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Cody Cardarelli Mar 02, 2011

Razer Marauder

At A Glance

None

Nice-feeling rubberized keys, good software support

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Lack of arrow keys limit your play options, no USB passthrough

Any decent StarCraft player can tell you the difference between a Diamond League pro and Bronze League scrub: It’s all in the keyboard. Although StarCraft can be played entirely with the mouse, a good player is going to be hammering away at the keyboard nonstop throughout the match—issuing attack orders, queuing units and buildings, and jumping around the map.

Razer must understand this, because the Marauder is the high point of its SCII lineup. Not amazing, mind you, but solid enough.



From a design standpoint, the Marauder does a good job of matching the StarCraft II visual style, though it still features some of the ugly wannabe-steel plastic seen on the Spectre. The keys themselves are nicer, with a satiny rubber finish. They’re your standard dome-switch keys, but with a little more resistance than usual, and a satisfyingly long travel.

In an interesting twist, Razer has gone for a shortened design with the Marauder—not by removing the number pad, as is most common, but by removing the arrow keys and the keys traditionally above them, such as Delete, Home, and Page Up. These keys have been mapped onto the number pad, and are accessed by hitting a new “Num Mode” key. We appreciate that the Marauder takes up less desk space than usual, but anyone who ever uses the keyboard for camera control or in any custom gametypes may find themselves at a disadvantage.

On the bright side, the Marauder is decked out with color-changing LEDs, with separate controls for the key lights, the Razer logo, and the underlights, which shine from underneath the keyboard. Like the whole lineup, these lights can be customized to change based on APM, or when certain events happen in-game—like when an enemy attacks your base, or when a unit is produced.

THE VERDICT

Razer Marauder

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