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Razer DeathAdder 2013 Gaming Mouse Review

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Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

The DeathAdder seems most popular among FPS gamers. Razer also provides different products tailored to MMO/MMORPG games. As a result, I felt that this product will be best evaluated in FPS environments. During the testing period, It was my primary mouse and was used in my every day computing tasks such as web browsing, programming and photoshoping. My thoughts and experience will be compared to two mice I had used shortly before: the Logitech G700 and the Corsair M60..

Test Software

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Google Chrome
  • Open Office Writer
  • Battlefield 3
  • Crysis 3
  • Skyrim

Results

Comfort:
Prior to testing the DeathAdder, I have been using the Logitech G700 and occasionally, the Corsair M60. I consider the G700 to be one the most comfortable mice out there, the M60 on the other hand, I find a lot less pleasing to hold. Especially with those gaps at its rear. Upon receiving the DeathAdder, I was very skeptical; I thought that it was a classic merely because it was the best thing available when it was initially released. My first impressions of the device were quite negative: I thought it was too light, I didn’t like the shape of it, and I found the bulge that occupied the position between the base of my index and middle finger to be very annoying. I gave myself some time to dissipate the lingering bias I possessed for previous devices, and quickly I started adapting to the famed Razer mouse. It was shocking how much I started liking it, more and more it started to make sense why the device was designed the way it was. Overtime, my palm naturally started relaxing over the mouse’s surface and while I don’t agree that the DeathAdder is more comfortable than the G700, I will argue that it is more ergonomic. It’s a bit difficult to explain what I feel, but it is for the same reason why I prefer the PS3 controller over an Xbox 360′s: the former device is certainly not as comfortable as the latter, but I feel I have better reflexes with it as it is never too hard quickly move your fingers to various buttons without moving your entire hand. Similarly I was able to make all sorts of movements using the DeathAdder whilst maintaining a firm grip on it. Although I had a rather pleasant experience with the mouse, I fear gamers with smaller hands might not. The DeathAdder maybe to large for some peoples’ liking and I suggest that anyone buying it should examine the dimensions before making a purchase. The DeathAdder seems to be targeted to palm grippers such as myself but I’ve read about many who impose a claw grip upon the mouse.

Functionality:
Unlike the G700 and some other popular gaming mice that share a similar price range of the DeathAdder, the Razer device does not have on-board storage for calibration and macro profiles. Also, apart from the standard left, right and middle mouse buttons, there are only two additional programmable buttons. With the inclusion of the new 4G optical sensor, users now have a much wider DPI range. Razer must have expected that a great number of owners will assign DPI increment/decrement functions to these buttons. On another note, most of the DeathAdders functionality and features are unlocked with the Synapse 2.0 software which is not bad at all. It has a clean UI and makes for a quick and easy customization experience. It also has an offline mode to rid the need of a constant internet connection. The cloud based utility will sync your settings across all the machines you have it installed on, great for people who have constant internet access and multiple machines. The DeathAdder can be calibrated to work on different surfaces via the software. Some people may not like this since calibrating the device for one surface may mean that it will not work on another. When I first used the device, it was on a mouse pad and it functioned flawlessly. However when I moved to the plastic surface of a picnic table, it didn’t work at all. I tried calibrating the mouse for that surface and to my satisfaction, it performed perfectly, but moving it back on to the mouse pad seemed to result in the mouse operating at a lower DPI than I had set it to. Personally, I don’t mind this feature as it allows the mouse to operate optimally on any calibrated surface.

Razer_DeathAdder2013_3.jpg

Performance:
This is the field where the DeathAdder excelled far beyond my expectations. Before using it, I had this withstanding notion that the new generation of gaming mice only differ in look and feel and they would perform more or less the same. A few weeks usage of the DeathAdder shattered these ideas with it’s breathtaking performance. A week or so before I received the DeathAdder I started playing Crysis 3, a fairly new FPS. After the first couple of days playing, I hit decent form and was getting a decent K/D ratio in my matches. Nevertheless, I was still frustrated at how difficult it seemed to to kill with accuracy. Many times, I would take down the enemy, but only as a result of shots sprayed all over his torsro, when what I wanted was a headshot. After the first day of using the DeathAdder, this changed dramatically. I was getting my desired hitman kills with greater frequency. Not only that but my overall gameplay felt more fluid; movements were smooth, and I navigated about the terrain with a lot more ease. It felt as if the mouse were carrying out my actual thoughts as opposed to my hand movements. At this point, it slowly dawned upon me why so much people praise this device. It was excellent. I also started appreciating the weight of the mouse: it made small movements and aim corrections much better; there was no fear of applying to much force that resulted in missing your target, and there was no struggling to lock on causing you to acquire a target too late. The same held true in BF3. I am a lot better at BF3 than Crysis, but with the DeathAdder, I found myself dominating more often and frequently wondering if the other players were half asleep. Nowadays, when I game, I subconsciously reach for the DeathAdder and use my G700 mostly with my laptop or just to adjust the volume or switch tracks on my desktop. Needless to say the DeathAdder performed well in every other task and game especially in Photoshop where the low DPI setting made for very smooth, precise photo editing.


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