Four Keyboards And Four Mice For LAN Party Gamers, Rounded-Up

We have four portable keyboards and a quartet of gaming mice that could turn heads at your next LAN party. We put the boards through a number of performance-oriented metrics, and handed the hardware off to some gamer friends for their opinions, too.

The LAN party is a mainstay of modern PC gamer culture. With the proliferation of high-speed Internet access, high-quality console graphics, and online match-making services, the LAN party might not hold the same place as it once did, but it's still far from dead.

Today, we’re going to examine some of the better keyboard and mouse options for today’s LAN party attendee. We chose to focus on portable equipment that can be easily taken from the desk to the road, while at the same time keeping the functionality and responsiveness needed for competitive hardcore PC gaming.

DreamHack Winter 2004DreamHack Winter 2004

On the bench, we have four svelte gaming keyboards: the Kensington K72357US, Logitech K800, Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition, and Siig JK-US0412-S1. While each of these slim-profile keyboards keep with our LAN party theme, the Logitech K800 we tested is the wireless model, since the otherwise identical corded version was not available when our request for submissions went out.

Our mouse line-up includes two entries from Logitech, the G500 and the G9x, the wired/Bluetooth combo Razer Orochi, and the color-changing Thermaltake TT eSports Theron. This selection gives us a couple of different ergonomic styles to choose from, and all four are driven by the latest-generation high-performance laser sensors.

For keyboards, we’ll be testing noise level, activation pressure, ghosting, and key rollover. Meanwhile, we’ll debunk the need for performance testing mice for DPI, polling rate, and acceleration. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a subjective assessment of comfort by bringing in nine test subjects with varying hand sizes to rate the ease of using these eight peripherals.

Let’s get started with a look at the first two keyboards on our list: the Kensington K72357US and Logitech K800.

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  • Hadoe
    "high-quality console graphics"

    Heh, good one Toms... good one.
  • atavax
    i wonder at what dpi's they tested acceleration. It was my understanding that a lot of mice have acceleration issues at different dpi's. I have seen multiple sources that say the G9 has negative acceleration at low sensitivities.
  • samwelaye
    I've had my g9x for quite a while now, love this mouse!
  • Trewyy
    G9x now down to $55 on Newegg :) I should mention that it was a good review, as always!
  • ShadyHamster
    Five programmable buttons near the thumb rest, a mechanical button below the scroll wheel, and a battery indicator set the G500 apart from standard mice.

    That should be DPI indicator not battery.

    And whats up with pitting 1 mechanical keyboard up against 3 membrane keyboards? Before even reading the article i knew that the mechanical keyboard would be the clear winner, who would care about the loudness of the keys at a lan party, 99.9% of people would have headphones.
  • Swordkd
    Before I bought my Razer mouse(Imperator 2012), I read reviews on newegg and decided to discount the issue that they seemed to be having. After a few months of use, the mice would start to double-click from a single "click". Sure enough, less than 6 months of light to moderate use, my mouse now suffers from this malady once out of every 20 clicks or so. Enough to annoy me.

    I will not recommend that brand mouse to anyone ever again.
  • Soda-88
    No 6Gv2?
  • kitsunestarwind
    Logitech G9X is a fantastic mouse, been using mine since they first came out, never a complaint and has led to me having very sharp and accurate aim in games like BF3. Buy one it is worth it!
  • alidan
    das keyboard professional
    razor naga

    that's my setup...

    that said, sound and weight to press are not lower or higher is better... they are prefferences, i personally love the sound that a cherry blue makes and wish it was a bit louder because i make more sound on each key by bottoming them out apposed to activating the switch.

    and weight, i hear it more often than not that for gaming heavier presses are better because its less likely to accidently activate.

    now, impersonally just because of prior things i have had, i can never recommend razor... but at the same time i use a razor because i want that 12 key pad, and Logitech mouse is even smaller than the already small naga, and i cant get use to its bad form factor... its really the only razor anything i recommend just because there is no other competition that i can tell people to go with outside the small logitech and only if they have small hands.

    also, i dont know if it was mentioned, but the razor keyboard from what i remember has such a strict policy, that if you remove a key cap, you void the warranty. there are story's of the s and j key switched, but because of razors warranty, they have to send it in and get it replaced that way, and its a razor product, you know it will fail... the keyboard doesn't have a mounting plate, so its more likely to fail than other mechanical keyboards because of the solder point stress before the keys naturally give out.
  • blubbey
    'The G500 was reported to be too long,'

    I know of course this is personal preference and everyone's different, but either their hands are small or mine are of reasonable size because I can almost cover the entire mouse (fingertips and base of my hand can just about hit the mouse mat at the same time). Unfortunately I don't have much else to compare it to, only random mice however it is larger than any I can remember, so I might just have larger than 'normal' hands.

    Something else you might want to consider that others have found is that the scroll wheel is very 'light' to use. I'm indifferent about it seeing as I'm used to light scroll wheels but a few people have raised that point in reviews that I saw before buying it (~$45 on sale). I've also found that the weights are prety much useless, it's already quite a weighty mouse so an extra few grams really didn't matter for me.
  • hello,
    i kind of got suckered into this whole gaming keyboard and mouse set up, how it happened to me was for years i had been using a cheap keboard and mouse with my computers, anyway i thought well why dont i treat myself to a new high end keyboard and mouse as this is somthing i have always over looked when upgrading my computer, so off i go to my local PCworld, the first mouse i bought wat the R.A.T 3, looked very different and was on sale at 24.99 uk, was happy with that for the money, bit later i could not help but think about the R.A.T 7 MMO so next day off i go to buy one, got back home and was just stunned by the build quality, looks, feel and infact everything up until i tryed to use it, i had a bad habbit of pressing the right mouse button when i rested my finger on it, also no matter what setup i used i could not find one i was happy with, so took it back and swaped for the razer tai pan :/ ok i know totaly different style of mouse and i will admit i felt a right mug and ripped off after opening the box and thinking did i really pay 74.99 uk pounds for that ? lol :/ anyway yup you guessed it i took that back to lol, by this point i was almost on first name terms with the staff at pcworld lol, finaly let me exchange the taipan for the Kone XTD which im probs 90 percent happy with button layout of this mouse and will keep it, it get worse with me because when i bought my keyboard the first one was the razer Arctosa Black edtion :/ that got plugged in laffed at how poor build quality put back in box drove right back to pcworld gave them an ear full at how shocked i was with this kids toy and is this a joke really? as it was just junk in a nice box. they me let change that keyboard for the roccat isku keyboard, (i decided on roccat again as the mouse i was happy with was good build quality), razer products for me just seem ajoke for the price why do they think they are worth so much money? although are any of them really worth the price they demand? ..
    have i noticed any difference to my gaming after spending a whole lot of cash NO lol
    if ya not that good at games anyway dont think for 1 second these devices will make you play better,although once you learn the 10 million functions your new devices can do there are handy features that i cant live with out now.
  • Yargnit
    Can't believe none of the R.A.T mice were chosen?

    Razer Black Widow Ultimate and Cyborg R.A.T 7 here. I've gone through multiple hundred dollar keyboard/mice before finally settling on these. between the click click click feel of the mechanical keyboard (seriously if you've never had one, try it, it's amazing) to the fit of the mouse with both the thumb and pinky rests fully extended, they rock.

    Never skimp on your keyboard & mouse, you interact with them constantly, make sure you get ones you'll really like.
  • in razers defence though i do own the razer nostromo gaming keypad, i've owned it for around 3 months and the last month i have started using this over my keyboard, infact i now use this device all the time for gaming, i much prefer the nostromo for gaming now than a keyboard. although it probs has its limits compared to the roccat isku keyboard, the build quality of the nostromo is ok but if they could just lower the price to say around 29.99 not 49.99 uk pounds i would recommend this device to people who love fps not sure how good it would be for mmo ? but all my device's to be honest are limited by the user (me) not the devices themselfs. so its not all crap razer puts out. didnt belkin build that device first though?
  • ubercake
    I owned the Logitech Illuminated keyboard a couple of years ago and returned it after I found it wouldn't register a shift+W+space key combination. No running and jumping in an FPS is unacceptable. Unless they changed something, steer clear of this for gaming.
  • cats_Paw
    None of those are really "Pro equipment".
    Steelseries 6, Filco, corsair K90.... Those are really good keyboards. Blackwidow breaks a lot, has a very irritating sound, and is overpriced.

    Mices... unfortunatelly, best mices are out of production at this point, so you might as well get those.
  • ubercake
    The G500 mouse has been great for me, but the downside is a sensitive right mouse button that gets more sensitive with use. I do like the DPI switches. Their location makes it convenient to change DPI on the fly while keeping them out of the way avoiding unintentional clicks. The G500 is a great mouse, but could be better if the force required to trigger a right-click were increased a bit.
  • InvalidError
    "So, in order to overwhelm the Orochi, you’d need to drag it across a 10-inch mouse pad, pick it up, move it back to the starting position, and drag it across nine more times, all in the span of a second."

    Those devices operate on a sub-millisecond scale so your time base is completely off.

    You need to drag it across 1" in 0.01 second, which is definitely humanly and physically doable on a 10" mousepad. 100 inches/second may sound fast but it is only ~6MPH, jogging speed. Of course, very few people actually move their mice anywhere near that fast under normal circumstances.
  • mikenygmail
    BigMack70Am I the only one who can't stand wired anything? I just flat out refuse to use either a wired mouse or wired keyboard. Went wireless 10 years ago and would never even think of making a wired purchase again.

    I like my wired keyboard and mouse. I can't stand wireless, for the most part...
    but when certain circumstances necessitate it, my $8 logitech wireless mini mouse is great!
  • genghiskron
    the g9x COD edition is $40 on amazon. sure, its has a hideous logo on it, but its an unbeatable value at that price.

    the cooler master quickfire rapid is superior in quality to the similarly sized/featured blackwidow and offers red, brown, and black in addition to blue cherry mx switches.
  • wysir
    On the side of caution with the G9x, the plastic on the inside of the mouse wheel is only 1mm thick, so if you get a little violent with your mouse, this might not be the mouse for you. Of course, you could always opt in to buy quick-tite with it, maybe even use a little to re-enforce it before hand.
  • Fokissed
    I have the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate. It's 10lb, loud, and bright, but it's worth every cent I paid for it ($120). It is a blast to use.
  • Fokissed
    SwordkdBefore I bought my Razer mouse(Imperator 2012), I read reviews on newegg and decided to discount the issue that they seemed to be having. After a few months of use, the mice would start to double-click from a single "click". Sure enough, less than 6 months of light to moderate use, my mouse now suffers from this malady once out of every 20 clicks or so. Enough to annoy me.I will not recommend that brand mouse to anyone ever again.

    I've had the Imperator 2012 for nearly a year now, with no double clicking problems (my Naga did however). Unfortunately the sensor is really sensitive to bass (like the Naga), unlike my Deathadder 3.5G and G5.
  • SinisterSalad
    I'll stick with my trusty n52 and MX518, thank you very much.
  • omnimodis78
    "In our testing, we weren’t able to discern any significant difference between the two grips [on the G9x] other than their textures"

    I used a G9 for about 4 years before about a year ago I broke it and bought a G9x - for all intended purposes, they're essentially the same mouse. The larger grip was my prime option at first but after about 2 years or so of use, the rubbery coating on it started to peel off and it was ugly to keep using so I switched to the smaller grip which has a solid rough coating on it - anyways, the point is that I think the differences between the two grips do contrast one another in very clear ways! The texture, the size, the "feel", heck, even the way you hold the mouse changes. Those are some significant differences, so I'm not sure how you could think otherwise. Anyways, fantastic mice (G9 and G9x).