With programming chains of commands here, even a child will figure it out without much difficulty.
In the “Settings” section, you can enable or disable anti-aliasing, activate the OSD display in the upper left corner of the screen, where the profile and resolution will be indicated when switching, and also disable system mouse cursor acceleration. The set of available sensor polling rates is unusual – 125, 142, 166, 200, 250, 333, 500 and 1000 Hz. At the bottom there is information about the mouse model, driver version, firmware version and the number of pins (whatever it really means). The keys below allow you to backup the driver, restore it, or reset all settings to default.
The color management is moved to the right side of the tabs and is called up by clicking on the colored icon in the shape of a ball. You can customize the color for eight LEDs at the base and one under the scroll wheel. In addition, they can be turned off completely, switched to pulse mode or matched in color with the profile indicator (diode under the logo on the stern). The same setting can be applied to all lamps at the same time, either enable light wave effects in two directions, or randomly change color for color wave or pulse mode.
Ergonomics and testing
The Patriot Viper V551 was tested on a monotonous black Mionix Alioth M fabric mat. The weight of 108 grams looks heavy by modern standards, but in practice it does not cause inconvenience. Of the pleasant surprises, it is worth noting the high rigidity of the mouse. The case seems to be monolithic, the panels of the main buttons do not bend, which is a rarity today even for manipulators of the upper price segment. Chassis materials can hardly be called premium, they tend to quickly get dirty and lose their appearance, but they do their main task well and the mouse sits tenaciously in the hand without fogging up. A small fly in the ointment in all this is the rigid cable, which requires a holder for comfortable use. And although the mouse on its legs slides easily and inertially, it can literally “stumble” on its wire.
I had no complaints about the operation of the switches. The main keys are clear, all the rest work relatively well too. The scroll wheel could have worked out the fixation positions more accurately, but then it would have rotated much louder. This is of course a matter of taste, but I like scrolling in silence more than clicking every turn a couple of degrees. The backlight in this mouse performs not only a decorative, but also an informative function. And this is good. The only pity is that she is unable to correctly show the white color. The software evoked pleasant emotions with its simplicity, thoughtfulness and stability. And the presence of on-board memory with the ability to instantly switch key assignment profiles can generally be considered a unique “chip” of this device.
The PixArt PAW3327 optical sensor installed here behaves very curiously and even slightly non-standard for its sensor family. Cursor stall can be caused already at a speed of about three meters per second, however, it is not accompanied by a characteristic jitter, but by fading and continues to move in the same direction as before, with a decrease in acceleration. The separation height from the surface here is consistently high and reaches 3 mm. Anti-aliasing levels are also uncharacteristically high and can reach 50% at 1000 Hz of the polling rate. However, at a frequency of 250 Hz, smoothing almost disappears, which is generally strange and non-standard. The “anti-aliasing” setting in the driver is actually nothing more than a very strong corner snap and does not affect the actual anti-aliasing at all. As soon as you turn it on, the mouse starts drawing almost straight lines. Cursor jitter, acceleration and other parasitic manifestations were not noticed during the test. In general, it seems to me that a very peculiar sensor firmware is used in the mouse, which creates all the anomalies listed above.
According to the results of acquaintance with the Patriot Viper V551 gaming mouse, we can say that it can surprise. And both with its pluses and minuses. Let’s start with the good. The manipulator has an original asymmetric body shape, ideally comfortable in the palm grip and just comfortable in all other types of grip. In addition, the case is made very strong, which is less and less common in modern mice. Another big plus of the product is its on-board memory, which allows you to instantly switch five key layout options. The software is made, as they say, “for people.” It has everything you need, and there are no unnecessary and incomprehensible functions. There is a setting for acceleration parameters with an exact indication of the target resolution, which I have not seen at all in any mouse over the past 10 years.
The downsides include a hard signal cable and a very strange firmware setting for the PixArt PAW3327 sensor, which does not allow this mouse to be fully used for competitive FPS games. Whether this was done on purpose in order to achieve some other operating parameters of the device, or by accident, it is difficult to say.
In general, the Patriot Viper V551 is quite suitable for ordinary players, and it can be recommended to a greater extent for the MMO genre. For a more “civilian” use, the manipulator will appeal to everyone who works with graphics, text and 3D, as it is tritely convenient and makes it easy to automate typical tasks. For e-sportsmen, the device is unlikely to be suitable for relative professional use, at least until a PMW 3389 type sensor or better is installed in it.