Review – Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard

razrkeyboard1A keyboard is a keyboard right? Not when it’s a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard. With mechanical switches, individual backlit keys, and boasting durability to withstand 60 million keystrokes, the BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard from Razer is the Ferrari of keyboards. After trialing this keyboard over several days, I can happily say that Razer have designed a keyboard that is as practical as it is flashy.

First things first – the Razer Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard looks impressive. If hardware was judged on looks alone, this keyboard would score a perfect 10. The combination of sleek black with illuminated green is a winner, and the Razer Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard complements the visual design with a practical awareness of what works ergonomically. The keys are well spaced, allowing ease of key access. Typing with the keyboard is a breeze, and the satisfying clicking sound that accompanies every keystroke will make you feel you are writing an epic piece of work.

The keys themselves are exceptionally responsive when it comes to PC gaming. I trialled the keyboard using a variety of games, from FPS’s to RPG’s to MMO’s and in each game, the keys were reactive without being too sensitive. According to Razer, the BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard features mechanical switches which ‘actuate at an optimal distance’ and whilst I have no clue technically what this means, I expect it’s a fancy way of saying ‘the keys react almost instantaneously when you press them’. Which, when you boil it down, is what you want a keyboard to do. The Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard reacts to your keystrokes and converts them in lightning quick speed, and as a result whilst the keyboard works fine for general typing, it is better suited to gaming given its focus on faciliting more keystrokes per minute.

Whilst on the subject of the keys, they felt solid without being too large, and the keycaps feature an anti-smudge surface coating, ensuring that grubby fingers won’t make for a grubby keyboard. Sadly this anti-smudge coating doesn’t appear to have extended to the keyboard casing itself, as the shell around the keys appears to collect every fingerprint and mark that is inflicted on it. Despite this, the body of the keyboard is durable without being overly thick and heavy. Razer has aptly navigated that fine line of toughness vs solidity and has, in the BlackWidow Ultimate, created a keyboard that is durable without being weighty and chunky. The keyboard feels roomy without being too bulky to transport easily, and it is clear from the design of the keyboard that the creators have thought about the best placement of additional keys to maximise space.

Layout wise, the BlackWidow Ultimate features a QWERTY keyboard and 10-key numeric pad, with five dedicated macro keys on the left and a row of function keys on the top inclusive of media controls. The keyboard also includes a built-in pass-through for audio and USB 2.0, which is a nice touch. Razer states that the BlackWidow Ultimate features greater durability, and while I did not come anywhere close to testing out the assertion that the keyboard has been engineered to withstand up to 60 million keystrokes, the quality of the keyboard is clearly evident. The keys are well-attached and whilst it may surprise some to comment on this, I have had keys snap off during review testing. Thankfully, there was no hint of this happening with the BlackWidow Ultimate.

For those who enjoy a bit of flash to their keyboards, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate features individually backlit keys, which glow a very vibrant green and ensure that even if you’re gaming in complete darkness, you’ll always be able to see what keys you need to press. The brightness of the backlighting can be controlled, which is good news, given the setting the keyboard was on when I started typing with it was approaching the ‘burn an after-image on the back of your eyeballs’ territory. Once dialled down, the backlighting isn’t too distracting, and is a welcome addition when gaming in next to no light.

Overall, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard is a solidly and practically designed keyboard which provides lightning fast, responsive keystroke input and impressive durability. Here is a keyboard that can be used for both gaming and general typing. If you’re after a keyboard that performs well as a gaming keyboard and a general keyboard, the BlackWidow Ultimate is ideal.

The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard scores a 9 out of 10. Retailing at AU $229.95, the BlackWidow Ultimate can be purchased through the official website.

For the tech nuts amongst you, the specs for the keyboard can be found below.

  • Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
  • 60 million keystroke life span
  • Individually backlit keys
  • 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 5 additional dedicated macro keys
  • Gaming mode option
  • Audio-out/mic-in jacks
  • USB pass-through
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 475mm/18.72” (Width) x 171mm/6.74” (Height) x 20mm/0.79” (Depth)
  • Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs
  • Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
  • 60 million keystroke life span
  • Individually backlit keys
  • 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 5 additional dedicated macro keys
  • Gaming mode option
  • Audio-out/mic-in jacks
  • USB pass-through
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 475mm/18.72” (Width) x 171mm/6.74” (Height) x 20mm/0.79” (Depth)
  • Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs

– See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/au-en/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-blackwidow-ultimate/#sthash.XNfjmR5R.dpuf

  • Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
  • 60 million keystroke life span
  • Individually backlit keys
  • 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 5 additional dedicated macro keys
  • Gaming mode option
  • Audio-out/mic-in jacks
  • USB pass-through
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Braided fiber cable
  • Approximate size: 475mm/18.72” (Width) x 171mm/6.74” (Height) x 20mm/0.79” (Depth)
  • Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs

– See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/au-en/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-blackwidow-ultimate/#sthash.XNfjmR5R.dpuf

Mechanical Switches actuate at an optimal distance
Mechanical Switches actuate at an optimal distance

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    About the Author: (@MidnightReyn) Founder & Editor-in-Chief

    Tash

    Tash is a self-diagnosed gaming fanatic with a doctorate in Psychology. She's also a self-confessed Mass Effect fangirl and will likely talk your ears off if you ever get her started on the subject. A lover of all things RPG and adventure, she has more gamer related action figures and memorabilia than any 20 something year old professional has a right to own, and has spent more time than she’d like to admit to daydreaming about exactly what she would do should the Zombie Apocalypse actually happen.