Someone who shall remain nameless, but his initials are Mark Lautenschlager, had a birthday this month.
As a result, some birthday cash was floated his way and it was time to go shopping.
The BIG plan, aiming for the Christmas shopping season, is to buy the parts and build a new gaming PC. In preparation for that, since the birthday haul was just a bit less than the $1750 I’m planning to spend on the PC, I bought a new gaming keyboard and mouse.
The keyboard I’d been using was a first generation Saitek gaming keyboard, it had served me faithfully for many years, but the keys were truly becoming wobbly and the paint was completely rubbed off on some of the keycaps. It was time to put this one out to pasture.
The mouse I was using was an iBuyPower mouse that came with my current gaming PC. Yeah, yeah…I know. I’m a noob.
So what did I pick? I am the proud owner of a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Keyboard 2016 Edition, and a Logitech G300s Gaming Mouse. Let’s take them in order.
Unboxing the Razer keyboard, you’re struck by how much this thing weighs. It is not going anywhere once it squats on your desk. And its cord is more of a braided cable. To say the keyboard feels solid is an understatement. The cable has two USB connectors, one for the keyboard itself and one for the USB passthrough port on the side of the keyboard, and a headset connector that only works if your computer has a combination headphone and microphone port. Mine doesn’t, so I didn’t connect that.
When you power up the keyboard for the first time, you’ll notice that the backlighting is slowing cycling on and off. This is a lighting effect Razer calls “Breathing” and it’s hugely annoying. Don’t worry, just head to the Razer website and download their Synapse software as quickly as you can, then you can adjust the lighting effect and intensity. I set mine for Static lighting, with mid-level green coloring and mid-level brightness.
The keyboard is using Razer’s own switches but for the life of me they feel like Cherry MX Blue switches. I’m not sure what it is with all these keyboard manufacturers and their colors, but Razer’s Green switch seems to be equal to the Cherry MX Blue and their Orange switch is like the Cherry MX Brown. Which is to say, Green makes a big click when you press it and Orange does not. I like clicks, it takes me back to my days using IBM “buckling spring” mechanical keyboards but I will caution you that this thing makes a racket so if your computer is in a public space you’re going to drive people crazy when you play or type.
The keys feel great, the keyboard feels solid, and my initial impressions are this is a very good keyboard indeed. I’ll give you long term impressions as I use it for a while, but we’re off to a good start.
The Logitech G300s is a pretty classic Logitech Gaming Mouse. It has adjustable DPI settings and an adjustable reporting rate. If you turn both of them all the way up, I think simply looking at the mouse will send your cursor scampering across the screen. I found the default settings to be quite comfortable. Fast, but not too fast, with a great sense of control.
The mouse features four extra buttons mounted on the top of the mouse, as opposed to the more traditional gaming mouse buttons on the side approach. They’re finger buttons, not thumb buttons. That was a deliberate choice on my part, it might turn out to be a bad one, I suppose we’ll just have to see. I’ve had gaming mice with thumb buttons and I’ve found that I don’t like loosening my grip on the mouse to work the side mounted buttons.
I downloaded the Logitech Gaming Software for my mouse and then the only thing I felt I needed to do was adjust its LED color to match the green on my Razer keyboard. First impressions of using the mouse are that it’s a little bit lightweight, I prefer a heavier mouse, and its ambidextrous design makes it less comfortable for a right hand grip, although I’m sure you lefties out there will appreciate it.
The performance of the mouse seems perfect, and only time will tell how I handle the ergonomics. But for now, just as with the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Keyboard 2016 Edition, the Logitech G300s Gaming Mouse is off to a great start with me. I paid $109.99 for the keyboard and $29.99 for the mouse. Yes, I buy all my gaming hardware and all my games. If I tell you I like something, folks, it means I liked it well enough to spend my own actual cash on it.
If the PC gamer in your life is due for a new keyboard and mouse this year, I hope these first impression reviews have been helpful. I’ll be detailing more of my gaming PC build plans as the Christmas shopping season gets closer, hopefully giving you some good buying tips there as well.
That’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.