User Review of the Week: Razer DeathAdder V2
Reviewed by Hartwired
Razer DeathAdder V2 comes out as a successor for DeathAdder Elite and given its $69.99 price tag, the first thing you’ll ask is whether or not it’s worth it.
And the short answer is yes. The long answer is kinda sorta yes. So, let’s get into it a bit.
Table Of Contents
- Product Overview
Those familiar with the previous editions of DeathAdder will find themselves right at home with this model as it largely retains the beautiful ergonomic design. It was made with a palm grip in mind, but it also works well with claw grip users.
One thing that it’s noticeable on the surface is the slightly smaller frame that also affects the weight of the device. Don’t worry, this won’t have any effect on your gaming and in fact, it might make it easier.
Here are some of the specifications of this mouse:
This mouse is Razer’s way of boasting about their Razer Optical Focus+ sensor and it is absolutely a thing worth boasting about. It is the same one they used for their excellent Viper Ultimate Wireless model. They have been working diligently in collaboration with Pixart to develop this sensor and it shows. It outperforms previous DeathAdder models like Essential by a whopping 13600 CPI (20000 against 6400). Of course, the direct predecessor of DeathAdder V2 is the Elite model which itself has a 16000 CPI, so only 4000 CPI less than V2.
This newer model however, tracks 650 inches per second which is an improvement to Elite’s 450 inches per second. The increased accuracy (99.6% against 99.4%) is another clear sign of technological advancement.
The polling rate setting is adjustable and can be set to either 125 Hz, 500 Hz, or 1000 Hz. It’s really important to remember that both polling rate and CPI have been subject to much debate, and while Razer stays within the limits of discernible polling rates and CPI, they do hit the upper margin. This is not a detractor for Razer, but it is a thing that you’ll only notice if you’re a hardcore gamer for whom of course, this model is intended for.
Another thing that is important to mention is the new wire. I understand that it might seem like that is not that big of a deal, but it’s a game changer.
Razer is calling it SpeedFlex Cable and yes, the name is a little corny, but it helps the performance immensely as it has minimal drag and is thus less likely to impede your movement of the mouse. The fact that it’s a lot less stiff when compared to other models, namely DeathAdder Expert, is a great indicator that it won’t do irritating and nonsensical stuff like pulling the mouse on one side or forcing tangling.
This can also be fixed with some deliberate cable management, but if you’re a slob for these things like I am, it’s nice to know you won’t have to bother with those stuff to get full functionality out of your mouse.
Razer DeathAdder V2 doesn’t look flashy, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, when I first saw the white colored option, I felt like I traveled back in time to the 90’s when white mice (and keyboards, monitors, cases, printers, literally anything that worked with a computer) were standard. The white option isn’t bad necessarily, but I much prefer the black option.
The logo size has been getting noticeably smaller for each new iteration of Razer’s DeathAdder line and I personally am a big fan of that.
Unlike Elite, this model has a glossy plastic under the scroll wheel and top CPI buttons which for me is not a good choice as it’s simply a fingerprint magnet and can get dirty-looking quite quick. You may not care about it, but I much more preferred the way Elite had a sleek matte finish which incorporated the buttons on top and made them look very unintrusive.
I should also mention that the new CPI buttons are square and further away from the scroll which can prevent misclicking and that is always a welcome thing in gaming. Consider this redesign to be a bit of a hit-and-miss.
Mouse 1 and 2 have the contoured finger grooves which are the standard for DeathAdder, and their addition here is Razer’s optical mouse switches for a 70 million click lifespan which is a pretty significant upgrade to Elite’s 50 million. These switches are utilizing an infrared light beam to register every click which Razer markets as “industry-leading” 0.2 milliseconds.
Another difference from Elite is the redesign of up and down buttons. This time around, they actually have a tiny sliver of plastic between them which feels much more intuitive.
The 8 buttons which Razer is touting for this model are functionally 7 buttons as there is one button on the bottom of the mouse which you just can’t access while you’re playing as it requires lifting up the whole mouse.
That one button is a switch for custom profiles for sensitivity and RGB lighting of which you can store up to 5 on the on-board memory. If you sign into Razer’s Synapse software, you can save an unlimited number of profiles, although the use of the on-board memory is a better option as it’s a lot easier and simpler.
If you like to have some RGB elements in your gaming setup, there are two lighting zones: the Razer logo and the scroll wheel. There are 16.8 million colors and you can customize it to your will with Razer’s Synapse desktop app. There are five distinct default lighting themes in there that you can choose there and they are: Breathe, Static, Reactive, Spectrum Cycle, and Audio meter. V2 also sports a noticeably brighter lights than the previous versions which can only count as a plus. You can play with these setting as much as you like, and while someone like me won’t bother too much with it, it’s nice to know that there is the option.
Much touted new sensor includes some smart features like smart tracking which does away with the need to manually calibrate the mouse to each new surface that you play on. There’s an asymmetric cutoff which allows you to set the distance at which the mouse starts tracking again after picking it up or essentially just configuring your landing distance. Another one of those smart features is motion sync which is akin to G-Sync except for your mouse. It aligns your mouse signal intervals to the same rate that the PC extracts information from the sensor for maximum responsiveness.
The design is intended for right-handed users which, given the split between right and left handed people in world, is more likely to fit you. Some right-handed and some left-handed people prefer a more ambidextrous approach, which this mouse does not have. When this is combined with the matte black coating over the top part of the mouse, it’s comfortable to use for hours upon hours, be it gaming or any other work that you might do.
Continuing the unfortunate trend from Viper Ultimate Wireless, DeathAdder V2 also has issues with the left and right mouse buttons. Both have been reported to feel a little flimsy and that even a small amount of pressure to either side can make the wiggle off-center. This is a likely indication that it couldn’t take a beating of traveling in your bag for example, but you shouldn’t be concerned with this too much.
Razer has equipped this model with what they call “Instinctive Scroll Wheel Tactility” which I honestly have no idea what’s it’s supposed to mean, but they’re advertising it as perfectly tuned for distinct, notched scrolling at a lower resistance. While all that might seem like just some marketing jargon, it’s immediately noticeable that there are far more notches on the scroll wheel. The wheel itself doesn’t suffer from accidental clicking either, which for someone as clumsy as me, is a big plus.
This is first and foremost a gaming mouse, have no doubts about it. But, I think that the genius of this model is its multi-functionality.
Let’s go back to those 8 (7) programmable buttons. You can have up to five different layout profiles and if you’re using aforementioned Razer’s Synapse app, you can log-in on a different computer and use your configuration there as well. This is pretty neat, especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to customize everything to your liking and convenience. CPI settings are also customizable, including different sensitivities for X and Y axis movement. This is very helpful to anyone who uses their mouse for multiple purposes, such as CAD programs or digital art. The beauty of it is that you can work on your project and then with a flip of a switch, you can dive right into your favorite game and find functionality with both.
An important improvement over the Elite model are the new PTFE mouse feet (which, coincidentally, is the same material that is used to coat non-stick frying pans) and this makes the mouse glide with ease over any surface and not just on mouse mat. Although this may seem like a small and insignificant improvement as you’re not likely to use your gaming mouse on a leather sofa, it’s important to remember and encourage these sorts of incremental additions to the device. While the difference between Elite and V2 might not be too noticeable to the naked eye, these improvements stack up.
The lighter weight of this mouse can be noticeably snappier when playing FPS games which is something that a gamer ideally wants. New Focus+ Optical Sensor also plays a part here with its magnificent 20000 CPI for improved accuracy. Of course, if you’re a noob like me, no mouse will make you not rush B and getting sniped before you even see where the sniper is located. But, if you’re on the other side of the coin, and you’re the one doing the sniping, then you’re very much going to enjoy this mouse.
Depending on your gaming preference, you might find the mouse buttons easier to use for stuff like bunny hops or reloading or even crouching. It’s safe to say that with this mouse, you’ll only have yourself to blame when you lose a match. Sorry.
One place where you might find this mouse lacking is when playing MMOs. If you heavily rely on mouse bindings to store your ability attacks and such special moves, this mouses limited button layout and design might feel a little restraining.
It’s what it all comes down to, doesn’t it? When starting this article, I wrote that this mouse is kinda sorta worth the $69.99 price, and I truly hope I was able to justify my reasoning. The new sensor is the same one that you would find on some of Razer’s top-of-the-line mice and new optical switches removes the potential double-click issues that many have had with previous DeathAdder incarnations.
The price for DeathAdder Elite I was able to find was $42.99 on Amazon and while it is some 25-ish bucks cheaper, I firmly believe that DeathAdder V2 justifies the cost. Whether you’re a pro gamer, an amateur one, or just game as a hobby while you spend your day 3D modeling or creating digital art, this mouse will more than satisfy your needs. Furthermore, if the 70 bucks for DeathAdder V2 is out of your price range and you’re thinking of settling for Elite, my advice is to save up and wait a little, unless it’s absolutely urgent.
Of course, as is the case for almost any computer hardware out there, there is a possibility that Razer will come up with something even better next year. The way I see it, they can go in a different direction and take this bad boy wireless. Which of course, brings its own pitfalls, but to each his own, eh?
Final Score: 82
So, while this mouse is pretty good, it isn’t the most elite mouse out there, but for $69.99, it’s among the best you can get right now and I 100% recommend it.