DFTG Reviews the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard
When it comes to gaming peripherals, gamers are always on the look out for affordable and high quality products to give them an edge while gaming. Whether you’re a First-person shooter (FPS) fan, a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) fan, or an adventure game type of gamer, one thing is for certain, we want to play our games as fluid and accurate as possible. Console gamers have the ease and simplicity of a controller. While that may be an option for some PC gamers, most rely on the full control of the classic keyboard and mouse combination. As a new PC gamer myself, I never gave much thought to what my standards for a gaming keyboard were until I got my hands on the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate.
Razer is known for producing high quality gaming peripherals that are both aesthetically pleasing as well as prominent tools in your arsenal of control input devices. Whether you are new to the realm of PC gaming or an experienced veteran, the BlackWidow Ultimate has the potential to upgrade your gameplay instantaneously. Moving from an off-brand basic membrane keyboard to a mechanical one makes a world of difference and Razer provides a top quality product that won’t break the bank depending on the model purchased.
Weight- 3.3 lbs
Dimensions- 18.5 x 7.2 x 1.5
- Individually Backlit Keys
- 60 Million Keystroke Lifespan
- 10 Key roll-over anti-ghosting
- 5 Programmable Macro Keys
- Audio in/microphone out jacks
- USB Passthrough
- Braided Fiber Cable
- Media control function keys
- Razer Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
The packaging itself is quite catching to the eye. A matte black background with a high-resolution image of the keyboard stands out with pearlescent and Razer’s signature green font colors. The packaging has a window cut out where the arrow (up, down, left, right) keys are located so that you can get a feel for the way the keys respond when pressed. Inside the box, a rigid and clear plastic shell covers and protects the device. There isn’t much inside the box other than the BlackWidow keyboard and an envelope which contains a Quick-Start guide, product information, and two stickers baring Razer’s logo.
First of all, let us talk about how sleek and sexy the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is. The matte black finish on the keyboard gives it a stealthy vibe, which accents perfectly with the neon green backlighting. Through Razer’s Synapse software you can control the brightness of the lighting. There is also the ability to set the keyboard to pulsate the lighting which slowly cycles from the brightest setting to no lighting and back up to the brightest. For more color options, Razer does have the BlackWidow Ultimate in their Chroma series which has a full spectrum of colors and more lighting effect options, definitely the better option for those looking for the ultimate customization experience.
There is so much more to this keyboard than the aesthetics. As I mentioned earlier, the keyboard I had prior was a generic keyboard with no additional features. The BlackWidow has provided far more options to control my everyday operations as well as taking my gaming experience to a whole new level. As a fan of the popular MMO World of Warfcraft, the ability to record macros on the fly makes raiding a dungeon seem to take a little less preparation.
The keyboard features five programmable macro keys that will remember your key sequences, allowing for a fully customized feel. There is also a “Gaming Mode” option which temporarily disables the “Windows” key to prevent an accident that will ruin your gaming experience. This mode also allows for a ten key roll-over, which allows you to press up to ten keys simultaneously and get the proper reaction out of all keys pressed. This means you can potentially strafe, attack, and dodge all at the same time. When not in “Gaming Mode” the keyboard has a six key rollover.
The BlackWidow is impeccably responsive while gaming as well as for a standard typing keyboard. There is a lot of spring to the mechanical design of each key, while maintaining a natural ease to press each key. In fact, I am using it as I type this review. The “clicky-clacky” sound of the keys while typing and/or gaming isn’t so loud that it becomes annoying, but just loud enough to remind you of the intricate design of each key beneath your finger tips. PC gamers tend to be completely divided in regards to keyboards that are too “clicky” – they either love it or hate it. In this case, it is comfortable and doesn’t hinder the day-to-day usage. The overall design of the keyboard also allows for an ergonomic comfort while typing and gaming.
On the right side of the keyboard, there is a USB slot, audio out jack, and microphone in jack for added convenience. The tilt of the keyboard can also be adjusted with the two “feet” on the bottom of the device.
The BlackWidow Ultimate provides a great gaming experience, but there are a few things to take note of. While each key is individually lit, keys with more than one function can be a hassle if playing or typing at night. For instance, the media control keys are bound to the F1 through F7 keys. You would have to press the function (FN) key under the right SHIFT key and the F5 key to pause or play your media. The symbols for the additional functions do not illuminate and are a light grey color, making them difficult to see in the dark, even with the backlighting. Memorizing which keys do what would remedy this quickly, but it is something I found to be more of a simple inconvenience than a notable flaw.
Having the ability to record macros on the fly is resourceful for MMOs, but the process of setting those macros takes a bit of finesse. To begin recording, you must hold the FN key and press the F9 key, followed by your input sequence, stop the recording, then select which key you want to bind the macro to. It sounds simple enough, but I can guarantee that you’ll mess up the sequence quite a few times before getting the hang of it.
I absolutely love the overall aesthetics of this keyboard, but I do wish there were at least a few more options as far as lighting effects are concerned. Razer has a 2016 model that does have those extra effects, I just happened to get the older model. This is definitely personal preference and in no way changes my overall opinion of the product, nor does it affect the value.
If you are new to PC gaming and looking for that keyboard that will give you an edge or a veteran looking to upgrade from the generic keyboard you’ve been using, I highly recommend the BlackWidow Ultimate from Razer. You can find them online for under $100, which won’t break your wallet and won’t leave you with buyer’s remorse. The newer 2016 model may run a little more and the Chroma version is around $50-$60 more for more color options. The keyboard functions are all the same, so the 2016 and Chroma versions are more for looks and aesthetics. The 60 million keystroke guarantee gives you reassurance that your purchase will last through countless dungeon raids, essays, arena battles, and editorials. If you are interested in ordering the BlackWidow Ultimate, check out the link below:
Jon McAnally376 Posts
Hailing from the armpit of California, this most radical of nerds loves video games, comics, and collectibles (not dolls). Prepare to feast your eyes on the magical wonder that is his editorials.