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May 26, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Razer DeathAdder Chroma



It took us a long time to get a hand on this one, especially when no emails we sent are replied to. So we went about our lives without a Razer product to review, all the while covering news and launches so far of this insanely famous brand. That is, until my mouse of 6 years died on me. To be honest, it wasn't my first choice, but I decided to give it a shot after the friendly salesperson in the local Thundermatch outlet said that it wasn't rubber coated. After a damage of RM255, I came home and went straight to unboxing this mouse, the Razer DeathAdder (DA) Chroma.

Specification & Features


  • Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips
  • 10,000dpi optical sensor
  • Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • Five independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • On-the-fly sensitivity adjustment
  • Always-on mode
  • 300 inches per second*/50g acceleration
  • Gold-plated USB connector
  • Seven-foot, lightweight, braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 127mm/5” (Length) x 70mm/2.76” (Width) x 44mm/ 1.73” (Height)
  • Approximate weight: 105g/0.23lbs

Packaging


The Razer DA Chroma comes in an overall black box with the actual image of the mouse at the front on top of the name and key features of the mouse. 


The right side explains the features a little further.


While the left displayed some feedbacks from professional gamers along with more features of the DA Chroma.


The back is where one would find a "map-out" of the mouse, (more) features in multiple languages and system requirements.


Unpacking is easy after removing the seal at the top and you'll get two Razer stickers, a product information guide two separate "letters" from Razer and of course, the mouse itself.

The Mouse


The DA always has been an ergonomic gaming mouse with the shapes altered ever so slightly with each iteration, this one is no exception, and in addition, one have the option to choose any colour for the lighting effects. The overall body has a matte-black plastic finish to it that feels very smooth with good build quality that doesn't creak when picked up; it is also a little heavier compared to my Steelseries Ikari.


The 7-foot long cable is braided and terminates to a gold-plated USB2.0 connector at the end.


Up on the front, you'll see the 2 contoured buttons and a rubberized scroll-wheel. No profile buttons here so you'll have to rely on the Razer Synapse driver software.


On the left side, you'll see two thumb buttons and a rubber strip along the bottom of that for extra grip. I definitely prefer this compared to a fully rubber-coated mouse.


That rubber strip is also available on the right side.


On the back is where the Razer logo is, and this one will light-up (along with the scroll-wheel) when plugged in.


Underneath is a sticker with some product information and the 4G optical sensor. Very surprised to see small PTFE glides on the three corners as I expected a larger coverage, but we'll see how well it glides on the Logitech G440 Hard Surface Mousepad.

Software

You'll need to go to Razer's website to get the Synapse, Razer's own cloud-based driver / software for all their peripherals. It's a bit of a travel as you'll have to navigate to where the actual product is before clicking the download button, but it's intuitive enough so you won't get confused looking for the software.


A pop-up will appear near your system clock when it's updating.


And you'll be prompted to restart your PC once it's done updating. Thankfully this will only take away a few seconds of my time thanks to my Plextor M6E M.2 PCI-E 256GB SSD.


Launching the Razer Synapse, you'll be greeted with a customise screen where you'll be able to customise the buttons and scroll-wheel to any function you would want. Te DA Chroma lacks dedicated profile buttons so you might wanna save that into a custom profile and link it with the appropriate program so that it will activate once that said program is launched.


On the performance section is where users set the DPI sensitivity and acceleration. You also get to bind this in a profile and link it to a program if you wish.


As it's name suggests, lighting lets you configure the lighting of the mouse; in which you'll get to bind this in a profile and link it to a program if you wish (anyone having a Deja Vu yet?)


You'll get to calibrate the mouse to the mouse mat you're using for the DA Chroma, simply select a Razer-mouse-mat (if you're using one) or select "others" where you'll be asked to move your mouse to scan the surface. Liftoff range is also tune-able here and one can even reset the mouse by holding left+right+scroll-wheel buttons down for 5 seconds.


Macros section is pretty straightforward as well, record a bunch of key and mouse combinations and save it to be assigned to one of the buttons. Glad to report that it is intuitive and simple to operate, and elaborate enough for advanced users.


Upon hitting the stats tab, a pop-up will appear as above prompting you that tracking of your hardware usage will be turned on.


This feature is similar to what Gamdias has in their driver software where you could keep a statistic of your hardware usage.




Razer included a few sample data to what mouse-clicks, mouse movements and keyboard strokes would look like and categorizes them based on the games you played.

Testing


I used the DA Chroma for a while for various things such as spreadsheets, Photoshop, web surfing and of course gaming on my Logitech G440 Hard mat and am glad to report that there are no unwanted issues with tracking and responsiveness with responsive button presses all around. It is an overall comfortable mouse but it does take some getting used to as I was using my Ikari for too long of a time. Grip is good thanks to the rubber strips on the lower sides of the DA Chroma so lifting the mouse isn't an issue either. Glide is okay despite the small PTFE pads on the bottom, but I still do wish for a larger glide surface just to make sure. The Synapse is working flawlessly as well and profile switching is automatic once the linked game is launched with other functions such as lighting, macro and calibration being intuitive and easy to use.

All good things said, I do wish that the DA Chroma had a little more to offer for the price. For starters, I could use a dedicated DPI adjustment button somewhere rather than relying on the Synapse software all the time and having the option to change the weight and balance via a weight cartridge system would be a great bonus; considering it is at the same price bracket as the Logitech G502: Proteus Core and the SteelSeries Rival, which at least  has a DPI change button at the top. The DA Chroma's customization of the LED on the scroll wheel and logo is a good aesthetic feature but the logo will be covered by your palm when in use.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Comfortable shaped
  • Non-rubberised surface
  • Function-rich & intuitive driver software
  • Braided cable

Cons

  • Slightly on the heavy side
  • No weight adjustment system
  • No dedicated profile button
  • Small PTFE glides
Overall, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma is a comfortable, good and well-balanced gaming mouse for those who prefer a simple 5-button operation. It would've gotten the gold badge from me if it were slightly cheaper or richer in physical feature as stated above but it still deserve the Silver for all the good points.


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