Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
WolfClaw Type II
- Brilliant key layout, quiet and responsive
- Slight repositioning of a few keys takes some getting used to
One of the best gaming solutions available on the market today. The Wolf Claw offers 40 keys all within easy reach and makes playing any game with keyboard commands a dream.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Gamers have long been searching for an alternative to the standard W-A-S-D key setup that has become so popular over the last decade. The way in which a regular QWERTY keyboard is laid out means not all of the necessary keys are within easy reach all the time and the more complex the game, the bigger this problem is. As hardcore gamers know - when gaming, every millisecond can count.
Enter the WolfClaw Type II, a keyboard with a custom keypad designed exclusively with gamers in mind. The new pad replaces the num-pad, and is moved from the right to the left of the main keys; a juxtaposition of the regular keyboard design. This is awkward for a few minutes, you find yourself reaching to type and wind up on the gaming pad rather than the WASD keys. After a while you get used to it and we think the sacrifice is worth it one hundred times over.
WolfClaw have not just moved the num-pad, they have completely redesigned it. All of the keys around the typical WASD control layout are duplicated on the pad, laid out in a semi-circular fashion. The number keys from one to nine form a halo around the top and amazingly all of them are within easy reach of the central controls. There is a second space bar, running horizontally down the middle and a smattering of CTRL and ALT and SHIFT keys to round out the pad. There are a total of 40 keys on and every one of them can be reached from the central point. That is more than enough for any game or application. The keys are also enlarged with the most prominent keys being nearly half again as big. All in all, the key layout puts an impressive amount of options easily within reach.
In games, the WolfClaw Type II works flawlessly. After an hour or so to adjust to the new configuration we were fragging away like never before. Our fingers were never stretched and it was extremely comfortable to use.
Regular keyboard use is slightly stunted by the new layout, as certain buttons had to be sacrificed. The notable losses are the delete key and the arrow keys, both of which have been crammed into the bottom row near the right SHIFT key. Many years of instinctively reaching a certain way have to be gradually unlearned, and even now, days after first using the keyboard, we find ourselves pausing to use these keys.
There are several new keys as well, mostly controlling internet based functions such as back, forward and email. With the combination of desktop shortcuts, mouse keys and keyboard shortcuts available to the average user these days, we find these keys a little obsolete. It is a nice gesture, but we didn't really use them at all.
For general word processing tasks the keyboard was a joy to type on. Everything was responsive to the touch and the keys were exceptionally quiet. No longer will your roommates be driven mad by incessant key presses long into the night.
You may sacrifice a few things and spend a small period adjusting to the change, but for any serious gamer the WolfClaw Type II is an absolute blessing. It may not have the flashiness of the Logitech G15, but what it lacks there it makes up for in convenience and ease of us. The only improvement we could potentially think of would be to simply take the gamepad and make it an attachment to a regular keyboard. The WolfClaw Type II has USB ports along the top, which would support such an addition. This would give full keyboard utility yet keep everything within easy reach for gamers.
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