Date: April 2nd, 2009
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Razer
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Even though the keyboard will function just fine without software, to really unlock its potential the setup CD must be ran. There are a few different things you can do from the main screen, one of which is choosing the program to assign to the media control buttons. Choices are Windows Media Player, iTunes, Winamp, and Realplayer.
To create a macro, click on which key you'd like to assign it to and another window will open. Here you can record your macro, save it, and begin using it in no time.
Up to 10 different software profiles can be saved. There are three ways to switch between profiles – by pressing the Razer logo button along with a function key, by manually selecting it in the driver control window, or by programming a macro key to activate a particular profile.
I have to say, Razer hit the nail on the head in the comfort department. The keyboard sits at an angle that is high enough and the keys respond to presses in a way that feels just right. I tried using the keyboard both with the wrist rest and without, and quickly determined that it is much more comfortable with the wrist rest on. That is what I expected, though. Generally speaking, keyboards that have a wrist rest tend to be more comfortable.
It's not necessary to bang on the keys for them to register, yet at the same time they aren't overly sensitive either. Due to the slim key structure, don't expect a very “clicky” response but rather a soft and quiet one, similar to the way typing on a laptop would sound. This is great for late night typing or gaming as it won't create a lot of noise and disturb others in the room.
Comfort is great, but the real reason for buying a gaming keyboard is improved performance. Everyone wants to have a winning edge over the competition, but there is no magic solution that will transform you from a novice to an expert overnight.
With that said, the Arctosa isn't going to change your life, but it can help improve your game play experience by combining ergonomics with useful features such as programmable keys with macro capabilities like we saw above. That's not all it can do, though. Have you ever pressed multiple keys simultaneously in the middle of a game, only to have nothing happen? This is referred to as “ghosting” and I can personally vouch for the annoyance it can cause. Razer has included anti-ghosting technology in and around the WASD key cluster to prevent this from happening. This means more commands can be entered at a given time, which can improve the likelihood of success in a game.
During testing with multiple games including Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead, I found the keyboard to respond quickly and accurately no matter how fast and furious the action got. Razer claims 1ms response time and while I have no way of scientifically verifying that claim, I am apt to believe it's true. With the keyboard being so lightweight I was concerned that it would shift around on the desk easily, but that turned out not to be the case.