Design and Ergonomics
The new Razer is designed quite differently from all other models of the company. On one hand, this comes from the product positioning: it is the first mouse from Razer that is not to be wielded with the left hand. The DeathAdder is a right-handed mouse. There is no doubt this model was called for. Many users prefer ergonomic mice and Razer didn’t offer them anything before. On the other hand, Razer has always made compact mice (except for the Boomslang) that were supposed to be held with the fingers only (the Boomslang would be held with the fingers too, but was large and heavy anyway). The DeathAdder is by far larger than the Diamondback and the Copperhead and resembles products from the Microsoft Explorer series (the MS IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0, to be exact), especially with the rear part design. This is not surprising as I’ll explain in the section about the Microsoft Habu.
Being completely black, the DeathAdder looks somewhat simpler than Razer’s other mice or than the Microsoft Habu. But when you connect it to the PC, a Razer logo, almost imperceptible before, begins to pulse in blue. The translucent wheel has blue highlighting, too. This version of the mouse is called Nova Blue and there will probably appear other colors as it was the case with the Diamondback and Copperhead. The mouse driver offers the option of turning the highlighting of one or both LEDs off, which is good for people who often sit at their PC in the dark.
The design of the main buttons has changed since Razer’s previous models which used to have huge black buttons that occupied half the mouse body. The ingenious wavy profile that doesn’t let your fingers slip sideways is retained since the Diamondback, but the right button is below the left one (which is normal for a mouse shaped like that) and the buttons themselves are part of the device’s top panel, which provides a laconic and discreet impression. This panel is made of plastic and is covered with a thin layer of rubberized material which is actually my biggest gripe about the DeathAdder. Surely, it improves the grip between the hand and the mouse and is agreeable to touch, but even if you wash your hands before taking the mouse into them, you’ll find that this material gets greasy quickly (and I couldn’t clean the mouse back to its original appearance after a couple of weeks of use). It is also scratchable and even wears off eventually. Some users have reported that the top coating of their Razer Copperhead, which uses the same coating material, wore off to the plastic in half a year of use. This doesn’t affect the device’s functionality and ergonomics, but I don’t think it’s going to please those people who want to have a neat and tidy work place.
The buttons react nearly uniformly to the press along all of their length, which allows holding the mouse in different ways and not exerting any additional effort to make a click. The buttons’ depression distance is optimal, the pressure effort required is low, but the click is quite perceptible.
The wheel is designed in Razer’s traditional way. Made of translucent white rubber, it is of average width and has a “tread” in the form of deep dents. The wheel moves very accurately. Each step (24 steps per a full rotation) is accompanied with a click, there can be no skipping. The mouse does not support horizontal scrolling, but offers the Universal Scroll feature after you install the driver (horizontal and vertical scrolling by moving the mouse with the wheel depressed).