The world is rife with gaming accessories these days. From gaming mouse mats to gaming headsets, gaming keyboards and game pads. I have used several of these devices in the past including the Razer Copperhead, the Saitek Eclipse, the Belkin Nostromo and others. Today I will be testing the WolfClaw Devour. A gaming pad that looks like the original WolfClaw keyboard has had its gaming part removed, packaged and made readily available to the public. Lets see how it does.
A little About WolfClaw
Wolf Claw™ series of gaming products is the outcome of gaming enthusiasts putting their wits together for a better alternative to e-gaming.
The flagship outcome is the Wolf Claw™ Type II gaming keyboard. It is the first of its kind designed for First Person Shooter (FPS) games. The Wolf Claw™ team understood the need to create an ergonomic keyboard for intense battle. Developed together with the thinking caps of FPS gaming enthusiasts, Wolf Claw™ Type II gaming keyboard is the ultimate gear that makes for fast, accurate and deadly moves in order to get ahead of your counterparts. Designed by gamers, engineered for gamers, its “one palm size fit all keys” concept will make your movement even more professional and precise as oppose to a standard keyboard.
Total 55 keys in Wolf Claw trademark Ergonomic layout
Onboard Volume Control and Esc keys
Sturdy and Solid Base
High quality-build and Splash Proof Casing
3 Layer Silicon for Quiet Key Typing
10 Million Key Press Life Span
Plug and Play
Bits and Box
Most products have a nice feature covered box with the odd bit of coloured promo material on it designed to catch an unwary customer unawares and draw them in for the sale. The Devour box goes that step further and has some of the nicest artwork I have ever seen on a simple cardboard box. On the front we have a colour enhanced picture of the product (By that I mean that it isn’t anywhere as bright a red in real life), along with the WolfClaw logo and the slogan “Strike Lethally”, yikes!
On the back of the box is the lovely artwork I spoke of. Here we have the features list, a little bit of a blurb and a CG group of wolves obviously enticed by the Devour board, no doubt making you feel enticed too. No? Just me then.
Popping off the lid reveals a simple inside layout; the board itself plastic wrapped and a small instruction booklet.
Up Close and Personal
Out of the box the Devour board came and onto my desk it went. Here we can see the patented semi circular key layout that WolfClaw are so eager to show off:
Obviously you can’t type on this curved layout, so sticking it alongside your existing keyboard is the way to go. It fits nicely on my desk but it does take up a good 7-8 inches more space on your desk, so if you are confined to space this may not the be the best purchase for you.
The Devour also has some media buttons on the side, in the form of a volume up and volume down button. The Escape key is also bunged on the edge of the board here. It seems a bit far away from the rest of the board for such an important key, but more on that later.
On the underside of the board are a couple of small feet, much like the ones you get on regular keyboards. These give you a small slope to rest your hand on making it slightly more comfortable to rest your hand on the board.
The bottom of the Devour also has some handy little rubber feet to stop the board moving around too much while playing with it as this could seriously impact performance. Imagine your mouse mat skating across the table when you moved the mouse, not good.
Wielding the Claw
To test this game pad I decided to put its through its paces with two popular FPS games, the definitive UT2004, and the much more modern and a bit less frantic, FEAR.
The pad performed pretty well here. I was able to reach most of the buttons with ease thought for some reason the bobbled surface on the shfit key became more slippery than the other keys, as apposed to the other way around. Also, the escape key was way too far away from my hand, and due to my rather short fingers I was unable to reach it without moving my hand from the movement controls. The volume controls were helpful but again were too far from the main controls to allow me to adjust the volume without leaving the movement controls bare.
The rest of the board performed well, though the curved design did take some getting used to, and I occasionally hit the large B button as apposed to the space bar.
In this game there were the same niggles as before and I did find the Z key (For medi pack application) a little hard to press as it is situated straight under the a key, and due to the increased size of the keys it made me have to twist my little finger at an almost painful angle to press it.
One thing I did notice with both of these games is that this Wolf Claw board actually prevented me from developing the dreaded “Claw” shaped hand that tends to manifest after a few hours of FPS action due to the slightly more spaced out keys.
This board has a few good points and a few bad points. It does prevent the nasty claw that FPS veterans will no doubt be familiar with, and it is quite comfortable to use. However, some of the keys, especially the escape key and media keys are extremely hard to use if you have smaller hands; why a key as important as ESC was pushed to the edge of the board and pretty much out of reach of those of us with smaller hands I do not know. Something else I thought of while testing this board is the complete lack of options for macro setups, like other gaming boards such as the Belkin Nostromo. This function is obviously not necessary, but makes the board useful in other genres of games, eg. RTS or RPG games as well as FPS games.
This board performs as it should in many cases, but since it lets you down in several others I would think that buying a gaming keyboard would be a better spent £25
|Striking colour scheme||Media Buttons and ESC key out of reach|
|Prevents, “The Claw”||Z key uncomfortable to reach|
|Quite comfortable to use||Bobbled keys does little to improve grip|
|Lack of Macro Software/Buttons|
I’d like to thank our sponsors Beastcomputers for providing us with the board
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