Gaming keypads are becoming more and more relevant with every other update in MMOs and are basically complete keyboards packed into a smaller design for a more compact playing experience.
That said, it doesn’t mean they’re any less elegant than even the latest mechanical gaming keyboards. On the contrary, the beautiful design, the soft wrist rests, and almost unlimited customization make this a better option than most controllers these days.
Who wouldn’t want to experience the ease and comfort of a controller but have the customization of a keyboard? Dominating your enemies on the playfield just might become the new norm for you!
With that being said, this review compares two of the best gaming keypads on the market—namely, the Razer Tartarus V2 and the Razer Tartarus Pro.
Why Do You Need a Gaming Keypad?
It all boils down to convenience. Avoid pressing the wrong buttons when you’re in a heated firefight and bind different actions to a single button to execute combos better.
Several players prefer using a gaming keypad for MOBA games like DOTA 2 since you can bind down specific active items to your abilities to get a rampage.
And let’s not forget the aesthetics. A sleek gaming keypad compliments your gaming setup like no other and is sure to turn heads.
Design and Build
Design-wise, both the Tartarus V2 and the Tartarus Pro look similar. Both have a futuristic-looking body, with 19 keys and a scroll wheel on the front, an 8-direction D-pad and a small circular button on the right-hand side, and a larger key just below it.
The devices come with soft, adjustable wrist rests that are detachable as well. You can also set these palm rests at two different settings to better adjust for the size of your hand. The wrist rest is made of incredibly soft material. So you can use it for hours and hours before you feel any sort of strain at all.
Ideally, you would make the best use of this device with your four fingers utilizing the main keypad while your thumb alternates between the d-pad and the thumb key.
The build is quite sturdy, even if it’s made almost out of plastic. This is particularly advantageous since it makes the gaming keypads very light and easy to carry. This is perfect for when you want to switch the position of your gaming keypad from your bedroom to the lounge. Unplugging, plugging, and carrying it around the house won’t be a hassle at all.
Color and RGB Customization
The color variations on the Razer Tartarus Pro are Classic Black and Mercury White. The Razer Tartarus V2 only has the Black option.
However, both of the variations go great with Razer’s great RGB lighting, that’s present in both the Tartarus Pro and the Tartarus V2.
You can toggle between 16.8 million colors on the RGB spectrum and connect your devices to other Razer devices with Razer Synapse. Razer Synapse allows you to customize different Razer devices connected to your computer. You can even personalize lighting, bind keys, and assign macros. Check out the whole set of features that Razer Synapse offers on their website.
Key Switch Types
This is the most important of the review, the switches. We all know how different the experience can be when typing on a normal keyboard and a mechanical keyboard. The telltale clickety-clack, combined with the satisfying tactile bumps of the keys, makes even typing an experience.
Now the two devices have different switches. One has mecha membrane switches, while another has optical analog switches. So let’s talk about the mecha membrane switches first.
The Razer Tartarus V2 comes equipped with the classic Razer combination of mechanical switches combined with membrane rubber. Don’t confuse mecha membrane switches with normal mechanical switches.
A mechanical switch has a stem inside it that goes downwards when you press the button. The stem depresses a spring inside the button, which activates the switch until you lift your finger and depress the button.
Mecha membrane buttons, however, offer the traditional comfort of membrane keyboards while keeping the unique tactile buttons of a mechanical keyboard. The result provides a soft touch for comfort, with a noticeable tactile click when the button has been depressed halfway.
Now that we’ve covered mecha membrane switches, let’s talk about analog optical switches.
The Tartarus Pro comes with analog optical switches. The reason these switches are talked about separately is that they are pressure-sensitive. Yes, you read that right. You can experience the same pressure-sensitive key experience on console controllers, like that of the PlayStation and the Xbox.
The analog optical switches let you set different levels of input on each button. This allows you to do various things in games like character movement, speed in racing, etc.
Different games like Fortnite, Rocket League, Final Fantasy XIV, and World of Warcraft are just some of the games that are compatible with analog input.
You can also assign two different keys to the same button, and they will trigger according to how much pressure you put on it. With this simple but genius design, you can utilize the dual-function key feature.
Both the devices have 32 programmable keys, which can be easily customized with Razer’s different software on their website. The software is very easy to install and use, and you will be customizing your keys in no time.
Now that we’ve focused on the details of both the Tartarus Pro and the Tartarus V2, let’s make a small list of the defining features of the two.
Pros and Cons
The answer completely depends on your gaming choice. If you’re a fan of mechanical switches and like the classic tactile feel of a mechanical switch, then go for the Tartarus V2. The V2 is a great entry into the gaming keypad world and would satisfy everyone from a beginner to a master.
However, we prefer the Tartarus Pro because of how sensitive its switches are. Since the switches use light sources to figure input, the speed is unbeatable. With the dual function key feature, you can easily turn your keys into two by simply setting different functions on different pressure levels.
The performance and great functionality on the Pro are definitely worth the extra dollars. But that doesn’t make the Tartarus V2 any lesser. It completely depends on your need.
We hope this review was helpful in your journey to find the perfect gaming keypad.