Recently, I was able to evaluate one of Razer’s new BlackWidow Ultimate gaming keyboards featuring their new Razer Green Switch keyboard keys. Most of this latest iteration of the BlackWidow Ultimate is largely unchanged from its 2013 version (which used a different brand of mechanical key switches). The keyboard is a large size, measuring about 18.5″ in length and 6.5″ in width and weighs in at a little over 3 lbs. For its size and weight, however, you can definitely feel the craftsmanship that went into building it. Razer has clearly built the BlackWidow Ultimate to be their flagship keyboard and it shows in all its black, sleek lines and crisp, vibrant back-lighting.
- Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
- 60 million keystroke life span
- Individually backlit keys
- 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
- Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- 5 additional dedicated macro keys
- Gaming mode option
- Audio-out/mic-in jacks
- USB pass-through
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling
- Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
- Braided fiber cable
- Approximate size: 475mm/18.72” (Width) x 171mm/6.74” (Height) x 20mm/0.79” (Depth)
- Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs
- PC with USB port
- Windows® 8/ Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Windows® XP (32-bit) / Mac OS X (v10.6 to 10.9)
- Internet connection (for driver installation)
- At least 200MB of hard disk space
- Razer Synapse 2.0 registration (requiring a valid e-mail), software download, license acceptance, and internet connection needed to activate full features of product and for software updates. After activation, full features are available in optional offline mode.
Meanwhile, inside this gaming keyboard lies the new Razer Green Switch keys – but, for all the marketing hype, one must ask if they are worth it? Thankfully, the key switches found within the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate are crisp and have a very small amount of movement needed before the keys are activated with an audibly-satisfying clicking sound. In fact, that distance required to activate the key switch is a scant 1.9mm – as opposed to most mechanical key switches which activate at 2.2mm. The coolest thing that I found with these new key switches happens when I have to double-tap a key. Usually, double-tapping a mechanical keyboard key has a strange disconnect to it due to the distance the mechanical key switch needs to reset itself. With these new key switches, double-tapping a keyboard key is very responsive and the reset distance has been greatly decreased. It feels a lot more like double-tapping a membrane based key, but with the tactile response of the mechanical type.
Setting up the BlackWidow Ultimate has always been a snap, going all the way back to its initial release in 2010. Now, however, setting up your profiles and custom configurations is all the more so with Razer’s Synapse 2.0 cloud-based control suite. Using Synapse 2.0, you can store and load profiles no matter what computer your plug your keyboard into – so long as you can access the Internet to interface with Razer’s servers.
The five macro key array is still located to the left of the QWERTY key layout, and the numeric keypad to its right. Like its preceding keyboards, the BlackWidow Ultimate features an audio output jack, microphone input jack, and USB pass through port on its right wide, and the keyboard features a heavy braided cord which is very durable. While durable, the heavy cord does sometimes get in the way as it doesn’t easily bend and I hope at some point Razer will use a softer braiding material.
Overall, Razer’s latest iteration of the BlackWidow Ultimate gaming keyboard is an absolute brilliant piece of hardware with four years of tried and true use behind it. It’s new features make it all the more awesome and user-friendly, whether you are typing your memoirs or playing multiplayer matches of Call of Duty: Ghosts with some friends. The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate retails for $139.99 over at Razer’s official website and is available now – both this and a “Stealth” variant which uses quieter mechanical keys.
[easyreview title=”Razer BlackWidow Ultimate with Razer Green Switches Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”4″ ]
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