Razer Anansi Expert MMO Gaming Keyboard
The Razer Expert MMO Gaming Keyboard may be designed for massive multiplayer games but it works extremely well for general computer use and other gaming like first person shooters.
Ease of Use, Performance: 21/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 20/25
The Razer Anansi is not just another redesigned keyboard but has additional features not found on any other keyboard I have seen, a whole set of thumb buttons for MMO macro assignments. The Razer Anansi is an MMO or massive multiplayer online gaming keyboard but is also great for other gaming.
The Razer Anansi simply comes with the Anansi keyboard and the usual manuals and certificate of authenticity, the drivers for the keyboard are available for download from the Razer website. The Anansi is a full sized keyboard about 20 inches wide and 7 1/2 inches front to back with about an inch in height but also has two half inch propping feet.
The Razer Anansi uses macro assignments for any special commands but has keys for the regular keyboard set along with the usual number pad, arrow set plus function keys. You have the set of five macro keys along the left side of the main keyboard set and another set of thumb macro keys below the space bar for MMO gaming.
While the thumb buttons work well in gaming the side keys are a bit hard to use in the heat of gaming because they are situated a bit too far to the left side of the keyboard. The thumb keys however are made for quick use and easy access using your left thumb while gaming in both MMO games and others.
I prefer to use the side set of keys as program shortcut keys to open programs I use often like Outlook, Firefox, Windows Media player and my current Blu-ray movie player. You can also use them in games for functions you don’t use very often but still want a handy one stroke key for macros or simple functions.
The Razer Anansi does have the now common Razer color changing scheme where you can set a single color or have the keys backlighting rotate through the color spectrum. In order to power this backlighting the Razer Anansi does require a little more power than one USB connection puts out so the Anansi has two USB connections.
The Anansi does not have any USB connections onboard which some reviews state as a lack of connections but for some it is not a problem, that’s what USB hubs are for. I personally do not use USB connections on my peripherals as I feel that a USB hub is a better way to manage your computers cabling.
The Anansi also has up to 20 profiles available so for just about every type of computer use from gaming to image editing and general web surfing you can have a profile for key assignments. You can program any key to any keyboard assignment, a macro setting or a program so you can perform a key stroke, open a program or a set of key strokes with the press of a single key.
The set of side keys are also fully programmable but they are at an odd placement for use in a game but work well for use in other programs or for general web surfing. I have used them as program opening buttons for quick and easy use of my mail and other often used programs.
The buttons below the space bar are better for use in MMO games and are easy to use in game with your left thumb but it does take some getting used to. Like any keyboard and mouse the use of a set of macro buttons for gaming adds a quick way to perform functions like spells or special abilities.
The buttons for MMO gaming or any other keys are easily assigned to whatever you like as well as macros for use in games, a macro is a set of assignments using multiple keys or with added time delays. Macros are useful in gaming but being able to assign any key of the keyboard really makes the Razer keyboards fully functional and a great keyboard.
Razer has a configuration program for all their keyboards that make the best use of the keyboard and assigning macros or any of the key strokes. The program is available from the Razer website and installs quickly with a restart needed to fully install the program.
Razer has done a lot to make their keyboards fully featured and even with the occasional problem with this one I do have to say this makes a great keyboard for MMO gamers. I did not like the use of the function keys for other assignments like the multimedia as my first person shooter gaming interferes at times.
I did find that when I wanted to switch seat positions while gaming in my current favorite FPS game, Battlefield Bad Company 2, I would often mute the game using the keys. The multimedia keys for volume are set as the function keys, F1 through F3, using the function button and would activate when pressed while in the game.
This meant while gaming the volume would cut in and out because I was hitting the change seat for vehicles but was easily corrected by hitting the volume up button. While this was easy to fix in game it is just one annoying feature in an otherwise almost perfect keyboard.
I did like using the Razer Anansi for over a month as my primary keyboard and have become quite used to it, the keyboard works well and is easy to use for both gaming and writing. I highly recommend the Razer Anansi for MMO gamers who want the use of additional assignable keys that are easy to use in game for your thumb.