The latest accessory range from Razer is launched in support of the forthcoming Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the upcoming expansion for Activision-Blizzard’s critically acclaimed Starcraft II. Of that range the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard is billed as the high end product, with a retail price in excess of £80 GBP, and yet its performance is arguably nothing more than adequate.
The bullet points that highlight the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard’s unique features sell a product that sounds like a very high quality production: fully backlit keys, seven foot non-tangle cable, optimised key spacing and APM-Lighting System. However, in reality these unique selling points are little more than high quality versions standardised features. The backlit keys are clearly the best aspect of the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard, especially when it dynamically reacts to events in Starcraft II videogame (and subsequently Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, of course) but even this is flawed, requiring a second USB port to function.
Despite being developed for use specifically with Starcraft II, the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard does not feature any additional hotkeys, programmable or otherwise. It’s a standard keyboard arrangement and integrated keypad, nothing more and nothing less. The ‘optimised spacing’ which is said to allow for greater accuracy may well be an advantage in certain videogames, but it also means that many will have to retrain their hands in order to efficiently bring their typing and everyday use to their normal standard; indeed, typing this article on the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard is more of a challenge than it ever really should be.
Further to the disappointment is the aesthetic design of the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard. It may look fantastic, but the unnecessary bulk means that the Razer Marauder Starcraft II Gaming Keyboard is heavier than many of it’s high end contemporaries, and the lack of a rest wrest (optional or otherwise) mean that additional investment will be required for those who deem the feature necessary. For once Razer has delivered a product that is entirely style over substance, and the fact that it is such a high profile, expensive product is all the more disappointing,