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Razer Pro|Type Keyboard
Razer is an interesting company. Known primarily for its plethora of excellent gaming mice and peripherals. However it has recently started to make inroads into new markets, with products like its Mako 2.1 speakers, which are still in development.
It's also known for having a fanatical fan base, a fact I found out for myself when coming across the Razer booth at CeBIT this year. At the time there was a massive crowd of people surrounding the booth, all with hands in the air chanting "Razer" with increasing enthusiasm in a scene rather akin to 1984. There were so many people that I never found out what was actually going on in there, though handing out free swag seems like a logical conclusion.
This Pro|Type keyboard is part of a range Razer calls Pro|Solutions, a range aimed less at gamers and more at general and professional users with a particular focus on Mac users. The white styling is certainly a pointer to this influence, indeed if any other clue were needed the whole range was launched at the MacWorld Expo in Boston.
Initial impressions of the keyboard are certainly favourable. Although black is making a comeback these days, white is still in vogue, and it certainly does no harm to the styling. This is supplemented by programmable keys on the left and right which are backlit blue, while a Razer logo on the wrist rest also gently pulsates with a blue backlight. It's all fairly subtle, adding a nice bit of colour so as to not make things look too sterile.
To add to the Apple loving the Pro|Type also features an iPod dock for all those Apple fanatics and iPod owners – of which I've heard there are a few. The dock adds support for third generation players upwards, with fourth generation players using adapters. There's also support for both iterations of the nano and the Mini, although the Shuffle is obviously not on the menu.
As a result of the dock the keyboard has two USB plugs, one for the keyboard and one for the dock which will also charge an iPod when plugged into it. Razer has also added a line-out onto the keyboard, which provides superior audio quality to a headphone socket. One slight oversight, however, is the lack of any volume control for the line-out, thus if you use headphones you'll need inline volume controls to adjust the volume since the iPod controls do not work when using line-out.