|Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Austin Downing|
|Monday, 06 December 2010|
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Testing & Results
As with any peripheral, the testing of the BlackWidow is unique to the individual using it, what I like or dislike in my review may not reflect your personal feelings about a product. In order to most adequately test the Razer BlackWidow I look at a variety of games and activities to help evaluate its performance in many different settings. For quick paced gameplay I look at Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty: Black-Ops, for strategy games I used Civilization V, and for RPG's I used Mass Effect 2 and Fallout New Vegas.
When it came time to game, I found the BlackWidow to be very responsive although no more so then my Razer Lycosa that I used before the BlackWidow was sent to me. For Team Fortress and Call of Duty: Black-Ops I found that the low level of key travel needed to actuate the keys led to me having a very good reaction time even against the low profile Razer Lycosa. For some the auditory response of the BlackWidow's mechanical switches may annoy them when playing intense games especially when the keys are being actuated very quickly over and over again. Personally I found this to be a non-issue but you may want to test out the BlackWidow before you purchase to make sure that you can deal with the noise. For Civilization I found that the keys were very easy to use when it came to shortcuts and that after the initial learning curve of going to a new keyboard it all felt very natural. For Fallout New Vegas, and Mass Effect 2 I found that the lightness of touch let you have very long gaming sessions without any fatigue in your movement hand, something that other full height keyboard have given me problems with before.
Although my gaming experience with the BlackWidow was enjoyable it did not comes close to what it is like to do actually work on the BlackWidow. As a college student I spend a large amount of my time typing up papers and the BlackWidow has sold me, just from the experience of typing on it. But first let me do some explaining, this is my first mechanical keyboard I have ever used but two of my roomates have spent the best part of a semester talking up how good mechanical keyboard are to type on. This was something I did not understand until this review. Since I received the BlackWidow my typing speed has increased roughly 15-20% conservatively. The are a couple reasons for this, number one is the beautiful clicking noise that each key makes as it actuates meaning that you can get a natural rhythm going as you type just by listening. Secondly the feedback you receive from each key helps you more quickly move on to the next key as you don't actuate the key as far to actually activate it. Lastly it provides a much more comfortable experience with the slightly curved surface being very comfortable and helping my wrists to stay comfortable even after pulling a all nighter to cram out a ten page paper.