Razer’s focus on delivering an experience “For Gamers. By Gamers” has made for a great marketing line for those wishing to buy hardware for video games. In 2010, Razer introduced the Razer Blackwidow, a mechanical keyboard built to give gamers complete control using Cherry MX Blue switches. It wasn’t until recently that Razer started adopting the use of their in-house key switches, a specially designed switch to reduce the travel distance between actions. 2015 then marked the phase of Razer’s Chroma hardware, a line of peripherals set on giving users more customization when it comes to their RGB lighting.
The model of the keyboard that we are reviewing is the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, with the Razer Green key switches. Featuring full-range RGB lighting, a pass-through USB connection, audio output, and a mic input, this keyboard offers nearly everything you would want out of a device.
There are few faults I can give to the Blackwidow. The tactile bump of the Razer Green key switches is satisfying to the touch, and you know when the button has been pressed down and the action has sent to the computer. As a person who likes to feel in control of every situation, the Razer Blackwidow Chroma gave me the feel of ultimate control, even as an individual who prefers using a console controller over the traditional keyboard.
But we can’t forget about the main attraction of the Chroma line: the RGB lighting. Let me tell you, Razer went above and beyond with its vibrant lighting. As far as I can tell, Razer has dominated in this field for years on their wide-range of products. RGB was a welcomed addition to their products and with the Blackwidow Chroma, it shines in what I can only describe as an overwhelming glow in a variety of lighting conditions. The software used to control the lighting effects (named Razer Synapse) is lightweight and easy to use. You can set preset defaults for your colors using the effects found in this software to make the keyboard yours. Combining this with full macro support, and third-party app support, which I will mention below, the software is what makes this keyboard stand out above the rest.
One aspect of the keyboard I enjoy isn’t the keyboard at all; It was Razer’s impressive third-party support for the Chroma line of devices. Through a mixture of applications available through their website, I could enjoy custom configurations for games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Different keys would light up on the keyboard showing which items/guns were available and would light up certain colors depending on their status. While this feature may be overlooked, as a result of gamers starting at their monitors, instead of their keyboard, the satisfying blast of light from the every time I landed the last hit on a creep was exciting and incredibly immersive.
If I was to complain about one feature, it would be that the oil from your fingers easily rubs off on the matte shell. It leaves a gross, streaked look on the keys and frame – making for an undesirable grease print until you wash it off with water. I refuse to consider myself to be a messy or sloppy individual, as I like all my electronics to shine with perfection, but this keyboard collects grease like nobody’s business. With this issue in mind, however, it can be remedied by maintaining a mix of proper hand washing techniques and keeping food and drink away from the keyboard.
This keyboard is the end-all, be-all for consumers looking for a loaded solution. All this does come at a hefty price, however. The keyboard currently retails for $249.99 CAD on the official Razer website. Ouch. The Razer Blackwidow is among the more expensive brands you can purchase, making other brands likely more appealing to buy on a tighter budget. The trade-off of the steep price is that you will get that quality, top-notch Razer experience that will last you for years to come.
The Razer Blackwidow Chroma was purchased through Informed Pixel Media Group.