This week I’ve been spending time with a peripheral from the biggest brand names in gaming peripheral history, I am of course talking about Razer. With 15 years of experience behind them and an international team that are dedicated to the art of gaming its no wonder they have turned into the legendary manufacturer that they are today and its reasons like this that I was super excited to get to review there latest DeathAdder gaming mouse.
The DeathAdder may not exactly be their flagship device but if their track record of award winning products are anything to go by then this should still be a very impressive product. Priced at around £50 this is a mid-range budget gaming mouse, given that you can expect to pay over twice as much for some of the flagship Razer products, as well as higher models from competing brands. Within this price range were still going to be expecting flawless quality as many of you will agree, £50 for a mouse is still a lot of money for a mouse, mid range or not. I’ll be looking for excellent performance too and there is some tough competition at this mid-range end of the market for the DeathAdder to compete against.
“We were founded in 1998 in San Diego, California by our CEO Min-Liang Tan and our President Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff in a tiny shared office with a couple other gamers. We have grown today to hundreds of employees worldwide with offices in nine cities, including San Francisco, Hamburg, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore.”
Gaming isn’t just as simple as plug and play, this is especially true when it comes to PC gaming. These days the kind mouse, keyboard, gaming surface or controller can make as big a difference to your experience as your graphics card and monitor choices can. Having the best graphics in the world is one thing, but have the right tool for the job that will allow you to not only play better, but also be comfortable in long gaming sessions is essential.
As you can see from the spec sheet below, this is a straight forward five button mouse, but the technology behind that is top of the line with a 6400dpi 4G sensor, 1000Hz Ultrapolling, 1ms response and more. So let’s get straight to the good stuff and see what else the DeathAdder has to offer.
- 6400dpi 4G Optical Sensor
- Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips
- Five independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
- Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling/1ms response
- On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
- Always-On mode
- 200 inches per second and 50g of acceleration
- Zero-acoustic Ultraslick mouse feet
- Gold-plated USB connector
- Seven-foot, lightweight, braided fiber cable
- Approximate size: 5.00”/127mm (Length) x 2.76” / 70mm (Width) x 1.73” / 44mm (Height)
- Approximate weight : 0.23lbs / 105g
Upon opening the packaging I didn’t find much in the way of extras, although in fairness there doesn’t need to be. I did however find the mouse its self and a collection of instruction booklets, leaflets and some Razer branded stickers. The mouse comes hard-wired with a good quality braided cable and a gold-plated USB connection, both of which should ensure a long lifespan for the cable and the USB connection alike.
The mouse its self comes with a really sleek black finish and some interesting ergonomic curves that provide a comfortable resting position for your hand and fingers. Down the right side of the mouse you will find a rubber grip area that will help ensure your hand stays firmly on the mouse and this will be a welcome feature for those that use a lift-off technique when gaming.
The left side of the mouse comes with two ergonomically placed side buttons and a concave shape to the mouse that is specifically tailored to right hand usage. Along the bottom of this side you will also find another rubber grip similar to that found on the right side of the mouse.
The back of the mouse is of a good length to ensure your hand can rest firmly on the mouse, the long slow curve should aid with comfort in those long gaming sessions. You can also see better the inner curve on the left side of the mouse that should provide a comfortable resting place for your thumb.
The top shell of the DeathAdder features a split moult that forms the left and right mouse buttons, both of which provide a strong tactile, yet low resistance click that will allow for accurate rapid clicking in those heated moment. The track ball also features a notched tactile click feedback and it feels of a durable construction, the addition of a rubber grip to the wheel gives it a high quality feel and good feedback to your finger tips.
On the underside things are nice and simple, we have three small Teflon slip mats that should suit cloth surfaces nicely. While the center is taken up by the 4G 6400 DPI infrared sensor.
Setup & Installation
Initial setup of the DeathAdder is quick and painless, it’s a USB plug and play capable mouse and is very straightforward. However if you really want to get into the heart of this thing and customise its capabilities, then your going to need to download and install the Razer software. It only takes a few minutes to get up and running and allows you to fully customise each aspect of the mouse, save your settings to profiles and even upload them to the cloud for remote backup.
Both the X and Y sensitivity can be adjusted separately and it allows for a great level of flexibility to suit your playing style.
Firing up Battlefield 3, Skyrim and Torchlight II for a couple of hours gaming was an absolute joy on the DeathAdder. It didn’t miss a single click or move all night and that’s exactly what you want from a quality gaming mouse. While it didn’t offer the wider range of buttons that can be tailored for the MMO player, five buttons are enough for me regardless of what I play. The adjustable lift off high is a nice feature and while it’s not something I ever cared for before I found it a welcome addition to the calibration options of the DeathAdder.
There was however one minor issue, the right mouse button has an almost hair-trigger switch to it, while the left button does not. I have quite big hand and long fingers to I generally apply more natural weight to the mouse and this was resulting in constant accidental right clicks for the first hour or so of usage. Sure you get used to “how to hold it”, but the inconsistency between the forces for left and right-click just don’t make sense to me personally.
Day to day use is a job on the DeathAdder, its subtle glowing mouse wheel and pulsing green Razer logo look fantastic on your desktop and its sure to liven up any setup. It’s also a very comfortable mouse to use, the rubber grips are well placed and do aid with grip rather nicely, the ergonomics are excellent and while that right mouse button did bug me a little its something that you get used to after a couple of hours.
I tried the DeathAdder on a couple of surfaces and while I normally game on a harder cloth surface, their was quite a lot of drag. The DeathAdder glides a lot better on a softer and smoother surface like the Zowie G-CM. This is of course a matter of preference, but I expect the drag on harder surfaces is due to the fairly small slipmats on the underside of the mouse.
The Razer DeathAdder is a good all round performer and sure it may not be up to the standards of some of the higher end of the Razer range, or some rival companies product range, it was never meant to be. The DeathAdder offers some of the best build quality I’ve seen in this price range and some really nice ergonomics. If you want higher performance or more features than the DeathAdder you can expect to pay 50% more and beyond.
I do have three minor issues with the DeathAdder and they really are quite minor, given that most qualities in a mouse are subjective and general just a matter of preference for each user. The first is that right-click, it really does bug me and while yes I did get used to it, the problem didn’t exactly go away either, you might not have this issue with it, but others may.
Secondly are the slipmats on the underside, I would have liked them to be a little bigger as if you’re a bit heavy-handed it can grip a little more than I like on a cloth mat, again a matter of preference as I know some people prefer that extra level of control.
The final issue is the Razer logo on the mouse, if can be turned on and off in the Razer software, which is fine, but when I set it to on I would like it to stay constantly lit and not pulse on and off. The light looks cool but I would have liked an always on feature as I find the slow blink distracting.
Ok so I’m clearly being a bit of a pedant with some of these issues because otherwise this is a great product and should you reach out and buy one of these today its likely that you’ll absolutely love it. I don’t just mean fans of Razer products will love it either, it’s a really well made, high performance and quality peripheral that is leaps and bounds about most standard PC mice. However, it’s just not for me, and that’s ok, because there is a lot of choice on the market and having the right peripheral is important, its all about finding the one that is perfect for you.
It’s not the best value for money at £50, but it is really well made and well designed and that goes a long way to justifying the price. If you’re looking for something uncomplicated and precise, look no further. If you want anything better that is really going to blow you away, then you best start saving up for something further up the Razers product range.