Even though they are nearly 30 years old, mechanical keyboards are all the rage among computing enthusiasts nowadays. Mechanical keyboards are very popular amongst professionals, gamers and, despite their relatively high price, even casual users. However, a large percentage of gamers and casual users are purchasing mechanical keyboards not for their mechanical keys, but for their features. Some, especially professionals, want to own a fully programmable keyboard, while others want to combine RGB lighting with game-specific functionality. Today we will be having a look at the DeathStalker Chroma, Razer's newest addition to their keyboards lineup.

Introduction

Razer is one of the most well-known manufacturers of gaming peripherals and accessories. A few months ago we a look at one of their most recent mechanical gaming keyboards, in its OriginPC version, the BlackWidow Chroma. The DeathStalker Chroma that we will be reviewing today boasts similar functionality but is an electronic keyboard that is making use of 2 mm chiclet keys instead. With few electronic keyboards boasting programmable RGB lighting and keys, the DeathStalker Chroma is an intriguing product and we will thoroughly examine it in this review.

DeathStalker Chroma Gaming Keyboard - Key features and specifications

  • Chiclet key caps
  • Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 1000Hz 'Ultra polling'
  • Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
  • Dedicated Gaming Mode
  • Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • Fixed wrist rest

Packaging & Bundle

Razer supplies the DeathStalker Chroma in a black, sturdy cardboard box. The artwork on the box is simple and based on a picture of the keyboard itself, showing off its RGB capabilities. Inside the box, we found a minimal bundle offered into a black envelope with Razer’s logo on it, consisting of a quick start guide, warranty information and product registration cards, as well as two large stickers. There is no media with the software, which is required for the proper functionality of the keyboard and needs to be downloaded.

The DeathStalker Chroma Gaming Keyboard
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  • MrSpadge - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    And if that doesn't work, colours wouldn't help either: you'd have to look down to assign the different colours popping up in your periphery vision to the precise keys they illuminate. Reply
  • Kakti - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    I type well over 120 wpm - I've been using keyboards since the late 80's. My particular use case (I understand this won't apply for all) is playing with lights dimmed or off and using my peripheral vision to ensure I hit the correct key. For example I'm playing Witcher 2 right now, and the "signs" are keys 5-9. It'd be nice to have those as a different color so if I'm going for 7 in the middle, it's completely obvious which key 7 is. Likewise in Diablo 3 I accidently hit J instead of H many times, so in the middle of a battle I'm pulling up the damn journal or whatever instead of healing (I've since reassigned the key). The point is these RGB kb's have the potential to allow you to assign keys or groups of keys and have almost 100% accuracy in low light conditions.

    Again, I'm using my peripheral vision not actually changing my focus. Simply "blanking out" the orange key with my finger lets me know it's in the right spot. Putting several similar keys in a row will help you find the 2nd or 3rd, 4th easier, especially if that set of keys is on an "island" like 5-9.

    YMMV
    Reply
  • nugglets - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    You must be able to slow time, because I can't imagine how you are able to type 120wpm but not consistently hit the right keys.

    That makes no logical sense whatsoever.
    Reply
  • Kakti - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    It's quite simple really, when I'm typing my fingers are anchored by the ridges of the F and J keys. When I'm gaming they are not - left hand can be on WASD or 1234, right hand is on the mouse. Knowing how to touch type writing paragraphs is completely different than hitting a single key when your hands are in an unusual place. WASD is a bit easier, for D3 where my left hand is on 1234 it's more difficult. Reply
  • Dr_Orgo - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    Spoiler: RGB keyboards only purpose is to look cool. If you need to look down to find hotkeys while gaming you're doing it wrong or don't know how to rebind hotkeys. Even SC2 which uses >20 hotkeys with 3 modifiers can rebound to have all keys within easy reach. Google "tenkeyless otaku" for what a gaming keyboard looks like (if you don't like bling). Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    @Kakti: " IMO the entire point of RGB keyboards is to allow one to set individual keys to different colors so you can hit it without looking down while gaming."

    Err. Maybe I'm missing something here, but what good does unique colors do you if you don't look at the colors. I'm going to assume you meant so that you don't have to look down longer than a glance to figure it out. Side Note: For those that don't want to look down at all, I recommend finding your home keys (the "F" and "J" keys have a small raised feature usually an underscore at the bottom of the key) and shifting one key out from there.

    To support your point, though, RGB without individual lighting is only really useful to select the color of your backlight. I think a uniform backlight is useful, but I don't see any reason to pay for the full RGB treatment for a uniform backlight when there are some many non-RGB backlights that are cheaper. If I'm paying RGB pricing, I want my functionality.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    Looks like this is just a software limitation, as all keys are capable of the full 16 million colors.. It will probably be added soon or by a 3rd party via the SDK Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, December 12, 2015 - link

    " individual keys to different colors so you can hit it without looking down while gaming. For example WASD all red, I is blue, H is green, M is yellow, etc"

    So how do you see the colors without looking at them?
    Reply
  • ciparis - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    In a lighted gaming keyboard, WASD (at a minimum) should be its own zone. Inexplicable oversight from a supposed gaming hardware company. Reply
  • Fallen Kell - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    Once I saw chiclet keys, I stopped reading. I personally just can't stand them. I "deal" with them on a laptop only because there really isn't much of a choice (aside from the one laptop that has a mechanical keyboard). Reply

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