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.
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.
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.
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
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."
Razor | > > > > > > > - - - | Razer
+ Endless macro possibilities
+ Looks slick
+ Packed with features
+ Comfortable and lasting
- Some production batch issues
Price: £54.99-£64.99 on average.
Steelseries Siberia Headset V1 & V2
Please let me know what you thought of this review and the product itself below.