“…an impressive, progressive and almost intimidating marvel of technology. Truly, Razer have surpassed themselves…”
Razer is consistently and relentlessly at the top of the food chain when it comes to elite gaming peripherals. In the wider world, “pro” is a term which is easily and often flippantly attached to products; but when Razer say an addition to their epic line-up is “pro”, you had better believe that they mean it. Refined over years of perfection and feedback from the players themselves, the Razer Tartarus Pro is no exception. The Tartarus Pro is a weapon which performs above and beyond expectations and stands far out of reach of the competition. A gaming keypad for players who strive for more than just victory, but mastery in their art form, the Tartarus Pro is a formidable addition to any battle station. All of this high praise could be considered a spoiler for the review you are about to read, but rest assured no word is exaggerated.
As a gamer who does not traditionally partake in the type of games that the Tartarus Pro was built for, I didn’t think that I needed one until I took it out of the box. The impressive reveal and presentation amongst the cardboard and foam instantly presents the Tartarus Pro as the would-be Infinity Gauntlet of gaming. The sizeable piece of hardware, carefully sculpted for comfort and ease of use, is instantly beautiful in all of its curves and intelligent design. When you insert the peripheral into your PC for the first time, the explosion of Razer’s highly celebrated RGB lighting reminds you that you have purchased a premium product, as does the carefully branded logo on the soft, leatherette wrist rest.
Whatever your reason for adding the Tartarus Pro to your arsenal, it is never more desirable that when this orchestra of quality comes together before your very eyes. Assuming you have the space to utilise it, the Tartarus Pro is essentially the equivalent of the perfect centrepiece on your gaming-heavyweight dinner table. The weight of the product gives you the sense that you are getting bang for your buck, and the shaping and stylisation is comfortable form the first use. Aside from the small matter of making room on your desk for it, the only immediate limiting factor of the Tartarus Pro is that the top row of keys may feel out of reach for new users with smaller-than-average hands at first. Over time, however, I felt that the device only became more natural feeling to use.
On the outside, the Razer Tartarus Pro is a beauty. On the inside, it is an impressive, progressive and almost intimidating marvel of technology. Truly, Razer has surpassed themselves in yet another arena. On the simple side of the equation, the Tartarus Pro boasts an outstanding 32 programmable keys, each of which can offer two different functions, as well as an octo-directional thumbpad and 8 different profiles which can be cycled on-the-fly. By anyone’s count, at first glance, the numbers stack up exceedingly well; offering far more than alternative gaming keypads on the market. There is much more high-tech functionality at play, though, that makes the Tartarus Pro not only better than the competition but special and spectacular in its own right.
The factor which makes the magic happen inside the Tartarus Pro is its analogue optical switches. Much like an analogue stick on a gaming controller, the amount of force that you exert on the Razer Tartarus keys can initiate a different output in your game. Pushing a key gently could make a vehicle move slowly, for example, whilst a more forceful input on the same key could make your vehicle accelerate faster. Traditional keys on any PC gaming device are digital, providing only one output no matter how hard you press. This functionality, then, makes the Tartarus Pro unique. Moreover, it makes the Tartarus Pro more versatile in terms of the types of games it can be used to play. For gamers like myself, then, who are less naturally drawn to MMO-style games, the Tartarus Pro can still be a useful and purposeful device to have at your disposal.
In addition to the independent benefits of analogue inputs, the now-popularised optical switches which Razer have used in the Tartarus Pro bring their own, impressive benefits. Lighter actuation is an obvious pro for gamers looking for instantaneous responses to their actions from their peripherals; and in practice the response truly does feel instant. Certainly, when compared to normal, mechanical switches, there is a notably lighter touch required for activation of the keys, and any delay between the press and the action is not noticeable to the (or at least, my) human eye. To ensure that your dual-functions do not get confused with one another during the pace of play, you can even use Razer’s Synapse software to adjust your actuation levels to suit you. With traditional mechanics, this would of course not be possible. Given that actuation is measured by optics in the Tartarus Pro, though, such elements are easy and effective to customise and perfect.
Functionality and Verdict
The Razer Tartarus Pro optical analogue gaming keypad offers a wealth of features on paper and exceptional functionality in practice. As previously stated, the responsiveness of the keypad is instantaneous and its comfort and usability are second to none once you have gotten used to the shape and levels of force needed to use it. The peripheral is comfortable, natural and effective, as well as offering a significant enhancement to what your standard desktop arsenal can do for you in the game. There only notable limitations of the Tartarus Pro, then, are the initial learning curve, the physical space sacrifice it requires at your workstation and the fairly notable amount of noise it creates during use. Ignoring these fairly minor blemishes, then, all of this leaves just one final question; do you need it?
To be clear, anyone who comes into near-contact with the Tartarus Pro is inevitably going to want it amongst their other weapons of choice, but the realistic need for the peripheral is limited to a specific clientele of gamers. By no means is this player base a small one, though, making the Tartarus Pro a very viable product for Razer to produce. Unless you are playing games such as traditional MMOs, though, which require a multitude of inputs with great speed and accuracy, the Tartarus Pro is perhaps more desirable than it is necessary.
If you do fall into this category of gamer, however, there should be no question in your mind as to whether this product is worth your hard-earned pocket money. This is perhaps one of the very easiest products amongst Razer’s arsenal to recommend to the right type of gamer; the Tartarus Pro being outstanding in its field. With no notable competition and given the exceptional build quality and functionality of the device in its own right, this highly specific gaming peripheral is the perfect iteration of what it sets out to be.
Wondering what the keys sound like, below is a recording
By Gamers, for Gamers, the Razer Tartarus Pro can be purchased here for £129.99
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Razer Tartarus Pro
Take hold of your game with the Razer Tartarus Pro—a gaming keypad that will never let victory escape your grasp. From its measured, nuanced inputs to its 32 programmable keys, experience a level of control and customization made for the most demanding of MMO gamers.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 128.99