Review: Razer Turret shoots and scores, but may hit unintended targets

The Razer Turret is an all-in-one wireless keyboard with integrated mouse pad and a wireless mouse designed for your lap/couch. It’s smartly designed, stylish, and a very flexible combination for a living room PC or as a mobile solution for travelers. But it does suffer from a few notable flaws that put it a little out of alignment with Razer’s ‘hardcore gaming’ marketing.

The Turret is a capable lapboard with exceptional multi-device potential, but it's not without some flaws.
The Razer Turret wireless lapboard and mouse.

Basically the Turret is not a device for “gaming domination” so much as a really nice, flexible lapboard with many potential applications.

Razer Turret feature highlights and specifications

The Turret is compact, attractive, and very sleek. It certainly looks perfectly at home in its charging dock next to a living room big screen, or as ornamentation for the end table next to your throne of games in your gamer cave.

The USB dock connects to your PC via a single USB cable, and serves as the charging dock and ‘display case’ for the keyboard and wireless mouse. The Turret USB receiver stores inside the Turret mouse and connects to a single USB port.The attached mouse surface folds neatly underneath the keyboard, which in turn sits vertically in the dock when not in use. The Turret also includes an AC adapter plug.

The keyboard has a small switch on its left side for changing wireless modes between 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth, which means it will work seamlessly with more than just a gaming (Windows) PC. I connected it to my smartphone just for fun and used it for typing chat messages (just as a test). I suspect the Turret would make a good traveling companion for some of the larger tablets.

Razer Turret features and specifications

Turret Lapboard

  • 2.4 GHz wireless or Bluetooth connectivity
  • Switch to change wireless modes on left side of keyboard
  • Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • Chiclet styled keycaps
  • Dedicated Android buttons
  • Battery life of up to 4 months – The life expectancy of this battery depends upon its usage
  • Battery type: Li-Po (1500 mAh)

Turret Mouse

  • 3500 DPI laser sensor
  • 40 hours battery life for continuous use – The life expectancy of this battery depends upon its usage
  • Battery type: Li-Po (1000 mAh)
  • Ambidextrous design
  • 4 extra buttons (thumb buttons)
  • 5 DPI settings
  • Storage compartment for receiver
  • 2.4 GHz wireless or Bluetooth connectivity
  • Switch to change wireless modes on underside of mouse

Package Contents

  • Razer Turret mouse and lapboard
  • Wireless 2.4GHz adaptor
  • Charging dock
  • Wall adapter with USB connector and USB charging cable
  • Important product information guide

The Turret mouse is basically just a modified version of the Razer Orochi mobile mouse. It’s very small and you can open the back of it to store its receiver inside of it.

The Turret mouse would be better, however, had Razer kept the Orochi’s comfortable textured rubber side panels instead of using glossy plastic. Glossy plastic is notably less comfortable, feels a bit tacky after extended use, and it’s just not as grip-friendly, the latter of which is arguably more important for a solution intended for less stable/level applications (i.e. sitting across your crotch on a lapboard).

Interestingly enough (as a side note) I pulled out the latest version of the Orochi and discovered it flat out won’t work on the Turret’s mouse surface. For whatever reason the Orochi’s higher 8200 DPI laser sensor doesn’t like the shiny black mousing surface of the Turret’s companion mouse board.

Performance & Evaluation

The keyboard/lapboard is very thin (1/8th of an inch), and although I’m not a fan of chicklet style keys and keyboards (as are most gamers accustomed to mechanical keyboards I suspect), I still found typing on the Turret quiet and relatively pleasant.

At least when it was level…

…and when I had wrist support…

…or when it was on a desk.

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Razer Turret (Photo Credit: Razer)

But remove wrist support and a level surface, and the Turret is a bit less enjoyable—at least for typing. It was still reasonable for gaming.

However, the keyboard keys also suffer from a poor choice of contrast colors, i.e. the ‘Razer green’ color used for the keys.

Images and pictures of the Turret provided by Razer make the keys look much brighter than they really are (almost as if they were backlit by LEDs). The green keys may fit Razer’s color scheme, but they are also very hard to read even in a fully lit room. You might be tempted to attach a small reading light to the Turret. If you’re in a dim or dark room—you know, like the kind gamers often play in—I hope you don’t need to look at the keyboard.

LED backlighting would be a nice edition, although it would certainly impact battery life, size, and cost. At the very least, I’d argue that the keys need better etching and stronger contrast for typical gaming environments.

The fold-out mouse pad is nice, but it’s wide and not very deep. While this makes the Turret compact, it doesn’t give you a lot of mousing space, which means you’ll probably want to use a higher DPI settings. Thankfully, the Razer Synapse software gives you up to 5 sensitivity stages and 3500 DPI to work with, which should be suitable for most users.

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Razer Turret mouse. The receiver stores neatly inside it, and the top connects magnetically to the mouse.

I was at first a bit worried about the lack of mouse space, and having to use a high DPI setting for FPS games and fast-twitch games requiring careful precision. Regardless, I never ran off the mouse mat or ran into space problems using a 2500DPI setting with Overwatch. (My sniping wasn’t great, but admittedly I’m a lousy sniper anyway at any DPI.)

At around 1200 DPI I managed to stay ‘on mat’ mostly, but I was definitely more aware of the edges, and had to pick the mouse up a little more. It wasn’t enough to impact the game or really make me suck any less as a sniper or other high-accuracy class. But if you drop to 800DPI you may run into space issues. I didn’t play much with mouse acceleration because therein lies madness.

Of course, games without a high twitch factor—Civilization V, Hearthstone, and similar fare—shouldn’t be a problem for the Turret and a high sensitivity.

Not just for gaming

The Turret is a great little gaming companion within its limitations, but it’s also a pretty solid choice as a potential traveling companion, or just a multi-device solution for the household. You get some added value and flexibility with the Turret (as compared to the Corsair Lapdog, which is not nearly as portable as its name might suggest) in the form of a good, compact mobile mouse, and a keyboard that would probably work well with many of the larger tablets out there. The turret is far more of a “lapdog” than Corsair’s aforementioned Great Dane of PC lapboards.

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Photo credit: Razer

If you do travel with the Turret—even with its considerable battery life—you’d probably want to bring along the Turret’s charging dock for longer trips (which is a little larger than the Turret mouse). It’s not exactly ultra-portable, but it’s not a space hog either. A micro USB charging port might be a nice addition to the Turret keyboard and mouse.

I was mildly—but only mildly—annoyed with the Turret’s auto-sleep function. Both the mouse and keyboard shut off after being idle for 1-15 minutes (configurable in the Razer Synapse software). The mouse will wake up with a click, but you have to press the power button on the side of the keyboard to turn it back on. It’s a good feature overall and extends the battery life, although it might be nice to have more power options in the Razer Synapse software.

Overall: 7.5/10 – Recommended

The turret is a great product, but I’m not sure Razer’s marketing of it is on point, nor that it quite squarely hits Razer’s typical ‘gamer’ demographic. It still works best with some additional ‘desk’ underneath it for added wrist support and stability, which seems like it at least partially defeats the purpose of a lapboard in the first place.

The lack of mouse space on the mouse pad favors high DPI mouse settings, which may pose a problem for some fast-paced games, although I fared pretty well in games of Smite and Overwatch. Poor contrast on the keys tends to make the Turret best suited to well-lit environments (and highly competent typists).

Regardless, I love the overall design and form factor, and the Turret’s impressive battery life and the fact dual Bluetooth/2.4 GHz wireless option adds a lot more flexibility to it as a living room companion and a mobile/multi-device solution. In fact, the Turret almost seems as well or better suited as a mobile option for travelers (even with the large docking station) than a dedicated living room controller.

I think the Corsair Lapdog—and I suspect Roccat’s forthcoming Sova lapboard, of which I’ve not seen a retail version yet but have seen at trade shows—hit the target better in terms of bringing a true desktop-like experience to your lap/couch. But as the war for your desktop expands to your lap, it’s clear that there’s plenty of room for innovation, and a wide range of products designed to meet different needs.

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6 comments

  1. Nah the keyboard turns off too quickly. Too many times I’m mouse clicking through menus, enter back into the game and a the controls are not responding. Oh got to quickly press the button on the side to activate the keyboard again. Annoying as hell. Mouse is too small for comfort, the lower palm of the hand aches after prolonged use. Wouldn’t bother with this model. Maybe they will improve it down the line.

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