The Orbweaver Elite Mechanical Gaming Keypad from Razer is a mechanical gaming keypad that gives you the functionality of using the left side of yourr keyboard for gaming, in a standalone device.
It’s standard now that the Razer packaging is something that is always high quality. With its green and black colour scheme, the images and text just pops and works really well. The front of the box shows a pretty full image of the Orbweaver keypad, and also contains a few key points, including the fact that the keypad has 20 fully programmable buttons. Both sides of the box also contains a wealth of information, ranging from the mechanical key infrastructure, to the backlit keypad. The back of the box gives a breakdown of the keypad itself and lets us know what each part is for. Also included in the box is the standard user guide.
The Orbweaver Keypad is a beauty, really. As well as the 20 programmable keys, you also have a left handed, 8 way directional thumbpad, a nicely gripped palm rest, an equally nicely gripped wrist rest, and two buttons that sit nicely either side of the thumbpad (one being the same as the spacebar) and lastly, the USB cable.
Using Razer’s Synapse 2.0, you can set up the buttons on the keypad as you wish. You can store unlimited game profiles, program the keys, and set the backlight on the device to suit your preference. The Orbweaver features 8 keymaps that can all be programmed with a different key layout using the 20 programmable keys and the two side buttons. Although there is no present switch available to quickly swap between the keymaps, using Synapse, you can set one of the keys to do this if you would like to. Once you have set the keypad up to your liking, all of your settings are saved on the cloud using Synapse so that you can access them from whichever location you take your keypad to. Please note that while Synapse 2.0 is not required to use the keypad, it is needed if you would like to program the keys rather than using the standard layout.
The Orbweaver, although a little weird looking, is actually really comfortable to use. The padded wrist and palm rests and much needed support, while the buttons are placed within a reasonable length for your hand so there is no over stretching to reach them. Saying this though, I have pretty small hands and had issues reaching the top row of keys – even with the unit sized to the smallest available size, so I think people with medium to large sized hands may have a better time using this. The thumbpad and two side buttons are also in a decent position and are easily within reach for ease of use. Having the option to reposition the wrist rest, the side unit that houses the thumbpad/buttons, and also the option to slightly rotate the palm rest is very welcomed. Being able to resize and reposition those key parts all add to the comfort factor, and also helps to cater for people with larger hands.
Being able to fully customise the key layout using the Orbweaver is also something that I think gamers will love. Rather than having to reach for certain keys on the keyboard, you can set the keypad up to do the same thing by simply programming the keys to suit you. Being able to save several game profiles is also handy as you may use different key layouts for different games meaning that all you have to do is switch from one to another.
The keys on the keypad are all backlit (the main keys are, any way) and are full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force, meaning that is doesn’t take a large amount of pressure to press the keys. The keys also make a nice ‘clicking’ sound when pressed so you aren’t left thinking “have I actually pressed that key properly”. Also, just above the thumbpad and two buttons, there are three light bars – these tell you which keymap you currently have equipped.
The Orbweaver Elite Mechanical Gaming Keypad is a great bit of kit. While it is probably better suited to people with medium to large hands, it is a pleasure to use and provides comfort in all of the right areas. It would have been nice to see a braided USB cable rather than a rubber coated cable, but it isn’t a game changer of an issue. It is not a ridiculous size and definitely would not look out of place in any gaming setup, especially if you are someone who enjoys your PC games. Now all we need is something for us small hand gamers!