Cyber Snipa Warboard Review
Another gamer's keyboard enters the fray.
Cyber Snipa's Warboard is a PC keyboard designed for the gamer. Its features include a Windows key lock button, backlit multimedia control and lock keys, programmable macro keys, and replacement keys that let you swap in game-related icon keys for the letters. Of these features the one that's really the most useful to gamers is the programmable macros, but this depends heavily on the types of games that you play.
The Windows key lock button lets you disable the Windows key while gaming, saving you from accidentally bringing up the Start menu when you were aiming for the Ctrl key. If you're the kind of gamer who accidentally swaps out of his/her games at critical moments, then this feature will be a godsend to you. Personally I can't remember this ever happening to me, so to me it's not that important of a feature.
The backlit keys all sit at the top of the keyboard and are assigned to multimedia functions, the Windows key lock, and the macro shift key. The blue glow of these keys is cool, but I have to wonder why the rest of the keyboard was left in the dark.
The replacement keys are a bit of a novelty. Using the included key-puller, you can easily switch out a number key to one with a knife icon to signify its use in a game. While this seems like a cool feature, in reality it does little more than make your keyboard cooler to look at. It's hard to imagine gamers popping keys in and out every time they switch to a new game, and if you're spending time looking at the keys while trying to play a game you're pretty much frag meat.
This brings us to the programmable macro keys. The included software provides a macro programming utility that makes it easy to program the keys. In addition to assigning a sequence of keystrokes to the macro you can add mouse clicks as well. This all works nicely but the placement of the macro keys limits their usefulness. If you're playing a strategy game, RPG, or MMOG, then they are convenient enough and can prove to be pretty useful. However, since they are aligned in two columns on either end of the keyboard they are too far away from the WASD keys on the left and require you to take your hand off of the mouse on the right. The last thing that you want to do during a heated battle in a shooter is to take you hand off of your mouse.
As for the keyboard itself it has a nice black sheen to it. It looks pretty good unless you're not into the shiny plastic look. The keyboard is quite a bit larger than your standard keyboard and will therefore use up more of your desktop real estate than a normal keyboard. In spite of its large size, the key layout is a little compact and looks more like that of a laptop's. When gaming I'm used to a double-wide backspace key and a 3 by 2 Insert key cluster, so I was prone to miss the Backspace key or forced to take time to visually locate the Page Up key. The keys themselves have a pretty soft feel that was too soft for my tastes. I rest my thumbs on the space bar while typing and on this keyboard this resulted in a constant clacking noise from the space bar that was a little distracting. I realize that these last few points may be more important to some gamers than others, but I need to point out that the board does not provide the tactile feedback you may be used to from other gaming keyboards. My advice to you is to try it out in a store before you commit to it.
The Warboard will probably find some fans among gamers, but the feature set does not really give gamers that much of an edge, especially when you take its idiosyncrasies into account. If you spend a lot of time with MMORPGs and could use 20 macros to streamline your gameplay, then check out its feel and see if it's for you. Action gamers should probably look elsewhere for a gaming keyboard more suitable for use with their favorite games.
Transmitted: 4/24/2014 12:45:00 PM