Why Razer Orbweaver Chroma Review ? In the overwhelming number of games, most of the keyboard buttons remain unused, in addition, it often turns out that for a comfortable game there are not enough joystick functions. So why not make a special gaming keyboardlike (Razer Orbweaver Chroma), which will have only the necessary number of keys, but each of which is easy to reach, a gamepad function, and which will be much more convenient to use?
Most gamers purchase a high-quality mouse and mouse pad for games. Many intelligently complement the set with a good gaming keyboard. Depending on the preferred genre, the list is replenished: “racers” take the wheel, virtual pilots – the joystick, and football players and fans of fighting games – the gamepad. The industry satisfies such requests with a wide range of devices, from basic to the most sophisticated. But still, the most popular genres, both among ordinary gamers and among e-sportsmen, are shooters, strategies and role-playing games. And at first glance, the combination of “keyboard + mouse” here is completely uncontested.
The familiar combination really provides optimal conditions for controlling the gameplay. Radically new manipulators, sometimes selected outside the engineering departments of hardware producers for exhibition stands and even store shelves, do not take root: they get used to it for a long time, they do not give significant advantages. However, there is a line of devices that can really become a great addition to a typical set of devices.
In general, this is a set of ergonomically placed buttons for the left hand, a keyboard replacement during the game. So let me introduce Razer Orbweaver Chroma.
Razer Orbweaver Chroma
The pioneer and main enthusiast of keypad is unexpectedly Belkin, mainly known for products of a completely different direction. But at the dawn of interest in gaming mice, when the Razer had the only Boomslang 2000, they introduced the Nostromo n30 model with humanoid ergonomics, and in addition to it, the innovative Nostromo Speed pad n50 with ten buttons. Four years later, the second generation appeared – the Nostromo Speed pad n52, and in 2008 the result of the joint work of Belkin and Razer engineers was presented: Belkin Nostromo n52te powered by Razer. Finally, in 2011, sales of the device were completely transferred to Razer, and therefore the product itself was renamed to Razer Nostromo while making small changes. Despite the fact that the design has not fundamentally changed for 9 years, Nostromo continues to sell – Orbweaver complements the range of keypads, and does not replace the existing solution.
Razer Orbweaver Chroma Specifications
Design and functionality
Well, let’s start with dry and uninteresting basic characteristics. Our device weighs 395 grams (you still fix it in one place), and in size it reaches 55 mm in height, 154 mm in width and stretches for 202 mm in length. The cable is quite long. By the way, Orbweaver joyfully supports Razer Synapse 2.0. If you own Razer products and still do not know what it is – shame and disgrace! Well, for everyone else, a brief description in a nutshell: settings in the cloud. Yes, all your settings will be tightened after moving the OS or on another computer.
Materials Cool materials. Plastic is damn pleasant to the touch, and all parts that come into contact with the wrist and palm are very high quality rubberized. Everything was assembled very high quality, but it may seem that the device is a little “walking”. Yes, there is, but it is justified by the fact that it is fully customizable. Orbweaver is also very beautiful, I just want to play it!
On Orbweaver there are 20 programmable buttons, in the middle of which are WASD. Mechanical buttons design with a very sexy click! When I took the controller out of the box, for about 10 minutes I got stuck by clicking on these buttons. True, there is a suspicion that the sound of the click is made intentionally, artificially. The key travel is good and repeated pressing can be done without bringing the key to the end (i.e. the beginning). It also seemed to me that a pair of keys has an idle stroke, if you press them at a certain angle, which you definitely won’t do even by accident during the game (verified). Why am I saying all this? And to the fact that playing with mechanical keys with such a “click” is simply divine to play! By the way, the backlight on the keyboard is also available
The button block for the thumb has two buttons and an eight-position D-pad, like on Nostromo, but from the point of view of ergonomics it has become much more convenient. The very arrangement of the buttons has changed, now reach your finger closer. But the main thing is that the distance from this unit to the main one can be adjusted, therefore, unlike the compromise “one size fits all” approach in the predecessors, working with Orbweaver will be convenient for everyone, regardless of palm size and finger length.
Two more adjustable structural elements are rubberized palm rest and wrist rest. The first one can be adjusted in height, and together they move in length – approaching or moving away from the main block of keys. Together, these three settings give comfort unattainable with either Nostromo or competing products.
On the lower plane of the device, there are a total of seven rubberized legs, providing reliable grip with almost any surface.
Razer Orbweaver dispels the myth that “modern Razer devices need Synapse 2.0 to work.” Just plugging it into a USB connector, you can get a keyboard that duplicates the left side of the main one (20 buttons in four rows: from ~ to 4, from TAB to R, from CAPS LOCK to F, from SHIFT to V; as well as ALT and a space under a large finger, plus “arrows” on the D-pad).
Nevertheless, installing Synapse 2.0 significantly expands the capabilities of Orbweaver: reassigning all buttons, 8 user profiles, creating macros of unlimited length, adjusting the brightness of the backlight … Otherwise, using the software is completely similar to any other Razer products with Synapse 2.0 support.
Testing was carried out in two of the most characteristic games for me now – Diablo III and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The Razer Ouroboros mouse was a companion for Orbweaver – perhaps the perfect kit in terms of the ability to configure the physical dimensions of both devices, as well as control through a single software Synapse 2.0.
In order to optimally set the adjustable elements of the keypad, I spent 15 minutes trying these or those combinations. After unregulated alternative devices, it turned out to be incredibly convenient to “adjust the hardware by the arm” rather than “get used to the ergonomics of hardware”.
The only thing I changed through Synapse 2.0 is the assignment of the 11 key, which by default duplicates CAPS LOCK. In games, this is inconvenient for me, so now it duplicates the “8” button and calls up some rarely used function that is already bound in the game itself. Frankly, it was to the use of this function that I had to get used to the longest.
Since the rest of the layout remained standard, getting used to the device took about 20 minutes.
And now – the most interesting discovery! I tested the device on the ASUS K53E laptop, which I use as a “gaming platform”, if I may say (Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics are enough for interesting games, so I don’t bother). So, Orbweaver is just a super find for those who play on laptops! After all, if the mouse and mat can be connected of your choice, then any laptop keyboard leaves much to be desired from the point of view of gaming standards. And Orbweaver in this case not only gives all the ergonomic advantages of a keypad over even a gaming keyboard, but it is the only way to provide itself with mechanical keys. In addition, Orbweaver is located to the left of the screen – the hand does not need to be held almost in the center, which is also more convenient.
I was quite ready for the fact that it would become more comfortable to play – in the end, all my previous extensive experience in testing keyboards suggested that Orbweaver would be very convenient and functional. It has become more convenient to give all the commands that are called from the keyboard in Diablo III, the left hand makes fewer unnecessary movements to reach the keys.
But what I did not expect was a quite tangible improvement in the multiplayer of Modern Warfare 3. Since I understand my level of play, I was pleasantly surprised by the real increase in efficiency! Not to mention the fact that during a long gaming session the left hand began to get tired much less.
Why you might Need Razer Orbweaver?
I have been actively using this thing for over two weeks. During this time, unfortunately, I managed to get sick at home, and at work change several computers. Being at home with a temperature, I played a lot while at work, every now and then I transferred my important data from one laptop to another and then to a third. Moving from computer to computer, it was not difficult for me to “pull up” all my settings for Orbweaver, all I need to do is install the software and log in, all profiles pull up from the cloud. This is very convenient, especially if you use other RAZER devices.
As for games, there are a few points. Firstly, laptops are usually equipped with not the best keyboards. Even my ASUS ROG G750 gaming laptop is equipped with a keyboard that is not much different from ultrabooks. In ultrabooks, keyboards often bend, and keystrokes don’t feel as good as the game requires. Therefore, for users of laptops who plan to play a lot, I would advise it is the orbiver, and not a full-fledged mechanical keyboard, because during the game in “chat room” you can write from the laptop keyboard, but you need to play on a good one. And yet, despite its size, the device is quite portable, and nothing prevents it from being carried to computer clubs or friends for game-tus with you in computer clubs or friends.
Secondly, it is directly convenience during the game. The built-in keyboard greatly depresses the player, both literally and figuratively. Playing on an ultrabook with a diagonal of 13 inches, I randomly move it pretty close to my eyes to see everything well. In this position, the arm and especially the wrist are very arched. It’s quite difficult to play like that for long. The second point of inconvenience lies precisely in the “bed rest”. Yes, taking Razer Orbweaver with you to the bed is pretty stressful, but on the sick-list it’s exactly the same! Having fixed the laptop well somewhere on the blanket is impossible, since it constantly staggers from pressing the built-in keyboard. The laptop is staggering, the screen is staggering, something is stuck somewhere – and lost (this is in my case an absolutely real situation). When I played with Orbweaver: the laptop on my lap is very close to my head, mouse on the rug nearby, orbwiver on the other side on the bed. A sad sight, of course, it would be better to go out to breathe the air, but playing is very convenient!
As already mentioned, gaming keypads are underestimated in principle. Perhaps, including because in order to evaluate the benefits – you need to try playing, which is not always possible … For those who are already aware of the convenience of these devices – Razer Orbweaver in all respects surpasses Razer Nostromo in all respects, and even other competitors comparing is ridiculous.
- mechanical keys
- the ability to significantly customize ergonomics for a specific hand
- full software configuration through Synapse 2.0
- perfect companion for playing on a laptop
- immodest price
- USB cable without fabric braid
Perhaps the main question – is it worth it to overpay for Orbweaver almost doubled relative to Nostromo? Worth it. And even if you already have Nostromo. Mechanical buttons, an additional row of keys, a more comfortable button block for the thumb … All this would not be enough for such a verdict, but the ability to adjust the location of structural elements outweighs the scales. If you prefer FPS, RTS or MMO games, then try Orbweaver – perhaps this is exactly what you did not have to win!