Razer is a well known manufacturer for everyone who's interested in computer gaming peripherals. They were amongst the first ones to make gaming mouses, and maybe that's why their mice have become so well known. Lately they've also discovered that PC-gaming also requires other controllers besides a mouse. What could be more obvious than to design a gaming keyboard? Logitech announced their G15 gaming keyboard already in 2005 and it was also reviewed here at Metkumods, so Razer is a bit late this time. In the following pages we'll see how Razer Tarantula tries to make a difference.
Tarantula is packed in a informative package with features, images and some pro-gamers quotes printed on it. The box even has a flip to show even more specified features and also to give a peek of the custom buttons. All the shiny parts are shielded with tear off plastic covers. The finish of the Tarantula is mainly glossy so it is basically a fingerprint magnet.
- Anti-ghosting capability - up to ten simultaneous button strokes without ghosting
- Ultrapolling - Only keyboard on the markets with only 1 ms response time
- 32 kB onboard memory for five profiles
- Fully interchangeable keys
From this angle the layout of the keys is easy to see. Basicly the qwerty- and the numpad-areas are all standard, but rest of the board looks a bit odd. First of all there are five backlighted keys on each end of the keyboard. These are Macro Keys and we'll come to using them later. There's also changes in the group of buttons next to the numpad. Delete-key is double high and home/end and Page up/down buttons are located logically. Rest of the keys that usually are in this group are now placed over the numpad. Some may find this kind of changes disturbing, but I don't really use those keys anyway.
In the very ends of the board are 15 extra buttons we've used to see on top of the keyboard. Razer has included all the necessary buttons to control a media player to the right hand side, and Zoom, 100% and Rotate buttons to the lower left. These can be used in Windows' Fax and Image watching utility. On the top left there are keys for hibernate and to open a new browser window. Due to these buttons being on the sides rather than on the top, the Tarantula is sligtly longer than generic boards (51 cm).
Besides all the keys there are some Razers specialities. The Battledock under the cover in the top center and a pulsating blue lighted logo on the wristrest. Unlike the rest of the keyboard, the wristrest does not have glossy finish. The material used feels comfortable and doesn't collect finger prints like the glossy part. I'd say Razer has made a very good decision here.
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