SLIDER

viernes, 8 de octubre de 2021

DARKWALKER FO217W AND FO217 GAMING MOUSE-KEYBOARD COMBO: REVIEW AND DIFFERENCES

Darkwalker's newest keyboard and mouse combo has been launched in two different versions: wired (FO217) and wireless (FO217W). Which model suits you best?




This review is in English as requested by Darkwalker.


FO217W AND FO217: THINGS IN COMMON


This is not the first time we've covered a product from Darkwalker. You can take a look at some of the reviews we've already published to check about the brand. This time we have something totally different, a quite specific combo which is basically designed to, roughly speaking, emulate the experience of a keyboard and mouse in gaming for videogame consoles, aiming to satisfy the needs of some specific genres like shooters, management and strategy games among others. There is not much debate about the accuracy gain using the mouse in most of those genres, so, expect a competitive advantage by using this product. It works, it is way more precise than a gamepad and this can be defined as a game changer for console users. However, even though the core intent is satisfied, I'm not as happy with the design and performance overall, but let's start step by step.



Even though this is something secondary, we have to start with something that I consider unacceptable, since this has happened in both the FO217W and the FO217. Well, we can look at the bright side of life by saying that, if something has to fail in the combo, we totally would pick this. The mouse pads that come with the product are of bad quality. I'm not complaining much about it, since it feels like an extra, but they were folded as you can see in the picture below. It happened in both packages, and well, that is no surprise because... the mouse pads does not fit the size of the package unless you fold it! It is as if the mouse pads were included once the package was designed. Actually, if you check the package, all the products are pictured except the mouse pad, which makes my theory less crazier than it sounded when I was writing it. So, yeah, it feels like an extra, it is welcomed, but there is an obvious issue with it. The picture including both pads from different packages speaks for itself.



So, once we've covered that matter, let's focus on the main product. I don't know the specifics, this is not a techonology I'm familiar with to be sincere, but here is the deal: the half-keyboard is kind of like the hub, and as you can see in the picture below, it connects to the console while the rest of items are connected to the keyboard. So, this frankestenian thing lets you connect the mouse there, the gamepad you want to "emulate" (PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch are supported) and there is also room for a mini jack to connect headphones. Just in case anyone is lost, the gamepads are not included. This will be even more obvious in a few paragraphs when we take a look at what's inside in each individual package. Also, you can use this product to directly connect it to a PC, and each item works independently too, meaning that you can use just the mouse if you are up to. Very easy to configure, good enough interface and, of course, plug & play.



UNBOXING


Here is a picture including everything that is inside the package of the FO217W (the wireless one). That is, an instrucion manual, a warranty card, the half-keyboard, RGB mouse with a mouse pad and the wireless USB dongle. The product includes three cables that are meant to be used for recharging the keyboard, the mouse and, the last one, to be connected to the gamepad if needed. There are no cables while using the product in this wireless version.



And here is a picture with all that is included in the FO217 (the wired one). Almost identical but wired, and of course, no USB dongle for wireless connection.



DIFFERENCES BETWEEN VERSIONS


This is the most critical part of the review, since I wasn't expecting so many changes between versions. One would think that this is the same product with just the difference of the cable thing, but there is way more than that. For some reason the wired version includes more features than the wireless one. Even the instructions are quite different, with the wired version including plenty of deatils and even schematics with pictures on how to connect the product that are not in the wireless version. Let's check each item individually to get a bigger picture of it.



The keyboard is a membrane half-keyboard made out of plastic with basic RGB lightning. It looks beautiful and includes a wrist rest. Very silent, good response and no complains on its functionality.  The wireless one gave me no problems. This is importante to notice considering what we are going to say when we get to the mouse review. At first glance, they both look similar, however, if you take a good look at the picture you will notice how different both keyboards are, with the wired version including plenty of functions that are not in the wireless one. The useful FN key is not present in the wireless version, which will also lack the Turbo button and the programmable macros among other things included in the wired version. The interface can give you an accurate idea of what can and cannot be done in the wireless version versus the wired one. Also, the threaded cable in the wired model has way more quality than the standard cable that comes with the wireless one.



The mice are quite similar, but again, if you take a good look you will find big differences, mostly in the design. The wired one has a slightly different design adding some visual details that are not in the wireless version. Also, I'm not sure about this but for some reason I'd say that the RGB of the wired one looks better. However, the most relevant visual difference between both products is that reflective cover you see in the picture below. Different materials used here. The wireless version doesn't reflect anything and looks a bit more unpolished. This is not better or worse, it is just different, and that is exactly what caught my attention while I was reviewing not only the mice but all that is included in the package, as you can see by now. Both have the same number of buttons, and yes, both have that awkward wheel that is just what I consider an ugly design element that makes it a little more tacky, but the product is good enough to be used on a daily basis.



So, here is the thing. I had trouble with the wireless mouse. Maybe I just had bad luck or something, but I had classic connection problems with it. I'd say, one out of twenty clicks is a miss, they just were not registiring properly. I've tried connecting the dongle to different USB ports and the same thing happened in other systems too. Also, the scrolling wheel was not working as I'd love it to. I would say it is just a matter of adjustment but the thing is I had a totally pleasent experience with the wired version of it, which its wheel was working flawlessly and no clicks were missed. One bad thing we have to say about the wired one is that the cable is too short. That makes sense since it is designed to be plugged into the half-keyboard, but if you are planning to use it just like a classic mouse connected to a PC or gaming system, that might be a problem.




THE BOTTOM LINE: FO217W VS FO217


Having it all in mind, it won't be a surprise if I say that, by my experience, you should totally go for the wired version. I understand the wireless one is more attractive, but there are plenty of reasons to avoid it considering how good the wired FO217 works if we make a comparison. What's more, considering the added functions of the wired one, it totally can be more than just a matter of cables vs no cables.


As you can see, both versions lack a bit of polish, specially if we compare it to other DarkWalker products we've reviewed in the past. The mouse pad thing is a good example of that, but the product offers a satisfying alternative at a good price, specially for the wired version. I wasn't expecting so many differences between both products, but they are essentially the same. Even though I recommend the wired version, maybe you want to try your luck out with the wireless one too, as it might be that I'm having an issue with the wireless connection. I got to say, it really feels nice to have your desk free of cables while playing, but in my case, the wired one offered a smoother and way better experience overall.



You can buy it in Amazon by following this link:

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B097K3HJ5K


These products have been sent by Darkwalker for reviewing purposes. In no way this fact has influenced any opinions included in this text.

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