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Razer Orbweaver Mechanical Gaming Keypad Review

Razer Orbweaver Mechanical Gaming Keypad Review

Sam ChenFebruary 7, 2013

Who Needs a Keyboard?

razer-orbweaver-mechanical-gaming-keypad-custom-pc-review-9Having been a keyboard/mouse gamer my whole life, I’ve always been a huge fan of Razer products ever since the days of the Diamondback and the Boomslang, and when Razer unveiled the Nostromo gaming keypad a couple years back, I thought it was possibly one of the coolest peripherals ever. At the time it kinda felt like something that had dropped out of the command center of the USS Enterprise or something as it was something that just seemed like it could be the future of the gaming peripheral.

While I did get to play with demo units of the Nostromo here and there, I never actually ended up owning one, which is why I was so excited when Razer offered me the opportunity to review the Orbweaver.

For those who’ve never heard of the Razer Orbweaver or the Razer Nostromo, both the Orbweaver and the Nostromo are what Razer calls gaming keypads. As its name implies, it’s basically a miniaturized keyboard meant to be used by only one hand. The special thing about the Orbweaver is that Razer is using Cherry MX Blue mechanical keyswitches for the keys, which gives each key a nice, even, tactile and clicky response that’s become so popular with the recent surge of mechanical keyboards as of late.

That said then, is the Razer Orbweaver reason enough to forget about the good old keyboard? Let’s find out!

Razer Orbweaver Specifications

  • Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force
  • 20 fully programmable keys
  • Programmable 8-way directional thumb-pad
  • Adjustable hand , thumb, and palm-rests modules for maximum comfort
  • Instantaneous switching between 8 key maps
  • Unlimited macro lengths
  • Stores unlimited game profiles
  • Backlit keypad for total control even in dark conditions
  • Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Approximate size: 55 mm / 2.17” (Depth) x 154 mm / 6.06” (Width) x 202 mm / 7.95” (Height)
  • Approximate Weight: 300 g / 0.66 lbs
About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief. You can find Sam's full biography here
  • Russell Robinson

    tooo expensive! It costs more than my full mechanical keyboard

  • Alex Potts

    i’ve got one of these from the early 00’s before razer aquired nostromo, still use it to this day. one of the best periferals around in my opinion.

    that said, it doesn’t work with the new drivers (or the synapse software from my experience) and the price has gone waaaay up

  • HughJundys

    Thank you for the information. Despite not being a user of the device it was informative, I’d love to see this reviewed by a Nostromo user. It is fun to see a review from someone who always uses a k/b mouse combo but it is more helpful to me to get one from someone who regularly uses this type of device. Kinda like, but not the same as, a review from someone who doesn’t drive cars isn’t a useful as a review from someone who has.

    I love the nostromo and rarely play without it. If I couldn’t use it I’d probably leave computer gaming. I love that thumbpad for many different games. At this point it feels so much more natural for me to use that thumbpad to move around than the 4 keys on my kb.

    This new device is interesting to me because of the mechanical switches. I wonder if this makes the thumbpad better than the older devices I have here, They did not need the extra row of buttons and I think addition impacted the look of the device in a negative way.

    • Talon

      I don’t mean to Necro but this needs to be said. As a nostromo user i could instantly tell that the orbweaver was much more precise and faster. with the Nostromo there was a chance you could press a button and not get a response, with the orbweaver the keys are very easy to touch and use. especially the space bar. The nostromos space bar sometimes felt like it was grinding and hard to press, the orbweavers is a huge upgrade. To comment on your ” extra row of buttons”. coming from the nostomo, i think the extra row is what makes this a winner. it was very hard for me to touch the 12 and 13 key on the nostromo, the orbweaver feels very natural, no matter what i button i press. And really the look isnt what im worried about on the game pad, its the practicality and usefulness over a gaming keyboard. The orbweaver is a game changer. I would recommend it over a Nostromo. But do not forget, people are not kidding when they say this thing is loud. I was surprised. Get the stealth version if possible if not either way you’ll love it.
      by the way. who cares about the cord anyways? its rubber. just like everything else i have, i don’t need it for a survival mission like everyone else who complains its not braided. hope this helps future buyers/researchers.
      As far as cost goes. i would buy this over a top dollar full keyboard everyday all day.
      Make the switch you wont reget it.