While designated as a gaming mouse, the DeathAdder Elite is just as at home surfing the web and crunching spreadsheets as it is fragging it up on the latest FPS thanks to it’s comfortable yet simple design. It doesn’t sit too high and feels very natural in the hand. While not overly righty biased in shape, the fact that the thumb buttons are on the left side make it a little more clumsy for lefties. If you are indeed a righty, the buttons rest in a very natural position that’s easily reached without being in the way and accidentally triggered.
The left/right buttons have a slightly scalloped shape allowing the fore and middle fingers to rest comfortably in a natural position. The sides are also scooped out a bit so the grip between the thumb and pinky feels somewhat narrow but in a good way – giving the perception of a solid connection of hand to mouse with effortless control over the attitude of the mouse. The slightly textured, rubberized grips help here. I’m starting to see why this mouse made such a splash.
At 105 grams, it’s neither heavy nor overly light with enough heft to prevent unwanted drift without bringing on undue fatigue though one can argue that if a mouse brings on fatigue, one may want to do some physical activity once and a while! It does glide nicely on most surfaces and I didn’t perceive any tracking issues on the wood, paper, or any of the three mouse pads I tried. This is facilitated by larger pads as compared to the Chroma. The buttons, including the scroll wheel button, click with enough tactile feedback to perceive without being obnoxious and the amount of force required is minimal and above what I call the “oops” threshold for accidental clicks and the scroll wheel does what scroll wheels do best, thunk around without excess play or drifting. No free spin mode à la Logitech here. It does have a different texture pattern than on the Chroma with little nubs rather than the horizontal line indentations.
The seven foot braided cord is light and gives no real resistance to movement and the gold-plated with green plastic USB plug is a nice touch though arguably one will never see it while inserted. The DPI switching is immediate and since the increments are customizable in the Synapse software 100 DPI at time with a low of 100 DPI to 16,000 DPI, I can’t see where anyone would have complaints in this department except that an LED indicator of the current DPI selection as found on competitor hardware would be handy. The inclusion of these two buttons are one of the few changes on the exterior hardware compared to previous Chroma version and is definitely a good addition.
The lighting is limited to the logo and scroll wheel which seems to be a disappointment for some but I don’t personally need a Pink Floyd light show going on around my mouse pad. After all, the focus is generally on the screen and maybe keyboard, not the mouse. That said, you can tweak those colors to your heart’s content and save it off along with any macros deemed necessary and even check out your usage stats. I found the Synapse software to be easy to use and navigate and doesn’t seem to generate a lot of overhead resources which is always a plus.
Overall, the changes to the DeathAdder Elite they’ve made haven’t made for a large leap in usability or quality, rather a refinement of an already solid product. There are only so many changes to be made before it fundamentally becomes a different product. Add to it the Synapse software giving all kinds of customization and it’s easy to see why this is such a popular mouse. Like its predecessors, it’s design makes it versatile for both gaming and everyday use with a somewhat ambidextrous design and on the fly DPI adjustments within easy reach. I experienced no issues in any application and tracking always felt smooth and best of all – consistent. The buttons were also very responsive and since they are rated at 50 million clicks, it should last quite a while. Just in case, the warranty is set at two years, as is the case with all of their mice, should any trouble arise.
For $69.9 shipped, it’s not categorized as inexpensive so is it worth the upgrade from the Chroma? That really depends on whether you feel the addition of the extra two buttons and higher precision tracking is something you would place a high value on as these are probably the two stand out features in comparison. For those looking for a new mouse, I would recommend heading to your local brick and mortar store to get a hands on to see how it fits your hand. This is a good idea for any mouse purchase as its a very subjective thing. Other than fit, there’s really no reason I wouldn’t highly recommend the Razer DeathAdder Elite.
Legit Bottom Line: There’s a reason why the Razer DeathAdder line of mice have been so popular over the years and the latest updates to the DeathAdder Elite make it even more refined than before so if you’ve been wanting to pick up a mouse from one of the biggest names in gaming, this may just be the one to get.