Razer has become a name ubiquitous with PC gaming hardware. Some players swear by the name and buy nothing but their products. But not everyone is in love with the snake-inspired product line, offput by Razer's often garish, neon-green designs.
But the latest mouse from the peripheral manufacturer, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma, is a mouse that anyone could love. Whether you're a claw-grip gamer or you prefer palming your peripheral, it's wonderfully designed. The biggest style addition to this iteration, though, is the subdued, customizable lighting system that sets the Chroma apart from the competition.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma shares the same dimensions as the regular Razer DeathAdder - 5 x 2.76 x 1.73 inches (L x W x H) Don't worry about slipping with this mouse, as it's made out of a nicely textured hard plastic with grippy rubber on the sides, as well as the scroll wheel.
The front of the mouse is formed into a concave, natural "W"-shape that allows for the perfect amount of finger space and does a great job of supporting the palm without fatiguing the wrist.
On the mouse you'll find five buttons: the standard right and left click buttons, a scroll wheel that functions as a third button, and two programmable buttons located on the left side of the mouse. The programmable buttons feel quite natural, and have been designed to have the same actuation as the main left- and right-click buttons.
Last but not least is the the IR optical sensor that delivers an outstanding 10,000 dpi.
Software and customization
While the mouse itself is outstanding, the software (while being fairly intuitive) can be a bit slow, and the use of cloud computing instead of native memory for the mouse is a bit questionable. Although the mouse doesn't necessarily need the proprietary Razer drivers to work, you will need them to customize any function on the mouse. Worse, finding the drivers on Razer's website is convoluted and could really use an auto-detect feature.
Synapse itself is a fairly robust customization program. It features Razer's typical design structure, and allows multiple users to each create their own profile, which is handy for those who have to share a computer. Razer also uses the cloud so users can access their settings from different computers. However, it seems a bit intrusive to expect users to install Synapse on every computer that they want to use the DeathAdder Chroma on if they want to keep their customized settings on the go; built-in memory would've been a better way to go.
Synapse offers plenty of options for users to change their sensor sensitivity, pointer acceleration and polling rate as well as the lighting for the mouse. Each LED can be set either together or independently and colors can be set to cycle through a set of hues with Spectrum Cycling, set to a single shade which can pulse or remain steady, or synced to other Razer Chroma devices for uniformity.
Synapse can also be used to calibrate the mouse's optical sensor to be optimized to a particular surface, including a Razer mousepad or another surface, a function we first saw on the Logitech G502. Synapse is also used to set macros which can include any combination of keys or mouse clicks and can be assigned to one of the two customizable side keys.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma isn't revolutionary or a huge improvement over the previous entries in the DeathAdder series, but it is a great barebones mouse for those who wish to have the quality, comfort and accuracy of a gaming mouse without all the flash.
The software is usable and for the most part fairly unobtrusive, but suffers from a bit of slowdown. The cloud computing features could be taken either as a pro or con depending on the user's preferences and usage - though, in all honesty, on-board storage would've made more sense. It won't affect those who only use their mouse on one computer, but those who game or work on various computers may find having to re-download and install Synapse multiple times to be a bit of a hassle.
Overall, this DeathAdder Chroma is great for the price ($69.99 about £40, AU$80) and is a fantastic entry-level gaming mouse for those who are either just getting started with PC gaming, or those who don't need or want the glitz and potential headache of the more expensive gaming mice.