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Razer's Deathadder Elite mouse pleases to aim (hands-on)

Using a state-of the art sensor, Razer has given the most popular gaming mouse in the world an enviable face-lift.

Luke Lancaster Associate Editor / Australia
Luke Lancaster is an Associate Editor with CNET, based out of Australia. He spends his time with games (both board and video) and comics (both reading and writing).
Luke Lancaster
3 min read

The most accurate mouse ever.

It may sound hyperbolic, but Razer's Deathadder Elite gaming mouse can back up the claim. The original Deathadder, Razer claims, is the most popular gaming mouse in the world. So when the upgraded Elite version was announced, it's safe to say that people were a little antsy.

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Razer has made good on the promise though, with bleeding edge sensors for improved accuracy and design tweaks that make the Deathadder Elite even more comfortable to use.

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Key specs

  • $70 (£70, AU$120)
  • USB connection
  • Mechanical switches
  • Two side buttons
  • Switches to control sensitivity on the fly
  • Programmable Chroma LEDs
  • Rubber grips and treaded scroll wheel

And, since this is what you're really here for:

Key bragging rights

  • 16,000 DPI tracking
  • 99.4 percent resolution accuracy
  • Tested to 50 million clicks
  • 450 IPS tracking (30 percent higher than its closest competitor)

Hitting the mark

That's right. In addition to some very compelling physical redesigns, the Deathadder Elite is near impossible to beat when it comes to accuracy.

It's got the usual mechanical switches underneath the main mouse buttons for the best possible responsiveness, and if you're worried about lifespan, those switches are tested to 50 million clicks (rather than the 20 million odd typical for mice).

But it's the sensor itself. This is a gaming mouse, which means precision and speed. Without getting too bogged down in the numbers, suffice it to say that the Deathadder Elite's sensor is 99.4 percent accurate, it tracks with hardly any latency and it has more points of reference than pretty much any other mouse you've ever used. That means you cursor should track your movements as close to perfect as possible.

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The Deathadder Elite is packing the most advanced optical sensor in the market, and that translates to literally unprecedented accuracy in a mouse. It's customisable down to the point where you can specify the type of mouse pad or change the sensitivity on the fly with buttons located behind the scroll wheel. Razer has designed this with an audience in mind (the extensive research hit on the pain points and needs of e-sports pros), and those boasts about accuracy and performance don't come up short.

While that's all well and good -- it's certainly a performance device, and it's noticeable, even for an amateur -- you can't go past how good it feels.

A mouse in the hand is worth two in the box

My colleague Sean Hollister called the original Deathadder "one of the most comfortable mice he'd ever held". I'm with him on that point. The Deathadder it's my own personal go-to. So when I say that the upgraded Deathadder Elite feels even better, I'm not mucking about.

The rubberized sides provide excellent traction and the tread on the scroll wheel offers just enough grip for rapid use. Design elements like Razer's usual braided fabric USB cable also offer a great deal of peace of mind for long-term, intense use and surviving any travel.

It doesn't have the full range of under-the-thumb programmable buttons that you'd find on the Naga, but the Deathadder Elite's two side buttons are wonderfully positioned -- easy to hit with a twitch of the thumb, but high enough on the side that you won't bump them accidentally.

As is usual for a Razer product, it's managed with the proprietary Synapse app so you can get the LEDs to flash in just the right way. I mean, every button and in-depth sensitivity control is also programmable through Synapse, but we all know what you've come here to do. And it's custom LED patterns.

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If you want a mouse and have the money, it's very, very hard to go past the Deathadder Elite. It feels great, it lives up to some wildly over-the-top claims and it's an impressive evolution of one of the most popular gaming mice ever produced. While its baby brother is a better recommendation for the budget-conscious, the Deathadder Elite has set a new bar for gaming peripherals.