Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review: Wolf King Warrior XXtreme Gaming Keyboard

By J Rob, Citizen Reviewer

In these turbulent days of the Console Wars, perhaps too little attention is paid to the unsung heroes, the dedicated faithful, the PC gamer. We who have battled valiantly, our 104 key sword before us and our 5 button optical dagger (with optional weight adjustment and on-the-fly sensitivity controls) at the ready.

Suddenly, from the wilderness of shadow there stalks a competitor with Ergonomic Dual Discs Optimized for Single-Handed Input, intent upon dethroning your current gaming keyboard and claiming one of your hands as its own. Enter the Wolf King Warrior XXtreme!

Just how big is this thing, anyway? Will I need to upgrade my desk?


It’s a chunky little dude, comparatively speaking.

The WKWXX is slightly smaller than your keyboard, but you know what makes it seem even tinier? No corners. The rounded design is an optical illusion, hiding its true girth. Also, it’s heavy enough to injure someone with in a bar fight. Perhaps “dense” is the better word. It’s dense enough to injure someone with in a bar fight. Please game responsibly.

Since my hand will be living there, how does it feel?

Wolf King claims that this keyboard is ergonomic. I respectfully disagree. I have large hands, and I still felt like I was reaching slightly to rest my fingers on WASD. However, the keys are responsive, and I really enjoy the W directly above the S and the enormous spacebar key beneath my entire thumb. You know what I’m talking about.

Good show, Wolf King.  Good show, indeed.

I play FPS games, and all the keys you need are easy to find in the left hemisphere.

I’ve heard rumors of a blue back-light that you can turn on and off with the push of a button. Are we living in the future already?

See for yourself.

But did you know that this USB keyboard is also a USB hub? For real! You lose 1 USB port to the keyboard, but then you get 2 USB ports in exchange. Sweet deal!

I’ve noticed that there’s an entire alphabet over there on the right. How about that, huh?

And now we come to the right hemisphere, where all the letters that didn’t get a shot at the left hemisphere find a loving home.

It is a thoroughly contrived, perfectly-circular-for-no-good-reason home.

Typing on the right hemisphere is painfully, nigh excruciatingly slow. Although the WKWXX keeps the QWERTY format intact, the fact that it’s split in half and then shoved underneath is not what rational people would call a solution to the problem of text chat in gaming. And don’t forget the complete omission of Home, Insert, End, Page Up and Page Down keys. Really? Didn’t think those are that important, huh?

In fact, I promised to write this review solely on the WKWXX. And is that what happened? Not so much.

Depths of Hades
Thanks for making a liar out of me, jerk!

Finally, no macro buttons here unless Volume +, Volume-, and Mute count. (They don’t.)

Not Macro Buttons
These are not the programable buttons you’re looking for.

How can you be this far into a gaming keyboard review without talking about a single game?

While I did not use the WKWXX to write this review, I did use it to fulfill another of my increasingly cheap promises. Ryan, this one’s for you.

B to the B

Using a dizzying feat of statistical prowess, I am able to conclusively show the performance delta between playing with a WKWXX and playing with your current keyboard. Behold.

Old Keyboard Score

Game Over after using my old keyboard.

Game Over - WKWXX

Game Over after using the WKWXX

That, my friends, is a 60% improvement. But will that performance spike translate to CoD4, WoW and Minesweeper? It MUST be so. Science declares it!

Wrap Up

Will the WKWXX make you a better person? No. Will the WKWXX make you a better gamer? Almost possibly. Will you invent ever-more derogatory expletives to heave at the designers of the right hemisphere QWERTY concept? Indubitably.

And if my humble review wasn’t good enough for you, by all means, partake of some fine Engrish marketing-speak directly from Wolf King USA.

Thanks to Wolf King USA and CrunchGear for the opportunity to review.

Thanks to Flickr for hosting my photos and Google Video for my moving picture.