First Looks: Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse

Death, Added!

Death, Added!

Behold Razer fanboys! A new deadly gaming mouse has been born. Following its tradition of naming its gaming mice after some of the most venomous snakes in the world, Razer has predictably christened their new device of digital destruction the DeathAdder.

A Close Brush With Death

Shrouded in a black hood of rubberized non-slip material, the DeathAdder looks and feels as deadly as it sounds. What’s immediately noticeable about the Razer DeathAdder is its form factor. For the first time, Razer is taking sides and the new mouse now favors right-handed gamers, leaving lefties with the shorter end of the stick. That aside, Razer has not forgotten to include the ever popular rubberized non-slip surface which has now taken a front row seat and expanded to include the entire top surface.

A lone scroll wheel sits on its back, bathed in a cool blue glow emitting from below and on the palm rest. Along its left side profile are two side buttons which can be programmed to further facilitate the quick, systematic death of your opponents. Unfortunately, because of the right handed nature of the mouse, there are less buttons to work with than the Diamondback or Copperhead; only five to be exact. With one undoubtedly used for Razer's on-the-fly sensitivity function, users will have to choose wisely the functions of the remaining buttons. Other than this, there is little that gets in the way of the DeathAdder at work.

What really raised our eyebrows was the fact that with the DeathAdder, Razer bailed on problematic laser trackers (2000dpi on the Copperhead) and reintroduced infra-red tracking with an improved 3rd generation sensor (1800dpi).

Despite all the marketing hype about superior 'frickin' laser technology, it seems that Razer is likely biting the bullet this time round to cut down on the compatibility problems laser sensors have encountered with various surfaces. This seemed to work well for the DeathAdder as we didn't encounter any obvious compatibility issues throughout our testing and gaming sessions.

Arched to Strike

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out quickly that the DeathAdder generally favors larger hands, what with its wide base, while smaller hands will struggle to get a good grip on the DeathAdder’s girth. That aside, comfort has been generally improved with a high arched back that is unlike previous low-profile Razer mice (except the Microsoft co-engineered Habu). When tested, precision and sensitivity was unaffected despite the reduction in sensor resolution from 2000dpi to 1800dpi. Though it isn't really an apple to apple comparison, not once during testing did we miss not having 2000dpi laser tracking. Overall, we were pretty pleased with the handling of the DeathAdder and its performance keeps up with the best Razer has had to offer. Our only complaint is the weight of the unit. The DeathAdder feels light and hollow despite its size.

Our Thoughts

With the DeathAdder, Razer has reached out to the fans that have been clamoring for a raised arch with an extension of its famous rubberized surface (previously only on mice buttons). Not everything is rosy, however as this new found comfort comes at the expense of lefties and smaller hands. Still, this is a pretty fine mouse to generate negative karma with in-game – if your hands are large enough to tame it. The Razer DeathAdder can be found in retail stores at US$59.99 (~S$99) immediately.