Game pads are definitely making their way into the gaming peripherals industry with companies like Mad Catz and Zboard starting the trend. Razer have set their sights on the top spot with the Nostromo, and they do not disappoint.

The first thing I noticed when opening up the Nostromo was the threaded cable. While it is pretty much as standard with all gaming peripherals now, I still feel it is a nice touch, at first they can be quite stiff but in time they soften up and I just feel they are much stronger than their predecessor. The Nostromo comes with 16 fully programmable keys with endless possibilities to assign unlimited length macros, the keypad can also support up to 20 different profiles which can be switched in and out on the fly depending on your situation or application. We also have an 8 way direction joystick, as with the main keypad this is fully programmable. The top of the joystick can be removed if you prefer the d-pad feel. As with every other key on the Nostromo there is also a button just above the d-pad/joystick which they call the alt key. This is also fully programmable!

The keypad has soft touch keys apart from the alt button and the palm rest is also soft touch, for me this was excellent as I fell in love with soft touch after getting my Bitfenix Shinobi which had soft touch top and front panels. The keys felt soft when pressed and I didn’t feel they needed a great deal of pressure. Some buttons will need to be changed/swapped around depending on the size of your hand and also depending on the game you’re playing. With that said I found every key on the Nostromo easy to reach and although it didn’t feel too natural in the beginning it didn’t take me long to get used to it, even to the point where I now find it weird to use my keyboard. The only thing I have failed to mention is the scroll wheel. My reasoning for this is due to the fact I feel it is utter useless. Firstly it is in a awkward position, I find myself having to scrunch my finger up tight just to be able to scroll it, and secondly it’s useless as a button. I found myself scrolling when I push it because my finger is scrunched up so much, it’s a waste of a button and it seems Razer agree with me. On the new Razer Orbweaver they have completely removed the scroll wheel and added a row of extra buttons, that was my only gripe with the keypad.

I found everything else to be an absolute pleasure to use. So along with the price £49.99, the comfort and the 16 programmable keys with 20 different game profiles, you’re ready to take on any challenge with the Razer Nostromo. If you’re a hardcore gamer looking for a mass of customization options or a casual gamer like me just looking to improve your skills on the battlefield the Nostromo is definitely for you!

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Joe Chesney
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