For those of you who had a Razer Nostromo or even the original Belkin N52 and N52TE you will see a lot of similarities with the Orbweaver. Having said that, the Orbweaver is more of a change than when Razer first went from the N52TE to the Nostromo. Not only is this the first mechanical model, but the Orbweaver also has a lot of adjustability that wasn’t available with the Nostromo. The finish is different as well, the Nostromo was glossy and the Orbweaver has more of a rubber finish. For lighting we have gone from blue to a bright green that goes along with Razer’s 2013 product lineup.
Beyond the main keyboard area, the Orbweaver has a wrist rest that is adjustable. Along with that there is a second adjustable area that goes under the palm of your hand. Both of these are designed to help you fit the Orbweaver to your hand.
The thumb trigger area of the Orbweaver has a round direction pad as well as two buttons above and below the direction pad. The idea here is you can use this direction pad to move around in game or to navigate menus while still having easy access to two more buttons. The bottom button is really interesting because it uses a mouse switch meaning it has that same click for quick reactions.
Being a mechanical gaming pad Razer couldn’t get to creative with the keypad portion of things because they did still have to leave room for Cherry MX Blue keyswitches. Because of that this section has key caps that are semi standard looking but they are of course angled in toward the center area that you would rest your fingers on as well. You get 20 keys total and each key is labeled with a number for easy programing in the software. In the middle they have also labeled your direction keys as well just in case you plan on using them for WASD. Each of the key caps does have a rubber finish and the number labeling shows the key’s clear/white plastic that is needed for light to go through and light up the labels.
The base of the Orbweaver has three rubber grips on the palm rest, three on the main section and one large pad on the thumb area to keep it from moving around during heavy gaming. Here you can also see some of the adjustment points as well, where you can pivot the palm pad, slide the palm rest out, and slide the thumb controls in and out for the perfect fit.
The OrbWeaver’s cord isn’t anything special; you get a single USB 2.0 connection with gold plating on it. The plug does have the Razer logo on it but beyond that it doesn’t look any different than anything else. If you follow it all the way back to the Orbweaver you will notice that Razer included a little extra protection to prevent any damage from happening to the cord while in its package, but personally I wouldn’t be afraid of keeping it on the Orbweaver just for extra protection when it’s on your desk as well.
To give everyone an idea of how the Orbweaver compares to the competition I have put it up next to the Nostromo and the Logitech G13. Here you can see some of the differences we have already pointed out between the Nostromo and the Orbweaver like the extra row of keys as well as the different backlighting. The similarities between the Nostromo and the Orbweaver can be seen, but when you compare it to the G13 there are still different ideas as to what is the ideal solution. I think adding more keys to the Orbweaver and making it adjustable do help bring it closer to the G13 while the Cherry MX Blue switches set it apart as well. I’m excited to see how all of these differences will affect its performance, I liked the Nostromo but the G13 has still been a go to game pad for a lot of people. I wonder if the improvements of the Orbweaver will change that.