E3 2011: Razer

by: John -
At Razer, the highlight of their booth was the new Star Wars The Old Republic branded items coming from the hardware company. Razer is no stranger to producing branded hardware, but this time they have something up their sleeve.

First up, they have a white Naga, which is Razer's MMO mouse. The large grouping of buttons on the side let you map various functions and macros to it allowing for quick and easy access to commonly used functions. The white Naga is wireless and has an interchangeable plate to let you customize which faction you are on.

Next up is the wired 5.1 headset, again in a white Star Wars branding. It has a rotating mic and something kind of neat is that it has these color changing LEDs on the bottom of each ear piece, which gives your shoulders a cool little glow when in use. You have a choice of 16 million colors to choose from so there's no shortage of colors to light yourself up. Each ear piece holds a 50mm driver for clear and concise sound and the Star Wars design should appeal to both the Jedi and the Sith out there.

Finally, the highlight of the group is the keyboard. It's a chiclet style keyboard with a multi-color LED lighting system. What sets this keyboard apart from the rest is the LCD touch panel on the right side along with the customizable keys on top.

You may remember the Switchblade that was such a big hit at CES. It's still concept, but they've taken that technology and put it in their first retail product. The touch panel supports two touch points (which may increase) and can show color pictures. Above the panel are 10 programmable keys that can also be customized to show various pictures as well. Up close, the panel and keys look really, really cool and having full color pictures on the keys can let you know quickly what function the key performs.

The LCD is set to be compatible with Logitech's G15 software so there should be some applets ready to go when launched. That's pretty cool so there'll be software options to choose from from the get go.

I asked if Razer was thinking of making an unbranded keyboard using the LCD touch panel and keys, but no plans in the works so far. For now, they are concentrating on just the Star Wars The Old Republic licensing with the keyboard.

You can expect to spend about $200 if you want to pick one up. Even if you're not Star Wars fan, there are some great possibilities for the LCD touchscreen and keys. It's great to see the technology from the Switchblade showing up on other products and I'm hoping that more will come out of Razer utilizing the same tech.

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