Earlier this year at CES, gaming peripheral maker Razer showed off its "mobile PC gaming concept design" called Switchblade. Essentially a netbook concept for gamers on-the-go, the Switchblade one-ups other handheld consoles by combining a dynamic keyboard, mobile gaming mouse (if required), and touchscreen display all rolled into a single device. No longer just a concept, Razer went and formed an alliance with Intel, the world's largest chip maker, and Tencent, China's leading provider of games and Internet services, to promote the Switchblade in China.
Gaming peripheral maker Razer announced this week the opening of the Razer Austin Technical Research Center. If U.S. geography's not your strong suit, that's Texas. Razer says it hopes to bring together some of the most talented technical researchers and designers in the world to Texas, where they will be in charge of creating new technologies to alter not just the gaming landscape, but consumer electronics as well.
What’s the most important part of your PC? Is it the processor? The videocard? The motherboard? How about the keyboard?
Don’t scoff—your keyboard is the part of your computer that you get up close and personal with. It’s the conduit between you and the PC, and having the right one can make you faster, more comfortable, and give you an edge in games.
The Anansi is Razer’s MMO keyboard, a companion to the company’s Naga MMO gaming mouse. Functionally, it’s very similar to the BlackWidow Ultimate—both have fully rebindable keys, with five additional macro keys along the left, backlighting, and on-the-fly macro recording. Unlike the BlackWidow, the Anansi does not have mechanical keys, instead opting for more traditional dome-style keys. They’re not as responsive as mechanical keys, but are definitely at the high end of the dome-spectrum, with a satisfying amount of resistance and travel.
It’s recently become popular for major PC game releases to be accompanied by their own line of branded peripherals, custom designed by big-name peripheral makers like Razer and SteelSeries. Frequently, these products are no more than a reskinning of a popular model, as is the case with the Call of Duty: Black Ops Stealth Mouse, which is essentially a rebranded Cyborg R.A.T. Other times, the tie-in is more substantial, as with the SteelSeries WoW mice, which feature unique, game-inspired designs as well as features and software intended to help you play the game better.
So, when we got the complete set of StarCraft II custom peripherals in for testing from Razer, we were curious to see whether they would be more like the former or the latter scenario. What we found out was surprising.
Razer, long known for its high-end gaming mice, has had sort of a slow start when it comes to gaming keyboards. Its offerings haven’t been bad, but the company hasn’t had a must-have product yet. The BlackWidow is Razer’s first.
Read on for the full review of Razer's first mechanical gaming keyboard!
Has it been 5 years already? Razer first released its DeathAdder mouse back in 2006, we reviewed it in 2008, and it was revamped with a 3.5G infrared laser in 2009. Here we are in 2011 and the DeathAdder is back, this time with an all black makeover.
Functionally it's the same DeathAdder as before, although the non-slip rubber has been extended to both sides, replacing the glossy plastic that adorns the traditional models. And though it retains the same form, gone is the glowing the logo. The white scroll wheel, which tends to gunk up over time, is now all black too.
The revamped DeathAdder sporting its new all black tuxedo is available now in the U.S. for $60.
Razer says "you'll be amazed that something so tiny can rock so hard," which describes their new Ferox Twin portable gaming speaker set, but we suppose could also double as a pick-up line (we don't recommend it).
"The Razer Ferox is our sophisticated, modern day boombox for gamers," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Its sleek and compact structure takes up minimal space but delivers the crystal clear sound quality perfect for gaming on-the-go or for music playback wherever you're at."
Razer says the Twin Ferox boasts a 360-degree omni-directional acoustics for a wider sweet spot than you'll get with front-facing speakers. Other features and claims include:
3.5mm audio jack
Up to 12 hours of playback (can play and charge simultaneously)
LED battery status indicator
The Ferox Twin speaker set will go on sale later this month for $60.
The first product from the line that we tested, the Spectre, almost immediately raised some red flags. From a design standpoint, the Spectre is a big departure for Razer. It forgoes the company’s trademark ergonomic, curved construction for a flatter and smaller-than-usual design. With hard, angled edges and a low profile, it’s surprisingly uncomfortable for a product from a company with a lot of experience making mice that feel good to hold.
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.