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Razer Diamondback Chroma Mouse Review

Foxtrot1

Hardware Canucks Review Editor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
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The Razer Diamondback is a legendary mouse for a niche audience, those who reject the short, fat gaming mice that now dominate the market. It debuted in 2004, and its long, thin body and ambidextrous grip made it perfect for those with a claw grip and love to lift and move their mice. After laying dormant for a few years Razer has brought it back, imbuing the mouse with the company's Chroma LED styling. But the new Diamondback has some very big (and very specific) shoes to fill.

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At $89, the Diamondback is priced to compete with some of the best offerings from rivals such as Corsair, Steelseries and Zowie. At that price, you get the expected build quality—the Diamondback is solid and feels fantastic on your index and middle fingers. The textured grip on each side is pleasant, and the symmetrical buttons make it a true balanced ambidextrous product.


Razer's Chroma lighting has been an interesting addition to the company's product line, giving users fine control over the colour of their mouse, keyboard, headset, and even their mousepad. The Diamondback gets the full Chroma treatment and has some of the best lighting of any mouse we've tested. A thin line of light raps around the equator of the mouse, and can be programmed to a variety of RGB colours and patterns along with a separate Razer logo on the palmrest.


The scrollwheel, which has its own illumination, has a functional, grippy textury with distinct scroll steps and a satisfying middle click. The main buttons are also well-done, with light and quick actuation on both the left and right click. Even though your hand naturally sits a bit higher on the mouse, the mouse has two grooves that keep your fingers centered on the buttons.

The Diamondback's glide feet are smooth, the braided cable is light, and the primary switches are fantastic. Weighing 89 grams, it's in a perfect weight zone for a mouse designed to be lifted and moved. The 16,000-DPI laser sensor is a bit of a surprise, considering the original Diamondback had one of the first optical gaming sensors.


The body of the Diamondback is long and low, designed for those who hold their mouse with a claw grip. This is already a narrow audience, and Razer has made a few mistakes with the design that might turn some of them away. Because of the curved sides, the base of the Diamondback has a significantly smaller surface area than the top. Your thumb sits awkwardly against the side of the mouse with little support, and the textured grip is wasted as your ring and pinkie fingers have nowhere to lay. That means your fingers can get stuck to the mat when moving it around, and the small base also makes the Diamondback seem precarious and tippy.


All of that to say: the Diamondback has a substantial learning curve. The mouse demands changes like bumping up the DPI settings to minimize movement, lifting the mouse to avoid tipping it over, and changing your grip to handle that lifting without touching the side buttons. This is a niche product, and for some that may not be an issue. But some of these design choices will be a challenge even for those who wished for the Diamondback's return.
 
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