Razer DeathAdder review: Razer DeathAdder

  • 1
MSRP: $59.99
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 1 user review

The Good The Razer DeathAdder gaming mouse has high accuracy and includes excellent customization software, and two responsive thumb-side buttons (righties only).

The Bad No Vista driver despite claim of support on the box; no dedicated button for cycling through DPI settings on the fly.

The Bottom Line Razer's DeathAdder gaming mouse is a powerful accessory for fans of 3D shooters and others who might demand a high degree of customizability in their mice. We wish that Razer had delivered on its promise of Vista support out of the box, but aside from that and a few other issues, the DeathAdder performs exceptionally well.

Newer model available here.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 9.0

Razer's new DeathAdder comes very close to usurping the Logitech G5 Laser Mouse as our gaming mouse of choice. At $60, Razer's mouse is about the same price, but the DeathAdder offers much more customizability and is also more accurate. That alone will be enough to sway the gamers in the audience. More casual mouse users will like that this mouse has two thumb-side buttons as well. We were surprised that the DeathAdder didn't come with a Windows Vista driver, though. That and Razer's stubborn refusal to offer a dedicated button for switching between sensitivity settings prevent us from giving this mouse an Editor's Choice award.

If you're unfamiliar with Razer's mice, the company has dedicated itself to creating the perfect gaming input device. The DeathAdder comes with all of Razer's familiar touches. The rubberized coating on the top surface of the mouse prevents excessive moisture (or rather, sweat). And the extralong, 7-foot USB cable makes it easy to connect the DeathAdder to even the most outlandish gaming setups. It has a large scroll wheel and a pair of thumb buttons on its side, giving you five buttons in total, all of which you can customize in the mouse's software.

Setting up the DeathAdder is easy enough. Both Windows XP and Vista recognized it without asking us to install any software. If you're happy with the mouse's default settings, you can probably just put the driver CD away entirely. We suspect that gamers will want to at least look at the customization options though, and for that we're sad to report that Razer's software works only in Windows XP. The software will install in Vista, but it doesn't recognize the mouse, which must happen in order for your settings changes to kick in. The DeathAdder's box even claims Vista support, which makes this omission particularly irritating. Like other hardware vendors, Razer is working on Vista drivers. When they'll be done is anyone's guess.

If you still run Windows XP, you'll find the Razer software intuitive and robust. The basic settings window lets you adjust button assignments and change the polling rate and the DPI settings, which extend to a whopping 1,000Hz and 1,800dpi, respectively. Such high settings give the DeathAdder exceptional responsiveness and accuracy. Dig deeper into the software and the advanced window lets you tweak the sensitivity of the X and Y axes independently of each other. You can also adjust the pointer speed and apply a range of acceleration effects to get the cursor moving even more quickly.

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