Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is the perfect keyboard for every PC user.
My first attraction to this keyboard was the fact that Razer uses mechanical switches instead of the cheaper gel based keyboards that the majority of pc users are accustomed to. As I carefully unboxed this massive (and weighty) keyboard I had to stand back and marvel at the design of it, then an immediate panic took me as I looked at the super glossy finish which was the first flaw that I immediately found, while beautiful to behold it was a fingerprint magnet. Nevertheless I pushed on and spent a few minutes (about 10) examining the braided cables which felt durable and of very high quality. The USB cable was long enough to reach to the back of the PC and still allow some room for movement. At the end of the cable I found two USB plugs and 2 audio jacks (headphone and mic), the second audio jack is used to connect the on-board USB 2.0 port which would have been a little more useful if it featured 2 ports instead of one, but still a nice little feature.
After connecting the keyboard, downloading and installing the latest drivers and software, I fired up the customization utility and was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of customization options. Photoshop junkies will love this keyboard the ability to program macro keys is phenomenal, MMO gamers will also find great benefit in assigning macro keys and even in everyday usage once you get the hang of it assigning macros can put an end to many tedious tasks you perform daily.
After using this product for a few days I am getting the hang of it, the layout is only slightly different from what I am used. Namely because of the additional macro keys to the left key click feel super solid and the “clickity clackity” sound of the keys actually become pretty rhythmic while typing. The keys themselves feel great and do not require you to jam down on them to get button presses to register. There is an ample resistance to the keys and also while typing you will notice that the characters on the keys are not printed on more like etched on there so there is a feeling that it will not rub off over time.
If you browse on over to the Razer website you will notice that there are two variants to the BlackWidow line: the first is called the Blackwidow Mechanical Keyboard and the other is dubbed the Ultimate, now what makes these two very different are three things: the USB hub, the headphone/mic pass through and the backlighting.
We now come to addressing the backlighting of the Ultimate, I had always thought of backlit keyboards as a gimmick, something totally unnecessary but with the state of the Jamaican economy and the heavy taxation that the Jamaica Public Service expects us to pay for electricity, I have to try to conserve as much energy as possible so individually backlit keys are a great asset to have when you game in the dark whether to save a little money on your bills or not to disturb your significant other while they sleep. The BlackWidow has three levels of backlight intensity and they range from low, medium to high but most people should be able to suffice on the medium setting as it is plenty bright and coupled with the light from your monitor sound provide more than enough lighting for your typing/gaming needs, but what if you have friends over for the first time and you need to further show off your new keyboard well click on the fourth setting which will give a pulsing light to wash over their obviously now jealous eyes.
The audio pass-through as I have discovered is also vital when you are living with someone as they may not appreciate the sound of explosions, bullets whizzing by or even your music at 3am (weirdo’s right ). This keyboard is also excellent for the “hardworking” university student who has that final 14 page paper to pound out and hand in by 8am the next morning.
So to sum up, the super smooth and pleasant typing experience on this keyboard coupled with the excellent backlit keys, USB hub and audio passthrough make this an excellent keyboard for anyone who spends more than a couple of hours in front of their machine the only deterrent is the price which starts from $103 +s&h on amazon to anywhere north of $120, that is a lot to pay for just a keyboard but then again this isn’t just any old keyboard.
Pros : Excellent build quality, great typing and gaming experience, backlit keys are drool-worthy, USB 2.0/audio pass-through offer ease of accessibility
Cons : Glossy fingerprint magnet, some awkward positioning of keys and no option to change backlit colors.
Well, this concludes my review for Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard. Thanks for reading. If you want to get yours now, click here.
PS: If you want the whole Razer’s desktop experience, you might want to check this out!