Razer DeathAdder Left Hand Edition
Razer has a great reputation for making performance gamer-oriented accessories like mice and headsets, but they scored extra points with me when they revealed their left-handed version of the recently upgraded DeathAdder gaming mouse.
The technical specifications for the mouse are pretty impressive. It uses a 3500 DPI laser, programmable buttons and a nice smooth scroll that doesn’t feel awkward or make disturbing clicking noises when you use it. The DeathAdder is a quality pointing instrument.
The precision of the mouse and its almost immediate 1 ms response are very nice when playing games like Call of Duty or Left 4 Dead, but 3500 DPI is a bit much if you are planning to navigate your favorite gaming website or use Microsoft Word. Thankfully the included control panel software allows you to adjust or dial-down the precision pretty easily for everyday usage.
The only negative I found with the software scaling was that there was no way to trigger this resolution switch without resorting to using a control panel. Its not a huge inconvenience to open a system tray icon and switch the settings, but in a perfect world I wouldn’t find anything to nit pick either.
Along with the smooth precision of the sensor and fast response time the DeathAdder features 5 programmable buttons that felt natural to click and hold and responded quickly. Speed clicking while playing Torchlight was not an issue as the mouse delivered my endless carpal tunnel-inducing spasm of death to the game as quickly as I entered it. The two “thumb buttons” on the side are placed at the right angle and with broad enough buttons to make clicking these cursory buttons comfortable even without removing your primary fingers from the top of the mouse.
There were a few other nice design features on the DeathAdder that didn’t really improve the gameplay experience but are attractive and nice to have. The mouse itself is backlit with a cool blue light and through the software you can choose to have the mouse glow or not, including illuminating the trademarked Razer logo which rests under your sweat soaked palms during an intense game session.
The braided cord and gold-plated USB also give the mouse a nice premium design and stand out when compared to many competing devices. This is an attractive design to say the least. The Teflon coating also means that the mouse floats pretty easily over smooth surfaces. When I tested the DeathAdder on a dimpled tabletop or cloth it skipped about a little on the highest DPI settings. Some simple adjustments to drop the software DPI was all it required everything worked fine even using my pant leg or the couch as my tracking surface.
While all these features make the DeathAdder a good buy in either version, right or left handed, its important to realize that this is a molded hand grip. The design is shaped to accommodate the curve of the left hand and is not easily used ambidextrously. The left and right buttons are also inverted from a standard right-handed setup, which was hard to adapt to at first and which can be switched through the control panel back to the right-handed approach at a whim. The black color of the mouse is also flat and not shiny, so it does not show oil from the hand as easily as some competitor’s sleek black plastic mice do.
I live in a world designed for right handed people, in fact when I first took the opportunity to play with the DeathAdder it felt awkward to use my left hand to drive a mouse. Despite being a natural left-hander I’ve never felt compelled to use my dominant hand for gaming, besides how would I use the ASWD controls with my right hand anyway?
Unfortunately that revelation is one of the obstacles that any adopter of the DeathAdder Left-handed version will face. The device itself is great, retraining your mind to work the way it should, and to use your left hand as your pointing hand is the hard part. Additionally if you are not able to remap the keys in a game it might mean having to readjust the position of your keyboard and training your mind to use the right hand to control movement in your FPS titles.
Razer is a leader in this industry for a reason. It’s evident that a lot of thought went into designing the DeathAdder and making this left-hand version as well. Gamers of any preference should consider either version over an ambidextrously designed pointer, especially if you spend long or intense times playing your games and find yourself cramping up. That or maybe you should just drink more water. Either way, I’m converting back to the way I was meant to play thanks to the DeathAdder, and I may never go back to the “right” way of playing my games.
Rating: 9.5 Exquisite
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Shawn Sines is an avid game player who has been writing video game review and feature pieces freelance for over 9 years. He's served as the Hardware how-to writer, Mod and MMO expert, news writer and game reviewer for Filefront's Gaming Today, GameFront, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive and Columbus Parent in Columbus Ohio. He was also the co-host of GameOn! a video game podcast hosted by the Dispatch Media Group. Shawn's personal favorite genre are RPGs and Strategy, though at the latter he never claims to be very good despite hours of trying. View Profile