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Razer DeathAdder Essential Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jun 14, 2021 at 10:38 am
Razer DeathAdder Essential Picture
7.3
Office/Multimedia
7.7
Video Games (FPS)
7.5
Video Games (MMO)
7.6
Ultra-Light Gaming
5.0
Travel
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse is a more affordable entry to the full-sized DeathAdder series. It has the same shape and size as the more expensive models, and it's suitable for all grip types for almost all hand sizes, although people with small hands might struggle with a claw or fingertip grip. It has a low minimum lift-off distance, good click latency, and a fairly consistent sensor, but the CPI range isn't very wide, and you can adjust the CPI in increments of 100 only. Unfortunately, the mouse is quite heavy, its braided cable isn't very flexible, and its backlighting is green only.

Our Verdict

7.3 Office/Multimedia

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is decent for office use. It feels well-built and is suitable for almost all hand sizes with any grip type, but small hands may struggle with a claw or fingertip grip. You can reprogram all of its buttons using the Razer Synapse 3 software, which is available on Windows only. Unfortunately, its scroll wheel doesn't have any L/R tilt buttons, and it can't unlock for free scrolling.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
  • Suitable for almost all hand sizes with any grip type.
Cons
  • No L/R tilt buttons or free scrolling.
  • Wired-only.
7.7 Video Games (FPS)

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is good for FPS gaming. It has a low minimum CPI, a low lift-off distance, and good click latency, although it may not feel responsive enough for some gamers. It feels well-built and is suitable for almost all hand sizes using any grip type, but people with small hands may struggle with a claw or fingertip grip. Unfortunately, it's somewhat heavy, and its cable isn't very flexible. Also, you can adjust the CPI in increments of 100 only.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
  • Low minimum lift-off distance.
  • Suitable for almost all hand sizes with any grip type.
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • Cable isn't very flexible.
7.5 Video Games (MMO)

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is a good MMO gaming mouse, although it doesn't have nearly as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice. However, you can program all of them, and you can also set a HyperShift button to enable a second layer of commands. It has a low minimum lift-off distance and good click latency, although it may not feel responsive enough for some gamers. It feels well-built and comfortable, and it's suitable for almost all hand sizes using any grip type, although small hands may struggle with a claw or fingertip grip. Unfortunately, its cable isn't very flexible, and you can adjust the CPI in increments of 100 only.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
  • Low minimum lift-off distance.
  • Suitable for almost all hand sizes with any grip type.
Cons
  • Cable isn't very flexible.
  • Doesn't have nearly as many buttons as a dedicated MMO mouse.
7.6 Ultra-Light Gaming

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is a good ultra-light gaming mouse, although it's much heavier than what we usually consider an ultra-light mouse. However, this sturdy-feeling model is suitable for most hand sizes with any grip type, but people with small hands may struggle with a claw or fingertip grip. It has PTFE feet which provide a good gliding experience and good click latency, although it may not feel responsive enough to some gamers. Unfortunately, its cable isn't very flexible.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
  • Low minimum lift-off distance.
  • Suitable for almost all hand sizes with any grip type.
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • Cable isn't very flexible.
5.0 Travel

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is inadequate for travel since it's bulkier than most mice designed for travel and likely won't fit in most laptop cases. Also, you can only use it with its wire, which may be cumbersome in tight spaces like on public transport.

Pros
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy.
  • Wired-only.
  • 7.3 Office/Multimedia
  • 7.7 Video Games (FPS)
  • 7.5 Video Games (MMO)
  • 7.6 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 5.0 Travel

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color Green
Design
Shape
Length 5.0" (128 mm)
Height 1.7" (43 mm)
Width 2.8" (70 mm)
Grip Width
66 mm
5.4
Design
Portability
Volume
23.43 in³ (384 cm³)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
123 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
97 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
97 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality
8.5
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
Yes
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
No
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
No
Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Use When Charging
No
On/Off Activation
None
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator No
7.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Cable Type
Braided
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
No Port
Port Type: PC End
USB
7.5
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Good
Material
PTFE
Extra Included
No
Design
In The Box

  • Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse
  • USB tip cover
  • Razer sticker
  • User manual

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
PixArt PAW3328
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
200 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
6,400 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
100 CPI
CPI (DPI) Variation
6%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
2.4 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The polling rate options on the Razer DeathAdder Essential are 500Hz and 1000Hz. The sensor on our unit is fairly consistent, but it tends to overshoot the set CPI more when moving the mouse slowly than when moving it fast.

7.6
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
5
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
12
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No
Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
24 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel
Control
Noise
Click Noise
Quiet
7.5
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
18 ms
Operating System And Software
6.5
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name Razer Synapse 3
Software Windows Compatibility
Yes
Software macOS Compatibility
No
Account Needed
No
On-Board Memory
No
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
Yes
Polling Rate Adjustment
Yes
Profile Configuration
Yes
RGB On/Off
Yes
10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse is only available in black. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The Razer DeathAdder Essential is a more affordable addition to the DeathAdder series. It has the same right-handed and ergonomic shape as the other mice in this lineup, but it lacks some of the features the more expensive models that we've tested have. For example, its lift-off distance isn't as low, and you can't adjust its CPI as precisely as the Razer DeathAdder V2 or the Razer DeathAdder Elite. It also lacks CPI buttons below the scroll wheel, and unlike the other models with customizable RGB, the Essential only has green lighting. Nonetheless, it's a great option if you love the DeathAdder shape and don't mind a few shortcomings at the expense of a cheaper price tag.

Check out our recommendations for the best wired mouse, the best gaming mouse, and the best Razer mice.

Razer DeathAdder V2

The Razer DeathAdder V2 and the Razer DeathAdder Essential have the same shape and size, but the V2 performs better overall. It has a lower lift-off distance, a significantly lower click latency, a much wider CPI range, and you can adjust the CPI more precisely. Also, it has a much more flexible braided cable, better quality mouse feet, and two programmable buttons below the scroll wheel. The Essential is heavier, has no onboard memory, and only has green backlighting.

Razer Viper Mini

The Razer DeathAdder Essential and the Razer Viper Mini are both wired gaming mice. The Mini is a better choice if you prefer small, ultra-light mice and use a fingertip grip. It has a more flexible, paracord-like cable, better quality mouse feet, and a programmable button below its scroll wheel. While they have similar sensor performance, the Mini has a higher maximum CPI and much lower latency, but its sensor is even less consistent. On the other hand, the DeathAdder Essential is heavier and larger, making it suitable with any grip type for most hand sizes.

Razer Basilisk

The Razer Basilisk and the Razer DeathAdder Essential are wired gaming mice with different designs, but the Basilisk performs better overall. It has a wider CPI range, a more precisely adjustable CPI, and a lower lift-off distance. It also has onboard memory and more programmable buttons. Also, the Basilisk is more versatile since it has a thumb rest, and its scroll wheel can unlock for free scrolling, which is great if you want to use it for office use.

Razer Basilisk Essential

The Razer DeathAdder Essential and the Razer Basilisk Essential are both right-handed gaming mice, but they have different shapes. The Basilisk Essential has a more ergonomic design with a textured thumb rest on its left side like the other models in its lineup, whereas the DeathAdder shares the same high-back shape as the other DeathAdder mice. Otherwise, they perform very similarly, but the Basilisk Essential has more programmable buttons, and the DeathAdder Essential has a much lower latency. Both are best suited for large hands, although people with small hands may be comfortable with a palm grip.

Razer DeathAdder Elite

The Razer DeathAdder Elite and the Razer DeathAdder Essential have the same shape and size, but the Elite performs better overall. It has a much wider CPI range, and its CPI can be adjusted much more precisely in increments of one. Also, its minimum lift-off distance is lower, and it has two programmable buttons below its scroll wheel, which the Essential lacks.

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