Review: Razer DeathAdder Elite


That familiar feel

While theRazer Kraken 7.1 V2 Gaming Headsetsat atop my head for the last few weeks, the DeathAdder Elite mouse has been under my right palm, clicking away to navigate both virtual battlegrounds and web pages alike. It’s the next iteration in the DeathAdder line, last seen in Chris’ review of the DeathAdder Chroma. There are a few small differences that set this mouse apart from past incarnations, and while I’d be hesitant to recommend upgrading if you already have a unit from this line, the DeathAdder is popular for a reason.

Between the Elite’s comfortable design, chunky thumb buttons, and pleasant-to-the-touch matte plastic and textured rubber, I’m not surprised that people keep returning to the DeathAdder series.

Product: Razer DeathAdder EliteManufacturer: RazerInput: USB 2.0MSRP: $69.99

Like most gaming mouses, the Elite is built for your right hand. Though Razer has made left-handed DeathAdders in the past, for now you’ll have to adjust to using your non-dominant hand if you’re a witch. It’s got a nice low profile so that you can use either a claw grip or a palm grip comfortably, and the smooth material atop just feels nice underneath my hand. Both the sides (where your thumb, ring finger, and pinky rest) have a rubberized texture, as does the scroll wheel for extra grip. But that’s all stuff that’s been in this particular series of gaming mice for some time.

As far as what’s new, there’s a better sensor that has a high of 16,000 DPI (dots per inch) and two additional buttons under the scroll wheel, bringing the mouse to a total of seven buttons. Those new switches default to on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments, which esports players especially have been using as of late for situational aiming changes. Those are the only major changes, which is why you may not want to upgrade if you already have a DeathAdder. Unless, of course, you’re an esports player who needs that extra DPI to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, in which case I hate you a little bit. Don’t worry, I’m just jealous. Moving on…

Using Razer’s Synapse software, you can create different profiles and allocate different actions to each button, from macros to Windows shortcuts. You can also change polling rate, acceleration, and tune to whichever surface your mouse is on for best performance. This is also the place to adjust your pretty pretty RGB lighting, which can be configured to 16.8 million different colors and sync up with your keyboard (my headphones and mouse are a lovely shade of pink as we speak).

There aren’t really any issues with the Elite. Given how well made it is, whether you’ll like it or not entirely comes down to preference and what you’re going to play with it. While it skews towards action games by having fewer buttons, it still performs admirably in other genres. However, if you’re the type of player who likes to have a million keys in your right hand for macros and to offload most of the action off of your keyboard, there are better choices, including the Naga Chroma. While the Naga is $30 more expensive, it might be more up your alley depending on what you play. Personally, seven buttons is all I’ll ever need for games.

At $69.99, DeathAdder Elite may seem pricey for a mouse that doesn’t have any kind of revolutionary “look at me!” feature, but it’s well-constructed, comfortable, and nice and understated compared to most gaudy PC hardware. If you’re ready to upgrade from something basic, this is a strong choice. If you already have a similar unit, I’d recommend sticking to what you have as the Elite is an iterative upgrade in the DeathAdder line.

[This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.]