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Razer Deathstalker Ultimate review

Tom Morgan
7 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
230
inc VAT

One of the most comprehensive gaming keyboards around, but it’s incredibly expensive

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Please be aware that at the time of writing, the Deathstalker Ultimate keyboard is only available with a US key layout

The Deathstalker Ultimate keyboard swaps the traditional number pad for a 4in touchscreen, 10 customisable OLED macro keys and five generic macro keys. Its Chiclet-style keys have user-customisable backlighting, so you can illuminate the keyboard with any colour you choose. The Deathstalker Ultimate also has a braided USB cable, which should help prevent tangles, and a 1,000Hz USB polling rate, which means the USB connection is as fast as possible and should eliminate input lag. To the left of the keyboard are the five macro keys that let you execute a series of commands with one key press.

Razer Deathstalker Ultimate

It’s an incredibly slim keyboard, with an integrated wrist rest covered in soft-touch rubber for added comfort, but the keys are fairly spongy and not particularly responsive, especially when compared to high-end mechanical keyboards. However, this is a keyboard designed for gaming, not typing, and the most interesting aspect of the Deathstalker Ultimate is its gorgeous 4in touchscreen.

The touchscreen’s essentially the same type of display you’ll find in a modern smartphone. It looks incredibly sharp and produces vivid colours. It also doubles as a touchpad, and Razer has sensibly fitted two buttons below it for left and right clicks. Conveniently, it can operate as a number pad should you need one.

Razer preinstalls a small selection of apps to help you make the most of the display, and these let you see your Facebook status updates, check Twitter or browse the web without interrupting what’s on screen, among other functions. These are novel additions, but we think most people would rather use a phone or a tablet to perform these functions.

It’s the custom apps designed for games that truly set the Deathstalker Ultimate apart from the competition. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefield 3, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 were all supported at the time of writing, but Razer has released an APK that’ll let anyone build an app for their favourite game.

Razer Deathstalker Ultimate

Each app assigns specific actions to the touchpad and the 10 OLED macro keys above it, along with dynamic images that change depending on your position in the game. Each macro key has a glass cap but, annoyingly, they look blurred unless you’re using the keyboard when seated. Even so, it’s easy to find the right key when in a fire fight. You can also label keys with text or an icon, and this makes it much easier to see and remember the function of a key.

Sadly, the Deathstalker Ultimate also has its disadvantages. You must connect it to two USB ports in order to power both the keyboard and the touchscreen, which means you could quickly run out of free USB ports if you’re using a gaming laptop or small form factor PC.

The real concern is that the touchscreen and OLED keys, however useful, add significantly to the price of the keyboard. It lacks the mechanical keys we’re used to seeing in top-end gaming kit, using membrane keys instead. Considering you can buy mechanical keyboards from other manufacturers for significantly less than the price of the Deathstalker Ultimate, we don’t think the added extras are worth the much higher price.

Details

Rating****

Keyboard

Keyboard shapestandard
Number padno
Shortcut keys15
Volume controlyes
Keyboard batterynone

Mouse

Mouse typeN/A
Mouse batteryN/A

Set

Connectionwired
ConnectivityUSB
Extras4in touchscreen, 10x OLED buttons

Buying Information

Price£230
Supplierhttp://www.razerzone.com
Detailswww.razerzone.com

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