Hardware Review: Razer Lycosa

It’s been some time since my last proper post, the last one being my review of the Orochi. In keeping with that theme, I will today be reviewing the Razer Lycosa.

I wanted to get a good feel of the Lycosa before I wrote a review on it – keyboards can be very touch and go at times and sometimes you need a little time with them before you can form an informed opinion – and that’s why I’ve waited a month or so before writing this. I’ve been getting used to it and trying to put it through its paces as much as possible over this time.

Packaging and Drivers
As always, Razer knows how to package their equipment. It’s a rather sizeable box, but the contents are packed snugly inside. Obviously you get the keyboard, and the usual Razer comrades: a manual or two, a product guide, some stickers and as usual, no driver disk – these have to be downloaded from the Razer site, but are quick and painless to get, install and use.

The drivers allow you to customise the keyboard to the nth degree and beyond. The Lycosa may not have any dedicated G-keys, but you can put a macro on every key as well as make different profiles depending on the application you’re currently using.

The Looks
The Lycosa is quite a slick keyboard in terms of aesthetics. It’s fairly thin so it doesn’t look like it’s subjecting your desk to a hostile takeover, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be noticed. The blue backlighting and the glossy finish around the keys make sure that people know it’s there.

The backlighting makes it perfect to use at night – the keys are clearly lit but don’t glare at you. I’ve read opinions (I don’t know exactly where to find them now, OK?) that say that the Lycosa is hard to use in daylight or in well lit situations. I have to disagree with that: I’ve worked with it at all hours of day and night and I can always see where I’m typing. I will, however, grant that you more than likely won’t be able to see a thing if you switch the backlighting off but, honestly, why would you want to? It’s just so very beautiful. The backlighting can obviously be turned off entirely, or switched to include only the WASD keys. I haven’t found a particularly good reason for the latter, but you never know.

Standard Use
Like I said before, keyboards generally need some time to get used to. The Lycosa didn’t take me that long seeing that I’m fairly used to my laptop keyboard and the way the Lycosa’s keys are raised is very similar to that of laptops.

That being said, the keys aren’t soft touch – they require a bit of pressing – and make a satisfying “clack” sound when pressed – not as loud as old keyboards, but you know that it’s been pressed. To me, this is actually quite nice as it means that I don’t make typing mistakes because I thought about pressing the button.

The Lycosa also has something quite different from other keyboards – a rubber finish on their keys. This might seem like a gimmick, but it does actually make a difference when compared to your regular plastic keys. You grip the keys more firmly and they feel a whole lot nicer, not to mention the contrasted gloss vs matte look of the keyboard itself.

All in all this makes for a great typing experience all day long, every day.

The Lycosa is great for typing, but it’s advertised as a gaming keyboard. That’s what Razer sells – gaming products – and that’s what really matters.

Compared to my previous keyboard (let’s be honest, that’s not a fair comparison) the Lycosa is magical. It’s quick and responsive and you can press keys to your delight and it shouldn’t, and doesn’t, stutter even a little. The easy experience that I have when typing carries over completely and with interest during gaming.

I haven’t had good reason to actually use the macro keys (possibly one of it’s bigger features) but I’m not much of a MMORPG’er.

Again, it’s just an overall fantastic experience here, what more do I need to say?

Special Features
The Lycosa does have a few extras that are just the added sprinkles to the already frosting-adorned cake that it is.

For one, it has a few touch sensitive buttons in the op right. These are for multimedia playback: Play/Pause, Stop, Next, Previous, Volume up, Volume down; as well as a button that switches the lighting options between: Full, WASD- only and None. In the middle of this configuration is a Razer logo that, when pressed together with the Windows key, turns off the Windows key. For the most part the keys are good and responsive, but I have found them to not work on occasion or even pick up a touch with my finger only hovering over them.

The next little added bonus are the ports on the back of the keyboard. There’s a USB port for something (I use it for my mouse) as well as handy ports for your earphones and mic. You may find it odd that the Lycosa takes 2 USB ports on the back of your PC (some reviews didn’t like it at all), but I like to think of the second one as an extension for those peripherals that need it. Thus, the Lycosa takes two USB ports: One for the Lycosa and one for the other thing that you can plug into it – it’s a 1-1 deal.

The Lycosa is a pricey keyboard, there’s no denying that, but you get what you pay for (as with most Razer products). It has a slick and simplistic design with no added funnyness, but at the same time it has the features that you as a Gamer need. It types easy and games like a pro. If you’re a gamer and in need of a beautiful keyboard that has all the features you want (and more) then this is definitely an option worth looking at.


About HawkiesZA

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