When playing PC games, peripherals are your tools. A good headset can mean the difference between hearing the footstep of the guy coming around the corner. The mouse can get your crosshair centred onto that headshot before you get to be on the other end of the scope. And lastly comes the keyboard. Often overlooked as the “lesser-needed” tool. Surely a regular standard keyboard can do the same as what the gaming, mechanical, branded keyboards can do, right?
Razer is no novice when it comes to making gaming keyboards. The Blackwidow itself is not the first of its namesake either. The Razer Blackwidow has enjoyed being one of the top mechanical keyboards around, for a fair amount of time. Instead of accepting their design, Razer has kept on improving, striving for perfection. Have they achieved it?
First things first, the Blackwidow, is different from its brothers, the Blackwidow Elite and the Blackwidow Tournament edition. Apart from not hitting your wallet as hard, you will be hard-pressed to tell them apart at first glance. What really has made the Blackwidow series a firm favourite is its styling. It has a rather understated design with nothing flashy or that screams GAMER. At first glance, if you don’t notice the Razer logo, you might mistake it for a regular office keyboard, boasting a Numpad and nothing else out of the ordinary.
The Blackwidow only shows its true colours, pun intended, once you turn on the Chroma. And with the addition of all the new features to the Synapse 3 software, Chroma has no reason to be restricted to only a keyboard or a mouse. Your whole gaming- rig and room can now partake in the Chroma effect. With the addition of Philips Hue, home integration is a reality when gaming, add in the game integration with games such as Apex Legends enjoying integration as a standard, and Chroma becomes fantastic
The Razer Blackwidow is a fan-favourite for good reason. it has fantastic build quality, feeling solid and well built. Razer also puts its green switches to good use in the Blackwidow, stating that it even has reinforced sidewalls on every key to ensure there is no wobble when pressing down on keys. The green switches provide a good balance between tactile feedback as well as being clicky. The Green switches are also rated for 80 million keystrokes, so don’t expect them to give up on you any time soon. Typing and gaming both feel divine on the Blackwidow, keystrokes feel confident and strong under your fingers.
Another way Razer has marketed the Blackwidow for both work and play is the exclusion of the dedicated macro keys. Instead, they use their very own Hypershift. Hypershift allows you to assign any key of your choosing to a secondary function. Don’t worry if you have different macros for different games, the Blackwidow has onboard storage for a host of macros which you can simply flick through when needed. If you are scared of losing those macros due to someone highjacking your Blackwidow and changing your fine-tuned macros, Razer even provides cloud storage for your macros. This allows for quick and easy setups when moving between PCs or Blackwidows alike.
But with the good comes the bad. The Blackwidow has had time to refine itself and it has, very successfully, done so. The braided cable has 3 options of routing which is nice if you have a less than normal setup, but what would make it nicer is if the keyboard had a place to store your excess cable. If you are someone who travels a lot with your gaming gear a removable cable would actually be the best feature. Another slight let down is the commission of the wrist rest. Leaving the wrist rest of the equation does drop the price by a substantial amount but other gaming keyboards in the same price range can throw in the wrist rest at the same price.
If you are wondering about the differences between the Blackwidow and the Blackwidow elite, here is a link to the review we did on the Elite.
The Razer Blackwidow is a great keyboard. It boasts great mechanical keys, paired with an underrated look which looks great attached to an office computer as well as a fully-fledged gaming rig. Being subtle when it needs to be, and with a little bit of Chroma, becomes the RGB monster than Razer is known for. Being the cheaper option to the very formidable Blackwidow Elite, whilst losing some of the extras of the Elite, does shape it to be a competitive mechanical keyboard in the sub-R2000 range. Unfortunate to see the loss of the wrist rest, but adding this as one of your tools of the gaming trade will not leave you disappointed.
Special thanks to Apex Interactive for supplying the review item