Home key attack! It feels so good to type on super responsive keys, especially for someone that spends 6-8 hours a day typing on those chicklet-style laptop keyboards. Razer's new BlackWidow Ultimate has the key action that makes it hard to go back to my work keyboards. It feels like I'm typing faster. I feel connected to the machine.
But how is this keyboard for gaming?
Product: BlackWidow Ultimate
Before we get to the keys, let's cover the board itself. The newly updated Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is built to impress with its solid weight and flex-free casing. The matte finish is welcome! They went with their standard green-on-black scheme, with cool backlit keys that made my office look like a science lab with the lights off. The light is super bright, though.
The new, in-house designed mechanical key switches (nope, not Cherry this time) are so responsive that, again, they feel connected to my fingertips. I love how it feels to type. But this is a more dampened feel than their previous board, which positively affects sound levels (more on that later). I don't feel like much was sacrificed to dampen the sound, but those looking for that super crisp feel might think some of that exciting edge is missing with the BlackWidow Ultimate. I like the middle ground here because I never felt like I was making accidental key strokes, and I never typed my way to a headache from the sound.
With gaming, the experience was so good that I forgot about what I was using after awhile. It became transparent. I felt very dialed in playing games like Earth Defense Force and Resident Evil Revelations. The space bar is a joy. Apparently there's a shorter travel time for Razer's switches, but I never felt that difference. No matter, though -- what they have was definitely working for me.
Outside the feel and responsiveness of the keys, there's very little in the way of gaming-specific features to point out for the BlackWidow Ultimate. You won't find much beyond the row of five macro keys on the left side of the unit, which may not be enough for some types of gamers. It's just the goods and not much else. You can use Razer's Synapse software to do key bindings and macros, mind you.
My favorite part? The keys are clicky, but not noisy. I love the mechanical feel of a premium board, but I'm usually out the door on even the best keys when it comes to very noisy clicks. The last model I tried had me distracted, even with gaming headphones on. That's not a problem with the BlackWidow at all.
The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate does one thing and does it very well, with no frills or dorky features getting in the way. It's a good-looking, solid board that seems like it'll hold up to years of gaming and typing. It's a bit expensive at $139, but you're getting a quality input device that should last you a while for the asking price.
For many, this will just be an update to a long-respected gaming board. They'll want to try out these new switches for sure (there's a hole in the box that lets you do so). But if you're in the market for a new gaming board, this one is definitely worth a look.
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate reviewed by Dale North