PROS / All the keys on the Razer Lycosa are programmable.
CONS / This gaming keyboard has weak backlighting and no option to adjust the brightness.
VERDICT / It's missing a few customizations that would be nice but it's still a great keyboard.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because the manufacturer stopped producing it. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
Razer is a well-known company in the computer game world. They started out making high-end mice but have expanded to other peripherals like headsets and gaming keyboards. This privately owned company, aside from making computer peripherals, even sponsors its own gaming teams. These teams, using Razer gear, have won several gaming competitions. We liked this point because it shows confidence in their products and results that hardcore gamers are interested in.
The Razer Lycosa has the important features that most gamers look for when they buy a gaming keyboard. There are a few that are musts, like media controls. Media controls are nice to have because they allow you to adjust volume, skip tracks, etc., and let you stay engaged in your game. Gamers are all about convenience and speed. Having this option adds a little of both.
The other things gamers want are peace and sanity. When you type a command to do something in a game and it doesn't do it, or it does something completely different even, you lose both peace and sanity. For that reason it is important that gaming keyboards have two things to combat this. First of all, you want the option to disable the Windows key. If you're a button masher, you'll know what we're talking about. Sometimes it just accidentally gets hit and minimizes your game. Unless you have better luck than some of us, usually by the time you get back in the game you're too late. Thankfully good gaming keyboards like the Razer Lycosa come with the option to disable that button, which saves you a lot of grief.
Anti-ghosting is the other peace and sanity stabilizer for button mashers. Without this feature, when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously, a normal keyboard won't register the commands or may even do some really off-the-wall commands of its own. It doesn't happen a lot but when it does, it's nice to have a keyboard like the Razer Lycosa to function how you need it to.
The design of the Razer Lycosa is one of the stronger aspects of the gaming keyboard. It's one of the smaller keyboards we reviewed and yet the keys don't feel crammed together like on some gaming keyboards. At 18.5 x 8.7 inches, it takes up quite a bit less room on your desk than the Logitech G15, which is a few inches bigger.
Like the Logitech gaming keyboards we've reviewed so far, the Razer Lycosa has backlighting, a removable wrist rest, a USB hub and strong durability. It also connects to your PC via USB. Some of these attributes are fairly common, but they are all convenient to have. The backlighting isn't as bright as we would like, but it still helps you to see the keys in the dark fairly well. It also gives you the option to turn off the backlighting or only illuminate the keys W, A, S and D.
This keyboard has 3.5mm headset ports, which is surprisingly a unique feature among the majority of gaming keyboards we reviewed. Most of the USB hubs on keyboards are only capable of USB 1.0 speeds and not USB 2.0. The Razer Lycosa, however, not only has a single USB 2.0 hub but also has the 3.5mm ports.
The catch to the Razer Lycosa is that it requires you to use two USB ports on your computer and a set of 3.5mm ports if you want to use either hub on it. In other words, you'll still be using the same amount of ports on your machine; this gaming keyboard doesn't give you extras. Razer set it up this way so that the hubs don't take away any needed power from the keyboard itself. They don't want anything slowing your ability to dominate in any game.
Unlike the other gaming keyboards we reviewed, the Razer Lycosa gives you the option to program any and every key on the keyboard. Most of the other keyboards allow the reprogramming of only certain ones, or have dedicated keys for setting special functions and macros to. There are advantages to both dedicated macro keys and non-dedicated ones. In the end though, it is just personal preference.
The Razer Lycosa also allows you to set up profiles that you can switch between. This allows you to have preset macros set up and ready to go for multiple games. Most gamers play more than one game, so it's nice to have the option to program your keyboard for more than one and be able to switch between profiles whenever you want.
We would like the Razer Lycosa to add the option to record macros while in the game and on-the-fly, like Logitech and Microsoft typically have. It's a good tool to have available to you. Sometimes things change in the heat of the moment and it's nice to have a gaming keyboard that lets you adjust and add macros along with those changes. The option to adjust the brightness of the backlighting would also be a nice touch, especially since it's not as bright as we would have liked.
The Razer Lycosa is an excellent gaming keyboard that is already used by many gamers in the world. Razer builds products specifically for gamers and Razer’s professional gaming team uses them. That makes them tried and true by pro gamers. There are a few more features we would have liked to see but all things considered, it's a solid choice.