Yes it’s been sometime since I’ve taken a look at a Razer product. I’ve always liked their mice and it’s a tough choice when I play a game whether to use the Logitech G5 or the Razer Copperhead. I’m more biased towards mice that are designed for the right hand so when Razer sent me the DeathAdder I was excited to see how well it stacked up to my other favorites.
The DeathAdder breaks off from the traditional Razer approach of building mice for both left handed and right handed people. The look of the mouse is close to the Habu, Microsoft and Razer’s joint venture product. It’s geared for right handed gamers so it’s got a more distinct curve in the thumb area. It's also a wider than their older mice making it easier to hold for those with larger hands. Even though my hands aren't that big, I found it to be more comfortable than the Copperhead.
On top, the mouse sports a one piece design with a nice rubbery feel. The one piece design splits at the top for the wheel, migrates inward at the base of the wheel, and down the center about halfway. In the center of the palm resting area sits Razer ’s logo of the three snakes. A cool effect when the mouse is plugged in is that it pulsates a slow blue glow and highlights the snakes when its at it's brightest. When the LED is not on, you can barely see the logo.
There are two very nicely sized thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse. I never did like the Copperhead’s small thumb button but Razer did it right with the DeathAdder . I could easily tell which button my thumb was on without looking and they had a great feel to them when pressed. The tension on the springs weren ’t too soft or strong and the buttons exhibited a nice click as well as springing back quickly. The new design made the thumb buttons a lot more usable than the Copperhead ones.
The two main buttons also felt good when pressed with solid springs and a nice click as well. Since it’s a one piece design, you have a large surface area for each button giving you ample room to place your fingers on comfortably.Scrolling with the mouse wheel felt very good and the DeathAdder offered a very smooth scrolling action. Its fluid and fast with a very subtle clicks as you rotate the wheel. Like the logo, it also glows blue when in use. The mouse wheel also doubles as the third button and it has a nice strong spring to it as well. The click, like the two main buttons, feels very responsive and has a nice sound to it. Unfortunately, there's no sideways action for the wheel. I've been accustomed to mice having a tilt wheel but the DeathAdder doesn't have one. Not too big of a deal though.
Underneath the mouse, there are three Teflon pads that help for smooth movement. Each top corner holds a triangle shaped pad while the back of the mouse has one medium sized half circle.
Sitting in the center is the 3G Infrared Sensor. It's not the traditional red LED or laser sensor. This sensor enables precision of 1800DPI, which was something that was difficult to achieve with an LED. The Razer folks are stickler for accuracy so the sensor is also optimized for fast motions. Also improved in the sensor is minimizing the lift-off distance for the mouse. When you lift the mouse off the table and move it, there's traditionally a small movement of your cursor. This distance has been improved so that you get a more accurate placement of the cursor with less movement when you lift the mouse. The sensor is also on constantly and doesn't shut down like some LEDs. This will ensure that the mouse will react to your movements without any lag in case you haven't moved your mouse in a while. Razer has really done a job on the sensor and you can read more about the technology on Razer’s website.
The DeathAdder has a very long USB cable that ends in a gold plated USB connector. The long cord should let you sit your computer at a good distance away. While there are arguments on whether gold plating improves connectivity, theDeathAdder has it in case you are one of those that prefer your connectors that way.
Razer’s drivers off a nice visual wizard system to setup your mouse the way you want to. You'll get the usual feature of setting up the commands for the mouse buttons. mouse wheel management, and so forth. With each profile you create you can set the polling rate and DPI offering you great control over how the mouse moves. If you want to use the on the fly sensitivity via a macro you can set that up as well. For both the X and Y-axis, you can set the sensitivity separately and not be confined to one set. Finally, double-click speed and acceleration can be adjusted. Combining all the settings available,Razer gives you plenty of options on setting up your mouse to your liking. The amount of customization should satisfy even the most die-hard gamer
Profiles are something the DeathAdder supports allowing you to have multiple configurations for different games. You can change the profile in two ways with one being a push of the button on the bottom of the mouse that sits to the right of the sensor. If you have different button preferences for different games, this can speed up your setup time by saving them to a profile and changing them when you switch games
For testing, I ran through my collection of first person shooters in Unreal Tournament 2004, Prey, and Battlefield 2142 as well as Command and Conquer 3. After a few hours of gameplay , I have to say the mouse always felt comfortable in my hand. I didn't feel fatigued and the top coating made the grip very easy on the hand. Performance was how I expected from a Razer product and that's top notch. The mouse was responsive and accurate. Sniping's one test I usually concentrate on and I had no problems getting my usual number of headshots in Capture the Flag on UT2K4. In close combat, I always felt in control was able to turn and aim quickly. With Battlefield 2142, I tried to switch between sensitivity settings depending on if I was sniping or I was running around on the battlefield. Like my G5, the switching of sensitivity worked as advertised and I as able to slow my mouse down with a push of a button when drawing a bead on someone and switch it back to high sensitivity when I was crossing the battlefield. With all the game I played with, I really liked how the mouse performed and felt.Compared to the two previous Razer mice I had, I found the DeathAdder to be the best of the three. Being that I'm right handed and this mouse is wider and made for right handed gamers, it was a lot more comfortable to hold. It's hands down the best Razer optical mouse I've used with all the buttons being easily accessible and the overall feeling of the mouse being very comfortable. There's really nothing that I can say bad about the DeathAdder . The price is a little high but not in the realm of being over priced and the gaming performance can't be disputed. There are a few mice I always recommend to people who want a good performing peripheral for gaming and the Razer DeathAdder is now on that list.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.
I'm married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.