In my ongoing quest to horrify my girlfriend with eyesores I can introduce to our living room, I have obtained a Razer Turret. This wireless keyboard and mouse combo is designed to facilitate playing PC games on your TV while sitting on the couch.
Here's what's good about it:
- It totally works! This is a legitimately good way to play PC games on the couch.
- It doesn't look too bad for a game-related thing that has to sit out on your coffee table, though admittedly the bar for this category is very low, set somewhere near the Earth's core.
- It comes with a charging station so you don't have to buy batteries.
Here's what's meh about it:
- The mouse can't compare to a gaming mouse on a desk. You're not going to pull any clutch moves in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with this.
- The Keyboard has a hinge, and I live in perpetual fear of breaking it.
- It costs $160, which is a lot for a mouse keyboard.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a way to play mouse-and-keyboard-only PC games on your couch, you should definitely get the the Razer Turret.
I should admit right away that I very much enjoy arranging gadgets vertically, and this is especially true in the case of of the Razer Turret.
You can spot the monolith in its charging station pretty much as soon as you enter my apartment, and besides serving as a great conversation piece, it also informs all my guests that I am serious about playing PC games, specifically from the comfort of my couch.
HD TVs are more affordable than ever. Steam is an easily accessible, bottomless pit of video games, and with a handful of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 exclusives aside, every game on the console looks significantly better running on even a mid-tier PC.
Players have realized this over the last couple of years, and have begun taking their PC games from their desk to their couch. They do this either via solutions like the Steam Link or Steam Box, or with my (far superior) solution: a long ass HDMI cable that runs from my PC to my TV.
A problem that persists, however, is that unless a game was designed to also be played with a controller, there's no good way to play a PC game that requires a mouse and keyboard from the couch. Valve's Steam controller promised to solve this with novel touchpads and haptic feedback. It didn't. The touch pads are poor substitutes for a mouse, and the Steam controller can't compete with established controllers from Xbox and PlayStation, both of which can be hooked up to a PC.
Razer, which you can tell makes game accessory products because everything is branded in black and neon green, has a boldly nerdy solution: simply bring the mouse and keyboard to the couch.
Amazingly, it works.
Crucially, the entire contraption doesn't slide around. The underside of the keyboard is covered in textured rubber that kept it in place on my lap. I was wearing pants while testing it, but I trust that it will remain in place if you game in the nude, which is 100 percent within your rights.
Impressively, the mouse also doesn't slide off the mousepad, which folds out (like a flip phone) of the right side of the keyboard. Not once did the mouse, which also has a textured surface on the bottom, fall off while I took my hand off of it, and I never felt like the mousepad was too small.
The Razer Turret worked best for slower-paced games. Legend of Grimrock, a slow moving role-playing game, was perfect for the couch, even if it wasn't designed for it. Dishonored, a first-person stealth game which does work with a controller, but that is so much more fun with a mouse and keyboard, also worked very nicely. I booted it up just to see if I could play it with the Razer Turret, and ended up losing track of the time because I was so comfortable.
I also didn't have a problem playing fast-paced games like the 2D shooter Enter the Gungeon or Brutal Doom. They'd be easier to play on a desk, and I would never bother playing any competitive online game with the Razer Turret. But when it was just me relaxing with a game, it worked way better than I expected.
My main issue with the Razer Turret is the mouse. Razer makes quality mouses, but this isn't one of them. It's small and light, which is the opposite of what I want. It's a tradeoff: A small mouse means more space to move around the mouse pad, which is good, because space is limited in a surface that sits on my lap. However, the mouse also had some tracking issues. I don't think it's a problem with sensitivity (the mouse has 3500 DPI), but rather the wireless connection. I only sit a few feet away from my PC, but there were several times when my mouse movement stuttered, or when I lost connection entirely for a second.
A smaller gripe is that I don't understand why the mouse pad had to fold out. It doesn't save a lot of space, and the Turret would feel more solid if it was molded as a single piece.
That being said, I am still pumped about this thing. It aims to solve the problem of playing PC games on the couch, and it succeeds.