A compact keyboard right under your palm.
Satisfied with the default setup, I fired up Call of Duty: Black Ops to put the Nostromo through its paces. I quickly configured the movement to the thumbstick and got ready to create some havoc. Now, there is definitely an ‘easing-curve’ to the device; it feels awkward and strange for at least for the first hour before it starts to feel more natural. The rubberized plastic keys and overall ergonomics of the device made using the Nostromo very comfortable.
The thumbstick were a disappointment though, as moving using it never felt ‘proper’. The problem with it is that it is too stiff. Razer had the brawns to twist the d-pad into a thumbstick by slapping on a thumb cover over it, but didn’t seem to have the brains to bring the functionality of an actual thumbstick. And due to the thumb cover, there is no sensory feel to the thumbstick to be used as a d-pad either. This caused me to lose out on the WASD keys that I could had configured for something else.
After using the Nostromo for a while, I found myself realizing how entirely pointless it is for a first person shooters. Considering for a fact that the 16 keys represent the WASD side of the keyboard, they are the absolute set of keys that cannot be rebind because they all have their set role to play in a FPS. The Nostromo provides me no additional benefit – I can always rebind keys in-game.
However, the Nostromo is a god-bless for those who play MMOs and RTSes. The configurable keys and the 8 keymaps that can be switched on-the-fly will prove to be a massive boon in games like World of Warcraft were items and spells have to be equipped quickly and immediately.
Razer Nostromo cost $69.99, and is a bit steep if are only considering it for your FPS needs. But if you are a MMO or RTS player, or regularly partake in tournaments or LAN parties, Nostromo will be a compact, stylish and extremely comfortable companion in your battles.