Razer DeathAdder Chroma
£74 inc VAT • razerzone.com
Razer’s signature gaming mouse is one of the most pervasive, iconic peripherals of the past decade. It is, for a lot of people, the gaming mouse. The DeathAdder is the ultimate no-frills, jack-of-all-trades mouse. It’s a workhorse that would serve 90 percent of the population well, and one you’d be happy to own. There just might be something out there that works better. Something more niche.
It’s about as bare bones as a gaming mouse gets, with just five buttons: left-, right- and middle mouse/scroll, plus two under the thumb. The latest Chroma edition is equipped with a braided cable sheathe, 10,000 DPI sensor, and the now-standard 1000Hz polling. That’s it. It’s a simple mouse with simple aims, and it’s all the better for it. If you’re a person who wants a gaming mouse that just works, the DeathAdder is your safest bet.
Especially because it’s very comfortable to use. There’s a reason the DeathAdder, despite its seemingly simple design, has become such an icon: it’s beautifully sculpted, with some of the most comfortable righthand contours on the market.
(Claw-gripping is, however, a different story. You can claw-grip the DeathAdder, but it’s not easy. The rear of the mouse is tall enough that it’s hard to get separation between your hand and the plastic.)
The DeathAdder is also notable because everything is oversized. Almost comically so. The scroll wheel is huge and fat, while the left- and right mouse buttons are wide and flared outward at the end, giving your fingertips even more space. As for the two thumb-buttons, they are almost as big as your entire thumb.
It’s not that the DeathAdder is a massive mouse. The form factor is pretty average. It’s also very lightweight, feeling almost like a toy when you pick it up. But whereas most mice – even most Razer mice – aim for subtlety, the DeathAdder makes everything as big and obvious as possible.
We think it looks a little silly, but we can’t deny it’s effective. You’re never in the middle of a firefight frantically hunting for the thumb buttons because it’s practically impossible to get your thumb away from them in the first place.
Razer has really gone down the minimalist route with the DeathAdder Chroma’s lighting. Both the Diamondback and the Mamba feature stunning lighting effects, with trails on each side that really make use of the RGB lighting. However, when it comes to the DeathAdder, the scroll wheel lights up and the logo lights up, and that’s it. Indeed, if you set your new RGB mouse to green it would look pretty much identical to the previous DeathAdder model.
On the one hand, who cares? It’s a mouse, and lighting is purely decorative. But on the other, if you’re going to release an entirely new version of a long-standing product and market it on new lighting, that lighting better be pretty spectacular. The DeathAdder is boring in comparison to Razer’s other Chroma products.
But maybe that was to keep the price down. At around £59 online, the DeathAdder is the cheapest mouse in the Chroma line, and one of the cheapest in Razer’s line-up full stop. Or maybe it’s just an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. After all, why tamper with a design if it’s a proven seller?
The DeathAdder is pretty much the same as the previous version, except now the lights can change colour and it has a 10,000 DPI sensor instead of the previous 6400. It’s still just as comfortable as ever, and as bare-bones as ever.
The Chroma version is, however, only right-handed, at the moment. Razer still sells a separate left-handed DeathAdder, but it’s on a par with the previous iteration. No fancy lighting for the left-handers yet.
The DeathAdder is a workhorse that would serve 90 percent of the population well, and one you’d be happy to own