Razer’s DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse is a worthy successor to last year’s model. It’s ideal for right-handed persons who are searching for a high-performance mouse with a wide range of customization possibilities. Despite its slick gaming appearance, it’s not overly bulky and can accommodate a wide range of hand sizes and grip styles. With smaller hands, the claw or fingertip grip may cause an unnatural hand position. This corded mouse does have reduced latency, which is fantastic for gaming, but the cable is stiff.
- an extraordinarily sensitive sensor
- Design for ease of use
- Programmable buttons with seven different functions.
- More control over lighting
There are a few drawbacks:
- Buttons have a slightly jagged edge.
- Only cloud storage is available for software.
- Smaller hands may have difficulty with the grip.
Razer’s DeathAdder mouse line has been at the top of the mountain since 2006, when they first appeared on the scene in the form of the original DeathAdder mouse.
In this review, we’ll see if DeathAdder’s Elite (v2) mouse lives up to its name and delivers an elite gaming experience. Read on to find out!
Design and Features
Let’s get started with the cost of the service first. The DeathAdder Elite is available from Razer for approximately $70.
The DeathAdder Elite’s aesthetic is clean and uncluttered, in keeping with the rest of the DeathAdder line. With its ergonomic design and customizable color light-up accents, this mouse stands out on your desk without being garish. It’s a great buy.
Lighting can be tuned to a single hue or a gradual transition between many shades. It’s also possible to choose reactive lighting, which allows the lights to activate in rhythm with your mouse clicks.
Because of its softness, flexibility, and length (2.1 meters), the Cable is easier to maneuver and more precise to target. The Elite has two Teflon-coated mouse feet on the bottom, as well as one around the sensor, which helps it glide over both soft and hard pads.
There is a noticeable difference between the Elite’s plastic housing and that of its big brother, Chroma, in terms of texture. On the other hand, the side buttons have been given a little more substance.
Razer collaborated with Omron, a high-end switch manufacturer, to build their own switch for the DeathAdder Elite, which is now available. The Chroma’s buttons were a big hit, so Razer decided to keep the same feel and sound in the Elite. It is, however, the upgraded switch that makes the click even crisper and distinct, albeit slightly louder.
To some, the buttons’ finger grooves are too deep, creating a bumpy feel where they meet in the middle. Additionally, the edges of the buttons are a little too sharp, making them unpopular with certain users. These smooth grooves that embrace your fingertips while you play are easy to get used to, and you’ll like the experience.
There’s a mouse wheel with LED accents between the major buttons, of course. In addition to being loud, the wheel is difficult to press. If you’re looking for a grip that’s more secure but still allows you to feel in control, this is the one for you.
Those with larger hands will benefit most from the mouse’s central and slanted hump. However, this doesn’t mean that the DeathAdder Elite couldn’t be enjoyed by those with smaller hands; the hump can make it a little more difficult to handle the mouse in FPS games.
Overall, it’s a well-made and nimble device. As soon as your fingers grab hold of all the buttons, the mouse’s small rattling fades away and there’s nothing to worry about. For endurance as well as performance, the DeathAdder Elite is clearly designed. So, let’s take a look at the system requirements.
The Elite’s 16,000 DPI sensor is the actual star of the show when it comes to its performance capabilities (dots per inch). As a result, the mouse moves across both hard and soft surfaces with ease and fluidity.
The Elite performs admirably in games thanks to its superior optical sensor. With a lift-off distance of 1 DVD, it will remain stable even when swiped quickly.
The Elite is precise and free of jitter or skip. Testing of acceleration and latency reveals excellent results, with the latter averaging roughly 180 milliseconds. Additionally, the resolution accuracy is at a whopping 99.4%. However, it’s still wonderful to have and boast about this level of expertise!
Using the Elite’s two “DPI buttons,” you may change your DPI settings without missing a beat. The Razer Synapse software that comes with this mouse allows you to customize the button functions if you’re a fan of that sort of thing.
Of course, grip is critical for a great gaming experience. All the flashing lights and sensor precision in the world won’t help you if you can’t hold on to the mouse well enough.
For those who prefer to hold their mouse in their hands, the Elite’s contours, grooves, and textures provide a comfortable grip. We’ve already established that the Elite has a preference for larger hands, but that’s nothing new. Claw or palm grips are recommended for the Elite, however a fingertip grip is possible for people with hands longer than 20 cm.
The Razer DeathAdder Elite is a gaming mouse at its core, and a very good one at that, thanks to these performance gains. It doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t be used to other purposes.
You may start playing, browsing, or whatever else you want to do right away after connecting your DeathAdder Elite. However, the Razer Synapse software is available for individuals who desire even more customization and control.
You can alter the performance and illumination of your mouse, as well as establish macros, with Razer Synapse’s easy-to-use interface. This allows you to load up the exact performance standard for the game you’re playing by saving your preferences in separate profiles.
The Elite’s software lets you customize everything from the LED lighting and acceleration to the sensitivity and polling rate. It also keeps track of statistics and can be calibrated for certain surfaces.
Synapse does not have on-board memory, but any settings or modifications you make are saved straight to the cloud, which means that you may load your own spec from any computer at any location. Before you can make any changes, you’ll need to sign up for an account and log in.
Same as it ever was
DeathAdder fans will be glad to see that the design hasn’t changed much from the previous models. There are two under-thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse, making it a right-handed mouse. Only two little buttons directly behind the scroll wheel, which by default govern sensitivity, have been added.
As far as appearance goes, things haven’t changed much. Razer’s all-black look has proven to be a winning formula for the company over the previous few years, and the DeathAdder is no exception. Razer’s modest design decision is starting to look out of place among today’s increasingly flashy and Transformer-esque mouse.
There are very few Razer products that don’t have RGB LED lighting from the Chroma RGB system. In fact, it was in the DeathAdder Chroma from the previous generation, too. The band of light around the Razer Mamba is a great example of Razer’s execution. Because your hand covers much of the scroll wheel and logo on the DeathAdder’s back, it’s a little frustrating that there’s only one light source. The Logitech RGB LED lighting on the Prodigy G403 had a blue hue, so this is still an improvement.
You connect the DeathAdder to your computer through a seven-foot braided cable and gold plated USB port, like other current wired mice. Only a few gaming mice still use rubber cables, so the Razer’s braided cable isn’t innovative. As far as I can tell, it won’t get in the way of my plans.
A few good buttons
There are actually two more buttons on the DeathAdder Elite than there are on the DeathAdder Chroma, bringing the total to seven. Both of the left-hand buttons have a satisfyingly loud click and a deep action. They’re placed above the textured spot towards the bottom of the mouse and are drawn in a light curve to match the inside edge of your thumb. As a result, you have to extend your reach to strike them. It is possible to brush into them during dramatic motions, but you won’t have to worry about it. To quickly use your melee strike in a first-person shooter, their large size makes them suitable.
Some of Razer’s design decisions appear to be subtle.
Behind the scroll wheel is a pair of little buttons. If you’re looking for a quick way to alter sensitivity or other settings, these buttons are ideal. Although Razer’s Synapse software allows for automatic profiles that are linked to specific games, these profiles are also handy for switching between profiles.
Each of the primary buttons has an Omrom mechanical switch hidden beneath it. With low debounce (the amount of time it takes for a button to return to a ready condition after being pressed), they give a pleasing click and quick action time with no interruption for fast clicking.
From shooters to browsing
Despite the fact that numerous publications, including ours, have emphasized the importance of near-perfect sensor accuracy, it is unlikely that average users will notice this feature in most cases. DPI sensitivity ranges from 100 DPI all the way up to 16,000 DPI on the DeathAdder Elite, which they will notice.
When the DPI dips below 1000, the sensor’s accuracy may begin to show itself. It’s getting more and more popular for competitive PC gamers to dynamically lower their DPI or raise it to speed up their movement.
At 105 grams, the DeathAdder is a bit of a slog for extended sessions. Sturdy structure has a price. If you want a mouse with a lot of buttons but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Corsair Scimitar is a good alternative.
It’s a nice fit for most games and comfortable enough to use on a daily basis for most people. Only in games that benefit from having multiple buttons beneath the thumb, like action role-playing games or MMOs, does it fall short of its potential. Even so, the lack of buttons is only an issue if you’re the type of gamer who prefers to use the default keyboard bindings instead of assigning actions to your mouse.
Synapse is suggested, but not required
Razer’s software suite hasn’t changed much in the last year or so. A cloud-based application called Synapse controls lighting profiles and performance customisation and is the core tool in the suite. When you sit down at a different computer, your settings are still there. DPI settings, macros, custom button controls, surface calibration, automatic profile switching, heat maps and other mouse usage data are all available in this powerful application. Razer devices can all be managed from an one interface, and colors and profiles can even be coordinated between them.
This has been changed in our review unit, at least. The mouse no longer tries to install software on initial usage. Razer peripherals don’t require Synapse to function, which is a common myth. If you don’t already have Synapse installed on your computer, it will no longer pester you with pop-up ads.
All Razer mice come with a two-year warranty, no matter how much they cost. With the same guarantee as Logitech and Corsair, this is industry standard. The one exception to this rule is Mionix, which has only been available in the United States for the past year.
Setup and Features
When we recently tested the Naga Hex V2 Razer mouse, we had several issues with the installation process. That was the case in this instance as well.
There is a lengthy legal agreement that must be signed before you can use Razer’s Synapse software with your new mouse, whereas most mice require only a software download and activation by email. “Binding” and “possession” are used in the passage. Although we don’t think the supernatural is being referred to here, given the amount of effort Razer has put into defending Synapse from those who purchase Razer products, we can’t be entirely sure of this.) The registration procedure can take up to five minutes (or more), depending on how quickly your e-mail activation is completed, and the installation will take five minutes.
There is no trace of our screen capture in the murkiness above. The thin gray-on-black font and the fact that the screen doesn’t scale for larger resolutions make this app difficult to use at all. Within a framework that does not require nor provide any help system, it is reasonably well-designed. You can choose from a variety of screens along the top of the device, including a mouse, macros, Chroma apps, and stats. The Customize, Performance, Lighting, and Calibration tabs appear when you click on Mouse, as shown in the screenshot above.
If you go to Mouse > Customize, you have the option of changing the functions of eight of the mouse’s nine buttons. (It’s not feasible to change the left-click button’s function.) But the majority of them are items you won’t want to touch, like the mouse wheel’s up and down arrows, so you’re left with the two assignable buttons on the mouse’s left side, as we mentioned earlier. Changing the dpi, keyboard or mouse function, program start, multimedia, or Windows shortcuts can all be accessed by simply clicking on one of the available buttons.
You can adjust the Deathadder Elite’s five DPI settings with a slider that ranges from 0 to 10. These range from 100dpi to 16,000dpi, but the high-end model is purely for show, part of the typical arms race in gaming mouse resolution.) It is possible to define the resolution settings for the two axis separately by clicking on the ambiguously worded “Enable X-Y Sensitivity.” Using this for games with a lot of action on the horizontal axis rather than the vertical is quite beneficial.
On the Mouse > Lighting panel, we have a limited number of options. Static, Breathing, Reactive, and Spectrum Cycling are the four effects you can pick from, not counting Disabled. Razer’s Celtic-inspired snakes logo on the palm can be customized with 40 different colors. These can be used to illuminate the scroll wheel and other areas of the mouse. It is possible to join the zones and to adjust the brightness level using a linear slider….
Consider that your hand will be covering both of these zones for most of the time you’ll be playing, so you’ll only be able to see these impacts while the mouse is not being used. It’s possible to use keyboard lighting to great advantage as a visual gameplay cue, but most mouse lighting is just as unnecessary as a cravat on an ostrich.
The Deathadder Elite’s Chroma Apps and Stats screens are just as impressive. No apps for this particular mouse series have been developed utilizing the Chroma SDK by third-party developers, while the latter shows the number of mouse clicks, wheel rotations, and the like in every game you’ve played on your computer. It’s a fascinating tidbit, but in the grand scheme of things, it probably has little or no impact on human knowledge.
On the other side, Synapse’s Mouse > Calibration toolkit is one of the most useful. A linear slider or a wizard-based lift-distance wizard can be used to manually set the lift distance between your Deathadder Elite and the surface it’s on (the distance at which the mouse stops tracking), or you can click Other, then Add a Mat, and go to a lift-distance wizard screen that makes the best choice for you, employing algorithms based on your mouse-moving habits. For what it does, that’s some fairly advanced technology.
It is possible to record macros, adjust the sequence, remove lines, and change durations between the macro steps, but this is the extent of what the software is capable of. In comparison, you can see how lacking this macro functionality is when compared to the robust macro creation in Corsair Utility Engine (CUE), which allows you to chain macros and launch new profiles for sub-games, as well as place two actions in one macro — one upon pressing a key and the other upon releasing it. Razer could have done a better job of it.
The Synapse bundle does not include one of the Deathadder Elite’s most notable features. It’s Razer’s new 5G Optical Sensor, which the company describes as “the most advanced in the world.” With a resolution of 99.4 percent, it claims to be able to track 450 inches per second (ips). Any other peripherals developer has never claimed that, at least up to this point. You can see how that translates into gameplay in our next part..
According to our own observations, the Deathadder Elite does not actually move a few inches to the right when viewed from the left. It weighs only 3.7 ounces when resting on its cushions, however. So we focused our testing on MOBA and FPS games, which demand a high level of precision, speed, and real-time strategic thinking from the players in order to get the most accurate results. In terms of the former, we opted for DOTA 2 and Far Cry 4.
This mouse, as expected, was quite easy to move. A horizontal surface behind it was required for the braided cord to remain in place. Otherwise, there was a minor but distinct pull that added additional stress.) It held its own against the lighter, faster Mad Catz MOBA versions. We also liked the responsiveness of the top-side buttons to a very faint touch, but the side buttons seemed noticeably heavier. It would have been nice if we could have used a linear slider to provide graduated angle snapping instead of turning off the acceleration feature, which is risky in high-speed conflicts.
A more powerful macro editor was by far the most often requested feature. We like that Synapse allows you link various profiles to specific games and has a wide range of button reassignment choices (saved, unfortunately, on the cloud, instead of on the mouse itself or in local files). But if you want to use its two buttons for some moderately complicated macro needs, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
This article previously addressed the advantages of using Corsair’s CUE to build up macros. When a button is pressed, a CUE macro can do one operation, and when it is released, another task. Even in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, when utilizing a sword and shield, this would have been ideal. RBAAS (Really Big Ass Attack Spell) and a large mana potion can also be used in this manner. Synapse is unable to perform this, or any of a plethora of other helpful activities.
Razer’s new optical sensor will likely only appeal to a small segment of the gaming population because of the Gripe Factor: What am I supposed to do when the mouse keeps getting in the way of my attack or my hero’s movement? You know, man?” Razer’s 5G Optical Sensor sounds like a good option if you find yourself lamenting your MOBA defeats in this manner. Playing games that require quick reflexes or precise sniper placement was not any more difficult with this sensor than with others we’ve used frequently in previous years. So, while most MOBA and FPS players won’t need it, tournament-level gamers may find it useful for gaining an advantage.
In many ways, the Elite differs from its predecessor the Chroma, although its essential design and construction are identical to those of the classic DeathAdder. This is a popular gaming mouse line, so why mess with something that’s not broken? While a cure isn’t necessary, it’s always nice to see things get better, and the Elite does just that.
The improved sensor is the star of the show, and the Elite’s design features brighter lights, richer colors, and a more comfortable grip. Long and flexible, there are buttons galore, and the Synapse program delivers a multitude of customizing choices.
Despite the addition of “Elite” to its name, Razer’s DeathAdder is still the same beloved mouse among its many devotees. The DeathAdder 2 would be a better name given the improvements to sensor DPI and accuracy, as well as the addition of a few buttons.
Is there a better alternative?
MMO enthusiasts will likely prefer the Corsair Scimitar mouse, which has a full panel of 12 programmable buttons on its left side. Even though the 12,000 DPI sensor is a tad below average, the additional buttons are critical for games that require them.
Logitech’s price-point products have us less enthusiastic. We recently put the Prodigy G403 through its paces and discovered that its build quality was below par for its price. It was also lacking in features and had a pronounced blue tint to its RGB lighting.
Competition from Mionix’s Castor is the Razer’s toughest challenge. The ergonomic shape of this gaming mouse and the lightweight software that loads the presets to the mouse instead of storing them on the cloud make this an excellent choice for gamers. For individuals who want to grasp the controller with their claws, this may be the best option for them, given it has a lower DPI range and one fewer button.
How long will it last?
Only if mice become obsolete or you drop something heavy will you need to replace the DeathAdder’s high DPI sensor and strong build quality.
Omrom switches under the primary keys have a 50 million-click life expectancy rating. We don’t hear much about mechanical switches in gaming mice, so it’s worth noting that they’ve been there for a long time.
Should you buy it?
Yes. An excellent value in the mid-range mouse category, DeathAdder has a modest feature set and great software support. In the event that your gaming regimen requires specialist capabilities, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Most gamers will find that the Razer DeathAdder Elite is a worthy addition to an already popular gaming mouse, without increasing the price tag. DeathAdder’s design hasn’t changed much in recent years, and that’s for good cause. What isn’t broken should not be fixed.
Despite this, the Deathadder Elite is still a great weapon. It’s one of the best mouse we’ve tested in recent years for fast-paced games that need fine coordination and reflexes. We’d give it a pat on the back if Synapse had angle-snapping and deceleration functions, as well. For those looking for a good-looking MOBA mouse, the Deathadder Elite is a good option.