The Razer Orbweaver is a fantastic mechanical gaming keypad that gives gamers the edge while gaming with the PC that includes adjustable hand, thumb pad and palm rest.
Ease of Use, Performance: 4/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
Recommendation: 4/5 Stars
The Razer Orbweaver is a mechanical keypad that is specific to the left hand for gamers to get an edge over keyboard users with the thumb pad that allows an extra movement or modifier for quick input. The Orbweaver has twenty mechanical keys on the top with a thumb pad, button and lever on the side for thumb use while your left hand stays put due to the adjustable rest.
The Orbweaver comes with the mechanical keypad and instructions with the usual Razer certificate of authenticity and a Razer sticker set with drivers available for download from the Razer website. The Orbweaver keypad has the adjustable palm rest that has the thumb pad attached that moves forward and back about a half an inch for a decent amount of adjustment for hand size.
The thumb pad also moves about 5/8ths of an inch at an angle away or toward the palm rest for the same adjustment for hand size while the palm rest tilts back and forth for hand comfort. The heel of your hand rests on the bottom rubberized plastic with the palm rest contoured and also made from rubberized plastic for comfort and grip while gaming but with some space for a bit of cooling due to the separate parts.
The body of the keypad and thumb pad is made from plastic with the all-important thump pad arm made from a coated metal that seems to be steel for strength of this smaller adjustment point. The adjustments for the Orbweaver keypad are a perfect mix for a variety of hand sizes and keeping things simpler without having to use tools as the small push buttons control the adjustments.
The Orbweaver has the twenty mechanical keys for better tactile feel to know your pressing the keys but when gaming you just don’t pay much attention to feel when the keypad works as well as this one does. The main home key for gaming and keypads is the S key so that your hand is centered on the movement keys for gaming and the Orbweaver put an indicator right on the center key for a decent indication of your finger placement.
You can use the Razer Synapse program to set the keys of your keypad to any keyboard key or a set of them using macros that also can include time to key presses for specific gaming functions. The Razer Synapse also has the unlimited number of profiles so you can set up the Orbweaver gaming keypad keys and thumb controls to any keyboard key or a macro and save them in the Cloud for fast and easy programming wherever you’re at over the internet.
The Razer Synapse 2.0 program allows you to store profiles at Razer servers for unlimited gaming and program use and you can use the eight different key maps to quickly switch between key assignments within a program of game. In game this may not make sense until you realize that some games have unique and different gameplay in the same game like my current favorite Battlefield 3.
Battlefield 3 has three unique scenarios for gameplay with on foot first person shooting the main aspect but you also can climb into the driver’s seat of a variety of vehicles both on land and in the air. When you jump into a tank or a faster vehicle like an armored personnel carrier the keys no longer can be used for the same things but now jumping seats is a more important factor and not kneeling or jumping.
The various key maps allow you to quickly switch from one set of key maps to another as fast as jumping into a tank is during gameplay so you have all new key assignments in game without having to do more than pressing a button. I set up the Orbweaver to use two key maps with one for first person shooter use on foot and the other for vehicle use so I can quickly and easily switch between the two with a simple press of the up and down on the thumb pad.
The main difference between being on foot and in a vehicle is the main movements like kneeling or going prone on foot and switching seats in vehicles and the thumb pad to switch between the two key maps works well. I tried using the thumb-pad for movement but I could not get myself to use the thumb-pad for moving around in the virtual world but it works really well for my own uses like switching weapons and the key map assignments.
The Razer Synapse program allows you to preset keys before gaming and in game you can easily switch those using game options if you want but it is easier and more permanent per game to set the keys of the key pad in the Synapse program. Saving various profiles in game not only means you have keys mapped to specific key pad keys and the thumb controls but you also have eight key mappings per profile for a wider variety of quickly switchable key maps.
The three LEDs on the side of the thumb pad shows which key maps your using while onscreen words tell you which profile your using when you switch and can be switched either using the Synapse program, the Razer Synapse right click menu or using the linked program. Linking a program with a profile means when that program like the game EXE file is run it will automatically switch the Razer Orbweaver to that profile so you can start gaming quickly with the correct key map.
I have been gaming for years with first person shooters being my main gaming staple but I only use about half the keyboard when gaming because at least half the keys are unused by the games. The key pad is the solution to not only make gaming easier by having less keys in front of your fingers but also to be able to customize the key assignments and the thumb controls easily.
The Razer Orbweaver is a great key pad and does work better than the previius game pads that I have reviewed mainly due to the better overall design and more keys for gaming. The Orbweaver does work well and I do get a faster response for common key presses but the main difference I have seen is I am keeping my eyes on the screen and not looking down at my fingers.
When gaming I have often had to look at my keyboard to see which key I’m pressing for things like switching weapons or changing fire rates but with the Razer Orbweaver I am looking away from the screen and action much less. I highly recommend the Razer Orbweaver as a fantastic gaming peripheral that will give you an edge in gaming because you’re keeping your eyes where they belong and your fingers controlling the action.