Razer continues to throw its (light)weight around: Razer DeathAdder V2 review

Razer brings gamers a massive update to a beloved classic.

Image via Razer

“The icon reborn” is how Razer would describe its reenvisioning of the highly-coveted DeathAdder—and we agree with the marketing here. Razer’s strong “anything you can do, I can do better” approach to the gaming peripheral market is giving gamers some of the best mice out there and the DeathAdder V2 is an excellent example of Razer’s commitment to the community. 

Taking one of the most beloved gaming mice of all time and giving it a worthwhile rework is a challenging task. Sure, Razer found a winner in the new Viper mouse and the Basilisk V2 rework, but the DeathAdder has a special place in the community and has often found itself as many gamers’ first gaming mouse. Luckily for fans of the DeathAdder, Razer has pulled out all the stops to give its fans a worthy successor in the DeathAdder V2. 

Image via Razer

Starting off with its appearance, the DeathAdder V2 remains largely the same aside from the side grips being better integrated into the body of the actual mouse. The original DeathAdder had noticeably separated grips that neither helped nor hindered, but the choice to fade them into the body of the V2 is an aesthetic one that helps create smoother lines overall. 

Where previous DeathAdder users will be pleasantly surprised is in the weight department. Last year was a big year for lightweight gaming mice and Razer battered the competition with its Viper design. That same tech has been implemented here with great results. We’ve said again and again that we’ll take a great shape over a lightweight mouse, but when Razer is offering the best of both worlds, it’s hard to give the competition the time of day. The previous model of the DeathAdder came in at about 105 grams but Razer has shaved that weight down to 82 grams with the V2. 

Razer has accomplished this drastic weight shift without sacrificing any structural integrity. The DeathAdder V2 feels as sturdy as ever, and while it’s not advisable, users may squeeze the sidewalls impressively hard and not experience any give or audible creaking. 

Users will get all the usual suspect internals that have become commonplace for Razer mice. The V2 boasts the Focus+ 20K DPI optical sensor, which is an upgrade from the already rock-solid 5G 16K DPI optical sensor. Much like the Basilisk V2, the sensor upgrade only helps justify the purchase of a redesign. Both sensors are great and it’ll be hard for many people to tell the difference. Along with the new sensor, Razer has included its proprietary optical switches instead of the commonly used Omron mechanical switches. The click rating gets a healthy bump from 50 million with the Omrons to 70 million with Razer’s opticals. Good luck to whoever attempts to reach either of those benchmarks. 

Image via Razer

Some other accompaniments that give the DeathAdder V2 some serious 2020 clout are the Speedflex cable and the PTE mouse feet. In a perfect world, every mouse would be wireless and prices would be the same as wired mice. Since the world is far from perfect, Razer’s Speedflex cable is as close as users will get to that wireless feel. The Speedflex cable isn’t perfect but it does a great job of mitigating drag that causes mice to feel heavier and more unwieldy. Razer’s use of 100 percent PTFE mouse feet is also a solid addition and, just like the Basilisk V2, helps give the DeathAdder V2 a fantastic glide. 

Image via Razer

The DeathAdder V2 can host up to five onboard profiles. As with other Razer products that boast onboard profiles, it seems that Razer isn’t too keen on allowing for lighting effects to remain active outside of the Synapse software. It’s an odd choice to not allow users to take their lighting with them and we assumed this was a mistake at first. Upon further testing with other Razer products with onboard memory, it appears that this is just the way Razer software works in regard to onboard memory. 

Synapse also allows the user to customize lift-off distance and Asymmetric Cut-off to provide users with the most tailored experience possible. We didn’t bother too much with the asymmetric cut-off since it was really only noticeable during focused testing and didn’t seem to have any noticeable bearing on our gameplay. For those who are interested in customizing their gaming experience, this feature will likely be an attractive one. 

The scroll wheel is nothing to write home about but the side buttons are fantastically tactile. Despite taking a considerable amount of weight to actuate, the side buttons feel great. There’s a nice tactility to that extra weight needed to actuate that you don’t get with many mice out there. Side buttons on lightweight mice can often be mushy and feel unresponsive, but the side buttons on the DeathAdder V2 feel both sturdy and responsive. The side buttons on the DeathAdder V2 take the cake over the Basilisk V2’s side buttons. Both of these Razer updates have different purposes, but if you’re a stickler about side buttons, then go with the DeathAdder V2. 

Image via Razer

The shape of the DeathAdder V2 lends itself nicely to several grips but the most comfortable will be palm and claw. It’s a generous right-handed ergo shape that past users will be familiar with. Because of its shape and size, the DeathAdder should provide a great deal of comfort to most users. Users with smaller hands may find some discomfort in handling the mouse, but if you’ve used it before, there shouldn’t be much in the way of a transition stage aside from getting used to the weight decrease. 

Razer continues on its revenge tour in 2020 with a truly awesome update to one of the most iconic gaming mice of all time. The DeathAdder V2 takes every lesson from 2019 in stride and capitalizes on the knowledge gained from this past year. Mixing current gaming mice trends with a tried-and-true formula like the DeathAdder is probably the simplest but most effective move Razer has made in recent memory—and that’s even when taking the Viper into consideration. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight redesign
  • Same great DeathAdder shape
  • Side buttons of legend
  • Speedflex cable 
  • PTFE mouse feet 
  • Onboard memory 

Cons

  • Lighting isn’t saved onboard