Wolfking WARRIOR XXTREME Gamepad/Keyboard ReviewSagittaria - April 27, 2008
Category: Input Devices
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Everyone - and I mean everyone - wants to dominate their friends at some computer game, whether it's an FPS or an RPG. So what's wrong with getting some extra help from a specially designed keyboard? After all, the standard computer keyboard wasn't exactly designed with video games in mind. Now, with computer gaming more popular than ever, Wolfking has released specially designed keyboards with very different key layouts, to aid game play by allowing for quicker response times.
So, today I have the pleasure of reviewing a Wolfking WARRIOR XXTREME gamepad, an improved version of the original WARRIOR. This remodel is touted to have expanded capabilities, and is aimed at players of both First Person Shooters and Role Playing Games. I was pretty surprised when I heard about the updated WARRIOR XXTREME - it's not every day that you see a compact, backlit, shiny gamepad with the keys arranged in two circles. I was somewhat confused and impressed at the same time, as the WARRIOR XXTREME seemed rather hard-core just to get slightly better response times. So, will it actually help my gameplay?
Here's the box I picked up, and I have to admit I was a little bewildered - after all, I've never heard of such a thing. However, the box does a good job of explaining what the WARRIOR XXTREME does.
I slipped the board out of its fancy box, and found a short manual. The keyboard was encased in a heavy plastic clamshell, inside small holding box.
When I first picked up the WARRIOR XXTREME gamepad, I was surprised at how solid and heavy it felt, despite its slim profile. I simply don't often find that kind of construction in any keyboard, even high end ones. This gamepad does not flex or warp - perfect for all those rough gamers. The outside of the keyboard is covered in rubber, while the surface sports a high-gloss paint job. The keys are matte, and are a cross between laptop and full-size desktop keys - a good cross between portability and usability. The upper buttons offer volume control, a Windows button, and a backlight switch that glistens like shiny chrome. Also in this key group is a K-Lock, which is designed to lock the "push to talk" key in games, and allows for continuous communication while gaming - very cool.
Now, my biggest concern is how the keys are arranged. The W,A,S, and D keys for movement are conveniently centered and enlarged in the left circle, with various other special keys commonly used in games arranged around them. The numerical keys outline the left keypad, and are used to change weapons or items in almost all games. There are two space bars - blank keys - on the left side, which are used by your thumb in games. The second space bar is in the center, to aid in typing. The right side includes all the standard typing keys, so a gamer can actually type with it. The left keypad's arrangement is copied from the original WARRIOR, while the right keypad's design is new, and offers more keys and single-handed text entry.
The underside of the keyboard has some strong stands and rubber grips, and I also noticed two USB ports on the top right of the WARRIOR XXTREME - a cool touch. I unwound the cable and found the cord was much longer than I expected - very nice! Again, the keyboard is backlit - brighter than I was expecting, but evenly spread and strong. The updated WARRIOR looks pretty good!