The Logitech Killer? Razer Basilisk Ultimate Review
This is the Razer Basilisk Ultimate, a wireless mouse clearly influenced by the popular G502 Lightspeed and G604 Lightspeed mice. It has a similar overall shape and design, like the angle of the front buttons, glossy streaks adding complexity to the top area, thumb support on the left side, and similar weight and feel. However, this things surprised me with a few interesting innovations that would make me pick the Razer Basilisk over the G502 Lightspeed.
Price & Weight
Let’s get the basics out of the way, the mouse by itself is $149 USD, while the bundle with the mouse and dock is $169 USD. That is a much better deal as the dock itself is $49 USD. At the 107 grams the Basilisk Ultimate is slightly lighter than the 114g G502 Lightspeed, and it fits perfectly in that slightly heavy wireless mouse segment. It is also substantially different enough from Razer’s lightweight champion: the Viper Ultimate at 74 grams.
Docks & Dongles
I really like the dock design, not just the illumination but the entire convenience around it. You plug the tiny USB receiver into the dock, then the cable can be unplugged from the dock and into the mouse via microUSB in case you want to use the mouse with the cable. By the way, that cable is excellent, it’s perfectly flexible and light and spans 1.8 meters. However, if you do get the dock you will quickly get into habit of placing the mouse on it whenever you leave the PC, so you will never have to worry about charging this thing or using it with a cable. I like this implementation.
The USB dongle can be housed in this bottom compartment with a cover. It’s a lovely design and the hold is secure even with the cover removed. At the bottom of the mouse we can see two gold charging points, the power button, and the profile switcher. The feet are 100% PTFE with a smooth glide, no complaints here. The main surface texture of the mouse feels good but it immediately leaves fingermarks, while the textured sides are rubberized and help secure your grip. The build quality overall is pretty good, my only complaint is a slight rattle with the scroll wheel and the two buttons behind it. In typical Razer fashion the illumination is gorgeous and wonderfully uniform on the logo, the scroll wheel, and the two side strips. I set my brightness to 30% and this thing looks fantastic.
Spin & Click
Now on to some cool features like the new scroll wheel with adjustable resistance and a new optional paddle button. This scroll wheel is my favorite, the texture, the light side clicks, the wonderful middle click. However, it also comes with the option to remove resistance/scroll steps or add resistance/scroll steps for really distinct scroll actuations. At maximum resistance we have really defined scroll steps, it gives you a lot of control and the steps are actually quiet audible too. While at minimum resistance the scroll wheel becomes incredibly smooth and quiet too. It’s great for quiet environments, libraries, et cetera. Don’t get this confused with Logitech’s Hyperscroll that offers continuous endless looping until you stop the scroll wheel, that is not possible with the Basilisk. However, I love the fine and almost granular control of how the scroll steps feel, so you can have a feeling that’s right in the middle. I love that the implementation, and you have a pretty wide range of resistance to choose from.
The aforementioned paddle button is covered by a rubber flap by default, once that flap is removed you can see where to insert the paddle itself. The mount is magnetic and it sits right in front of your thumb. So for me hand adjustment is necessary to reach, but if you can comfortably use it you can program it to act as maybe macros or specific DPI levels or whatever else. The primary switches are Razer Optical rated at 70 million clicks, and they have a little bit more travel distance than my Logitech G502. They are also slightly louder, but no complaints about that since they are fast, super responsive, and tactile.
Shape & Sensor
Shape wise, the Basilisk Ultimate is pretty comfortable, with a great curvature of the primary click buttons and nice slant on the right side. It does feel slightly bigger in the hand compared to the slimmer G502 Lightspeed, but the lighter body for me is significantly easier to aim with. Having said that, this isn’t my preferred mouse for gaming as it is just too heavy. Target tracking in FPS games like Call of Duty for example is much easier with the Viper Ultimate or something lighter. However, the Basilisk technically is an excellent performer with Razer’s best sensor yet called the Focus Plus. It supports up to 20,000 DPI, up to five DPI stages with precise 50 DPI increments, and surface tuning plus lift up distance adjustments.
There is also this new sensor feature called Asymmetric Cut-off, so for example lift-off distance can be set to two millimeters, but if you lift anything higher than that the mouse will only resume tracking back at one millimeter. I still haven’t figured out where this Asymmetric Cut-off would be useful. I’m the type person to set the minimal lift-off distance possible because I do lift my mouse quite often, but it is quite cool to have tracking if you lift a mouse just around two millimeters. However, if you go higher than that it will stop and it will not continue tracking again until you’re down to about one millimeter. I know we all love to complain about Synapse, but so far I haven’t had any issues with it not remembering my settings. With the Basilisk Ultimate you can save all your DPI and your profile settings. Unfortunately, for some annoying reason, all your lighting is not saved on the memory, so if you’re using this mouse on a computer that does not have Synapse you’re going to be greeted with some rainbow nightmare. At least your DPI and profiles are saved, but come on fix this Razer.
The mouse does hold a charge of about a hundred hours without any RGB. In my testing, with brightness at 30% the mouse lasted about 40 hours and that is pretty impressive. As I mentioned before if you get the dock edition you really never have to worry about battery life, because you’re naturally going to be recharging it every day or night. And ultimately that is why I would choose the Razer Basilisk Ultimate over the G502 Lightspeed. Compared to the Logitech you’re only paying a $20 premium to get the Razer mouse and dock, and that’s just a better value if you’re go in the wireless direction. I also prefer the scroll wheel on this thing better and it’s also a bit lighter than the G502 Lightspeed. For productivity and desktop use this mouse is amazing for me, and while I prefer to game with lighter mice I’m sure many people will love the Basilisk Ultimate for gaming too.