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Razer announces Anansi MMO keyboard

Razer announces Anansi MMO keyboard

The Razer Anansi, named for the West African trickster spider of lore, offers seven thumb-driven toggle keys.

Peripherals specialist Razer has announced what it claims is the world's first keyboard specifically tailored to the needs of MMO gamers.

The Razer Anansi, named for the trickster-spider from West African tradition, is designed to be paired with the company's Naga mouse and offers gamers features including seven dedicated thumb modifier keys and instantaneous macro recording.

Razer's president, Robert Krakoff, claimed that the Anansi represents 'the new weapon of choice for MMO gamers,' claiming that 'the regular keyboard that came with your PC was designed and built for typing, not for MMO gaming,' unlike his company's latest creation.

The seven modifier keys, located below the space bar, allow Massively Multiplayer Online game fans to extend the usual twelve ability keys, instantly accessing functions that would previously have taken a mouse click to get at - providing, that is, you can remember which key and which modifier you've assigned a particular ability to.

The black body of the keyboard is accentuated with variable colour backlighting, controllable via software with what the company claims is a palette of over 16 million colours to choose from.

Razer also claims that its optimised key matrix results in a minimum of keystroke 'ghosting,' while a special 'gaming mode' deactivates the Windows key to prevent any accidental minimisation of full-screen titles.

The Razer Anansi is due to launch world-wide this December, with European pricing set at €99.99 (around £87) and UK launch pricing yet to be confirmed.

Do you think that Razer could be on to a winner with the Anansi, or are there just too many possible key combinations for anyone to make use of them fully? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

30 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Star*Dagger 27th October 2010, 16:18 Quote
I will simply never buy another KB type without an LCD screen like the G15, it is too useful, in fact there is one on my G15 and my G13.

S*D
Picarro 27th October 2010, 16:25 Quote
Below the spacebar? The place where I normally rest my hands? Yeah, super choice of location for modifier keys -.-'

And who the F cares for 16 billion colour combinations?!
rollo 27th October 2010, 16:29 Quote
Who actually looks at there keyboard when playing games, if you want to die why playing with the colours this is the keyboard for you.
adam_bagpuss 27th October 2010, 16:46 Quote
looks nice but silly design feature for keys under the space and £87 price tag is a kick to the nuts
Redbeaver 27th October 2010, 16:49 Quote
i like under the space.....

my hands rest on the left and right of it. my thumbs will be happy.


but the price tag - as with any Razer product - is the killer.
sstteevveenn 27th October 2010, 17:54 Quote
No, mechanical keyboards are designed and built for typing. "The regular keyboard that came with your PC" was designed and built to be cheap.
billysielu 27th October 2010, 17:55 Quote
I can't see anything in those dark photos. Srsly stop putting keys where ppl rest their hands.
Aterius Gmork 27th October 2010, 18:32 Quote
There really is no need for more keys on any razer keyboard, especially if you got the Naga already. You can remap any key on the keyboard to a macro or shortcut. That way you have 10 skills on the num keys, 10-12 skills on the numpad (remapped to Ctrl or Alt+Num) and 10-12 skills on the mouse. That's 30 skills to remember and use propperly already. Hell, in most MMOs or RPGs you can't even learn that many skills.
docodine 27th October 2010, 18:35 Quote
Decent idea, you can assign a color to each skill to help you remember what's what I suppose.

@StarDagger

My previous keyboard was a 1st gen Logitech G15. The LCD was handy, but the keys were so ridiculously mushy after half a year of use that typing became a chore. Bad rubber domes don't age well at all.. I changed to an ABS M1, a low low end mechanical keyboard with many known issues, and haven't looked back. If you need an LCD so badly, hack up an external enclosure for a Matrix Orbital or Crystalfontz display (or even the LCD from the keyboard, it has been done) and upgrade to a mechanical gaming board like a Steelseries 6Gv2 or similar. Just my .02, gaming keyboards with rubber domes are about as useless as most gaming headsets..
SaNdCrAwLeR 27th October 2010, 18:38 Quote
bad design with the keys under the space bar?
excuse me?

those buttons are primely positioned for the thumb, it's an excelent design idea, specially if you consider that in normal MMOs the players are more than tired of using the thumb on that space bar for jump spamming!

it's giving the whole finger a new use... however, the color thingy... now THAT's a poor design choice... no MMO gamer, wether PvE or PvP would ever actually look at their keyboard...
Aterius Gmork 27th October 2010, 18:41 Quote
I think you can't choose the color of every key, only all at once. Still I don't see why that'd be a bad design choice tbh. Glowing keys are awesome, if only for typing in a dimmed room. If you can change the color and it doesn't up the cost too much why not? It's a nice touch.

The position of the key's might not be that much of a bad idea either. Sure you might use the space bar sometimes, but the keys are easy to use in key combinations with Ctrl and Alt as well. Logitech keyboards have had additional keys for years, only that you can't use them as you can't reach them without moving your hand. It's a pretty sensible space for additional buttons really. With other keyboards they's work great.

Only with Razer keyboards you really just do not need them, esp. considering the price.
jrs77 27th October 2010, 18:43 Quote
A keyboard doesn't really have a good layout for playing games to start with and people like me, who don't use WASD for several reasons can't make any use of those keys placed below the space-bar.

If you're really interested in getting a "keyboard" for playing games, then there's way better options to be found like the Logitech G13 or the totally superior Ergodex DX-1.
Aterius Gmork 27th October 2010, 18:53 Quote
The keyboard is designed for MMOs. The point is that it has more keys than your regular keyboard, not less. Good point about the WASD though. What keys do you use for movement in RPGs?
BlackMage23 27th October 2010, 19:04 Quote
Is any kb really worth shelling out the best part of £100 for?
Picarro 27th October 2010, 19:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
Is any kb really worth shelling out the best part of £100 for?

Das Keyboard - It's worth it.
thom804 27th October 2010, 19:24 Quote
Thought it was to be paired with the Skunk mouse really, Badoom Cha!
jrs77 27th October 2010, 20:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork
The keyboard is designed for MMOs. The point is that it has more keys than your regular keyboard, not less. Good point about the WASD though. What keys do you use for movement in RPGs?

When I use the WASD-keys for longer then 30 minutes, then I get spasms in my hand, as the layout simply doesn't match up very well with my hand when talking about ergonomics.
I used Pos1/End/Ins/PgDown (W/A/S/D) and the keys around it (Num0/Left-Arrow/Down-Arrow with thumb, PgUp/Num7/Del with middle-finger and asteriks with small finger) before I got myself an Ergodex DX-1.

Usually you don't need more then 10 keys anyways and with the Ergodex I've got 13-programmable keys now without needing to stretch or flex my fingers.
docodine 27th October 2010, 22:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
Is any kb really worth shelling out the best part of £100 for?

http://elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards
Jipa 27th October 2010, 23:12 Quote
How and why on earth do you guys "rest your thumb right there"? I know I keep mine on the space bar all the time, so having extra keys under the bar aren't going to cause any problems. I tried something similar with the Roccat Arvo keyboard and while they didn't quite nail the design, the idea is good and I'm looking forward to trying the Anansi out.

The only "fail" I can see here is the marketing BS claiming this to be the first MMO-keyboard...
sstteevveenn 27th October 2010, 23:50 Quote
hmm, unless I'm missing something, the DAS keyboard is totally not worth it. I know there are different versions, but was one of them not a rebadged g80-3000 which can be had for £60 plus postage. Besides, black keyboards are inherently evil. :p
LordPyrinc 28th October 2010, 02:30 Quote
Looks like there are already better options out there. I might have to try out this one I looked at: "Belkin Nostromo n52te SpeedPad Game pad"

It looks much more comfortable than a standard keyboard with extra thumb buttons.
sp4nky 28th October 2010, 08:40 Quote
I have the n52te and my thumb does a hell of a lot more than just jump - it also handles movement through the 8-way thumb-pad freeing up my fingers to do skills instead of resting on wasd.
rollo 28th October 2010, 09:05 Quote
some people saying you would remember what the ability is by looking at the colour, can i ask what was the last mmo you played that give you time to remember what the button does before the item your tanking dpsing or healing is either dead or your dead.

i can just see this in a hardcore guild why did you fail at fire ( i was looking at which coloured button moves my character ) you would be laughed outta the guild.

and at this cost its designed for the hardcore pvpers or pve players in games like wow and star trek online or whatever other mmo you care to list. In pvp in most games you get a few seconds to react before your dead. Its also crazy to think most hardcore players dont have macros for every ability memorised to the keys around them. Q E T R are popular macro keys.
Unknownsock 28th October 2010, 09:22 Quote
"the usual twelve ability keys, instantly accessing functions that would previously have taken a mouse click to get at" I'm guessing you don't usually play MMO's but any decent MMO will allow you to remap to any button on the keyboard.
Still don't see why i would replace my X4.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4nky
I have the n52te and my thumb does a hell of a lot more than just jump - it also handles movement through the 8-way thumb-pad freeing up my fingers to do skills instead of resting on wasd.

The problem with the n52te is it doesn't have enough buttons and that thumb stick is horrible.
Phalanx 28th October 2010, 09:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
Is any kb really worth shelling out the best part of £100 for?

If it's mechanical, yes imo.
jimjam205 28th October 2010, 10:47 Quote
Hmm extra buttons on the keyboard might be quite handy but would it be more comforatbale using these rather then extra buttons on a mouse? may have to see
Gareth Halfacree 28th October 2010, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
"the usual twelve ability keys, instantly accessing functions that would previously have taken a mouse click to get at" I'm guessing you don't usually play MMO's but any decent MMO will allow you to remap to any button on the keyboard.
Actuallly, I do - but my point is that you can now remap abilities to the 12 keys plus the new 7 modifiers, giving you 96 possible keys to map. Does *your* keyboard have 96 keys spare to map abilities to?

See what I was getting at now?
sp4nky 28th October 2010, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock

The problem with the n52te is it doesn't have enough buttons and that thumb stick is horrible.
The thumbstick does take a bit of getting used to and I still don't use it for anything other than WoW, I admit but I'm surprised at the assertion that there aren't enough buttons.

I have shift, ctrl and alt defined as the first column, there's a block of 9 buttons and then the ones on the right I've defined as - and =. Between those there's 44 combinations with having to press more than 2 keys at once.

44 is more than enough, I find.
GravitySmacked 28th October 2010, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork
Glowing keys are awesome, if only for typing in a dimmed room. If you can change the color and it doesn't up the cost too much why not? It's a nice touch.

I'm with you on that, I wouldn't buy a keyboard withoput them.
metarinka 30th October 2010, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4nky
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock

The problem with the n52te is it doesn't have enough buttons and that thumb stick is horrible.
The thumbstick does take a bit of getting used to and I still don't use it for anything other than WoW, I admit but I'm surprised at the assertion that there aren't enough buttons.

I have shift, ctrl and alt defined as the first column, there's a block of 9 buttons and then the ones on the right I've defined as - and =. Between those there's 44 combinations with having to press more than 2 keys at once.

44 is more than enough, I find.

yes I used a n52 TE because I got carpal tunnel playing WASD in WOW and trying to spam 0-9 number pads for spells with ctrl and shift as modifiers. I found that using your thumb to move (similar to any console controllers) freed up your fingers to hit a big row of spells. I set up the two buttons as ctrl and shift modifiers then had the as 0-9 and - =. I used bar tender to rearrange action bars in the shape of the keypad and so that when I pressed a macro my AB's would page. Let me circle strafe and cast simulatenously and be able to cast any spell (something nearly impossible to do with WASD) the only problem I had was that it would be hard to see CC timers on hidden pages so I pulled them out to buttons that I could see the CD's on.

The thumb modifiers on this keyboard look useful, the thumb is underused on a keyboard
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