Customer Review

186 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you use one, you'll have a hard time playing without one, February 21, 2011
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This review is from: Razer Nostromo PC Gaming Keypad (Personal Computers)
I've had a Nostromo for years when it was still being manufactured by Belkin. They sold it to Razer a while back and stopped driver support for the N52 which became a issue for me under Win7, so I figured since I liked the Tarantula keyboard so much, surely their take on the Nostromo would be golden.

First, the software that comes bundled with the Razer Nostromo is flat out excellent, very solid and stable, and IMO better than what Belkin had going with their profiler. The Belkin profiler was good and easy to use, very intuitive on most levels with programming macros and keystrokes, and allowed you to set up 3 keys for page flipping fairly easily. The Razer version has the same ease of use, but is smoother and cleaner with its layout, it enables *MUCH* smoother profile changes even within a game to other game set ups, something the Belkin version couldn't, and has 8 keymap page options compared to Belkin's 3.

However, when I first got it, I was very annoyed with the thumb directional pad, it had this knob sticking up from the center that significantly interfered with my use of it as a directional movement button. I guess the designers thought it made the directional key more accessible, but I found it very hindering. Fortunately, a closer examination revealed that the knob was removable and the thumb button's slightly dipped design was much more natural. I did find the thumb and space keys to be a bit too tall and slightly stiff compared to my old Belkin model, but after a couple of weeks of steady use they loosened up and I got used to their height, a combination of unlearning what the Belkin model had taught my hand to expect and Razer's keys becoming more responsive with use.

The keys on the keypad are *excellent*, downright sexy. The texture of the buttons, the lighting, and the amount of distance that your finger has to depress them is all spot on and natural in the amount of effort and response. One's hand size is only a minor concern thanks to the palm rest's shape. I have large hands, so the heel of my palm naturally sits on the bottom of the rest, and my fingers find their placement naturally as a result with no feelings of being crowded. I have a small friend who is all of 4'10", she borrowed my unit for a couple of days and promptly ordered one herself, saying that her small hand size was equally supported by the Nostromo's palm rest, allowing her to easily reach all the keys simply by resting the heel of her palm higher on the rest, she also found the knob on the directional pad worth keeping in place (though she too complained about the stiffness of the two buttons just like I did until use loosened them up).

Update 9-22-2013

I still possess the unit I purchased in Feb of 2011. Ever since I've gotten this, I play every game using it and should any mishap befall it I would replace it with zero hesitation. Every friend I've recommended it to has bought one refuses to game without it (currently numbering at 8 converts). The durability of this unit is simply outstanding, the keys still have their sexy responsiveness, the back lighting is still the same level of color, and only an occasional air-blasting dusting was ever needed. I hope Razer keeps this product on the market for a long time to come still.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 15, 2011 10:30:53 PM PST
Mr. Pickle says:
Yeah, I wish Amazon would hire you. If every product had a review like this it would make online shopping much better. This review seriously helped out. Respect.

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 5:53:31 PM PST
S. Thomas says:
would the nostromo work as lap device while using a laptop? I often have my laptop on a tv tray while I play and I'm looking for an alternative since they built in keyboard gets very hot.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 6:50:00 AM PST
C. Bos says:
You do know that the button on the thumb pad is removable right?

Otherwise, spot on review. Ive used every version of the Nostromo since the N50. And FYI, the N52 still works fine in Win7. The best software Ive seen yet though has the management software used for the 50 and 52. The Belkin N52te software was trash. The Razer N52te software is lightyears better.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 11:58:19 AM PDT
Actually, the N52 doesn't work well on 64 bit Win7 now, I have been using it with other MMO's for nearly 3 years without issue but now all of a sudden it doesn't want to work right anymore (keeps crashing with a BSOD every time I hook it up. Probably due to a new Win7 update, but without support from Belkin... it's essentially useless now :/) + it was never recognized as a controller on its own the way it was on Win XP. It gets recognized as just a HID controller now & I'm ordering this new Nostromo so I can start playing without issues again. Well, that's the plan anyway...

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 1:47:41 PM PDT
Does this work right handed?

Posted on Oct 11, 2012 1:56:06 PM PDT
Maverick Lin says:
hey so just wondering are you saying that this product is worth the buy or not? so far all i can read is that the product isnt worth it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 8:34:04 AM PST
Yes, provided you have a USB port for it to plug into. I'd also recommend if your laptop gets hot you look into some external cooling options.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 8:35:23 AM PST
Yes, if you reread my review I eventually figured it out ;) I totally agree with the software being significantly better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 8:37:49 AM PST
My issues with the thumb and movement keys has faded with use, basically I had to break it in as it were. As I reply to this its 11-26-2012 and I'm still using the same one I bought in 02-21-2011.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 8:14:26 AM PST
This is an amazing review, great job. However, I think your sentence about the 8-way dpad being meant as a joystick is wrong, joysticks' inputs are read via 2 axis, which allow for very very minute control between the basic "up" and "left" positions, ect, but on this device it seems like there are only 8 contact buttons. This would be well suited for changing views, or selecting weapons, or firing thrusters where the angle of thrust is constant (i.e. only to the right, or only forward), but would not be useful for anything requiring much precision. They are pretty much equivalent to your arrow keys.
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