Design / Construction: The Wolfking Warrior XXtreme is a very sweet-looking keyboard. Designed in a figure eight-ish pattern, the keyboard is separated into two key areas. On the left is the Warrior gaming pad, arguably Wolfking’s finest achievement to date. On the right side is a 40-key QWERTY keypad which is said to promote single-handed typing. The Warrior XXtreme is a small keyboard in contract to most on the market, measuring 16.4” inches long compared to the Logitech G15 which is 20.2” inches long. This small size helps promote mobility and will definitely save desk space for other peripherals if needed. Wolfking has built the Warrior XXtreme to rigorous standards and it shows, as the keyboard is very sturdy and solid. In addition, its rounded shape is very pleasing, making this one of the best-looking keyboards we have seen.
The unit comes with no additional software and does not have native macro or programmable key ability whatsoever. This is a shame as macro capability is almost standard on gaming keyboards these days and is sorely missed in this case.
On the top of the keyboard are additional controls mainly for media apps. However, the most interesting of these top-area keys is the ‘K-lock’ button. This control basically sends the ‘k’ key continuously to the current game. This is handy for games that use the ‘k’ key in order to send voice chat. Essentially, using this key is like constantly holding the push-to-talk button down.
The backlighting on the XXtreme is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand you have this VERY intense blue light that makes the device look like TRON should have been typing on it at the IO Tower. High marks for aesthetics all around. However, the backlighting does not cut-through the keys in order to illuminate each key’s label. The lighting ends up creating a silhouette effect on the keys, and it is not easy to see the name of the button you are pressing.
The Warrior XXtreme does have two USB ports on the back-side of the keyboard, which I always rate high on my keyboard-wants list. Having the two USB pass-through ports decreases the amount of wires going to the back of the PC and increases your mobility during LAN tournaments.
Warrior Keypad: The 52-key Warrior gamepad area on the XXtreme is truly a thing of beauty. The most-used keys in FPS games have been all aligned together in a circular formation. The keys spaced much closer than they are on a standard keyboard layout, my fingers were able to hit all the important keys much more quickly. Usually my pinky has to work a bit to get to the left ctrl button. However, on the Warrior gamepad it is effortless. There is also a vertical space bar on the right side of the Warrior keypad for easier reaching with your thumb than the standard horizontal equivalent.
QWERTY Keypad: The 40-key QWERTY keypad on the XXtreme is a bit more daunting. Basically, Wolfking took the standard QWERTY keyboard and divided it in half. Then, the first half was stacked on top of the second half and the whole merged entity was cut into a circular formation. This keypad is not as comfortable to use as the Warrior side. The idea behind this layout is that it will be useful for one-handed typing. After getting over the learning-curve of learning the new layout, it is not bad. When playing FPS games, though, I usually have my right hand on the mouse anyway making it difficult to type with one-hand regardless of key layout.
Conclusion: The Wolfking Warrior XXtreme is a mixed bag of sorts. On one side of the coin you have this amazing Warrior keypad which is very useful in keeping stress off one’s left hand while at the same time increasing response time by keeping the important gaming keys close by. On the other side of the coin the user has to deal with a QWERTY pad that is not all that user-friendly and no macro ability. In short, the keyboard is a good gaming solution but it could have been absolutely incredible if its shortcomings were addressed.