There is actually an additional row of keys on the Orbweaver compared to the Tartarus but without having them next to each other most wouldn’t even notice. In fact both devices look very similar. The flat black finish and green backlighting fits with Razer’s current product line and will go perfectly with your 2013 Blackwidow and 2013 Deathadder. The shape of the Tartarus goes back well before the Orbweaver though. It goes all the way back to an old product from Belkin back in the day called the N52. Razer got involved in the design later with the N52te and that design later was rebranded as the Nostromo after Belkin dropped the N52te from their product line. It’s interesting that this design has been around for so long under so many names. The Tartarus though is more of a departure than the other designs because this is the first time (other than the Orbweaver) that Razer handled all of the development rather than just working with Belkin like the other models.
The thumb area of the Tartarus is basically the same as what we saw on the Orbweaver. You get a direction pad that you can place your thumb on and from there you have two buttons one above and below the direction nub. The bottom switch uses a switch from a mouse trigger that gives it a very short throw and that distinctive click sound that clicking your mouse button gives you.
The underside of the Tartarus has four rubber pads taking up most of the contact area on the bottom helping keep the Tartarus in place. You wouldn’t want the Tartarus to move around in the middle of an important or intense game. Much like the Orbweaver the Tartarus does also have a little adjustability. There isn’t as much as the Orbweaver, but we can still slide the palm rest in and out using the small button on the side as show in the picture below.
Honestly at first glance the Tartarus looked exactly the same as the Nostromo to me. It wasn’t until I put them next to each other that the differences became more obvious. For example the finishes they went with, the Nostromo mostly has a glossy finish and the Tartarus has a matt finish to avoid all of the fingerprint issues that the glassy finish causes. The Nostromo also has a scroll wheel and the Tartarus doesn’t have one at all. This gave us an additional key to use as well. The wrist rests are basically the same with the exception of the Tartarus’s adjustability as I mentioned before.
The thumb area is a little cleaner looking with a larger top button, and the bottom button was changed from a push button to a switch like a mouse trigger meaning easier activation. The three lights in the thumb area on the Nostromo was moved out of the way on the Tartarus as well.