Review Snapshot
Pros

You can easily hit buttons, quickening your response time in the game. It's also comfortable and fully customizable.

Cons

Not a good fit for small hands--device may be too clunky and big. Learning how to use it can be a challenge at first.

Verdict

This is a good keypad for hardcore gamers; not so much for casual gamers.

Reviewed by:
Annie Oh : I am a 20-something freelance writer who specializes in technology and health re...Member Reputation 124 • 110 active Krits
Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad from Razer
Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad Review
Annie Oh rates this 3.5/5
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Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad detailed information
Product Details at Amazon ™

FULL REVIEW: Nostromo Gaming Keypad (Razer)

Tired of clunking around with your keyboard and mouse?  The Nostromo Gaming Keypad takes your keyboard's most basic commands and condenses it into a handheld keypad, giving you precise control without ever having to touch the keyboard again.  The best part: It boasts more customizable buttons than the Cataclysm WoW mouse, yet costs half its price ($59.99). Now that's something that will put a smile on your face.

Pros
  • Contains 16 customizable, easy-to-reach buttons
  • Ergonomically designed to fit your hand comfortably
  • Comes with software designed to completely customize the keypad
  • Glows in the dark--great for playing games during the night

Cons
  • Can be confusing to use at first
  • Not the best fit for right-handed people
  • Keypad is mainly designed for MMORPG play; won't get much use during casual gameplay

Design

To say I wasn't intimidated by this keypad would be mincing words: My first interaction with it made me apprehensive of using it again.  The keypad itself is clunky and seems cluttered with buttons; at first, I had no idea how to grip it or position my hand (later on, I learned my hand was just too small for the keypad).  

Although the keypad is nicely designed--the curves of the keypad easily fit anyone's palm, and the buttons are easy to reach--learning how to feel for these buttons during gameplay can be difficult, especially for right-handed players.  The keypad is designed for left handed use; I'm left-handed, so I didn't struggle with it as much as other people.  Overall, however, the keypad is designed better than Razer's Naga gaming mouse--the buttons are easier to reach, and the keypad itself emits an eerie, blue glow--but you'll still need to spend some time learning how to use it at first.

Operability

As a gaming keypad, the Nostromo Gaming Keypad is excellent, and should improve your reaction speed during gameplay.  During regular play in World of Warcraft, using the keyboard to execute a command wasted around 3 seconds of my time, which may not seem insignificant, but during boss fights, can equal the difference between life and death (if you've ever raided, you know this).  With the Nostromo Gaming Keypad, however, all I need to do is move my finger to the correct position on the keypad--and that takes a second to do.  As a gaming keypad, this device will save you time during gameplay, should you need it; this keypad is most useful with games that require quick response times, such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty.

Oh, and for the record: The buttons execute commands immediately; it doesn't glitch up, unlike other gaming devices.

Software

Should you need to assign specific commands to any of the 16 buttons, the keypad also comes with software, which installs quickly into any PC computer.  From there, you can run the software and use the buttons to assign different commands to different buttons on the keypad--a very slick and easy process.  

While using the software, I was able to assign commands within minutes, exit the program, and have my keypad up and running for online gameplay instantly.  Though the software isn't my favorite feature (being able to reach the buttons easily is), being able to customize nearly everything about the keypad is invaluable, in my opinion.

Verdict

Though the keypad proved to be too big and clunky for my hands, the convenience of its easy-to-reach buttons and customizable interface makes it a faved a keypad for me.  The price is also very agreeable, and yes, I do recommend it--if you're a hardcore gamer, that is.  However, this probably will just be too complicated if you're a casual gamer.
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2012, 11:05 am
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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