Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
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 Detailed Features

When a user spends $80 on a keyboard they expect it to be more then just a keyboard. Many companies provide software for customizing how a users peripheral will behave and adding secondary features, but Razer has a reputation for providing top notch software that gives the user the ability to really customize their keyboard to do what they need.

Razer_BlackWidow_Software_Page1.jpg

In the assign keys section you are able to assign keys different functions including: a single key press from another key, a macro, a instant profile switch, or launching a program. Razer has given this software the ability to modify any key on the keyboard making it so you can make very specific profiles for program like Photoshop that will be highly customized to make the most efficient use of the BlackWidow. In gaming these features can be used to quickly combine together actions that you may use frequently a feature that many MMO fans will be able to appreciate.

Razer_BlackWidow_Software_Page2.jpg

The manage profiles page of the configuration panel is dedicated to profiles, from here you can import and export your profiles or make new profiles. These profiles save every aspect of a configuration and therefore can be used to quickly switch between configurations for different gameplay styles within a game. Razer has made it so that the first 10 profiles can quickly be switched through using the functions + 1-10 keys.

Razer_BlackWidow_Software_Page3.jpg

The final page of the control panel is the what gives the BlackWidow its extreme customizability. From here you can import, export, or create any macro you would like. In my testing a user could create as long of a macro as they would like, with my longest over 75 actions long. These macro's once set can be assigned to a key to be used every time a the key is press, as long as the key is pressed, multiple times as set by the user, or can be kept playing over and over till the key is pressed again.



 

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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