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Reclusa gamers' keyboard breaks out of shell

Microsoft unveils a new gamers' keyboard, developed with the game peripheral company Razer.

Microsoft has a new gamers' peripheral on the way, and it's not for the Xbox 360. The company has once again partnered with game-controller maker Razer, this time to produce the Reclusa, a new gamers' keyboard directed squarely at discerning fragaholics. This isn't the first Microsoft-Razer collaboration; last year, the two produced the Microsoft Habu gaming mouse.

The Microsoft-licensed Reclusa seems a bit like Razer's excellent Tarantula keyboard. Both are striking black keyboards with blue backlighting and extra, customizable keys. The Reclusa also has a few handy features that the Tarantula lacks: it doubles as a two-port USB hub with gold-plated USB ports located on either side of the keyboard, and it includes two 360-degree spinning dials that can be customized to control things like volume and steering.

With a smaller price tag and a slightly less "hard core" image than the Tarantula, the Microsoft Reclusa seems like a good middleground for gamers who want a solid, good-looking gaming keyboard but don't want to shell out $100. Of course, we'll have to see whether the $70 keyboard has anywhere near the same excellent responsiveness as the Tarantula when it ships this spring.