top of page

Clip Studio Paint vs Razer's Tartarus Chroma V2

This is half a review and half a call for help |||orz


I had a period where I was trying to find ways to compensate my dying laptop keyboard and sneaking in the excuse for my display tablet not having button hotkey-able for drawing. Bought an XPPEN AC19 control, Wacom's Express Key, and finally stuck with a left handed keyboard called Razer's Tartarus Chroma. While I still kept the other two devices, I was more consistent with the keyboard as being wired it had less bluetooth compatibility issues (Wacom doesn't play friendly with other tablet drivers...). The Tartarus paired with its software, Synapse, added so much customizability it's difficult for me to go back to using just the keyboard with programs needing multiple key pressing like Adobe and Clip Studio Paint.


Now, there are still quite a few things to criticize the company for not doing, like a wireless version or just fixing bugs on Synapse that has plagued my and many customer's experience for years. The issues are only more relevant now that I need to use this for actual contract work and has slowed workflow, and not my leisurely art trade or experimental stuff.


REASON OF PURCHASE

Initially, I needed something to help with playing an MMO as my then laptop's keyboard kept dying off on one side. I did not join the more active fights in the game so I didn't understand why it was happening but I needed something to help in the long term - at least something beyond a Wish wireless button-stiff keyboard can provide.


I was skeptical about trying to get something like a Tartarus as it seemed almost excessive. The "if I know the shortcuts, do I really need this?" always came to mind and postponed getting it. Despite the mixed reviews at the time however, the need to keep playing and drawing pushed me to get it.


OVER THE YEARS

As time went on using it, along with the software it has been the better device out of all controllers I had bought so far. My biggest gripe was always the buggy software but it also provided the customizability to add profiles to link to different programs. So if you needed the M key function to be where the R key is for when you were on Discord, or need to have a 3-button hotkey on a single button instead of stretching your stubby fingers across the 100% board. Tartarus is the best thing you can ever get for faster workflow.


Eventually, my husband had gifted me the newest iteration, Razer Tartarus Chroma V2 (I know, incredible naming convention) and things flowed so much faster, especially the profile switching.


Advantages

  • Faster-ish Profile Switching - If you depend on changing more than a couple of keys on the Tartarus to a different button's function on a different app (switching the 'E' to an 'F' function for the 2nd app and so on) this is best for tabbing & taking advantage of the ability to set a customized standard or most used hotkeys with different button functions on the get-go to link each app to. Sometimes you still need to wait up to 5 seconds (pretty slow if you have a gamer's attention span) but it is still much faster than the first iteration.

  • More maps for more functionality! - I think the previous iteration was only capable of 4 joystick directions, but V2 has the option of 4 and 8. Personally have stayed on 4 anyway because 8 is too specific for my constantly tired brain to be precise on. The only reason I bring this up is that I constantly use each direction for a different set of the keyboard - standard for the left side of a regular keyboard keys, Forward for the right side keys, Up for F keys, down for number row keys, and Back for NumPad keys. There are also other ways to set this up, for example for Chrome I have the Standard for the left side keyboard keys, Up for Youtube specific hotkeys, and back for browser navigation like switching tabs and closing/opening tabs. 8 is just too powerful for me, but if I could I would definitely exploit the shit out of that hahaha


Now for the issues...

  • Delayed Profile Switching on specifically Clip Studio Paint - Don't get me wrong, it DOES switch profiles! However, sometimes it stays in the previous profile once working on the CSP window (Chrome profile, random Game profile, Discord profile, etc) and I have to constantly tab out and tab back in for the CSP profile to get recognized. Usually disrupting work flow and causing mistakes because it won't switch or won't switch fast enough when tabbing.

  • Profile Keymaps & Assigned Color Settings Don't Stay Synced - I also assign colors to each profile linked to an app to let me know if the profiles switched. However, it doesn't always work and ends up swapping profile maps or color settings while keeping the other of a previous app. Not sure why this happens and while it's usually not often and not a big deal, it is still pretty annoying to go through when trying to speedrun things or getting into a hardcore entranced session of a project.

  • Synapse can be a piece of junk nightmare! - It's the software you can use to thoroughly customize the device, from just colors and effects to a powerhouse assisting device for editing software. It often has buggy errors often relating to getting it manually updated (but they won't notify you), updates can take an entire day to download for some reason?, erasing maps if you fiddle too much in this state, not knowing when to sync local and cloud settings, for some reason linked with the keyboard? so if it's battery is low you GOTTA charge it for the Tartarus to work, and that's from atop of my head. At this point, as long as it keeps switching ok with everything else, I can put up with it but I can see why people wouldn't recommend using this for art specific things, and I certainly wouldn't unless you can use find a use for it on more programs needing multiple key shortcuts.


CONCLUSION

If someone, anyone, has a solid solution or a work around to the Clip Studio Paint issue.... let me know.... I need this for genuine art related work now and this has only become more annoying in the attempt to push through this issue. I have not found an answer anywhere, that even if I wanted to change something on a program coding level it seems no one can provide an answer.

bottom of page