I’ve been gaming nearly my entire life, though the PC has almost always taken a backseat to consoles. Still, with the advent of Steam and a lot of great games being released almost weekly, I could no longer ignore the computer I decked out with parts for gaming as an excuse to spend more for a high-end rig yet never gamed with. Now that I’m up to my neck in fantastic PC games to rival the best my consoles have to offer, I needed something a little extra to give me more control and really solidify a solid gaming experience.
Enter the Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse and Razer Vespula Dual-Sided Gaming Mouse Mat. Separate, each of them would have been a massive step up from the generic mouse I was using and the (don’t laugh) cutting board I had on my desk as a makeshift mouse pad. In tandem, the two work fantastically. After installing the drivers and getting access to a full profile of customizable settings including sensitivity, scrolling speed, DPI, and polling rate, I was good to go in probably ten minutes or less.
The DeathAdder features a lot of clever features that become apparent once the drivers are up and running, including the ability to program macros to any of the mouse’s five buttons, change between five profiles using a button located under the mouse, or even map a button to change the mouse’s sensitivity without backing out to the device’s settings – A fantastic idea for anyone running to a vantage point with a sidearm, setting up camp, and beginning a long-lived sniping mission. The mouse feels great in my hand, and Razer even makes a flipped model for lefties, moves smoothly across all surfaces, and is extremely responsive.
As for the Vespula mat, there isn’t a whole lot to say, but all of it is positive. Using a very traditional mouse pad material, the Vespula doesn’t slide around the desk at all. On top of the soft, floppy material, a hard plastic plate rests comfortably, wrapping around the built in wrist rest, giving a wide effective surface to move the mouse around. The plastic plate doesn’t bend or shift while using it, offering stability and an ideal space to move around on. With two sides, the plate can be flipped to the user’s liking. One side offers a slick surface ideal for quick, violent movements that need to be made in a split second, while the other offers a slightly larger amount of resistance for more controlled movements.
The difference, believe it or not, is noticeable almost immediately. Whether it’s flipping between the sides of the Vespula mat, changing mouse sensitivity on the fly, or the step up from standard mouse and odd kitchen equipment to professional-grade gaming peripherals, once you’re mid-game with the Razer in your hand, the transition is seamless. Everything you want to be doing with your mouse happens without snags, without having to pick up the mouse and continue moving in the same direction. Even on my dual-monitor display, I have all the space I need to navigate my full desktop smoothly. The change might be something you think of as being a massive upgrade, but the feeling of solid control is unmistakably there.
Bottom Line: The Razer DeathAdder offers a simple yet effective entryway into getting your computer rigged for optimum gaming. The product itself has no real shortcomings whatsoever, the only potential turnoff is that if you are the kind of person with more macros than actual commands, the DeathAdder only features five mouse buttons like a standard gaming mouse. It does, however, have a profile changing button located on the bottom to help you switch out settings as you like through progammed settings. For the price, and for the features, the Razer DeathAdder, especially combined with the effective, large surface of the Razer Vespula are going to be ideal fits for all but the most specialized of gamers.
- Smooth movement ensures no hiccups whether you’re charging headfirst into a battle or carefully sniping your opponents
- The dual surfaces of the Vespula mat provide slightly different textures, offering a preference on how the mouse moves and how your hand feels on the surface
- Completely adjustable sensitivity, even on-the-fly, means that you can adapt to any situation without having to tab out of your window to make changes
- Not many mappable buttons can be a downside for gamers used to intensely customizable mice
- A decent amount of desk space needs to be dedicated to fit the Vespula down
- Some of the settings like polling rate require a reboot to take effect, not a massive downside, but something to consider when fine-tuning the mouse before gaming rather than during
Born in the Midwest, living in the Southwest, Michael Radon grew up wanting to make video games for a living before finding his calling as a writer. Though he often heads out on spur-of-the-moment adventures with little to no preparation, he's just as sure to remember his toothbrush as he is at least two portable consoles, a laptop and five to ten games on his person at all times just for those lulls in the action where he can squeeze in a few levels of gaming.