This keyboard, while designed for gamers, is great for touch/speed typists. Its keys are a soft matte-finish instead of the slick plastic finish on most keyboards, which increases your typing speed because your fingers more easily stay on the keys instead of slipping off. The touch feels like a combination of a mechanical (“click-click”) keyboard and a membrane keyboard; the keys are sensitive and substantially less pressure is required than on a regular keyboard, thereby alleviating typing fatigue and enabling longer typing (and gaming) sessions. This is labeled as an ergonomic keyboard; however, instead of being split in the center and the keys set at an angle as other ergonomic keyboards are, the rows are straight across. (User tip: If you are used to the “split” type of ergonomic keyboard, this may require some time for you to become accustomed to the straight rows.)
Setup was lightning fast – simply plug the keyboard into a USB port and drivers are automatically installed. From plug-in to operation was less than 60 seconds. There is a padded wrist rest that is secured to the front of the keyboard with built-in magnets to keep it from separating from the keyboard; simply press the two surfaces together and the wrist rest is installed.
What grabs your attention, though, even before the tactile advantages, is the LED backlighting. The plastic support on which each individual key rests is translucent, and gives the illusion that the keys are floating above the lighted surface. Through “Razer Synapse”, there are a number of lighting effects which can be individually configured. For example, the Spectrum Cycling causes the backlighting to cycle indefinitely between 16.8 million colors. You can choose Wave, where the lighting will scroll in either direction; Static, where the backlighting stays in one color; Breathing, where the lighting fades in and out; Reactive, where a key will light up when pressed, Ripple, where light will ripple away from the pressed key; Starlight, with random time and duration; and Fire, with red, yellow and orange motion. There are more advanced customization features available on the Chroma Configurator, accessible through Razer Synapse. (A word on Razer Synapse: In order to take advantage of these features, it's necessary to create an account with Razer and agree to their terms and conditions. This may be an issue if privacy is a concern, and I think this should not be necessary when setting up a purchased piece of equipment. However, Razer Synapse offers other advantages such as tracking and review of gameplay, such as clicks and mouse movements with statistics and heatmaps; promotions, giveaways, etc.)
There are other controls available as well. Function keys can control speaker volume, play or skip tracks, increase/decrease the brightness of the LEDs, as well as a power-saving feature. Macro recording allows you to set up a scheme to enable multiple keystrokes from a single instruction. You can also easily switch between gaming mode and Windows mode, and back, through minimal keystrokes.
On the downside, I found some of these lighting effects to be somewhat distracting when attempting to concentrate on composing or typing a document. For example, the Reactive effect completely blacks out each key until pressed; if you tend to look down at the keyboard when typing, you might find the lack of labeling of each key to be an issue. The flickering Fire effect drew my eyes away from the screen, even when I attempted to ignore it. I now have it set to Spectrum Cycling, which seems to be the least distracting. Perhaps over time this distraction issue may resolve itself.
All in all, this is a high-end keyboard, well-designed for heavy-duty gaming or typing usage and for minimization of fatigue. The customizable lighting features are a visual bonus. Five stars, highly recommended (and would be a great gift!).