Mechanical Keypads are not new in the gaming peripherals industry. But over the years, we have seen that they are targeting niche-specific gamers even though they were developed by keeping in mind the luxury of the premium mechanical keyboard packed in a more compact size.
We have recently reviewed the Razer Tartarus V2 Keypad, which is the Razer Tartarus Pro’s predecessor and packs almost similar features. When we first reviewed the gaming keypads, we were unsure who would use them besides their gaming keyboard. Are they a real solution to your gaming needs and replace your current keyboard setup? Do you prefer a one-handed keypad besides your main gaming keyboard?
Raze has been quite optimistic with its keypad generations and providing a complete solution to the gaming needs and offering a solid replacement for the full-sized gaming keyboards. The Razer Tartarus Pro offers very impressive features to mimic a basic mechanical gaming keyboard’s controls and functions while saving space.
What makes Razer Tartarus great is its well-designed layout and fully programmable keys. Still, we see mixed reviews of the gamers, and most gamers prefer larger gaming keyboards. Razer Tartarus emerged out of the niche-specific keyboards and proved their worth by attracting a larger audience.
It works seamlessly for MMO games, and many big names in gaming recommended it for faster gameplay and a more handy nature. Razer Tartarus is worth considering if you are looking for a better replacement for a full-sized keyboard and looking to use the utility from the gaming perspective. It has a steep learning curve and a lot of learning.
Razer Tartarus Pro
|Switches||Razer Analog Optical Switches|
|Dimensions||2.5 x 7.95 x 6.33 inches (HxWxD)|
|Programmable Keys||32 Fully Programmable|
The Razer Tartarus is very similar to the other gaming keypads. It has the same attractive compact design to save space on your desk. The mitten-shaped chassis in the Tartarus Pro offers 20 keys opposite to the full keyboard layout. There are a wrist rest and few side buttons along with the analog directional stick.
When observing the design, Razer Tartarus Pro is almost identical to the Razer Tartarus V2 Chrome. There are no prominent design changes, and it features the exact layout of the buttons, a profile switching button, a scroll wheel, a thumb button, an analog stick, a soft padded wrist rest, and a hard palm rest. It looks like the combination of a mouse and a one-handed keyboard packed together with a combined utility.
The analog stick on the Tartarus Pro has a circular nub and looks more like a D-pad. It provides a swift direction switch for the characters in the game. You can use this analog stick for reaching out in four directions. A traditional analog stick would be fantastic, but Razer Tartarus Pro features optical analog switches that nullify the need for an analog stick. The majority of gamers use the WASD layout, and they love to play using these keys. To give this utility, it has four arrow keys on the keys. The 8, 12, 13, and 14 keys have these arrows and mimic the WASD pattern.
The keypad layout on Tartarus Pro seems complicated to reach when gaming. It seems like some keys are not easy to reach. If you place your hand properly on the wrist rest and your palm on the palm rest, you can easily access the keys’ central two rows. But beyond that, you need to move your hand and stretch to reach them. The plastic palm rest is hard and hinders the movement across the keypad. You need to bend your hand to reach out bottom rows, and for top rows, a stretch needs proper reach.
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Another thing that gives you the reach issues is the thumb button and analog stick. Your thumb gets occupied on the thumb button and analog stick which makes it hard to reach the analog stick and top row of the layout at the same time. Since the keypad design features a steep learning curve, it is tough to get into the flow. You need to adapt to the smaller layout and change the habit of using the full keyboard you have used for years. But once you get familiar with the layout and design, then it offers responsive typing.
The performance of Razer Tartarus Pro is very impressed with the ability to get two commands on each button and the presence of the analog optical switches by the Razer. It provides macros recording, and all the keys are programmable. Getting these features on a smaller layout gives you an advantage over the opponents, especially during MMO games.
Talking about its niche-specific popularity, we meant MMO gaming niche. It performs really well on MMO games and proves to be a good companion on these games. Although the full gamin keyboard has several advantages and it offers you a variety of shortcuts. But with Tartarus Pro, you can cut short the need for a full keyboard, perfecting mouse skills, and getting skilled in using number rows for the skill activation. It performs all these functions in a smaller layout and helps you combat with the analog stick and thumb buttons.
For some people, Tartarus Pro does not entirely eliminate the need for a regular gaming keyboard. Sometimes you need a complete gaming keyboard to access the menus and getting commands to work. Overall it can perform all functions with its ergonomic shape, and it restrains you from accessing and memorizing the layout quickly and know where the keys are on the keyboard.
However, to test the performance of Razer Tartarus Pro on the non-MMO games, we have tried it on Overwatch. To play on Overwatch was not simple like we tried on MMO games. We programmed the keys and making them work; we tested for few rounds. It was surprisingly good for a minimalistic interface, and we had a blast with a 20 button layout. For the games like MOBA, where controllers are preferred, it is an excellent option to try. You can face some difficulties playing games where there need more than ten commands, and it gets clumsy to operate them on the small layout.
Synapse for Tartarus Pro
Synapse is the default software utility in all the Razer products. In Razer Tartarus, all the configuration and customization depending on the Synapse. These customizations include remapping keys, creating profiles, and adjusting the actuation points. If you want to go for an advanced setup, you can set secondary actuation points using the Synapse utility.
Tartarus supports additional macros on the key. We can use this utility to control these macros and workaround with them. Each lighting element on Tartarus Pro contains RGB lighting. With the help of Synapse, you can control the lighting on 20 primary keys and an additional scroll wheel for customized RGB lighting.
Razer customization software allows you to create an unlimited profile for the configuration. Each profile has eight configuration settings for the keys. Their settings remain independent and do not mix. You can swap between the settings after their configuration with the help of a D-pad. But a surprising downside of Razer Tartarus Pro is that it does not contain onboard memory for the profile storage. We cannot understand why the absence of onboard memory helps you to play seamlessly across different devices without setting the configuration again on the device.
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
The Razer Tartarus Pro is an ergonomic and comfortable gaming keypad with all the bells and whistles of good gaming peripheral. Although Razer aimed it for the larger audience as a replacement for the standard gaming keyboard, it got more popular in specific gaming niches.
Razer Tartarus is a good pick if you need to buy a one-handed setup for your gaming needs. It takes less space and provides focused gameplay. There is a steep learning curve, and once you learn the layout, it certainly improves your efficiency and gameplay.
M. Kashif is a published author at Gaming Expert.net. He is a tech enthusiast a passionate gamer and loves to try new gadgets and writing about games and technology events.