I’ve long been a fan of Razer’s wireless gaming mice, ever since the extravagant original Mamba. But I haven’t been a fan of their prices, which rarely get below triple digits. The Basilisk X Hyperspeed bucks that trend.
A more budget-friendly variant of the wired Basilisk and less than half of the price of the more extravagant wireless Basilisk Ultimate, this mouse uses an AA battery and competes with one of my very favorite designs, Logitech’s G603. It does so quite favorably, in fact, offering a similar button layout but a nicer wheel, a more ergonomic body, and a 25 percent lighter body.
If you keep your expectations realistic considering the $60 asking price, there’s a whole lot to like about the Basilisk X Hyperspeed. For those seeking a comfy, long-lasting gaming mouse and who don’t need Razer’s usual LED trimmings, it’s an excellent choice.
In terms of shape, you could describe the Basilisk X Hyperspeed (hereafter referred to as just Basilisk, because ain’t nobody got time for all that) as both “pointy” and “curvy,” depending on where you look. Those primary buttons are sharp and angular at the top and bottom, recalling a racing boat, but pretty much everywhere your palm and fingers rest is generously curved and forgiving. It’s kind of like a hippo wearing Mad Max armor.
Smart choices in plastic—sweeping and a little rough on the top, soft and grippy on the sides—make it a pleasure to hold. I especially like the protrusion on the right side for your thumb to rest when it’s not on the dedicated buttons, something that’s not always seen on gaming mice. It does mean that this design is exclusively for the right hand, but southpaws like me are used to being left out of the design process, and ambidextrous mice aren’t hard to find these days.
The primary left and right buttons are pleasantly clicky, if not quite as enjoyable as the fancy new optical switches on Razer’s Viper. The thumb buttons are a little thinner and more angular than I like—nowhere near as forgiving as the ones on my G603—but they’re more than serviceable even after hours and hours of gameplay.
If there’s a standout among the mouse’s buttons, it’s the scroll wheel. (Okay, not technically a button.) It’s big and precise, clicky enough to switch weapons easily, but fast enough to go through several of them at once. The wheel doesn’t do fast scrolling or horizontal scrolling, so it’s a bit less useful for non-gaming tasks than it might otherwise be. But for a mouse primarily designed with PC games in mind, it’s an excellent wheel.
The last button is a single one above (or beneath, depending on your perspective) the scroll wheel. I would have preferred two buttons here, as it defaults to the DPI switch. But I can’t really complain about it since I re-bind that button for a game function (typically an Overwatch ultimate attack) anyway.
Oddly, the most distinctive feature of the original Basilisk design, its “paddle” thumb button ideal for sniper-style DPI toggles, isn’t present on this mouse. It’s a shame because I’d love a third thumb button, but it’s far from a deal-breaker.
Pick Your Wireless Poison
Like most premium wireless mice these days, the Basilisk will give you a choice of either a standard USB dongle with a 2.4GHz RF connection or Bluetooth wireless that works with almost any computer and mobile device. The former is Razer’s “Hyperspeed” wireless, which it claims is 25 percent faster than alternatives in terms of latency, at just 195 microseconds (a tiny bit less than two milliseconds).
In layman’s terms, the wireless connection on the USB dongle is faster than you’ll ever be able to notice unless you’re some kind of superhuman. During my testing, I never noticed any stuttering or delay, and the connection never wavered, even when I tried it from about 15 feet away (the point where my terrible eyes could no longer see the cursor). Bluetooth performance was similar, and to be honest, I’m not the kind of hyper-twitch gamer who can spot the wireless lag even on a Bluetooth mouse. So take that for what it’s worth, I suppose.
Razer claims an impressive 450 hours of battery life on a single AA in Bluetooth mode. That’s not quite three weeks of straight use if you don’t have a calculator handy (months and months of regular use, in more practical terms). Battery life drops sharply to “just” 285 hours using the more intense Hyperspeed wireless. Users can swap between them (or turn the mouse off) using the single switch on the bottom of the case.
The battery bay deserves special attention. You access it by flipping up the palm rest, which you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t know about it—it’s well-integrated and never chatters or rattles during gameplay. Next to the dedicated slot for the dongle (great for traveling) is the single AA bay. This means the mouse isn’t quite as long-lived as it could be, but it makes the whole thing much lighter than some alternatives. Assuming you don’t demand a rechargeable mouse with a wired option—and I don’t, since I use rechargeable AA batteries all over my house—it’s a fair trade-off.
Switching between the 2.4GHz connection and Bluetooth is ridiculously easy, and pairing a new receiver or device is pretty simple, too. But there is one area that this mouse’s wireless doesn’t excel at: managing multiple connections. While it saves Bluetooth connections in memory, there’s no way to quickly move from one to another, as many less gaming-focused mice do easily. Maybe that isn’t fair—this mouse is about gaming and not productivity, after all. But the point remains that others do better with the same level of hardware and price.
I used to loathe reviewing Razer products, if only because I knew I’d have to re-install the Synapse management program since the company gave up local device memory and went all-in on cloud accounts. I’m happy to report that Razer’s seen the error of its ways: not only can the latest version of Synapse be used without any account, the settings it saves to the Basilisk are, indeed, saved, and carry over from device to device.
That includes both standard 2.4GHz mode and Bluetooth mode, by the way: a trick that Logitech can’t replicate on its recently-updated G software. I was thrilled to see that my custom binding and sensitivity setting carried over to my Chrome OS-powered tablet, where such customizations aren’t possible.
The Basilisk sensor goes up to 16,000, not the highest around, but far more than I even need in the twitchiest of shooters. Synapse allows you to customize the DPI steps, but only to a maximum of five, which more finicky gamers might find a bit limiting. Other options include calibration for different mouse pad surfaces and the auto-off timeout. There are no lighting options because there are no lights. It makes sense!
A Good All-Around (Pointy) Mouse
For sixty bucks, the Basilisk X Hyperspeed does everything you want a budget wireless gaming mouse to do…while admitting that this is a pretty specific niche. It doesn’t have the extra-flexible clutch button of the wired Basilisk or the Basilisk Ultimate, but its excellent wireless, battery life, and value make up for it.
The Basilisk X Hyperspeed isn’t the best gaming mouse you can buy, but it’s probably the best wireless, long-lasting, shooter-style mouse you can buy for $60. It’s not great if you want something that can handle MOBA-style game controls, and it doesn’t easily switch between multiple PCs. But as a solid, comfy gaming mouse you don’t have to charge every week, it’s excellent.
Here’s What We Like
- Comfy, lightweight body
- Excellent scroll wheel
- Long battery life
- Flexible software
And What We Don't
- No thumb paddle button
- Only one DPI button
- No easy device switching