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Wolfking Warrior XXtreme - command pad - wired review: Wolfking Warrior XXtreme - command pad - wired

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The Good Gives gamers more keys to work with, once they adjust to the new layout

The Bad Backlighting doesn't illuminate keyboard letters, only the keys themselves; no macro software or programmable hot keys; not enough features to justify the cost

The Bottom Line With a more gamer-friendly key layout than a traditional keyboard, the Wolfking Xxtreme might appeal to some hard-core gamers. However, they would be better off with the much cheaper non-Xxtreme model, which costs half as much.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 4
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

One look at Wolfking's Warrior Xxtreme gaming keyboard and you'll probably groan at the idea of learning a new key layout. Our suggestion is that you don't consider it a replacement for your standard keyboard. Instead, think of it as a separate PC gaming accessory, like a joystick. In that mindset, putting the Warrior Xxtreme to use becomes a bit less daunting. Unfortunately, the $80 price tag remains the same no matter how you look at it. Unless your gaming needs truly demand a full-blown keyboard redesign, Wolfking's less expensive Warrior is a much more reasonable option.

Like the Warrior and Wolfking's other gaming keyboard, the Timber Wolf, the idea of the Warrior Xxtreme is to provide PC gamers with a keyboard that makes more keys accessible. But while the Warrior gives you a single keypad, and the Timber Wolf mashes the keypad alongside a traditional keyboard, the Warrior Xxtreme combines the Warrior's keypad with a second, 41 key cluster of letter keys. The idea is that you would use the keypad on the left for controlling your game, and the right side for typing out in-game chat.

We don't think that's actually such a bad idea. Many online games have an in-game chat component, so if you're going to have an extra hardware component that invites you to push your standard keyboard aside, why not take the extra step of giving gamers basic chat capabilities on that same accessory?

Unfortunately, there's not enough value in that extra feature or the Wolfking Xxtreme overall to justify the $80 cost. As we said at the start, the Wolfking Xxtreme won't replace your standard keyboard. The added chat keys essentially take the left side of a typical QWERTY layout and stack them on top of the right side. You might learn how to navigate them quickly with your right hand while you drive your game with your left, but the surface area of the right side is so small that you would be very hard-pressed to become accustomed to it for full-time typing.

About the only other feature aside from a semiuseful set of keys for chatting is the royal blue LED that lights up the background of the Wolfking Xxtreme. It doesn't illuminate the symbols on the keys, it simply shines up from underneath the key tray. Rather than help you see the letters on the keys, the light really only helps you determine the individual key locations. Aside from the half-baked lighting, you get no macro software and no programmable hot keys. Volume controls and a pair of USB ports on the back are the only other extras.

We can certainly see the advantage of the left side of the Wolfking Xxtreme. The layout looks like it would take some getting used to, but once you did, you would have many more keys at your immediate disposal than a traditional keyboard. The problem is that you can get that for $45 less in Wolfking's standard Warrior keypad. The added right-side chat keys on the Warrior Xxtreme aren't a bad thing, but Wolfking needs to go further to justify the significant extra cost.

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