I’m an avid FPS and MMORPG fan, I’m also an addicted platformer and RTS fan, in short, I’m not your casual gamer. I’ve always fancied using a mechanical keyboard seeing as how the local tech scene don’t usually have them available.
Fortunately, Razer is introducing mechanical keyboard to the mainstream market. Known for its line of gaming products, Razer stands by its tagline “For Gamers, By Gamers”. Razer was kind enough to send the BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for me to play with.
The packaging is pretty smart, as it has a cut-out portion with the Arrow Keys exposed for a potential buyer to try what a mechanical keyboard feels like. If you see one on display, don’t be shy and try it out, just don’t go without your wallet because I’m sure once you feel what mech is like, you will feel the urge to get one.
Inside the box, you’ll get the keyboard, some documentations and Razer stickers. Interestingly, ours didn’t come with A CD for the drivers, I had to download them from the website.
Upon inspection, the BlackWidow Ultimate has a minimalist design for a gaming keyboard. What I mean by that is that it doesn’t have much gimmicky buttons, outrageous design (save for the font used), etc. The layout is very simple and very intuitive.
This is by far the heaviest keyboard I’ve ever used. Based on their website, this keyboard weighs 1.5kg. With the heft and rubber feet, the keyboard sits sturdily in my desk which is a plus in my book because I have a smooth desk and even mouse pads can’t stay in place.
The braided cable gives it a robust feel, like it can be used on a tug-of-war (or not). The cable features the ff: 1x USB for the keyboard, 1x USB for the USB-passthrough and 2x media jacks (Mic and Speaker out). On the right side, you’ll see the USB port and the media jacks. However, I don’t feel the need to use them because plugging a flash drive or a headphone/mic wire on that side might hamper mouse movement when gaming. It’s still a nice add-on feature though.
The BlackWidow Ultimate has a LOT to offer for the hardcore gamers.
- It has 5 Gaming Keys with on-the-fly macro recording.
- Individually backlit keys, with five levels of lighting, good for gaming in low-light (a.k.a. stealth mode).
- It has easily accessible media keys just like what you have on laptops.
- You can create up to 10 keyboard profiles, as the whole keyboard is fully programmable.
Ergonomically speaking, the keys are well-placed because they are more compact and can easily access every key with minimal movement of the hands. It also has a “gaming mode” to prevent the Windows key from activating when accidentally pressed. Because you probably know the frustration when you’re giddily waiting for the right moment to take the shot, your target is slowly inching its way to your crosshair, then somehow your finger accidentally pressed the Windows key”¦ BAM!, window minimized and when you tab back you find yourself to be the one lying on the ground.
The selling point of this keyboard is its mechanical key switches. According to their website, the BlackWidow Ultimate uses Cherry MX Blue switches, which is one of the industry standards on mechanical key switches. The tactile response and clickity-clack sound of the keyboard is just typing heaven for the user.
I played Team Fortress 2 and Dragon Age with this keyboard, and the response is phenomenal. Using it on an FPS game, you’ll never second guess if you really pressed the key enough. Using it on an RPG, the game is made easier thanks to its dedicated gaming keys. When playing Dragon Age, I don’t even have to look to switch to characters as the F-keys are near the W,S,A,D keys which are perfectly spaced apart.
Even if you’re not the hardcore gamer type, getting this keyboard will work wonders on your typing speed. It boosted my WPM and minimized the stress on my fingers.
The BlackWidow Ultimate is available in authorized Razer dealers for Php6,799. If you’re on a budget and don’t need the backlit keys, its little brother the Blackwidow (Php3,800+) may suffice.
Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Andrei Lim with some slight revisions by the editor. Andrei was born with a game controller in his hand, started gaming at the age of 6 when he first got his NES and SNES. He has beaten a lot of games and continues this legacy with his gaming rig.
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Specs:
- Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force
- Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
- Programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- Gaming mode option for deactivation of the Windows key
- 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
- 5 additional macro keys
- Gaming optimized key matrix for minimized ghosting
- Multi-Media Controls
- Braided cable
- Audio-Out / Mic-In Jacks
- Approx. size in mm: 475(L) x 171(W) x 30(H)
- Weight: 1.5kg