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ups: slightly lighter and smaller than a normal keyboard
downs: overpriced, clunky, counterintuitive, substantially less useful than a normal keyboard

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WolfKing Warrior Review
gone gold
two star
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
publisher: Wolf King
developer: Wolf King
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date posted: 02:01 PM Tue Aug 8th, 2006
last revision: 02:06 PM Tue Aug 8th, 2006

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Click to read.The WolfKing Warrior is the smallest in the line of WolfKing keyboard products aimed at FPS gamers. Ideologically, the idea seems at least slightly sound: eliminate the keys that a gamer isn\'t using, and the result could be a smaller, easier to use device. However, history has shown me over and over that in reality it never works out this way, and I\'m sad to report that the WolfKing Warrior is no exception.

The Warrior features a circular design that\'s quite compact, and contains the WSAD keys, the keys that would normally be around them (Control, ALT, F, E, Q, R, etc), an oversized and oddly shaped spacebar located approximately under the unfortunate user\'s thumb. I say unfortunate partially because of the space bar - for some reason, it\'s elevated slightly from the rest of the keys, which creates a slight imbalance in my hand when it\'s resting on the keyboard.

The placement of the K key is somewhat of a puzzle, as it\'s been stuck in a rather odd place, and is one of the only keys from the right hand side of the keyboard to appear on the WolfKing Warrior. I can only speculate that someone at WolfKing thought that the \"K\" key was the \"Kill\" key, and therefore vital to first person shooting. I know that obviously there are FPS games that use K in their default mapping, but the same can be said for L, M, or several other keys that didn\'t make the cut, so it seems rather arbitrary.

The placement of the number keys is another great idea that doesn\'t pan out very well in reality. They form a semicircle around the top of the device, so in theory, every number should be within easy reach. However, they\'re all further away from the \"W\" key than the \"1\", \"2\", \"3\" or \"4\" keys on an ordinary keyboard. The advantage of having easier access to \"7\", \"8\", \"9\" and \"0\" than one usually would was undermined for me by having numeric keys which, in general, are harder to reach than standard numeric keys.

I suppose if you were headed to a LAN party, and space was at an absolute premium, and you were 100% certain that the WolfKing Warrior contained all the keys you would need, AND you were 100% certain that your computer wasn\'t going to crash or do anything else that would require a fullsize keyboard, the Warrior might not be a bad bet. I\'m sure the more clever of you have realized that since the 0-9 keys are available, as well as the ALT key, that it is possible to make the Warrior spit out any character by using ALT key combinations. By that logic, all anyone should need is a numeric keypad and an ALT key. That logic seems about as sound as the logic being displayed by WolfKing, who also make a full sized keyboard with a Warrior attached to the lefthand side. In some ways, this seems even worse to me, because it means there\'s automatically an extra 7\" between your keyboard hand and your mousing hand.

While I have few good things to say about the Warrior, I will grant that the box is pretty great. In fact, the box is probably the best thing about the Warrior. It features a hilariously poor digital image of a wolf wearing combat gear and carrying an automatic rifle. The craftsmanship is poor enough that when you stare at the image long enough, it beings to fall apart into its component pieces, which creates a trippy, if not downright schizophrenic effect.

When you consider that it\'s pretty standard to buy a vanilla keyboard for 9.99, I think the WolfKing, at 24.99, is overpriced by just about a factor of five. If you\'re going to give people half a keyboard, you should only charge them half the price.

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