Home » Razer’s DeathAdder V3 Pro marks the death of an era (for the better)

Razer’s DeathAdder V3 Pro marks the death of an era (for the better)

by Mark Dylan


Pros

  • New shape makes the mouse far more universal
  • Excellent coating provides secure grip
  • Sensor and switches combine to make one of the most responsive mice I’ve used

Cons

  • Might still be a bit oversized for smaller hands
  • Would’ve been nice if the included dongle used Razer’s new 4,000Hz connection
  • The included grips aren’t color-matched

Debuting in 2006, the DeathAdder remains, according to Razer, “The world’s best-selling gaming mouse.” When I heard rumblings that Razer was redesigning it, I had visions of Ford releasing a revamped Mustang or Coke debuting a new take on its eponymous cola. That’s the level of risk Razer was accepting by tinkering with a mouse that played a massive part in the success the company now enjoys.

When I received the final version, I didn’t discover any half-measure tweaks or modest design enhancements. This was a mouse that, had it been released under a different name, would never have been mistaken for a DeathAdder. With changes this drastic, I knew I should take my time forming my opinion. No knee-jerk reactions would suffice here. 

Over my weeks of testing, I discovered a device that, while inherently risky, plays it safer than its predecessor in many ways. This new, more ubiquitous shape may alienate some DeathAdder die-hards, but it also might attract droves more of uninitiated gamers to this legacy line. This is especially true of gamers who felt the older, curvier DeathAdder just wasn’t for them. Let’s discuss what makes this new DeathAdder so different to help you decide whether its revamped form is the ideal mouse for you. 

Razer's DeathAdder V3 Pro next to an older DeathAdder model

A very-well-used, much older DeathAdder (left) compared to the revamped DeathAdder V3 shape Pro (right)

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Specifications

Connectivity  Razer HyperSpeed Wireless (2.4GHz)
Battery life 90 hours or 24 hours when using Razer’s 4,000Hz dongle (sold separately)
RGB Lighting None
Sensor Razer Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor
Programmable buttons 5
Switch model Razer Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3
Mouse feet material 100% PTFE
Size and weight  5.00in (128mm) long x 2.67in (68mm) wide x 1.73in (44mm) tall | 64g
Colors Black and white

Shape

This is the crux of the redesign. Aside from retaining its ergo mouse status, very little resemblance to older DeathAdders remains. Gone is the wide, flared front, replaced with a narrower tip. This theme of toned-down curves extends to the left and right mouse buttons as well, which feature shallower comfort curves. 

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Hard to believe it’s a DeathAdder, huh?

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The buttons are completely discreetfor the first time. Freeing them from the mouse shell’s flex allowed Razer to more independently tweak the feel of its included Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3. 

The more rounded-off shaping continues on the left side. Here, Razer retained the large, pleasantly clicky side buttons, which still have plenty of thumb room below. There’s now also a nice, if understated, curve for your ring finger that makes the mouse feel extra-secure in the palm grips and claw grips favored among most ergo mouse users. 

Fingertip users probably need not apply here. The DeathAdder V3 Pro remains too large for that grip to really be comfortable unless your hands are of well above average size.

The right side of the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro closeup

You can see the slightly rough texture that gives this mouse such a sure yet comfortable grip

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The redesigned shape is coated in the best texture I’ve felt on a Razer mouse, and one of the best I’ve used, period. The slight grittiness is visible in our closeups and lends a surety to the device’s grip, even in sweatier hands. It never induces that sweat the way rubber grips can. It does, however, include a set of (black) rubber grips, for those who prefer a bouncier feel. 

Features

The front of the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro

That one, tiny LED indicator for charging and connectivity is the only lighting you’ll find on this very performance-focused mouse

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

As with most of Razer’s recent Pro mice (its fully-loaded Basilisk V3 Pro notwithstanding), the DeathAdder V3 Pro is like a sports car with everything but the essentials removed to increase performance. The 64g mouse feels absurdly light in hand, thanks to its large size, and the aforementioned buttons further enhance the sensation of immediate responsiveness that low weight provides.

More: Razer Basilisk V3 Pro and Mouse Dock Pro: One of the best do-it-all mice on the market

Even with this mouse’s reduced mass, Razer packed in several competition-focused features, including support for its new 4,000Hz wireless dongle (sold separately), available customizations like asymmetric lift-off distance, and its latest Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor.

The left side of the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro

One thing that feels very familiar are the large, satisfyingly tactile side buttons

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The result is a mouse that feels as tight and precise as any I’ve ever used. You may dislike subjective aspects like the DeathAdder V3 Pro’s shape, but it’s hard to find any flaws in its hardware performance. I regret to inform you: if you miss with this mouse, it is your fault. 

Connectivity and charging 

The accessories included with the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro

Razer’s cable is long enough to reach even distant systems, but flexible enough to be no burden if you want to play while charging

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The industry has largely standardized around a PC>extender cable>USB coupler>wireless receiver setup recently. This allows you to connect to a distant PC, keep the wireless receiver close, and remove it to use the same cable for charging.

More: The 6 best gaming mice: Click, click, BOOM

In this case, that charging system worked reliably and quickly. The included cable was also flexible enough that gaming while charging was, if not ideal, then at least acceptable. 

Performance 

Razer's DeathAdder V3 Pro compared to an older DeathAdder from behind

The less dramatic slope of the newer DeathAdder V3 Pro (right) makes it feel closer to a symmetrical mouse than its ancestors

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

My praise for the hardware should make it obvious that I found no faults with switch or sensor performance. The included feet are some of Razer’s best. Following a few hours of break-in, they were smooth and consistent and and provided an ideal glide on cloth and hard surfaces.

The bottoms of Razer's Viper V2 Pro and DeathAdder V3 Pro

Don’t let the gray coloration of the DeathAdder V3 Pro feet (right) fool you, they feel absolutely identical to those on Razer’s recent Viper V2 Pro (left) once they’re broken in

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

With all major components earning top marks, it was left to that new shape to determine the DeathAdder V3 Pro’s performance. 

I’ve noted before that I generally prefer symmetrical mice. I have found most ergos to be slower and less responsive. That changed recently when I tested Pulsar’s excellent Xlite V2 Mini. The smaller size and extremely light weight made it feel as responsive as any symmetrical mouse, while also offering a level of comfort I’d been missing in many other top mice. 

Despite being larger than the Pulsar Xlite V2 Mini, the DeathAdder V3 Pro is one of the easiest ergos I’ve adjusted to. This is because it takes a page from the symmetrical side of things in many of its choices. In fact, if you could breed an older DeathAdder with a symmetrical Logitech G Pro X Superlight (a star-crossed pairing, to be sure) the resulting offspring might grow up to look just like the DeathAdder V3 Pro. 

More: Logitech G Pro X Superlight vs Razer Viper Ultimate: Flagship gaming mice showdown

Despite still being a large mouse, it never felt unwieldy or imprecise, thanks to this shift toward a subtler shape. Razer knew what it was doing here. The redesign feels too purpose-built toward making the DeathAdder shape more accessible to a wider audience for it to have been an accident. 

Razer's DeathAdder V3 Pro seen from behind

The gentler curves make the DeathAdder V3 Pro an easy mouse to adjust to

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

That said, I wouldn’t refuse a mini version of this new shape, if Razer decides to resume introducing diminutive variants to the DeathAdder line. For now, my fairly average 19cmx10cm hands have no trouble consistently performing as well as my only slightly above average gaming skills will allow. 

Bottom line 

Razer's older DeathAdder shape compared to the new DeathAdder V3 Pro

Whichever angle you choose, the new DeathAdder’s reshaped design is obvious

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Ultimately, it will be up to millions of existing DeathAdder users and billions of potential users to determine if Razer’s decision to revamp the DeathAdder was correct. You have to admire its willingness to take risks, in either case. 

I expect very few users will hate it. Some may find it doesn’t suit them as well as older DeathAdders, but Razer likely stayed just safe enough in its design to prevent any widespread backlash. Of course, there will be those who think they played it too safe. This is the internet, after all. It’s impossible to please everyone. 

More: Razer Viper V2 Pro review: Why is this mouse controversial?

For me, what Razer produced is a refreshingly new shape that provides top-notch performance even elite eSports pros should be satisfied with in a package that feels so well-built, it almost belies physics that it’s as light as it is. If you don’t end up liking the new shape, I understand. It’s a highly subjective matter. But if you’re willing to give it a shot, you’ll discover what I consider to be one of the best mice available today.

Alternatives to consider 

The full-size version of the Pulsar Xlite V2 Mini relies on perforations to reduce its weight to just 55g and has a more traditional ergo shape. It’s a great option if perforated shells don’t bother you and you want to save some cash.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the older DeathAdder shape, the V3 Pro’s predecessor remains on sale at a steep discount. Just note you’ll be getting a previous-gen sensor and switches. 

If you think symmetrical mice are still the way to go, Logitech’s G Pro X Superlight remains one of the best options in this category, thanks to its low weight, universally accessible shape, and potential charging options. 



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