Most PC gamers are content to game on the standard QWERTY keyboard layout, but a select few prefer a special niche peripheral: the keypad. Razer's been building these single-hand keyboards since it helped Belkin create the n52te SpeedPad and it's still at it, today announcing the Razer Tartarus. Featuring 15 face keys and 25 programmable buttons (including an eight-way directional thumb pad), the Tartarus is billed as a successor to Razer's Nostromo -- although it actually has more in common with the $130 Orbweaver.
Like the high-end keypad, the Tartarus has fully programmable keys with unlimited-length macro support, Razer Synapse 2.0 for profile syncing and key-binding and the company's modern design language, but it eschews the Orbweaver's articulating ergonomics and mechanical keys to hit a lower $79 price point. These efforts shaved 50 percent off of the product's sticker price, but also cost it an additional row of keys. We spent a few minutes with the device and were pleased at how well it worked right out of the box, handily emulating the standard WASD gaming setup it's built around. We did miss the Orbweaver's additional buttons, however, as the smaller keypad's three-row setup left us reaching for a row of numerical analogs that simply weren't there. It's not the game controller for everyone, but it's good to know that there are options for niche peripheral fans on a budget. Read on for the company's official press announcement.