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Interview With Razer: Custom Switches Come To Orbweaver Keypad

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

This week, game peripheral maker Razer revealed via Twitter that its Orbweaver keypad now sports the company's own gaming-focused mechanical switches. What does that mean for the gamer? Why should gamers be excited about these switches? We asked the Razer team that very question.

A: In a nutshell, this is the first switch that has been designed specifically for gaming. Traditional mechanical switches were originally developed for typing, and not for gaming. We worked extensively with the world's top eSports athletes to develop a switch from the ground up to meet the needs and demands of professional gaming. These switches feature optimized actuation and reset points for blazing fast gameplay, and are ultra-durable that last up to 60 million keystrokes.

Q: How long did it take to bring these switches to the market?

A: We worked on these switches for a long time in order to make sure they were perfect. A select group of the world's top eSports athletes tested and validated these switches extensively for about a year before we got them to market.

Q: What other products use Razer's home-grown switches?

A: All current Razer mechanical keyboards and keypads use the Razer Mechanical Switch, including the latest line of BlackWidow keyboards, and Orbweaver.

Q: What's the next device to receive the switch upgrade?

A: With the Orbweaver, we have completed the entire transformation of porting our existing line up to the Razer Mechanical Switch. The Razer BlackWidow Chroma is the latest flagship to the Razer switch family that features Chroma customizable backlighting. Future mechanical keyboards and keypads will feature the Razer Mechanical Switch as well.

Q: Will there ever be an Orbweaver for left-handed gamers?

A: Not at the moment, but we cannot comment on any future products.

The Orbweaver features 30 fully programmable mechanical keys and a programmable 8-way directional thumbpad. The hand, thumb and palm rests are adjustable, and a braided cable helps minimize wear and tear. The keypad is backlit, making it easy to execute macros in the dark.

The Orbweaver mechanical gamepad made its first appearance back in January 2013. The device is based on the Razer Nostromo and allows gamers to bind an "infinite" number of controls.

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  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , August 28, 2014 8:24 AM
    I can't make any sense of that image. Is it upside down and mirrored?
  • 1 Hide
    dovah-chan , August 28, 2014 8:54 AM
    Love you razer. You just never learn.
  • 0 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 28, 2014 11:21 AM
    Quote:
    I can't make any sense of that image. Is it upside down and mirrored?

    lol yeah I was confused too at first. It's just upside-down. Your palm rests on the curved surface at the top of the image, with your thumb sitting on the thumbstick and your other fingers clawed over the numerical keys.
  • Add your comment Display all 13 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 28, 2014 11:22 AM
    Quote:
    Love you razer. You just never learn.

    What's wrong with this product? It looks like a fine peripheral for a niche market.
  • 0 Hide
    dovah-chan , August 28, 2014 12:19 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Love you razer. You just never learn.

    What's wrong with this product? It looks like a fine peripheral for a niche market.


    Oh it's just when they say that there are no mechanical switches made for gamers and instead only for typists. Sure none of the Cherry switches aren't made specifically for gaming but there is a larger gamut to choose from than just 'switches for gamers'. Some people just prefer reds over blues and so on.

    Anyways I don't really mind gaming pads and it's nice to see they have a mechanical one but I wish they wouldn't try to offset themselves from other brands using silly 1990's nickelodeon marketing. (Oh and those razer switches are just from another OEM and are the equivalent of blue switches)
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , August 28, 2014 12:24 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Love you razer. You just never learn.

    What's wrong with this product? It looks like a fine peripheral for a niche market.

    I have one. Rather like it. Yes, it's overpriced when compared to a full mech keyboard, but it's the only fully mechanical, fully adjustable gameboard made right now ( that I know of. ) And unlike a keyboard, the buttons are arranged in an actual grid, not offset like keyboard rows, so blind actuation is a lot easier.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 28, 2014 2:34 PM
    Have an older one, have most of the modeling hotkeys in my 3D software mapped onto it, and it makes detail work much faster and easier on the wrists.
  • 1 Hide
    rwinches , August 28, 2014 9:23 PM
    When you click on the Orbweaver link the unit shown is definitely for the left hand. The thumb pad is on the right side and the pic shows a left hand reaching for the Orbweaver. Unless this is for your 'other' right hand.
  • 0 Hide
    Ravn , August 29, 2014 1:08 AM
    Quote:
    When you click on the Orbweaver link the unit shown is definitely for the left hand. The thumb pad is on the right side and the pic shows a left hand reaching for the Orbweaver. Unless this is for your 'other' right hand.


    NIce spotted! It certainly looks like it's the "other right" version. A lefthanded rendering artist could explain why? But funny how the pic got through the marketing folks without anyone notice it. :-)
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , August 29, 2014 10:26 AM
    On left - right reversal - maybe the gamer mouses right-handed and uses the pad left-handed?

    The article says 30 fully programmable mechanical keys. I see 4 rows of 5 for 20. Typo, or are then ten more keys hiding somewhere?

    EDIT: Here, it's shows as right-handed and 20 keys: http://mygaming.co.za/news/news/49049-razer-orbweaver-mechanical-gaming-keypad-announced.html . Interesting item; indeterminate handedness and indeterminate number of keys.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , August 29, 2014 2:28 PM
    There's no error in the picture, this thing is designed for the left hand. As Wyoming guessed, the mouse stays in your right hand and you use this in your left instead of a normal keyboard.

    As for the number of keys, the thumb hat-switch is eight-way and you have two other buttons there as well ( the lower paddle defaults to the space bar, the other is the Alt key. ) 20 + 8 + 2 = 30. All 30 keys/buttons can be remapped and reprogrammed and each key profile can have eight different subsets. I've yet to need more than three profile sets for any game while most stay at two.
  • 0 Hide
    ctguy1955 , September 2, 2014 8:31 AM
    I wish it did come with a braided cord, That would have been nice for the price.
    instead of the crappy plastic one. I paid 138 with state tax and the
    Nostromo for 65 HAS a braided cord.....


  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , September 2, 2014 8:56 AM
    Yes, a braided cable would be welcome as even the Tartarus has it. Also, I'd prefer the cable to be on the far left side of the device. This thing is meant to be at the far left side of the desk. Why not a cable that hugs that edge so it doesn't interfere with my keyboard?
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