Another month, another mouse! Perhaps we should start a "Mouse a Month" club or something. This month Razer was nice enough to send us their new gaming mouse to review. Will it stand up to the competition? Will I like it as much as their Krait mouse? Will Harry Potter die this summer? Read on to find out!
The Hardware - I love the smell of new mice in the morning!
The Razer DeathAdder is an optical mouse with a USB connection. (Honestly, does anyone use a PS2 mouse anymore?) It features Zero-acoustic Teflon feet, an 1800 DPI 3G Infrared sensor, and a 1ms response time.
The Technology - I dream in Infrared
The DeathAdder uses a new kind of optical sensor to track movement, something Razer calls the 3G Infrared Sensor. In a nutshell, it's an optical engine that uses infrared light instead of the old visible red LED light we're all used to. This allows it to exceed the previous DPI limit for optical mice, and offer us a nice 1800 DPI score.
Why would you want to use an 1800 DPI optical mouse instead of a 2000 DPI laser mouse? Razer claims that this is advantageous for people who like lower sensitivity settings and move the mouse quickly. The optical sensor is better at tracking this type of movement over more surfaces than a laser mouse.
Like most of the mice we have reviewed recently, the DeathAdder features full speed USB polling at 1000Mhz. It also has a gold-plated USB connection, and a nice, long cord to plug it in. It's not braided like the Logitech G5, but it gets the job done.
Like the Razer Krait, the DeathAdder has some nice Teflon feet that glide across cloth and smoother mousepads effortlessly.
There are no buttons specifically assigned to switch the DPI on the fly, but you can set buttons for that, or just switch DPI in the drivers between gaming sessions.
Appearance - Does this mouse make me look dead?
The DeathAdder is Razer's first Righty-only mouse design. Also unlike Razer's previous offerings, this mouse has the familiar hump-back design that Logitech has been using for years, and both sides curve gently inwards.
The mouse is flat black on top, with glossy black sides, a blue-glowing mouse wheel, and a very cool Razer insignia that that pulses on and off. It has two main buttons, and two buttons on the left side of the mouse. The main buttons also mimic the Logitech solid-body design in that they are really just part of the same piece of plastic that makes up the entire top of the mouse.
Performance - Like a flying mammal out of a mythical fiery afterlife.
I have to try hard not to make zoomy car-engine noises while using this mouse. The native 1800 DPI is a bit higher than I normally use for default gaming and applications, but I tried it without lowering the sensitivity, and I got used to it pretty quickly. Like previous Razer mice, the DeathAdder is very zippy.
I played with the DeathAdder exclusively for a month, and had no issues after extended gameplay sessions. The new design is very familiar and comfortable, and it kept my wrists from experiencing any pain at all while gaming.
The buttons are, without a doubt, the best ones I have ever used on a mouse. They have just the right amount of resistance to keep me from accidentally clicking all the time, but they are easy to click repeatedly without expending much effort. This goes for the main buttons as well as the side buttons. The side buttons are also at an almost perfect position. My thumb rests just in the middle of them, so I can easily click the fourth or fifth button without having to contort my hand to do so.
The mouse wheel is also great. You can feel the indentations where it wants to stop, but you can glide right past and keep scrolling without any effort. The wheel is also very easy to use as a third button, as it doesn't scroll accidentally when you try to depress it. Very nice!
Conclusion - Bring out your dead!
As I have stated previously, I am a mouse snob. I have tried many, but I rarely find myself liking them. Did I like the DeathAdder?
What I think of it:
This is my absolute favorite mouse, bar none.
The sides and top are nice and grippy, so I don't have to worry about losing control of the mouse. As I stated previously, I love the buttons, they have just the right combination of resistance and position, and the wheel is the best I've used so far.
Razer took the base Logitech design and made it better. The DeathAdder feels great in my hand, and it looks great when I'm not covering it up. I pretty much use this mouse exclusively now for MMORPGs, other games, or just every day office work.
Now for my one complaint: There's still no dedicated DPI buttons. It wouldn't have been hard to stick them just below the mouse wheel so that I could swap resolutions on the fly without losing the use of another button that I had to assign to that function. Still, it's a minor complaint.
Who I think can benefit the most:
This is a great mouse, so unless you really need those DPI buttons, I think this would be a good mouse for anyone who plays MMORPGs. Unless you're a southpaw. (But don't fret, Razer may be giving you your very own Lefty-Adder in the future.) Already own a great mouse? I would still consider upgrading to a DeathAdder.
While I liked Razer's prior efforts, this mouse takes the cake. It takes the whole cake, shoves it down your throat, and hands you a glass of milk to chase it with. The only thing that prevents this mouse from being a solid 10 is the lack of DPI buttons. As it stands, the Razer DeathAdder is the best gaming mouse out there, in my book.
Overall, I give the DeathAdder 9 poisonous snakes out of a possible 10.