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  • lyeoh - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Hope the full reviews will have latency tests too... Low latency is important for many games. Reply
  • SkyBill40 - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    All of the devices have 1000hz polling, so I suspect latency to be very, very low to virtually nonexistent.

    I have the previous version of the Black Widow Ultimate and the Nostromo. I also use a Death Adder 3.5g mouse. I love them all and swear by them. A few of my friends feel the same about Logitech and that's understandable seeing as how long LT has been in the game space and the quality products they produce. I guess it all boils down to preference in the end.

    I'm not too keen on the green backlight, but it's not all that surprising seeing as the Razer logo has always been that color. I'm just thankful that all mine are blue lit instead. :)
  • lyeoh - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Polling is only one factor in latency. There are plenty of other ways a keyboard could still be slower. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    I have the previous generation Blackwidow too, only Razer peripheral in a house full of Logitech but I swear by it. It's by far the best keyboard I've ever used... for programming. You can game on it too, but typing is where it really shines. Reply
  • nasme - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    The BlackWidow, and I believe all Razer products with mechanical keys, use the Cherry MX Blue switches. These are widely considered to the be best switches for typing because they have a floating ring rather than a static bumper to actuate the spring. This gives you a nice tactile "bump" when you press the key down and an audible click before the key bottoms out. This is opposed to other boards like the Steelseries 7G and 6G that use MX Black switches, which are linear and don't provide any tactile or audible feedback until the key bottoms out. MX Blacks also have a stiffer spring for higher actuation force. There are actually a lot of different Cherry MX keyswitch colors, and each has its own feel and function. Reply
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    I use a BlackWidow at work. I like the keyboard, but buying it was a mistake, as the noise from the keys drives my colleagues crazy. They make comments about it all the time. I guess I'll go for something with MX Black switches next time. Reply
  • Leonick - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Razer seem to be having quite a hard time with the keypad concept as well.
    First they had the Nostromo, I did consider one but in the end there was one big issue with it that stopped me from ever getting one, it's missing a row of keys. There should be a fourth row at the top, above what is supposed to be the forward movement key.

    Their second design, the Orbweaver did add a fourth row, but in the process they also went with mechanical keys and the thing simply became far to expensive for what it is.

    The Tartarus I assume is a way for them to have a cheaper product, it's basically the Nostrum with different backlight, but it's mission that fourth row of keys... Sigh...

    I wonder if we'll ever move past the keyboard for PC gaming, or see them evolve. The mouse is great, no issues there, but for movement the analogue stick of a controller as WASD beat every day of the weak simply due to the on/off state of keyboard buttons.
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    I dunno. My Orbweaver cost less than my so-called "gaming keyboard" did, yet it provides a distinctly superior gaming experience.

    My advice is to take a risk on the Orbweaver (I agree that 4 rows is a must). You'll probably find that it was worth it. The improvement over a regular keyboard is not earth-shattering, but it's definitely an improvement.
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    The sad thing about the Tartarus is that it ignores the fact most gamers would use the 1-5 keys above those keys they have represented on it. If they had included those, then it would actually seem like it had MORE keys available because of the stick (which might as well be a d-pad).

    Because they took the cheap route, the thing is actually worse than a keyboard for keys and so worthless.
  • chizow - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Exactly, all the Nostromos and the G13 before this did the same thing and never included the 1-5 keys, headscratching really. Razer actually corrected this deal-breaking issue with their Orbweaver but the really mixed reviews combined with high price tag made it too big a risk for something I might not even get used to and use.
  • abrowne1993 - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    The Tartarus appeals to me because my biggest gripe with KB&M controls is the lack of analog movement (independent of aiming with the mouse). I play something like Mass Effect and although I enjoy the benefits of the mouse for shooting, I have to move around like a tank using the clunky WASD keys. An analog stick would greatly improve the situation, but I'm skeptical of the amount of support this thing would receive. Reply
  • zach1 - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    correct me if I am wrong, but I would assume that any game that supported a controller could utilize it because all it is is buttons and a L-analog stick. The only difference would be using a mouse for the R-analog, and you can use a mouse and controller at the same time. Reply
  • abrowne1993 - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    I think you're right, assuming the Tartarus utilizes Direct Input and the game supports that. I've encountered quite a few games that only support X Input, though (360 controllers). It's easy enough to use a third party workaround, but I really like how the 360 controller "just works" in nearly any modern PC game. Reply
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    I don't think it has an analogue stick. It's just a 4 (or possibly 8) directional stick with binary (fully on or fully off; no inbetween) input. Basically, it's like the arrow keys on your keyboard, but in a stick-shape.

    At least that's what the Nostromo and Orbweaver had, and this stick looks almost identical to the ones on those.
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    ...though I agree that a device that somehow combined the benefits of mouse, keyboard and gamepad would be awesome. Reply
  • Icehawk - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    I tried the Nostromo and as soon as I realized it was down a row of keys (instantly) it went back for a return. It's great to add the ability to use more keys via alt functions or multi-way switches but why would you reduce the standard amount of keys reachable? I'm still hoping someone will offer a gaming trackball... but that's about as likely as pigs flying. Reply
  • AncientWisdom - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    I beg to differ about the blue switches for gaming. I think they are great for gaming as well as an all arounder switch, in fact I prefer them to Brown switches in every way. I guess this just shows that this sort of preference is really subjective.... Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Browns and blues are in a similar camp; most gaming keyboards employ blacks or reds. I've personally found either of those to be the best balance between typing and gaming. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    as you said, it's very subjective. I've tried them all and found brown to be the best. Even better than the blues for typing. Reply
  • psuedonymous - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Are Razer still requiring their cloud-sign-in nonsense in order to unlock the useful portions of the driver (i.e. anything beyond the bare basic typing)? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Yyyyyyyup. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    so you guys want razer synapse to not require a login to configure your settings, but when you want your saved profiles on the cloud, how do you expect to get them? are you guys wanting to only use the cloud feature as a complete optional preference? Reply
  • lyeoh - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    Who really wants their keyboard profiles locked to Razer's "cloud"? If they just allowed you to save and load your settings to/from a file there would be so many more options - whether from Razor's servers or anywhere else. So even if Razer goes bust or has an extended outage it doesn't matter- you can still fully use the hardware. You're not locked in to them. Reply
  • FwFred - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    Nope, don't want to save my settings to the cloud. Saving my keyboard settings locally to a disk without an account seems like a no-brainer. Come on Razer! Reply
  • LarsBars - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    I use a Naga Epic, and my Synapse signs in automagically. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Reply
  • FwFred - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    Just bought a 2013 Blackwidow (non-Elite) for home use. I love it so far (not a die-hard gamer though, more strategy games when I do). I am coming from a nasty sticky membrane keyboard. I'm trying to decide if I buy a second Blackwidow to bring into work. Will my neighbors get annoyed??? :-) Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    i love razer stuff but my problem with them is the warranty on keyboards. It's 1 year, and that really needs to be bumped up to 2 years like their mice. These keyboards are very expensive, sometimes double the cost of the mice, but the warranty needs to be longer.

    Razer also has a horrible warranty on their mouse pads, its only 6 months.
  • Mozee - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    Before being too harsh on the BlackWidow keyboard, see if Razer will send you over the Ultimate Stealth to review. All of the Stealth models in the BlackWidow line come with Cherry MX Brown switches and should rate much better for gaming. Reply
  • echtogammut - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    I have the original Deathstalker Ultimate (SWTOR Keyboard) and it is a horrible keyboard. The pad/screen and buttons are cool, but the membrane keyboard is not something I can live with, especially with how much money/time I invested in getting it. I love the idea of the Nostromo, but it is too big for my hands and the throw of the keys is way too long for a gaming device. At this point I am building my own mechanical keyboard, which will probably run me around $250, because I have a CNC machine and ability to create my own PCBs. I am trying for something ergonomic, but gaming oriented. Reply
  • SkyBill40 - Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - link

    Really? The Nostromo is too big for your hands? I don't have the largest hands but it works out fine for me. The only thing is the acclimation period but once you get beyond that, you're golden. Seeing as how you've got the ability to CNC machine, wouldn't it make more sense to see if you could alter the palm rest so that your hand would fit closer to the keys as opposed to giving up entirely? Reply
  • echtogammut - Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - link

    With the Nostromo, I can move the rest far enough forward but the 15 "space" button is un-usable. My hands are pretty nimble from 25+ years of piano playing, but there is no way of using that button comfortably. So I remapped the space to button above the joystick (the joystick was just too slow) which works but not very well. With the wrist rest moved forward, the bottom keys (11-14) become hard to hit. I do find the Nostromo useful for MMOs, but it is just not fast enough or ergonomic enough for FPS use. Reply
  • SkyBill40 - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    I see your point about the positioning of the rest making the space button and the bottom row of keys hard to use. I, too, have it all the way forward but don't have as much of an issue reaching or making use of it as you do. I've also spent years of playing musical instruments (saxophone being the most relevant of the many I play for comparison). What I'm beginning to find is that my left thumb seems to ache more than it used to, but I don't know whether to attribute that to increased play on my PC or my Xbox.

    As I don't play MMOs, I can't speak to the usefulness of it there but would imagine it to be quite good. I'm pretty much an FPS man and I've had no issues. If I were to be forced to go back to a KB/M setup exclusively now that I've grown accustomed to my Nostromo, I'd be terrible for a while until I re-learned how to play without it.
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    You don't know what it means to be annoyed by Synapse until you've used multiple Razer devices that live at different computers.

    I have a Razer keyboard on my work Mac, and a few Razer devices on my home PC. Every time I came home from work, Synapse on my home PC would popup a warning saying, effectively, "Help! The settings I uploaded to the cloud on your Mac today differ from the ones I uploaded on your PC last night. I don't know what to do! Tell me which one to overwrite!".

    I think a compulsory cloud management system for something as minor as keyboard settings (who regularly carts their keyboard around from computer to computer anyway?!) would be silly at the best of times. But one designed so poorly is just ridiculous. In the end, I had to uninstall Synapse on the Mac, hoping that the keyboard could fend for itself with default OS drivers (which it does, for the most part).

    As for the Tartarus, I'm very puzzled to see that product. It replicates what I believe to be the biggest flaw of the Nostromo: only 3 rows of keys. That's the main reason I ditched my Nostromo for a Razer Orbweaver, which has 4 rows. Combined with my delightfully extravagant (yet genuinely useful) 14-button Corsair mouse, I now have all the controls I need, all at my fingertips.

    I'm very happy with the Orbweaver, and I too can't imagine gaming on a regular keyboard. An input device that doesn't even take advantage of my opposable digits?! That's, what's before Stone Age? ;)
  • SkyBill40 - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    To remedy the situation on your work Mac, wouldn't it have been easy enough to create a new profile instead of removing Synapse entirely? If not and you're fine with default drivers to get the job done, that's just as well. It IS work, after all. Reply
  • Volnaiskra - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    Maybe. Except why should I bother? Synapse's cloud functionality is an annoyance that no one asked for, so why should I have to look for workarounds just try and make it work properly?

    The whole point of a cloud is that things become unified. Setting up multiple profiles for one individual person flies in the face of the whole philosophy.
  • SkyBill40 - Friday, September 06, 2013 - link

    Oh, I agree. I wasn't thrilled when my keyboard was working perfectly fine before Synapse was released and then I was essentially forced to it due to some functionality issues being suddenly "lost" to me. Once I upgraded my OS to W8 (despite XP working just fine before it) and re-DL'ed Synapse, all the functions decided to play along again.

    I'm not a fan of the persistent cloud setup as it's just unnecessary in my opinion as well as the opinion of others here. I can see what they're trying to do but, in the same view, I can understand your point and empathize with your frustration with it.
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    I too am irritated by the fact that I have to log in to Synapse to use their software. In fact, I uninstalled it; there is plenty on my system already that connects to the internet and keeps tabs on my software - and whatever else it sneaks - and I just don't want more of it.

    It should at least be optional.

    That being said, their positional audio system did help a bit using headphones while playing Borderlands 2.

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