Razer Marauder StarCraft 2 Keyboard Review
One of the most impressive StarCraft 2 accessories to add to your gaming arsenal, the Razer Marauder StarCraft 2 Gaming Keyboard ranks high on the must-have list for any true StarCraft enthusiast– collector or competitor. We did an official unboxing of the Marauder keyboard last week, and now we’re going to go a little deeper into the functions and features of this tank of a keyboard. Jump past the break for the full review.
When you initially take the Marauder Keyboard out of the box, you’ll notice that it’s a pretty heavy duty piece of equipment. At 2.35 lbs, it’s much more weighty than your average run of the mill keyboard, which probably has something to do with the vast amount of lighting underneath this beast. Aside from weight, it’s rather compact in design– measuring in at only 15.75” x 7.16” x 1.26”.
The USB cable provided is 7 feet in length and braided, which is plenty long in my opinion for any average gamer. The cable has a split towards the end with 2 USB plugs. One for your normal keyboard functions, and one specifically for your lighting. The keys themselves are laser-etched so when the keyboard is lit up, you’re able to see the letters and numbers through the keys– unlike many other cheap back-lit keyboards I’ve owned in the past.
The underside of the Marauder keyboard is pretty plain. You’ve got the standard two feet that fold out for a propped angle for typing, and that’s about as glorious as it gets aside from a different view of the underglow lights.
Overall the design of the Marauder keyboard is very StarCraft-esque. You really get the feeling that your computer is a command center, and the keyboard is the main controller for it all. There’s plenty of lighting on this thing for playing in the dark, so if that’s what your concern is– no worries there.
FUNCTIONALITY AND SOFTWARE
Since there’s no installation CD included with the keyboard, you’ll need to run over to Razer’s support site to download the drivers for the Marauder keyboard. Once installed you’ll have access to the Razer StarCraft II Configurator, which allows you to assign specific keys, manage macros, manage profiles, and customize lighting.
In terms of customization, there’s really no limits to this keyboard. With the ability to manage macros on the fly, set multiple profiles for different playing styles, and customize lighting to just about any color on the spectrum– what more could ask for in a gaming keyboard?
Taking a closer look at the lighting customization features, you’ll see that the three main lights can be changed: Main, sidestrips, and underglow. All changes are real-time on the spot, so as soon as you click apply, you’ve got the desired effect.
APM customization is another feature in the configurator under the lighting section. This is where you can alter your lower and upper APM limits by your personal color choice. This is a particularly appealing feature to me, mainly because I’ve been trying to improve on my APM, so this way as the game progresses, I can manage my speed visually by the color changes that I’ve set in the configurator.
Next is the alerts lighting configuration, which allows you to customize what color the keyboard flashes when a particular situation plays out. Whether it be your base being under attack, buildings or upgrades completing, warp-in’s, training, or even the completion of your Mothership. As you can see from the list above, there’s plenty of options to customize on this menu, now remembering each color you’ve set might be a whole different task in itself.
PROS & CONS
The Razer Marauder StarCraft II Keyboard is without a doubt a good buy if you’re looking to improve your multiplayer game. I’m liking everything it has to offer– the lighting, the user-friendly software, and sleek design. Personally I’d have no problem buying this keyboard again. For as cheap as $70, you can grab the Razer Marauder Keyboard from Amazon.com. Sure you can pick up loads of different models of gaming keyboards for slightly cheaper and arguably better quality. But no one can really determine the worth except yourself.
Many reviews I read on the Marauder keyboard prior to my purchase revealed minor flaws that might be an issue now and later. There’s reports that the shift keys were sticking over period of a couple months. Also many folks simply didn’t like the fact that this keyboard lacked arrow keys and a delete key. I’d like to shine some light on this particular complaint if I may:
The arrow keys and delete key are still very-much there, and completely useable. They’re both integrated into the number pad to the far right of the keyboard. By the simple touch of the “Num Mode” button, you can turn on your number pad when needed. Tap the “Num Mode” button off, and you’ve got full use of your arrow keys, and the delete key. Yeah, it’s that easy.
We’re knit-picking here. I can understand where some might get frustrated with the lack of convenience on this aspect, but at the same time you have to keep in mind that you’re purchasing a Gaming Keyboard. This isn’t your standard office keyboard. I found this a little unfair for amount of poor ratings that the Marauder keyboard received because of that issue.
My only complaint about the Marauder keyboard is that it requires two USB ports to fully utilize the device. My tower has an array of different devices going in and out of it, and USB ports are slim without the use of a HUB (and that’s my own fault for not purchasing one). Had they developed a way to integrate both features through a single USB cord would be more convenient in my opinion.
If you’re still unsure about whether the Marauder keyboard is the right choice for you, then I’d suggest you just pick one up and see for yourself. Chances are you won’t be disappointed in the quality that this keyboard provides. Endless customization options, sweet design, and extremely portable– the Marauder keyboard has it all. As far as the best place to purchase the Marauder Keyboard, I’d strongly suggest Amazon.com for the lowest price for a brand new unit.
And don’t forget about the best part… showing it off to your friends and watching the envy glow in their eyes from the sidestrips of your baller-ass keyboard!