How do you use a mouse and keyboard while you’re on the couch? The question has plagued PC gamers who want to play in the living room for years, but Razer thinks it has the best solution.
And it might be right.
The Turret is ostensibly for the Xbox One, but it’s compatible with just about anything that takes a mouse and keyboard input. It combines a “tenkeyless” mechanical keyboard, a typical Razer mouse in the Mamba/Deathadder style, and a huge and heavy metal frame that sits comfortably on your lap. It’s all connected via a super-fast wireless dongle and, naturally, it’ll light up like a Christmas tree.
Razer wants $250 for this massive package. And for a certain kind of gamer, it might be worth it.
This Thing Is a Chonk
That’s what I thought when I first opened the Turret package. At 7.6 inches deep x 15.4 inches wide x 1.5 inches high, it’s big for a tenkeyless mechanical board. But when you pick it up, you realize it weighs more than four pounds—heavier than most laptops.
It feels like it could stop bullets. It’s a massive (literally) improvement over the original mobile-style Razer Turret, a shocking disappointment that warrants no further discussion.
The weight is intentional. Combined with the extremely “grippy” rubber underside of the unit, it keeps the Turret firmly planted on your lap when you’re using it on the couch. Nothing short of a leaping dog will wrest this thing from your vegetative pose. And the extended, angled wrist rest makes it the most comfortable keyboard I’ve ever used in the living room. The only challenge is finding a spot for it on my coffee table.
Included are a mouse and mousepad, the latter of which slides out of the right side of the metallic housing in a very satisfying way. Its rough, plastic finish makes the most of the relatively small pad area: 8.3 x 7 inches. This area is made even smaller by the full-sized mouse, which borrows the shape and buttons of the Razer Mamba.
Both the keyboard and mouse include power switches, to help save battery when not in use, and charging ports. Oddly, the keyboard recharges via USB-C while the mouse has to make do with MicroUSB. I’m assuming this is so that Razer didn’t have to come up with a new body mold or PCB. Both can be recharged individually, but the mouse can also connect directly to the keyboard via a proprietary cable for an on-the-fly battery boost. It’s too bad this cable is so short because it makes actually playing difficult.
Mousepads: How Do They Work?
Physically, the keyboard is identical to Razer’s BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma, except for the dedicated Xbox button that replaces the right CTRL key. Green “clicky” switches and RGB lighting are included, naturally. The mouse appears identical to the wireless Mamba. But that slide-out mousepad deserves some particular attention.
The mousepad deck is very slightly magnetized, with corresponding weak magnets in the mouse. Combined, this gives the mouse a bit of a “pull” when you’re using it—just enough to let it cling to the rough texture of the pad, kind of like two shirts stuck together by dryer static. It’s a wonderful bit of design that I think must have taken a ton of testing to get just right.
But wait, that’s not all! There’s a section at the top right corner of the mousepad that has extra-powerful magnets—just enough so they “stick” to the mouse a little harder. With the mouse “docked” in this spot, it won’t fall off the pad unless you tilt it almost upside down. Combined with a semi-closed position for the sliding mechanism, it’s a brilliant way to make the bulky Turret easier to move from lap to coffee table to (if you like) your desk.
Works with Xbox and PC, but Not Quite the Same
Speaking of desks, yes, both the keyboard and mouse will work fine with your regular PC. That’s true whether your computer is sitting underneath your TV or on a desk. The ergonomics of the desktop aren’t ideal due to the high height of the keyboard and the tendency the mouse has of sliding rapidly on anything except its own pad. But the option is there, as is the option to configure the keys and lighting via Razer Synapse.
This is odd because while Synapse treats the keyboard and mouse like any other Razer product on the PC, complete with full customization of button layout and macros, the corresponding app on the Xbox doesn’t offer any of that. You can adjust the mouse’s DPI sensitivity and choose from a few pre-baked lighting patterns, but that’s it. If the game doesn’t offer dynamic lighting in Razer’s system (most don’t) or an option to rebind keys (some do), you’re stuck with the defaults for everything.
This brings up another disappointment, although this one isn’t Razer’s fault: game selection. At the time of writing, the Xbox One only has a few dozen games that support keyboard and mouse control. I tried out Fortnite and Sea of Thieves since the former was free and the latter was the only one on the list I own.
Can you justify such an expensive add-on for only a few games, even if those include heavy hitters like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Warframe? I can’t. But if you play any of those regularly and crave an edge or a more familiar, PC-style input, perhaps you can.
Only a Few Downsides
Aside from the price and the lack of customization options on Xbox, there aren’t too many drawbacks to the Turret design. The biggest one is the small mousepad, but that’s a limitation of the form—anything larger would have been unwieldy.
The aforementioned super-short charging cable that connects the mouse to the keyboard is a letdown, but two other cables for charging are long and wonderfully braided. Both the keyboard and mouse will drain quickly when lighting effects are on full display, but such is the case with all wireless gaming gear. You can play them in wired mode easily or just turn off the lights in the settings apps.
On that note, you’ll want to keep these things charged up. The mouse gets picky about pairing once the battery drains, and it might need a minute or two to reconnect to the wireless receiver.
Other annoyances are minimal. I would have preferred a standard key layout so replacement keycaps would fit, but the Cult of Razer (I’m not being cheeky—that’s from Razer’s vellum letter in the box) wouldn’t have it any other way. I would have liked linear switches instead of the clicky greens—much better for fast-paced gaming—but they’re the only ones on offer.
Is It Worth It?
During my testing, I decided the Turret needed to answer one question: did playing with the mouse and keyboard on the Xbox feel the same as it did on the PC? The answer is yes. In that regard, the Turret is a success.
And not an easy one. The ergonomics of the massive, heavy, lap-friendly keyboard and that wonderfully satisfying magnetic mousepad are to be applauded. The latter is a little small for my liking—you’ll need to pump up the sensitivity of the 16000 DPI mouse sensor to get the best use out of shooters. But given the limitations of a living room setup, it’s still very good.
Now we come to the question of value. Compared with a regular, wired Razer keyboard and wireless mouse combo (BlackWidow Tournament Edition and Mamba), the Turret is only about $50 more. With the added hardware and Xbox-specific functionality, it’s understandable. Unfortunately, Microsoft and its development partners seem to be adding keyboard games at a snail’s pace, and whether that list includes one you care about is something of a crapshoot.
For the price and capability, I think the Turret makes more sense accompanying a living room PC. For a gaming PC hooked up to your TV (or something like the Steam Link), the Turret is a fantastic tool, with access to all of the lighting and customization options Razer fans are used to. It’s still expensive, but not so much more than a regular Razer set that it’s unreasonable.
Can you justify $250 for a mouse and keyboard, either for your Xbox One or your living room PC? That’s a question I can’t answer for you, but if you can, spending it on the Razer Turret won’t disappoint you.
Here’s What We Like
- Feels fantastic on the couch
- Brilliant magnetic mousepad
- Solid metal build
- Easy to move around despite size
And What We Don't
- High price
- No macros or custom lighting on Xbox One
- Mousepad is a bit small