bit-gamer.net

Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard

Wolfman Creature Feature

The features of the Timberwolf are actually amazingly limited. The Timberwolf design is obviously focused on FPS gamers and yet it not only comes without the CD full of drivers which we've gotten used to (hardly a bad thing), but it also lacks macro keys of any description.

The lack of macro keys isn't exactly a flaw as there are a surprising number of gamers out there on the interwebs who don't seize the functionality provided by macro support anyway. Still, we can't help but miss the ability to run customised keyboard commands with a single button press – such things are just as useful in office tasks as they are in game. Especially when one has to resize and watermark large amounts of photos of, for example, a gaming keyboard.

Still, the keyboard does have some other things going for it feature-wise. For a start there's the elegantly minimalist media keys we've already mentioned and two well placed USB ports which are both out of sight and easy to locate thanks to placement next to the power cable.

Next, we move onto testing. Gaming keyboards have to perform well in and out of games so that we don't have to swap boards between tasks, so we test them on gaming and typing tasks.

Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature
Click to enlarge

For our first gaming test, we fired up Steam and started a game of SiN Episodes, jumping down into Arena Mode and having a few games. Many people fault SiN Episodes, but it's a favourite of mine and Arena Mode is excellent for some fast and furious gaming where seconds count.

A few games told us all we needed to know about the Timberwolf and the news for gaming is universally good – the keys offered decent response despite a bit of a clacky feel to some of them and the buttons all fell within an easy, comfortable reach. Oddly, the vertical space bar was no longer our 'Jump' button of choice and our thumbs kept automatically reaching out a little further to the B button, which just felt a bit more comfortable.

Moving our gaming on a little, we tried the Timberwolf both in Counterstrike: Source and a selection of small freeware games like Cube 2 and Black Shades, which always make for some low-tech fast paced fun.

In each scenario, the Timberwolf held up well as a gaming peripheral, making games a little easier to play thanks to the higher number of keys now within reach of our agile fingertips. The two-toned colouring of the gaming buttons makes finding controls easier and ensured that our eyes never had to leave the screen for long.

Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature
Click to enlarge

However, moving back to normal day-to-day tasks is where the Timberwolf was let down. The QWERTY keyboard part of the device is a bit of a disappointment after using the gaming pad and is a bit trickier to type with than normal keyboards thanks to the shrunk down, laptop-esque design.

The buttons on the QWERTY keyboard are all twice as tall as the lower-profile gaming keys and all of the usual spacing has been removed in order to make room for the gaming pad on the left.

The keyboard has also undergone some subtle alterations which make day-to-day life a little bit more of a hassle. For a start, there's no right hand Ctrl button and the upper row of buttons are all shrunk down a bit which makes them a bit of a pain to use. It would have honestly seemed a better idea to remove the 1-9 buttons, which are already repeated on the gaming pad, and leave a little bit more room to resize the remaining buttons.

As it is, the resized buttons take a while to get used to and having to relearn keyboard shortcuts thanks to the lack of a right Ctrl is made doubly difficult when clumsy phalanges keep brushing the wrong keys.

Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature Wolf King Timberwolf Gaming Keyboard Creature Feature
Click to enlarge

Conclusion

After spending some time with the Wolfking Timberwolf keyboard, both in and out games we've grown to appreciate and loathe many different things about it.

On the plus side, for gaming it holds up very well and is both comfortable and responsive, placing a great number of keys at our fingertips and thoughtfully leaving the lower end of the pad empty as a wrist support. Lovely. On the downside, the rest of the keyboard feels a little awkward to use and clustering the keys all together means it's definitely unsuited for office gamers who will spend the majority of time typing and game only for an hour or two a day.

Then again, office gamers aren't really the market for the Timberwolf. It's more aimed at hardcore players who spend the majority of time gaming and who need a keyboard for their gaming machine outside of the office. For that audience, the Timberwolf holds up very well despite a few small design flaws.

There are a few features which we're really missing here – especially a volume control or mute button on the gaming pad – and Bindi in particular complained that his natural hand position forced him to constantly lean on the Alt button, though nobody else had such troubles.

At just $39.99 in America though the Timberwolf is a competitively priced little inputter and $20 cheaper than the Logitech G11, which makes it an excellent gaming board for FPS fans on a budget. While it doesn't offer the versatility of a G15 or G11, it still performs well in gaming tests (new high score on SiN Episodes, w00t) and hardcore gamers will find it fits the bill nicely – as long as they don't try to write home about it.

  • Build Quality
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • 9/10
  • Performance
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • 6/10
  • Features
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • 6/10
  • Value
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • 8/10
  • Overall
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • x
  • -
  • -
  • 8/10
What do these scores mean?

Related Reading

Revoltec Fightpad Advanced
Logitech G11
Good Work Systems Fragpedal Classic
Revoltec Fightmouse