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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

Mechanical Keyboard Final Thoughts

First let me start by saying, this is possibly the best keyboard I have ever used, any problems I had with this keyboard were easily overshadowed by how wonderful it was to use in day-to-day life. For some users the noise the BlackWidow makes is very annoying, it is loud enough to be heard at least 10+ feet away especially if like me you type very hard. Even with all the praise I have given I do have one thing I would like to see on the next iteration of the BlackWidow. I would like to see dedicated media controls instead of having to use the functions key+F1-F8.

Razer_BlackWidow_top.jpg

Razer BlackWidow Conclusion

Performance for this product is a finicky thing, as a gaming keyboard I did not see the BlackWidow as any benefit over the more traditional Razer Lycosa but for non-gaming performance I would put this product near perfect with the auditory and tactile feed helping to increase my speed of typing and the comfort in doing so.

The appearance of the BlackWidow is a good mixture of traditional and modern, providing a product that is neither to flashy but still stands on its own in a group of keyboards. The custom font Razer users is different then any other keyboard out there but still looks very nice and provides a easy to read experience for those who still look at the keyboard when they type. I do like the all black appearance of the BlackWidow although it is frustrating that it attracts fingerprints so much making a for a dirty looking keyboard quickly.

The functionally of the BlackWidow with all of its included drivers provides a wonderful experience that can easily be changed based on your needs. When doing very repetitive actions a user is able to quickly create a macro for any key to help speed up that process and decrease the amount of work that they have to do.

As the BlackWidow is mechanical it is a heavy piece of hardware weighing in at 3.1Lbs, whether this attests to build quality I do not know but in the couple weeks I have been using it I will say that it is built like a tank. Both my Logitech Keyboard and The Razer Lycosa although nice keyboard had alot of give to them and if you pressed hard enough you could make their frames warp. With the BlackWidow this is not the case, even with my abusive typing style does not warp, the keys do not wobble, and in general it feels like it could last forever.

Priced at $79.99 the Razer BlackWidow is expensive for how basic of a keyboard it is, especially when you look at other keyboard that are around its price range or even cheaper. Other keyboards come with all kinds of features that are built into them that the BlackWidow does not have, things like LCD panels, fully customizable LCD buttons, or dedicated media controls. But if you look at its real competition, other mechanical keyboards you start to see that the BlackWidow is priced very competitively. With a few exceptions other mechanical keyboards are being sold for at least $10 more if not $30-$40+ more.

The Razer BlackWidow has converted me, from this point forward I will do my best to always use a mechanical keyboard because of the comfort they bring when it comes time to actually type and do the work that I need to get done.

Pros:
Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Mechanical Key Design
+ Great Software
+ Comfortable Feel
+ Keypress Feedback Sounds
+ Price Compared to Other Mechanical Keyboard

Cons:

- Expensive Keyboard Solution
- Keypress Clicking Noise
- Shows Fingerprints

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 10.00
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

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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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