Razer Deathstalker Ultimate Review


Razer Deathstalker Ultimate Review


So let's get the elephant in the room dealt with. No, if you're solely after a keyboard for typing and don't plan at all on gaming to the degree you need a spare screen with some cool features, this is too expensive for your needs. But, and this is a big but, you still should take a look at the Deathstalker Ultimate. When it arrived in the OC3D offices we were a little confused as to what exactly the point of such an expensive bit of tech was. Then you use it, and wonder how you survived without it. The Switchblade side of the Deathstalker is the main event, but it still needs to be a keyboard, so let's do that first.

It's rare to find a keyboard that's so flat. Even the average laptop keyboard has a slight curve to the keys but it actually doesn't effect the typing experience. The keys of the Deathstalker have the same feel that you get from the most non-mechanical keyboards but with slightly more of a bounce. The tactile response is somewhere between a scissor arrangement and Cherry Reds. It's lovely to type on and, whilst not as deathly silent as some laptop style keyboards, it's certainly quieter than a mechanical. The lighting is clear and crisp without being overpowering, and it doesn't matter what colour you choose it's uniform throughout the keyboard. The only downside to the pure keyboard experience is that the numpad is missing, and although there is an app that gives a virtual numpad it doesn't support the ALT+xxx symbols. Not a deal-breaker for some, but if you explain bridge contracts ♥♦♣♠ or do heatsink testing requiring a degree symbol ° then it'll be a royal pain.

But the main event has to be the screen and the 10 LCD keys. It's something that could easily go wrong but the quality is ridiculously high. The screens of the 10 customisable LCD keys are slightly offset so that when you're sitting at the keyboard you can see them clearly. Both them, and the screen, are crisp and vibrant. They, like so many things that light up, are hard to photograph and look vastly better in real-life than they do through a lens. The touch element of the screen works flawlessly, being both speedy to display and as responsive as any capacitive touchscreen we're familiar with. Only in three finger multi-touch gestures does it not have the instant precision that it does with two finger or single finger gestures.

The app side is both brilliant and a little frustrating. Brilliant because the included apps work flawlessly, doing exactly what you expect them to with no elements cut out or trimmed. Frustrating just because, as with all new technologies, there isn't much available beyond those that come shipped with the Deathstalker Ultimate. There certainly might be hidden deep in developer forums somewhere, but in terms of Razer approved ones on their website what you see is what you get. However, that being said we can only really think the Deathstalker is missing : a messenger client, which with the closing of MSN there isn't a clear alternative beyond Skype which would require a lot of licensing, and a monitoring system akin to CPUz or AIDA64. Beyond that, as it comes with a browser that supports flash you're not left wanting for much.

So it looks brilliant, it's great to type on, it's incredibly customisable and, let's not kid ourselves, really freaking cool. Yes it might be pricey, but it's not just a keyboard. A Nokia 3310 will make phone calls and send texts without needing to be recharged every two hours, but there is a reason that most of us have smartphones. The screen/touchpad on the Deathstalker is the same resolution and capabilities as, for one example, the HTC Desire HD. Suddenly that price doesn't seem as high. Even with the rather sparse selection of game-specific applications the Razer Deathstalker Ultimate is worthy of our OC3D Performance award. If you love any of those four games (Counter Strike, TF2, Battlefield 3 or SW:TOR) then consider it a gold. Certainly if Razer and their community start producing more apps it will definitely be so.


Thanks to Razer for providing the Deathstalker Ultimate for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

23-01-2013, 05:08:05

Today we look at probably the most feature-packed keyboard on earth, the Razer Deathstalker Ultimate.


Continue ReadingQuote

23-01-2013, 05:25:33

It sure does look nice and that little touch screen is a nice bonus but imo that doesn't justify the price of €230,- where most backlit mechanical keyboards cost between €80,- and €150,-

Nonetheless; Good review Quote

23-01-2013, 05:41:21

I'd say the pricing isn't too bad.

I'm thinking that touch pad area might be handy for game development...Quote

23-01-2013, 05:42:55

I saw this when it came in and its awesome.

Just needs some better apps added and its a winner. Id use it.....Quote

23-01-2013, 06:08:49

now this is one amazing keyboard, but without actually using one dont think i could justify the £250 price tag, shame i dont have a store around me that might have this on displayQuote

23-01-2013, 06:24:09

the looks and the features are very nice but i can`t see myself playing on those laptop-like keys.so smallQuote

23-01-2013, 07:33:34

Originally Posted by MrKambo View Post
now this is one amazing keyboard, but without actually using one dont think i could justify the £250 price tag, shame i dont have a store around me that might have this on display
Ohhh... I could have sworn when I looked at the review it said £119.99.

£250!! Fook that!Quote

23-01-2013, 07:38:23

Originally Posted by SPS View Post
Ohhh... I could have sworn when I looked at the review it said £119.99.

£250!! Fook that!
i think the £119 is for the non screen/not so awesome edition, maybe VB could confirmQuote

23-01-2013, 09:28:44

Certainly looks fantastic. I'm not a big fan of chicklet style keys and I'm not sure if the LCD screen and the 10 keys justify the £250 price tag.Quote

23-01-2013, 14:01:37

Nice review, but I can't get into this product.
The keyboard looks AMAZING, but they've taken away a (somewhat) useful part of the keyboard (the numberpad) and added on something that is virtually useless.
I'm sorry, but I'd rather have nothing than have that touchpad, no matter how nice it looks. At least a tenkeyless keyboard has the advantage of giving your mouse an extra 5 inches of space to move around on.
Then again, it's really pretty. Quote

23-01-2013, 14:43:09

Yeah the bog standard one is about £80. This price is for the all-singing one.

The numpad thing is actually a non-issue besides the alt codes. The app replicates one perfectly, and there is a side-mode that modifies it to just directions. You really don't notice that it's not a "real" one at all. I only notice because, as part of my regular writings here, I have to use the alt symbols a lot.

Trust me, the pad and apps are incredible. If you look at it as an extra £150 for a 4" touch screen, applications, 10 Optimus style keys, and all the fun of a Synaptics touchpad it becomes a LOT more palatable. Like so many of the high-end reviews here at OC3D, until you've used it you just see the huge price and think it can't offer enough over a more cost-effective option.

Sure it's expensive as you like, but how much of your life is spent using the keyboard? Using a cheap keyboard is like buying a 22" TN monitor to put your SLI 680s through. Put the money down on an awesome keyboard and mouse and your hands will thank you.

All of that and not once did I make a comparison between buying a Focus and a Bentley. Damn...Quote

23-01-2013, 15:03:05

^Not to be hating on your opinion but my hands won't thank me with that thing and neither will my wallet!
The wristrest is too small for my liking, the keys are too flat and it's not mechanical! D:

250-80 = 170 Quid! Just for that touch screen? No thanks, I'll use my phone
You can literally buy either 3 regular edition keyboards for that, or 3 Corsair K60s ... or 3 CM Storm Quickfires Quote

23-01-2013, 15:22:56

I agree that the touchpad is pretty sweet - but until you've spent your hard earned cash on it, is it really worth it? HahaQuote

23-01-2013, 16:30:06

Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
The numpad thing is actually a non-issue besides the alt codes.
Personally, I use the numpad a ton for numeric input and calculations as well as the occasional alt-code. I'm not sure what you mean by "you don't notice".

Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
Trust me, the pad and apps are incredible.
I didn't see anything here that couldn't be done on an android without having it attached to the keyboard.

Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
Using a cheap keyboard is like buying a 22" TN monitor to put your SLI 680s through.
The problem is, this is kind of like a cheap keyboard with lots of bells and whistles.

That's where my gripe is. For all the flashy features, I don't see anything that I can't already do better with equipment I already have. If I wanted to drop 250 quid on a keyboard, I'd probably pick up a HHKB 2 Pro.

I do think it's a cool concept, though. This just makes way WAY more sense in the Razer Blade than it does on my desk.Quote

28-01-2013, 06:28:24

Ive got my Razer naga now i just need this beast
i was going to put some money down on the Standard deathstalker but now i have to rethink Quote

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