Razer Tarantula vs. Logitech G15

What sort of keyboard are you using? Is it a grimy old beige thing from an old PC or something a bit newer with a few multimedia keys on it? Not all keyboards are born equal, and if you’re a keen gamer you have some fantastic choices if you want something to boost your in-game performance. There are (arguably) only two choices if you want the best gaming keyboard, the Logitech G15 and the Razer Tarantula.

Razer Tarantula

Price: $99 or £80

Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard
The Tarantula is Razer’s first entry into the keyboard market, and they are certainly onto a winner. Sleek and black with a glowing blue Razer logo, this keyboard is a winner straight out of the box.

Features

  • Allows up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • 10 programmable hotkeys
  • Up to 5 gaming profiles can be stored in memory
  • 1ms response to key presses
  • Media Center keys
  • 2 USB ports
  • BattleDock for gaming accessories
  • Swappable symbol keys

Razer Tarantula Gaming KeyboardThe list of features is good, although the BattleDock could easily be classed as a gimmick. At the time of writing the available accessories are the BattleLight (an overhead light to make up for the lack of backlit keys) and the BattleEye (a webcam), neither of which scream ‘must buy’ to me.

One clever feature of the Tarantula is a set of blue symbol keys that can be swapped with the normal keyboard keys. The symbols match up with the common features in most first-person shooters, so you can swap the keys to your preferred layout and then easily identify the key you want during gameplay. Probably not that big a deal when you instinctively know where your reload key is in the heat of battle, but at least it shows they’re thinking of the gaming market.

Logitech G15

Price: $99 or £70
If you asked someone to name a premium gaming keyboard, the Logitech G15 would probably be the one they’d choose. This has been out for a couple of years now and has gained quite a reputation.

Logitech G15Logitech G15 Version 2 Gaming Keyboard

Features

Logitech G15 Version 2

  • Allows up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • 6 programmable macro keys with 3 modes (18 possible macros)
  • LCD display that includes date, time, RAM/CPU load and other info
  • Illuminated keyboard with 3 brightness settings
  • Media Center keys
  • 2 USB ports
  • Battledock for gaming accessories

Logitech have just released version 2 of the G15. Following customer feedback, they have reduced the number of macro keys from 18 to just 6, as the extra keys made the keyboard too wide. The colour scheme has changed too, from bright blue to a softer orange that gives less glare in low light conditions.

Conclusion

On the face of it both keyboards work really well. Both have traditional QWERTY layouts with keys that feel good to use, providing instant response to button presses. They also come with detachable wrist supports so should be comfortable to use for extended gaming sessions, and if you don’t like the included rest you can take it off and use your own.

The Tarantula is solidly built, feeling more robust than the G15, but it is let down by a glossy surface that is prone to scratches. Also, the lack of backlighting on the keys is a serious omission in this market, and expecting customers to pay an additional $20 for the Battlelight is a bit much. However, the Battledock is certainly a unique feature and if Razer can get some worthy accessories onto the market it could really give the Tarantula that ‘must buy’ aura.

The G15’s LCD display is its best feature, and is probably more useful than anything the Razer’s BattleDock will be offering in the near future. The G15 also has more macro keys and that lovely subtle backlighting.

Slightly curious is the fact that both keyboards currently have the same retail price in $, but there is a £10 price difference here in the UK. I’ll leave you to make up your own minds about what might be the reason for that.

These two keyboards offer slightly different approaches to the ultimate gaming keyboard but there is very little to choose between them. Personally I prefer the Logitech G15 simply because of its LCD screen and the functions that provides. It just tips the scales in its favour, but if somebody offered me a Tarantula I wouldn’t say no!

Now if you’re thinking that the asking price of these two keyboards is a little too high, you might be interested in a comparison of two cheaper relatives of the G15 and Tarantula, namely the Razer Lycosa and Logitech G11.

Author: Chris

Chris is a devout PC gamer who spends way, way too much time sat at his PC either gaming or writing. You can find Chris on Google+

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