Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Product Review

Yeah, I steal my ideas. Whuddup? But I give credit. I was reading a post by BBB, and it occurred to me that there are some WoW type products I've used and can review. As per FTC guidelines (thanks 3B), I have received no compensation from any source. I only use these products that I purchased with my own hard-earned cash.

A few months back, I got sick and tired of using my keyboard because I had to move my hand a whole lot. The 3-4 inches that I had to move my hand between "1" and "=" had become too much to handle. Basically, I reached the epitome of lazy. So, I went in search of alternatives. I was using the Zboard with BC Keyset.

Ok, if you're looking for pretty pictures, this is the keyboard for you because that's about its biggest offering. It's only around $35, which is less expensive than a lot of other standard keyboards. The keys aren't raised, which I love (I'm too lazy to pick up my fingers). It isn't wireless. Some people consider wireless or bluetooth a bonus; I don't. Nothing is more annoying than having batteries crap out on you in the middle of a boss fight, so I'm wired all the way. But basically, this is just another keyboard with a pretty sticker. I have the BC key set, but there is also one for WotLK.

Instead of a numberpad on the right, there are some pre-mapped keys. Basically, these are pretty useless. Does anyone really need a series of keys instead of /yell /g /p /r etc? Not really. If you're expecting any added functionality out of this thing, forget it. It's just a pretty keyboard. For thirty-five bucks, what do you expect?

World of Warcraft Gaming Mouse:
I had a bunch of Best Buy gift cards and they were burning a hole in my pocket, so I decided to buy some new hardware to play WoW with. I had been itching to try the Steel Series WoW gaming mouse since it came out, and boy, was I disappointed.

It's got 15 buttons. Too bad they're all placed in difficult to reach spots. The thumb directional pad is the most unwieldy thing in the world. It's not raised up enough to use properly. The other buttons positioned all over the mouse required you to regularly reposition your hand. Can you say carpal tunnel syndrome? Also, it's functionality as a mouse pointer is horrible. It doesn't slide easily, mainly because of the way it's designed. The only slightly cool thing about this was that it lights up. OOOH PRETTY.

Basically, mouse fail. Thank God for Best Buy's return policy.

Logitech G13 Advanced Gaming Board:
So, I took back the crappy WoW mouse and got the Logitech game pad. I bought the G13 for around the same price as the WoW mouse: $80. This thing is sweet. It has 24 programmable buttons and a thumb stick (25 buttons if you count pushing down on the thumb stick). You can link each button to any key or combination of keys and save them to a profile. You can have numerous profiles and up to 3 key sets in each profile. Switching between the key sets is done by hitting one of the memory buttons. This is great for my drood. I have 3 different keysets: resto, bear, kitty. There is also a quick macro button so you can program these on the fly, but I haven't taken time to play around with this feature yet. Basically, this thing has more utility than I could ever need.

Some people have complained about the thumb stick because it's not analog. Really, I have no problem with this. It works great. Sure, with analog, I could move it a little to walk, a lot to run, but really, it's nothing to QQ over. The other complaint about the stick is that it's uncomfortable. I thought so too at first. Really, it's no biggie. If you're that upset, I did find some guy online who put directions up with how to replace the stick with one from an Xbox controller. Neat, but it looked like a lot of work and, like I stated above, I'm lazy.

It also has an LCD display. It has a clock, CPU usage, and WoW stats. Not really useful, but the keys and the display light up. I like to set each key set to it's own color so I can tell which one I'm using.

In any case, you can program this thing to put your most used keys in the easiest to reach spots and place less used keys elsewhere. Just a note: the G13 does not give you extra keys; you still have to map keys from your keyboard to it.

So, to sum up:
Zboard - nothing special; worth the $30; buy it, but you've been forewarned
WoW Mouse - crap; don't buy; not worth the CTS you'll develop
G13 - awesome; no device is a must have, but this thing is worth every penny

If I ever feel like shelling out $100, I'll buy the G15 keyboard and review that. I've heard good things from guildies about it. If I really lose my mind, I'll drop $200 on the G19.


  1. I know what you mean about the zboard, i tried one of their cheaper offerings, the Fang gamepad. it looks decent, but it's quite a job retraining yourself to work with that layout.

    If you can succeed, you could do almost all your wow playing with one hand, and use the other hand to mouse with. barring the occasional typed message.

    There are two i'd like to experiment with is the
    DX1 input system (see thinkgeek) and the cyborg robotic gaming keyboard. (also at thinkgeek)

  2. Mmmm.. I'm in the market for a new gaming mouse, because mine is the simplest of simple mouses, except that it's wireless. My fiance warned me that I probably would end up hating that, and I laughed at him.



    If you know of more good gaming mouses (er, mice), I'd love to see a comparison of them. I need a mouse that doesn't have too many buttons, because my heals are bound to certain click combos - too many click combos, and i won't know what spell each button casts. I.E. 15 buttons would definitely NOT work for me.

  3. @Miss Medicina
    I suggest the mx518, perfect game mouse and it's been around forEVER.


    Thanks for the write up, I really enjoy reading your rants! Haha..

  4. @boomtank
    The Fang keyset comes with the WoW keyboard. Basically, it just replaces wsad and other movement keys with really big buttons. In other words, it's for people with fat fingers.

    @Miss Medicina and Adam
    As far as gaming mouses go, don't waste your time looking for one. A gaming mouse is just a pimped out 5 button mouse. Put some flames on the side, maybe make it light up, slap a "World of Warcraft tested/approved" sticker on the box. The best thing you can do is find a good 5 button laser (better than optical) mouse that is comfortable for you to use. The two buttons near the thumb rest should be easy for you to push with your thumb. Another good feature is a scroll button with a switch (one for click spinning, the other for free spinning). As I stated above, I recommend wired over wireless just because of batter life factor, but laser uses less power than optical.

    There are some 6+ button mouses out there, but as I played around with them I realized that the extra buttons were either too small for my fingers to press easily or in an out of the way position that made me have to adjust my hand too much.

  5. Yeah the Logitech mx518 is a 5-button laser mouse. Works perfect for any game I've ever played on a computer. Right out of the box it also let's you pick between three dpi settings if you want to change your sensitivity on the fly...kind of nice to have.

  6. @Adam
    the mx518 is an optical mouse, so it's not as responsive as a laser. The G500 looks like an upgrade to this (it's a laser). Another nice thing it offers is weights so you can personalize the feel. It has programmable macros also, if you're into that sorta thing. I personally feel that putting macros on a mouse goes a tad overboard. There are enough addons out there that can sort this out for you and be made for WoW.

  7. Bear key bindings on my G15:
    g2 repeat while pressed : Swipe
    g3 : taunt
    g4 repeat while pressed : Mangle, FFF, Swipe
    g5 repeat while pressed : Mangle, FFF, Lacerate
    g6 repeat while pressed : Maul, Lacerate

    can't be bothered reaching all the way up to g1 :)
    put a pause of 0.1 of a second after the key bindings for the repeat.

    Love tanking with this baoard; without it, not so much.

  8. Correction: If you use the logitech software to program your keys instead of just linking each key , it's sort of like having an all new keyset.

    Also, take a look at the link to the G19. Makes me moist.