Chances are at least one of you reading this has a Razer DeathAdder. It’s been one of the most popular gaming mouses ever since its initial release in 2006, in part because it’s a no-frills option that “just works,” to borrow a phrase from Apple. The DeathAdder is, as I said in our review last year, the vanilla milkshake of gaming mouses—classic scooped shape, two oversized thumb buttons, scroll wheel. This is as simple as it gets.
But for its tenth birthday the DeathAdder's receiving some under-the-hood work, contained in the new DeathAdder Elite. Of note: This is a full-on replacement for the previous DeathAdder Chroma model, not a high-end model.
It's upgraded in a few ways, though. First up is the new Razer 5G Optical Sensor, which Razer claims is “the world’s best” thanks to a max DPI of 16,000 and a tracking speed of 450 inches per second.
Now, I’ve said before and I’ll repeat it here: This is basically meaningless to the average user. If any of you are playing games at 16,000 DPI, even on a 4K monitor, I’d be shocked. So does it matter whether Razer can achieve that accuracy?
Well, maybe. The implication is that an accurate sensor at such ridiculously high levels equates to an accurate sensor at lower sensitivities. We’ll need to wait to get our hands on the DeathAdder Elite to see how we feel, though again I’d stress that for the normal, non-mouse-obsessive this stat is like saying “My car tops out at 250 miles per hour” and you only drive it down suburban streets.
Much more interesting are Razer’s new mouse switches. The DeathAdder Elite will debut the new Razer Mechanical Mouse Switches, developed in tandem with Omron. The DeathAdder’s switches have been prone to “squawking” in the past, so hopefully the update quiets them down and gives it a more solid feel.
Anything else? Oh yeah, the Elite features dedicated DPI buttons for swapping your sensitivity on the fly—something that’s been conspicuously absent on the DeathAdder for years. Welcome to 2016, DeathAdder.
Anyway, the new model is available for preorder through Razer’s store as of today, with the same $69.99 list price the Chroma launched at. It’s supposed to ship in October, and we’ll have a review as soon as we’re able.