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Written by Austin Downing   
Monday, 06 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Razer BlackWidow
Razer BlackWidow Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard Review

Mechanical keyboards have somewhat of a cult following among those who have used them, many times they choose to use a simpler keyboards in order have the superior feeling and sound that only a mechanical keyboard can provide. A few companies have attempted to bridge this gap into the gaming market but few have cracked the code that is needed to create a proper "gaming" mechanical keyboard. Razer believes that having spent three years designing the BlackWidow from the ground up as a gaming mechanical keyboard that it will be better than the competition who just uses generic mechanical keyboards and the puts their name on it.

The Razer BlackWidows uses the Cherry MX Blue switches which feature tactile feedback, audible clicks, and also take less force to actuate then many other mechanical keyboard solutions. Razer claims these features come together to give gamers that edge they need to overtake their opponents. Other features included are a 1000Hz polling rate, programmable macro's, media controls, and a set of five extra keys specifically designed for gamers to add additional commands to.

Razer_BlackWidow_Front.jpg

In this review Benchmark Reviews will put the BlackWidow through its paces to make sure it is worth the $79.99 Razer would like for it. In order to do this we will look at multiple areas of functionality including: gaming (MMO, RTS, and FPS) and non-gaming situations such as writing papers, photo editing, and web surfing. Hopefully this combination will help provide a well rounded view at the functionality of Razers newest creation.

Manufacturer: Razer USA Ltd
Product Name: BlackWidow
Model Number: RZ03-00390100-R3U1
Price As Tested: $79.99

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Razer.



 

Comments 

 
# FKeys!!!Bob 2010-12-06 19:54
Why don't they leave well enough alone with the fkeys? I use a MS Sidewinder keyboard at home, and the FKeys are wider than default, causing the F1 key to be in the Escape keys spot on normal keyboards. On this keyboard, they are narrower, and squished to the right, leaving a gap.

At work, I do a lot of editing in vim, so I use the escape key a lot. The MS keyboard moves the escape key to the left causing me to hit F1 instead of Escape. At least this keyboard leaves the Escape key in the default place.

When playing games like Battlefield games, where you switch positions in vehicles with fkey 1/2/3, muscle memory is very important to getting F1 to drive a tank, for example.

These kinds of changes to make it "different" are *just* *plain* *stupid*. Please, leave the basic key layout alone!
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# RE: FKeysAustin Downing 2010-12-07 01:08
I found the placement to be of no concern whatsoever, and actually they lined up better then many other keyboards I have used.

If everyone went with tried and true though how would we have any innovation?
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# Contradictions?Joe 2010-12-11 23:29
OK this is confusing.

You love the keypress click, but list it as both a pro and a con?

You may also want to proof read your reviews in future.
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# RE: Contradictions?DG 2011-01-08 11:31
Refer to getting acknowledge of keypress, as a pro. Ie. you hear a click you know your keystroke registered. It is a con because it can be loud and annoying for those that aren't used to it.

As for the pricing, if you're comparing it to other mechanical keyboards it is a good price point and cheaper than other models.

If you're looking at it amongst all keyboards it is expensive for something that offers few of the extra features commonly found on cheaper non mechancial boards. But obviously if you're looking for a mechanical keyboard, the fact that is mechanical is the most important part rather than having dedicated media keys.
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# Proof readASchmugge 2010-12-12 11:49
Love most of your reviews Austin, but dang my boy, need to start proof reading your articles, or have someone else do it with a keen eye for mistakes.

A bit confused also in relation to what Joe said. In Pros you list the key clicks and also the price, then again in the Cons, you list the key clicks, and the price. So are they both a Pro, or a Con?

Keyboard does look intriguing though, especially since I am in the market for a new gaming keyboard. But I have seen a LOT of reviewers having complaints about Razer Quality Control and build quality issues. Specifically key issues, and also software issues. Any input from this and other past experiences?
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# RE: Razer BlackWidow Gaming KeyboardAustin Downing 2010-12-12 12:08
Honestly it depends if you compare the price to many other keyboards its is very expensive based on what you get but compared to other mechanical keyboards it is very well priced. Just look at the recently reviewed SteelSeries 7G.

In regards to quality control I have had no problems with any Razer products I have had not had any quality control and I own a Razer mouse, two keyboards, speakers, headset, and mouse pad. They have taken the abuse I give them and just kept on going.
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# Possibility of feature lossTiago 2011-01-14 18:35
With this keyboard having a USB plug, have you tried using the PS/2 adaptor/convertor? Do you know if it will loose the the anti-ghosting feature? I fear it having some sort of a delay when plugged into a computer with a few other USB devices...
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# No good.victory 2011-06-09 07:23
The Blackwidow is useless for my purposes since some three-key combinations I actually use will not work. It's ridiculous they sell a keyboard without N-key rollover at this price. Adding the diodes necessary to make it NKRO would cost what, a few bucks at most?
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# N-key rolloverxR2 2012-06-29 12:04
Thank you victory! By your comment, I google more and found other reviews mentioning the same aspect, lack of N-key rollover.
I was about to buy this keyboard, but thanks to YOU, now I wont! :D
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