Review: Razer Black Widow Ultimate
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This edition of Razer’s popular Black Widow series of keyboards brings innovation whilst still maintaining the features that Razer prides themselves in implementing into all their products. Some of the retained features are the aesthetics of the keyboard – the black keys in front of the classic neon green backlight. The ergonomics have been retained, dipped keys so that your fingers seamlessly fit in place once you have laid your hands upon the keyboard. However, one thing that has regretfully been kept is the poor and unattractive typography on the individual keys, hard to read and therefore impractical. Another thing that they have kept is the loud sound of the keys, which many users who are not familiar with Razer or other gaming keyboards may disapprove of. Nonetheless, those who are familiar will realise that this keyboard is in fact relatively quiet compared to many others. Furthermore, for people who prefer silent keys, there is always the Black Widow Stealth edition, which still has the optimal tactile feel that the Ultimate has.
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with this keyboard, one of them being the price. In general, good gaming keyboards alike are going to cost around £100-£200, this one costing around £115 from official retailers. However, when comparing it to the price of the standard Black Widow, it is almost £25 more expensive, which is a lot of money when considering that the only difference is that the Ultimate has individually backlit keys. Another issue with the keyboard is the material that the frame is made from. Upon receiving the keyboard second-hand, I noticed that there were pre-existing oil stains upon the frame. After wiping the keyboard and washing hands before use, I still noticed that there was an oily residue collecting where my hands rest after typing. This residue is quite unsightly and quite difficult to scrub off.
All setbacks aside, this keyboard definitely fulfils its unique selling point – using the first gaming-specific mechanical switches. These new switches allow the actuation point (distance the key has to move before it recognises that it has been pressed) to be moved higher up so that the reset time (time taken before the key can be pressed again) is reduced. In Layman’s terms, the keys can be pressed faster which allows for increased responsiveness so that no issues regarding keyboard lag or slipping fingers will occur. Additionally, several other features directly cancel out any problems frequently encountered whilst gaming. For example, the anti-ghosting feature works tremendously, allowing many keys to be pressed at the same time without jamming or not being recognised. Also, the convenient macro and ‘game-mode’ keys are ideal additions, allowing for the user to execute several commands at the click of a single key, or preventing themselves from closing their open window in the middle of a game unintentionally.
In conclusion, I have to give this keyboard a 4/5, mainly due to the unreasonable price difference between it and an almost indifferent version, the user would be expecting more bang for their buck. However, as a gaming keyboard, there are barely any cons to using it over any other keyboard, only pros which make it superior to some of the other gaming keyboards out on the market.
By Ethan Wong