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Razer Tartarus V2: Better Than Ever

Hardware Reviews By Kris Brooks on December 22, 2017

Razer Tartarus V2: Better Than Ever

While most keypads typically are nothing more than a pint sized keyboard, the Razer Tartarus V2 is not your average keypad. Like the Razer Ornata keyboard, it features Razer’s Mecha-Membrane technology, Chroma backlighting with 16.8 million customizable color options, full anti-ghosting, 32 Fully programmable keys and so much more. Is it worth the $79.99 MSRP? Read on for our thoughts.

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Specifications

  • MSRP: $79.99
  • Razer™ Mecha-Membrane Technology
  • Mid height keycaps
  • Razer Chroma™ backlighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • 32 fully programmable keys
  • Programmable 8-way directional thumb pad & scroll wheel
  • Full anti-ghosting
  • Unlimited macro lengths
  • Unlimited game profiles 
  • Ergonomic form factor with adjustable palm rest
  • Razer Synapse 3 (PC) / Razer Synapse 2 (Mac) enabled
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling

The Tartarus V2 is full-featured keypad sporting a new, yet classic, look. Razer has taken the Tartarus back to its roots with a design that is more reminiscent of their original Razer Nostromo. The keypad features a matte black finish, accompanied by non-textured key caps. Razer is also keeping the same font as the Blackwidow V2.

As with previous models, the palm-rest is adjustable and now features a faux leather pad for added comfort and support. While this is a great idea, I would have liked to see the pad be a bit thicker, as you’re able to feel the plastic base in longer gaming sessions. It is definitely a step in the right direction, and I am grateful to see more thought into elements like this.

The Tartarus V2 comes with Razer’s new Mecha-Membrane technology. These new switches combine the soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the crisp tactile click of a mechanical switch. Each key actuates mid-height for a rapid response. After hours of gameplay, you would think the tactile feedback and click of the keys would get old, but it’s just the opposite. I look forward to hearing and feeling that click. There is nothing like having a physical response to confirm your press.

As an owner of the prehistoric Belkin n52te keypad, I had to put the Tartarus to the test and she how it measured up against a well-known friend. Immediately you can tell the difference in reaction time and even reduced fatigue over extended play times. The added keys provide provide a huge amount of expandability. If you have smaller hands, you may have to stretch to reach them, though.

This is without question an MMO device but can make any game better. During my MMO gameplay, it was very satisfying to have all of my movement and every spell and action right at my fingertips. I was able to immerse myself more and spend less time finding the right keys to press. In other genres, it’s much the same; the layout allows you to access everything faster than a normal keyboard. Like Razer’s Naga, once you get used to having anything you’d like to do so close at hand, it’s hard to go back.

Another side of this great keypad is the non-gameplay potential it has. I personally use a custom profile that has all my Adobe Photoshop tools keybound in an order that allows me quick access. The Tartarus V2 allows me to focus on my designs and less about mousing to the correct windows and interfaces.

The other big benefit is that the Tartarus saves a huge amount of desk real estate. For gaming, it’s much easier to get into a comfortable position and angle with both your mouse and key-hands. Everything looks cleaner, too. The downside, of course, is that a keypad isn’t great for text-chat, but it’s a perfect enhancer if you’re using Discord.

Another newly adopted feature that razer has added is Hypershift mode. Hypershift On/Off can be bound to any key and allows you to switch into a second layer of keys. Instantly, your 32 keys are doubled providing an insane amount of keys and full-featured programmability within the Synapse software. If you’ve ever used Razer Synapse before, then you know: remap, rebind, launch programs, record and execute macros. Synapse is a user friendly and very powerful interface, especially considering the Tartarus V2’s new Chroma functionality.

Chroma is Razer’s RGB illumination system embedded in most of their line of peripherals. Just like the Blackwidow V2, each key has a top mounted RGB LED that can be individually customized. Within Synapse 3.0, you’ll find Chroma Studio. This new suite allows you to arrange your devices to match the exact layout on your desk. By doing so this you can easily program Chroma effects that sync between your devices. My personal favorite was the ripple effect. Whenever I press a key, a smooth blue ripple travels across all my devices seamlessly.

Final Thoughts

The Razer Tartarus V2 is an excellent keypad. With so many buttons, you can have everything at the tip of your fingers, and the combinations seem almost endless. Thanks to Hypershift, it would be hard to run out of buttons for everything you need, laid out in an easy to access grid. The Razer Tartarus V2 is a must have for any MMO player looking to save some desk space or who simply needs the most powerful macro pad around.

Pros

  • Expanded keys – 32 programmable, including a scroll wheel
  • Hypershift mode doubles your key count
  • Easy programmability thanks to Synapse 3.0
  • Fast, syncing between devices

Cons

  • Wrist-rest padding is a touch thin

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.