Razer’s Deathadder mouse launched in 2006 with a price tag of $59.99 and at the time, it was one of the best ergonomic gaming mouse on the market. It was upgraded to the Razer Deathadder ReSpawn and the most notable change was the 3G infrared sensor at the heart of the mouse became a 3.5G infrared sensor bumping its dpi from 1800 to 3500. As well as the standard right hand Deathadder ReSpawn, there were also a Razer Deathadder Black, a Left-hand Edition, a Dragon Age II Special Edition, e-Sports Edition and various Transformers Editions. Although Razer has upgraded this year to the Razer Deathadder 2013 (note that only the right-hand standard edition has been upgraded), the ReSpawn is still available in retail stores like Amazon and PC World just shy of £50. The Razer store no longer stocks the Respawn, but you can still buy any of the other Editions from them directly. This review focuses on the Razer Deathadder with a 3500 dpi 3.5G infrared sensor.
- 3500dpi Razer Precision 3.5G infrared sensor
- Ergonomic right-handed or left-handed design (two versions)
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response
- Five independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
- On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
- Ultra-large non-slip buttons
- 16-bit ultra-wide data path
- 60–120 inches per second and 15g of acceleration
- Seven-Foot, lightweight, braided fiber USB cable
- Approximate Size : 127 mm / 5.00” (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76” (Width) x 44 mm / 1.73” (Height)
- Approximate Weight: 148 g / 0.33 lbs
- PC / Mac with USB port
- Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X (v10.4 and above)
- Internet connection (for driver installation)
- At least 35MB of hard disk space
- Razer Synapse 2.0 registration (requiring a valid e-mail), software download, license acceptance, and internet connection needed to activate full features of product and for software updates. After activation, full features are available in optional offline mode.
The Razer Deathadder is a mouse that looks good on a mouse mat and it can be put on display with great pride. It is sleek, simplistic and contoured to fit your hand. It has two large integrated left and right click buttons, a white scroll wheel that lights up in faint blue when the lighting is turned on (or a black scroll wheel with no light on the Black Edition). It has two side buttons positioned for thumb use on the left side (on the right side for the Left-Handed Edition).
The two thumb buttons are clearly visible on the side and the sides are made out of a smooth and sleek plastic that contrasts nicely with the tactile rubber used on the top. The back of the mouse works well as a palm rest as long as your hands are not too big and the 7ft cable protrudes form the front which again has the smooth plastic. The infrared sensor is clearly visible at the bottom along with three feet, two at each top corner and a larger wedge at the bottom.
The ultra large non-slip buttons at the top are one of the best features of the Deathadder. It’s not an exclusive feature, other Razer mice like the Mamba has near identical buttons, but the moulded finger rest dent is a hallmark Razer feature that I sorely miss whenever using a different brand. The Razer logo on the palm is barely noticeable when the lighting is turned off, but with the lighting turned on it slowly dims and brightens with a pale blue hue.
3500dpi Razer Precision 3.5G infrared sensor
The 3.5G infrared sensor allows for a dpi of up to 3500. The lowest sensitivity setting is 400 dpi. There was a slight increase in lift-off distance between the first and second generation of Deathadder mice and as a result, some low sensitivity gamers who upgraded from the 3G to 3.5G infrared sensor noticed some issues, but the Deathadder does not have a particularly high lift-off distance for an infrared gaming mouse, so it’s not something that should come up and we didn’t notice any issues.
Five independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
The small number of buttons on the Deathadder is just the right number for those who struggle pressing mouse buttons. The large curved left and right click buttons is both ergonomic and accessible, but be aware that if you have uncontrolled muscle spasms, your fingers do rest permanently on the buttons and any pressure will press them, resulting in unwanted mouse presses. The scroll wheel is a standard size and quite sensitive and easy to use. Clicking it without moving it requires more precision, but as all the buttons are programmable, you can simply not use that function or map it to somewhere else.
The two side buttons are easy to press, the first is particularly accessible whilst the second is a little bit of a stretch for anyone with smaller hands. Three buttons are never enough to game with, but five can be. The ability to remap the buttons and save a particular setting to a set profile is great.
Photophobia (Light Sensitivity)
There are two lights on the mouse. The first is the scroll button and the second is the Razer logo on the palm. Both can be disabled in the software settings. The software does not contain any flash, flicker or bright effects.
The dpi can be adjusted in the settings. Be aware that setting it to a high sensitivity does make the mouse cursor much more responsive and unless you have excellent control of small movements of your hand, in-game it can make the camera jerk and jump, causing motion sickness. If this does turn out to cause problems for you, just turn down the sensitivity.
Low Vision and Visual Field Defects
The mous itself should not cause any issues but the Razer Synapse 2.0 software is not very accessible. Text is white against a black background when highlighted, but when not there is very little contrast between the almost black text against the black background. The text size is small and cannot be adjusted.
Colour Blindness (Colour Vision Deficiency)
No colour reliance, any use of colour is purely cosmetic.
Information relevant to those who have a hearing impairment, experience problems with speech perception, suffers from tinnitus and the profoundly deaf.
It is perfectly accessible with no audio requirements at any point. The mouse itself does not have any audio cues and neither does the software.
There is no requirement for quick reactions either when installing, configuring or using the mouse.
Precision (Manual Dexterity)
The higher the DPI, the higher the level of precision that is required. There is no requirement for precision as the dpi is set by you to whatever level you are comfortable with.
Endurance & Ergonomics
The mouse is comfortable to rest your hand on and the buttons are large and ergonomic. The mouse butttons are where you rest your hands, so if you get particularly tired and press too hard, you will trigger them. In addition, you can’t rest your middle finger on the scroll wheel so you have to move it a bit to the right to fit on the right button (or to the left if you are left handed).
- Full key mapping to a keyboard function, mouse function, sensitivity, switch profile, launch program or disable the button.
- Lighting can be turned on or off.
- The sensitivity can be adjusted over 4 sensitivity stages (400, 800, 1800, 3500 dpi).
- Acceleration (The rate of increase of speed in the cursor with respect to the mouse movement) can be ajusted on a 1 – 10 scale.
- The Polling Rate (The frequency of data updates for the device) can set at 125, 500 or 1000.
The Razer Deathadder is a PC or Mac plug and play mouse and can be used straight out of the box. If you want to remap any of the buttons, Razer Synapse 2.0 software is required. It is free and can be downloaded from the Razer site here. The ability to download one piece of software across most Razer devices most definitely simplifies the process of searching for the most recent and up to date drivers for your particular version of a particular product.
The software for the Deathadder has three tabs: Customize, Performance and Lighting. To remap buttons, the first panel is used and the interface is standard and the process easy to understand. The Performance tab has the more complicated settings, like dpi and polling rate and its not quite clear how the dpi adjusts as there are both a “Configure sensitivity stages button” with 4 settings as well as a 100 – 3500 slider. This is not necessarily a big deal as the important thing is not how much you set the dpi as, but how it feels to you, so adjust the slider, move the mouse and readjust until your mouse moves at the speed that is most comfortable for you. The third tab adjusts the lighting for the mouse and is again easy to use.
If used as a standard mouse, it works just like a standard mouse and if you are comfortable using a mouse, the Deathadder will be the Ferrari of standard mice. If you are interested in some of the customizability features, setting it up just the way you want it is pretty straightforward as well. Once you start to customize it for specific functions or games by making use of Profiles, it gets a bit more complicated to configure and to use as the mouse buttons will do different things all the time, just like you told them to.
The different settings have explanations in the Synapse 2.0 menu system and in the top right corner there is a tiny question mark that pulls up a .pdf help file.
Included In The Box
- The Razer Deathadder mouse with wired USB cable
- Razer Information pack and Warrantee
- Razer stickers
The Razer Deathadder remains one of the most popular gaming mice on the market and with its sleek design and smooth movement, it is easy to see why. There are a few design choices that does limit its audience. It does only have 5-buttons in an era where most gaming mice have at least 7,11 or more. It is right-hand or left-hand only, so if you swap hands or share a mouse with a left-handed gamer, you’re out of luck. It is very comfortable if you have standard to small hands, but not if you have larger hands as your fingers overreach the top and the thumb buttons become awkward and a 3500dpi is now quite low in comparison to the norm.
Most people will not be affected by any of the above and will be buying a beautifully designed ergonomic mouse with outstanding comfort and performance. Its price tag puts it in the upper range of gaming mice with a minimalist design and if money is tight, you can find a half-price alternative that will do the job almost as well, but few brands hit all the highs as well as the Razer and you will be hard pressed to find a cheaper alternative for the level of comfort the Deathadder has to offer.
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