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Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard - Razer Lycosa
Ergonomically, the keyboard uses the same flat profile that was introduced by Logitech way back when, and has since been copied by many other manufacturers. Of course, if this is not your cup of tea, there are two feet that elevate the board, but this does affect stability, while in its flat position the Lycosa won't slide, no matter how you abuse it. The wrist-rest, meanwhile, is quite comfortable, though I prefer Logitech's perforated examples. It is finished in a softer plastic the same colour as the keys, and securely attached by four screws.
A cut-out on the top of the board is mirrored by one in the wrist-rest's centre, in the exact location where your right hand will rest during typing - which means it's a less comfortable experience than it could have been. Though it does make wrapping cables around the board easier for convenient transport, just one notch would have done this job adequately without the ergonomic discomfort.
The keys are comfortable, and the non-slip rubberised finish works well - perhaps a little too well for typing, where switching between keys feels just a tad muddy. And though low-profile keys seem like a good idea, most of us at the office didn't like their feedback. If I had to sum it up after an initial test, I would have said cheap and noisy - but I admit that the response has grown on me in the interim, and those who like their keyboard to respond with an audible and tactile ‘click' upon a key-press will like the Lycosa.
Ultimately though, the Lycosa is a gaming keyboard and while, yes, one needs to be able to type on it, that's a secondary consideration. For gaming, the finish works perfectly, while the noisy feedback is not as much of a hindrance, and though I do miss dedicated function and macro keys, having the entire keyboard as your playground makes up for this. The low profile nature is very much a matter of taste, but is at least as responsive as any other gaming keyboard I've used, and I must admit the feel of it grew on me.
Crucially though, if you're reading this review, you're probably in the market for a gaming keyboard; and to put it bluntly, there are better alternatives out there for the price. While the Lycosa has grown on me, I still prefer some of the full-depth alternatives like Logitech's G15. And not just in terms of feel. Basically, you have to really want the Lycosa's looks or minimalist experience when Logitech's alternative offers better backlighting, easier deactivation of the windows key, dedicated macro-keys and hardware macro programming in addition to an LCD screen for the same outlay.
I really wanted to like the Razer Lycosa, for its svelte looks, blue backlighting, and for daring to eschew any dedicated gaming keys. And after a while I did, as the smaller sibling to the Tarantula it overcame initial dislike to offer up an average typing experience and an above average gaming one. But the experience is marred by several flaws, meaning that unless you feel a particular affinity for the rubberised, laptop-like keys or the ability to macro-program any key, there are better options out there for the money.
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