Review: Razer Diamondback 2016

Razer Diamondback Chroma (2015) gaming mouse
The Diamondback is definitely sexy, but also definitely not for everyone.  Credit: Razer

Credit: RazerThe Razer Diamondback marks the return of a classic gaming mouse in an updated form factor with all the pizazz and sexiness Razer can muster, including RGB LED lighting, a 16000DPI sensor, and a streamlined, sports car-like shape that is sure to turn heads. But beautiful though she may be, the Diamondback isn’t for everyone.

 Although the Diamondback arrives on a mix of nostalgia (for those that remember her 2004 debut), and all the new, high-tech glitz and glamour of a modern Razer gaming mouse, it’s a very polarizing mouse. You may love its sleek, low profile and narrow footprint, or you may want to slam down on the desktop and burn it with fire.

 

I tended toward the latter, but it’s not because the Diamondback is a “bad” mouse. The Diamondback sports an ambidextrous design, but it’s narrow shape is really only good for a very particular grip style. If you don’t tend to be a palm-up/fingertip style mouse gripper, the Diamondback may bite you in the ass just like its namesake.

Feature highlights and specifications

The Diamondback’s biggest ‘feature’ – aside from its upgraded 16000DPI sensor and Chroma lighting, is really just its new-found sexiness and the nostalgia of using a venerable gaming mouse of PC gaming. It’s also ambidextrous, so left-handed gamers have another ‘neutral’ option for a gaming mouse (but don’t forget there’s a left-handed Death Adder).

Razer Diamondback features and specifications

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  • Ambidextrous form factor
  • 16,000 DPI 5G laser sensor
  • Up to 210 inches per second / 50 g acceleration
  • 1,000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
  • Chroma customizable lighting
  • Inter-device color synchronization
  • 7 programmable Hyperesponse buttons
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 2.1 m / 7 ft. braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 125 mm / 4.92 in (Length) x 60 mm / 2.64 in (Width) x 30 mm / 1.18 in

Performance

The Diamondback is beautiful, sleek, and reasonably comfortable for the right grip style. The Diamondback looks like a tiny hot sports car, and looks great on your desktop with scintillating, swirling Chroma LED lighting.

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Like all Razer mice, you can use the Razer Synapse software to customize virtually every feature of the mouse. 

The Diamondback can also be annoying as sh*t.Truth be told, you will probably either love or hate the Diamondback based upon your preferred grip. “Polarizing” is the word of the day here.

The Diamondback pays tribute to its 11-year old ancestor and looks much like an aerodynamic ass-hauling batmobile of a gaming mouse with a long, narrow, and low profile. The entire mouse is covered in lightly textured plastic. The thumb buttons are set in textured rubber sides and are also long and very narrow—the exact opposite of Razer’s less sexy DeathAdder gaming mice.

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Credit: Razer

The sides of the Diamondback also angle inward slightly, which was (for me) a bit off-putting. If you like a comfortable place for your pinky, forget it. The Diamondback just isn’t suited to claw-style grips, which is what I tend to use—and the results were less than ideal.

I accidentally bumped the extremely sensitive thumb buttons—a lot—jumping me forward and backward while Web surfing, and/or triggering customized macros and effects when I didn’t want to. (I think I experienced flashbacks to the nightmares of the dreaded TRON mouse, one of the few mice Razer ever produced that is still on my Worst Mice Ever list.)

In addition, my thumb and outside (ring/pinky) fingers were never very comfortable, teetering over the edge of the mouse and getting dragged along the mouse mat. This forced me to be extra conscious of not accidentally bumping the right-side buttons with my free-floating-dragging fingers.

But as I said, if you prefer more of a fingertip/palm-up grip, these likely wouldn’t be issues for you. In every other respect the Diamondback is an excellent mouse –it’s just not for everyone.

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I do like the Diamondback’s (relatively) long mouse buttons, which are very responsive and deliver a satisfying mechanical click (as do most Razer mice). The lightly rubber-ridged scroll wheel is also an excellent balance between gaming precision, and web-surfing speed and comfort.

Razer’s Synapse software is still some of the best peripheral driver software, and it offers all of the features you’d expect form a top-tier gaming mouse, including multiple profiles, multiple DPI settings, and the ability to store all of these options in Razer’s cloud (if you don’t mind creating a free login for it).

Overall: 7/10 – Good

The Razer Diamondback is an excellent mouse, but its sleek, narrow form and unique shape make it a good choice only if your grip style is a match for the mouse. If possible, I definitely recommend a ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach if you can.

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