Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard | Full length review


Razer are well known for their gaming peripherals, by some for being somewhat overpriced and by others for being excellent gaming gear. Whether they are just marketed well or worth the money, it’s more a case of personal opinion than fact.
It will be no surprise to you then that any LAN environment you step into will be teaming with Razer keyboards, headsets, mice and mouse mats.

Today I will be seeing whether the Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard is worthy of its position on any gamers desk.


The Lycosa

If you’ve ever owned any Razer product, you’ll know how sleekly they come packaged, and that the hardware its self matches this look too. This rings true with the Lycosa too; with its non-slip rubber keys, smooth material and glossy, expensive looks and backlighting – it looks up to the job.

Functionality

Out of the box you cannot deny the Razer Lycosa’s quality look and feel, with some interesting specifications to go with it. Such as 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response time – whether this makes a massive difference I am unsure, but gamers always want the edge. I didn’t as such notice anything to any previous keyboards I have used (admittedly it is hard to notice a millisecond or 2 difference).

However the key travel is almost perfect for me, with the key size being almost directly in-between a laptop key and the classic chunky full-size keys. This, combined with good key spacing and placement, this makes the keyboard really fun and a treat to use, whether you bounce around hammering keys in FPS games such as quake, MMO’s or RTS – even for simple word documents, I’ve never felt as though using it was an arduous or uncomfortable task. It’s always nice to switch to a new keyboard and for typing to feel natural, too – rather than finding the keys are in strange positions and having to re-learn how to type.

To improve comfort further, you have the choice of removing the wrist rest – something I felt that the Razer Reclusa really needed. I bought mine second hand and found the large gap between the top of the keyboard and the desk meant you had to literally hover your hands in the air, which after a short amount of time can become uncomfortable, even painful – especially during them long gaming sessions. Thank god they rid this with the Lycosa. A cool little extra you will notice with the Lycosa is it is quite light and extremely thin (15mm high).


One extremely useful feature is the fully-programmable keys with macro capability; this really shines in MMO’s over FPS’. Most bindings you will ever need to do for most games can be done in the game, however games like World of Warcraft take the needs for key binding to a whole new level, especially in Player VS Player combat and opens up a world of possiblities with a little imagination and practice. Check out the video below for a basic example of macroing on this keyboard. With the use of time delays at your disposal, you could run your entire trash clearing rotation with 1 key at ease.


One thing however I have noticed – which would destroy the rating of this peripheral, however since I know I’m amongst the minority affected then I ease on this slightly. This is the fact that the keyboard randomly locks a key in, by this I mean it thinks a key is being pressed when it isn’t. For instance I’ve been in quite a few Quake Live duels and then I will strafe, or press any key for that matter and every 1 in a million times the key seems as if it is held down. Causing me to strafe into a wall until I unplug the keyboard and plug it back in. This is annoying at casual level of game play, and simply unacceptable at competitive level gaming, especially considering the price of the gear you are paying.

I have discovered that this issue is limited, I am not the only person to complain about this though, I assume it is a batch bug or driver issue but I have plenty of friends with the same keyboard who have never experienced this and play just as much as I do. For me it has ranged from happening 3 times a night to once a month – purely at random. Not fun.
However since I am reviewing THIS product and not a theoretically perfect working one, I have to take this into account.

Features

Onto the features – and this keyboard has a ton of them.


First off you get the usual driver disk, stickers, and Razer catalogue. Onboard the keyboard itself is a touch screen with all your media controls on, a button to cycle between the backlight options of full, WASD cluster and off. This functions pretty well for the most part, however you can find yourself accidently pressing the wrong key if you’re not careful, along with the fact that if your hands are cold or wet – this thing probably won’t pick you up.

Oh and the panel also has a nice big Razer logo in the middle, holding down your windows key and pressing it disables your windows keys on the fly, so you won’t be accidently tabbing out of your games – an e-life saver.

The keyboard also supports anti-ghosting and allows you to press up to 10 keys at once and every key stroke will be recognised, useful for EVERY type of game.

At the back of the board is also an analog mic and headphone jack, along with a USB jack too if you need it. This is useful for charging your iPod, using a USB headset etc. Pretty useful if you have a short headphone cable, have limited USB ports or simply want to keep your desk tidy and stop trailing cables.

Oh and if you happen to spill and energy drink or anything under your keys, you can comfortably pop your keys in and out without doing any damage to them. Good to know when you’re forking out a good £50-70 for a keyboard.

The macro software I talked about earlier is extremely robust; check it out below for an Idea of what I’m talking about (This comes with the drivers.)


Click to enlarge

Conclusion

Overall this is a great keyboard and at a reasonable price, the media panel works moderately well and the keyboard is responsive and for the most part reliable - and packs all the features you could ever want or find a use for - bar an LCD screen such as the ones on some Logitechs.

Unless you are a die-hard fan of your current keyboard or prefer a keyboard such as the Logitech G series then there isn’t much reason to change. However if you’re looking for a comfortable, robust, low-profile and sweet looking keyboard with a ton of macro capabilities, then look no further. It suffers from some batch issues but the chances that you get a faulty one look to be rather slim, especially now as I assume this problem has been ironed out. Buy at your own risk – RMA’s and buyer’s remorse are never fun.


"If you’re looking for a comfortable, robust, low-profile and sweet looking keyboard with a ton of macro capabilities, then look no further."

7/10

Razor | > > > > > > > - - - | Razer  


+ Endless macro possibilities
+ Looks slick
+ Packed with features  
+ Comfortable and lasting
- Some production batch issues

Price: £54.99-£64.99 on average.


Please let me know what you thought of this review and the product itself below.

59 comments:

  1. I want that smeggin keyboard man..

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  3. If it looks cool, i don't care for anything else

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  4. Do need another keyboard...hmm...

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  5. I read all this, and the only word I remember... backlight. Awesome.

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  6. that looks like one pretty eppic keyboard- i wish i could aford to upgrade my gear

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  7. I use some dell terrible keyboard. I need to get a new one, its either a logitech or this.

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  8. I'm not a gamer, but that keyboard looks very cool!

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  9. Sweet. I may pick up one of those for the girlfriend, she's been wanting one like that.

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  10. Really good review of the keyboard. May buy it! Price is reasonalble too.

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  11. I need a good keyboard..but not for that pricetag.

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  12. I not only want that KB I want it to have my children.....

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  13. Nice keyboard for a nice price, gotta check it out IRL.

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  14. Will definitely check this keyboard out. My current one is getting a bit grungy...

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  15. thats sooo goood i need to get this for WoW!!

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  16. i wish i was able to get this ):

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  17. got it now since 2 weeks, best thing ever!

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  18. gees! that is one insane looking keyboard there!

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  19. Awesome keyboard, I'll definitely keep this one in mind when I buy a new one.

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  20. damn thats one kickass keyboard. i want one.

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  21. i would buy it if it wasnt for that small annoyance

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  22. Geez I can't account for buying something that extravagant but looks cool man

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  23. That problem with the stuck keys is a real set back. Might've considered it otherwise.

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  24. nice review dude.
    the only problem about razor is they're too expensive.

    i still like my $10 keyboard. been using for almost 8 months. still working just fine.

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  25. Unfortunately I'm using a $10 keyboard/mouse set. But I have the money... so I'll probably be buying something better soon.

    Great to see reviews of this type of stuff, can be awkward to buy this stuff since it's something you'll constantly use.

    Good review!

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  26. I dont really want to spend a lot of money on a keyboard.. to me that seems like wasted money when you can get a high-performance headset or mouse instead.

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  27. That keyboard just gave me a boner.

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  28. omg is the verry cool kayboard

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  29. nice keyboard, too bad it's expensive...
    i have a wireless logitech LX710 keyboard i got from my isp for renewing the contract :)

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  30. i know that shit but it is freaking expensive

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  31. Pretty cool review but I think Im sticking with my walmart special

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  32. i believe you dont need a gaming keyboard why dont use just a normal one?!
    ok its something different with mices but keyboards? hmmm

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  33. my friend has got that keyboard. it's an amazing piece of equipment

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  34. Great review. I have a logitech something(I don't really know) and it's pretty decent, but I can tell it will probably die soon. I'll have to check out the Razor keyboard when I go into the store next time.

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  35. Nice review. But I'm sticking to my Logitech Illuminated Keyboard :D

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  36. nice review. please do a contest and give it to me :D

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  37. The only think I really like from Razer is the Lachesis...

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  38. i'd buy a wireless version of this

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  39. i can pwn n00bs with this keyboard

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  40. be careful macroing your keys with time delays. Automating rotations is a bannable offense and I have seen it happen to people. I also tested it out on my g15 on a target dummy and had a GM come and talk to me out of nowhere about it.

    Also, after buying razer megadelon headphones, I have nothing good to say about razer, nice review though :)

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  41. Thanks for the heads up ITW, If not for rotations, the macros atleast open up more options and flexibility.

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  42. it looks super cool, i got razer mouse as a present and its worked pretty well so far.
    That keyboard looks really cool, nice review

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  43. That's a nice keyboard for sure. I'd never pay that much for a peripheral, though. >.>

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  44. looks pretty nice, thanks for the detailed review

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  45. Excellent review man. Nicely laid out. I'd go with a gaming keyboard, but when I'm gaming I use a Nostromo n52, so I rarely ever touch it when I'm in game. Care to do a review of some of their mice? I'd be interested in one of those.

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