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This review is from: Razer Orbweaver Gaming Keypad
Pros: Pros? lots,
+ 20 main keys you can readily reach with a large hand, 15 keys you can readily reach with a small hand (if you have a small left hand, it will be a touch choice between orbweaver and tartarus model game pads).
+ customize the ergonomics to fit you personally (extremely good adjustability)
+ the software (finally) grasps some of the key good points of the old belkin n52 software suite. Older razer game pad products completely failed to understand the power and versatility of the belkin nostromo, and when they took over the nostromo line razer made a 'lesser' product on the software side. This is finally no longer the case.
+ completely destroys the G13 (Bambi vs Godzilla style) on ergonomics & key accuracy confidence
+ did I mention the software? it's *extremely* versatile, with a tremendous range of ways to customize the device. I have not even utilized all of it's features yet, which is in and of itself remarkable.
+ it feels very quick, no lag time.
+ the backlighting is a nice touch, although I do wish it had custom color selection (learn to love your radioactive green).
+ it sits very securely in place on the desk
+ it is very easy to teach your fingers the layout, and commit it to muscle memory accurately.
+ it "feels" very robust. I tend to think razer makes relatively "cheaply built" products, but the orbweaver feels like money.
+ finally something better looking than my n52 nostromo, which manages to provide more keys without sacrificing confidence with key selection accuracy, while simultaneously providing ergonomics to reach them all if your hand is not small, more software versatility (didn't think that was even possible), more ergonomically customizable, and there are less cheetos crumbs deep down inside the device. It's a masterpiece.
Cons: - The thumb assembly can flex and be somewhat unstable if you have it adjusted to it's fully extended position. I can't blame Razer for this, it's a tricky engineering issue, and they erred on the side of being more adjustable, which is a pro. To give it a more solid feel, I was able to jam an old rubber-sleeved mini-usb stick drive into the space between the thumb assembly and the main housing, and this gives it enough stability to feel very solid (problem solved). Again, it's only an issue if you extend the thumb assembly out pretty far for larger hands, and you only notice the flexing when you push the upper thumb button.
- if you use the thumb pad/stick for keypress functions not related to movement, then this 8-way stick is not for you. It's hard to move directionally with perfect accuracy. It works great if you use the stick to move around in a game, but if you wanted 4 key activations bound under your thumb, it's not ideal. I strongly recommend getting a nostromo with 4-way Dpad for that manner of use.
Other Thoughts: It has mechanical keys... some people seem to go ga ga over that. I don't really care. I've used membrane keys since dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I'm perfectly used to them. I don't really notice the supposed benefit of mechanical keys vs any well made membrane keys. But it has them, if that's your thing.
On new egg here, this is the regular orbweaver model. It uses different mechanical keys than the orbweaver 'stealth' (available only on the razer website). The stealth's mechanical keys are quieter, though it's a bit more money on the razer website. I sprung for the stealth myself.
It does not appear that you need to connect to the web to use the orbweaver with synapse 2.0. You can export profiles to local save files, and you can turn off it's internet syncing, although I leave it on generally, I like that I don't *have* to.
For most games, you will want to set the movement stick to 4-way (rather than 8-way, don't worry it will still read diagonals correctly as pushing 2 of your 4way keys), and you will want to re-bind it to wasd, with A and D set to strafing movement in the game (it's bound to arrow keys by default).
Last week I unplugged my belkin nostromo from the computer. My desktop is always a frankenstein of various components of different ages. My old belkin nostromo was my very oldest (and most adored) item. It's kind of a big deal that the orbweaver was able to get me to box up my nostromo. My review of the orbweaver sounds like 'razer fangirl', but that's very much not the case. Generally I think razer has poor build quality and poor software. I'm not much of a razer fan. But I love this orbweaver.
win 7 64 ultimate, i7 950/470gtx
This review is from: NETGEAR WNDR4500-100PAS N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Pros: This router "works"... which unfortunately is a remarkable feature for routers, particularly wireless ones.
I will grant that I do not use every feature on this router. It's a very feature packed router with a lot of options which I can't really review because I mainly just use to 'route' my internet wirelessly around the house. But it does a fantastic job at what I do use if for.
It does not have any problem whatsoever with power outages and internet outages. It has never, ever, needed to be "reset", no matter how the cable company screws the line up. It has never needed any port configuration (my last router involved constant port configuring to get all my software to work properly online). It doesn't overheat.
It is fast, really quite stunningly fast. It has excellent range, allowing me to use my wifi on my smartphone from as far away as inside my car in the parking lot. It's security seems to be very robust. It has a very easy to use graphical interface which is at the very least "nice" even if you're a techie who's perfectly comfortable with something more spartan. You can control it from a smartphone app as well as desktop software. It is blatantly easy to set up with new devices. It is handy to in that it actually gives you two wireless networks, which allows you to micromanage things, or combine both for crazy fast data transfer. It is very feature packed, although I have only scratched the surface of it's more elaborate features.
Internally it's technically a more powerful computer than my first home pc build from 1996. Which gives it about ten times more hardware muscle than all the previous routers I've had in the sub-$100 range.
Not at all important, but it actually looks nice, especially standing next to a very similarly styled new high-end motorola modem. And they both take up very minimal desk space.
Cons: It doesn't bring me breakfast in bed, nor does it give foot massages. Also, it is not made of dark chocolate, although that may be a pro in the larger picture.
Other Thoughts: I may be biased because pretty much every router I touched during the 2000's was a poorly made piece of trash which caused nothing but headaches. This router is so unlike those that I almost want to call it something like "friendly networking buddy", instead of the R-word. Compared to previous devices I've used, it feels like I upgraded from wood stoves to having a microwave oven.
This friendly networking buddy, and a similarly priced high end Uninterrupted Power Supply from APC were both items I've gotten in recent years which aren't really "center stage" hardware items for a home pc. But both have proven to be excellent investments in the long run.
Would recommend to a friend, and would buy again.
This review is from: SteelSeries 62100 14 Buttons Wired World of Warcraft: Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse
Pros: - very comfortable for large hands if you prefer a palm grip style (I do)
- less cluttered button arrangement than naga
- it's pretty (initially)
- it tracks fairly well
Cons: - cheap build quality
- the finish wears off this mouse very quickly
- software gremlins galore (in both XP and win7, i don't mess with vista)
- most of the buttons, including the right & left mouse button, have a cheap feel.
- mouse button 4 broken at 1 months of use.
- paperweight at 5 months use, trying to install the software on a new OS install, crashed the computer and bricked the mouse.
- software can cause crashes or program conflicts.
- macros... sometimes they work.
- changing profiles can randomly hang the software, requiring a reboot to actually change the profile.
Other Thoughts: At first, I loved this mouse. I have larger hands, and prefer a palm style grip most of the time. It's not ideal for a claw grip. I loved setting custom colors for different profiles.
The software is very 'pretty', but lacking in user friendliness and reliability. It's very glitchy software.
Buttons are very programable, but everything is labeled in WoW-ese. In some cases this is intuitive (like "Jump" must be the spacebar) but if you're not playing WoW, many of these keystrokes are a mystery. I have had to use the mouse in notepad just to figure out what does what. Its absurd to have to do that.
I have never dropped this mouse, gotten it wet, or anything like that. Yet it is intent on falling apart. The software should never have passed QC
This could have been a really nice mouse. But it's software was broken out of the box, m4 button broke at 1 month, and mouse fried by it's own install software at 5months. Going to try the G700 (naga's too small and buttons too cluttery)
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