Review: Razer Deathadder Chroma

The Razer Deathadder 2014 Chroma edition is a refresh of Razer’s popular gaming mouse, with some minor improvements under the hood that include an improved sensor and independent, color-changing LEDs. Otherwise the Deathadder Chroma retains the design, features, and performance characteristics of its predecessors — which may be as close to ‘perfect’ as you can get for a ‘generalist’ gaming mouse.

The Deathadder 2014 Chroma edition is really just a modest refresh of Razer’s perpetually popular and best-selling Deathadder gaming mouse. It’s a simple 5-button mouse (Right/Left/Scroll + 2 thumb buttons) that occupies the virtual middle ground of gaming mice in price (around $70) and features, with a gentle, right-handed ergonomic design and 2 large, easy-to-reach thumb buttons.

Razer Deathadder Chroma
Razer Deathadder Chroma (Credit: Razer)

If you’re right-handed and 2 extra buttons are all you want or need (and they are likely enough for many of us), then the Razer Deathadder is among the best gaming mice you can own. Taking the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach, Razer (wisely) didn’t mess their otherwise perfect formula.

Razer Deathadder Chroma Specifications

  • Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips
  • 10,000 DPI optical sensor
  • Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Independent lighting for the scroll wheel and Razer logo
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 5 Independently programmable buttons (Left, Right, Middle, and two thumb buttons)
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • On-the-fly sensitivity adjustment
  • 200 inches per second / 50 G acceleration
  • Gold-plated USB connector
  • 2.13 m / 7 ft., lightweight, braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 127 mm / 5 in. (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76 in. (Width) x 44 mm / 1.73 in. (Height)
  • Approximate weight: 105 g / 0.23 lbs.

Design

The Deathadder in sticks to the basics and it is designed to have the broadest possible appeal for gamers of all types. Granted, everyone has their own preferences usually dictated by hand size and their favorite games. But the Razer Deathadder’s shape, design, features, and even price point place it so squarely in the center of all gaming mice that it’s obvious to see why it continues to be one of Razer’s biggest sellers.

deathadder4
Razer Deathadder Chroma. It doesn’t have to be just green! (Credit: Razer)

The Deathadder’s ergonomic shape is gentle and devoid of severe curves and arches. The thumb buttons are very large, easy to reach, and easy to press with a light touch without being overly sensitive and making accidental clicks a problem. You don’t need to stretch to reach them, nor do you have to ‘claw down’ on the mouse to stabilize it while you press one.

The brushed plastic backside and rubberized side grips are comfortable and grip-friendly, which further enhances the overall quality of the tracking and precision.

As for the Chroma (color-changing feature), it’s pretty. Pretty to look at, and pretty useless from a gaming perspective. The Chroma SDK will enable game makers to make Chroma devices react to in-game events (if they ever choose to support it). However, unlike the Blackwidow Chroma keyboard, where such a feature might be useful (or at least visible), it won’t do much for a device that is covered by your hand all the time.

Performance

Under the hood, the Deathadder Chroma gets a slight sensor upgrade with an upper limit of 10,000 DPI—again, more than you’ll likely ever use or need for gaming or just about anything else. The Chroma feature enables you to change the color and color effects of the Razer logo and the scroll wheel (independently of each other) so you can at least color-coordinate your peripherals.

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Large, easy to use buttons and textured rubber side panels are a virtually perfect design. (Credit: Razer)

The Deathadder Chroma tracks beautifully as did its predecessor. Razer didn’t change their winning formula. Razer didn’t change anything that would alter the balance, feel, or comfort of the Deathadder.

As in previous Deathadder models, the Chroma edition’s buttons are firm and produce a nice, satisfying click when pressed. The ridged scroll wheel is similarly firm and tactile, but still rolls freely enough so Web browsing or scrolling isn’t a finger workout. It’s a good balance between precision for gaming and general scrolling, web surfing, etc.

Razer’s Synapse driver software continues to be some of the best PC peripheral software in terms of intuitiveness and features. Razer updates it regularly, and you can store all your profiles, macros, and device settings in the cloud. Note that you need to make a Razer ID and sign in to use this feature, but an Internet connection isn’t required to use your device—only to synchronize/download/upload profiles, settings, etc.

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Overall: 10/10 – Highly Recommended

The Deathadder Chroma Edition 2014 adds a few new tricks and features to the winning Deathadder formula (along with a slightly higher price tag), but still continues the Razer Deathadder tradition of being one of the best gaming mice you can buy.

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