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I bought this keyboard as an upgrade from my logitech G19, and it was well worth it. I saw the rrp at around £130 but it got it off ebay, new for only £105! This keyboard is amazing. It's durable, has the classic Razer braided cable and gold plated usb, and has been lugged around lan after lan! The keyboard itself is mechanical and you require little to no pressure to press the keys. It's so nice to type on, and comfortable to use too. I've never used the built in audio jacks so I can't comment on those, however the usb ports are very convenient. How nice it is to be able to connect a usb stick to the keyboard rather than dig around your pc under your pc desk! With it being a mechanical keyboard, it sounds nice when typing, and it's nice and easy to clean when you drop biscuit crumbs into it :) I've played with a few keyboards, and at lans I've tested a few, and I couldn't find a keyboard which I like more. Once you get used to it, you can type extremely fast as you don't ache your fingers by punching the keys down - little pressure Is required. I couldn't go back to the g19 either - tried as I gave it to my brother, and when I use it, I fail. Big time! The macro keys on this keyboard are pretty convinient - using it with auto hot key is amazing - allowing me to perform long tasks in less time than normal. When gaming, say warcraft - these help too - there's no limit to what the macro buttons can do! Keep the drivers up to date and you'll be the happiest person ever. Excellent keyboard, very comfortable - I love it!
I have been putting my Razer BlackWidow through a fair amount of punishment over the past year or so, when I am not socialising with friends in person we are usually socialising in noisy gaming marathons which continue until the early hours of most mornings. If I was to add up the amount of time I have spent tapping away at the mechanical keys I feel it would be both shocking and a little embarrassing (to my parents anyway). To give you a general idea of how much I use the keyboard; since its purchase I have clocked up just over 2000 hours on one of my favourite games alone.
The BlackWidow feels like an expensive keyboard should, it is meaty and oozes quality from the keys to the cable. The keys are solid and do not rattle around in their holdings, each one has its respective letter clearly shown against the black matt coating in the style of Razer's signature font. The coating on the keys is actually quite remarkable, I have easily pressed the WASD and QWER keys hundreds of thousands of times (if not more) and yet the keys still seem good as new. The main body of the keyboard is a high gloss black and with no sharp corners or edges it definitely compliments the appearance of the keyboard even after it has been tarnished by a few stray fingerprints! An added bonus is the thick, braided cable which is so sturdy I feel even the famous Bond villain Jaws would have a job chewing through it! The cable contains the wiring for the keyboard itself (USB) and the necessary connections for the USB port and 3.5mm headphone jacks built into the right hand side of the BlackWidow. Each of these connectors is gold plated to ensure the best possible connection is achieved. Finally, the underside of the keyboard is fitted with 5 rubber grip-pads which effectively prevent any unwanted manoeuvres, there are also two flip out stands which can be raised or lowered to prop the keyboard at the user's preferred angle.
The BlackWidow is a mechanical keyboard. For those who don't know, this means that each individual key has its own mechanical switch underneath it. Having these mechanical switches is a vast improvement on the typical floppy rubber lining found on the majority of cheap, mass produced keyboards of today. The BlackWidow uses Cherry MX Blue switches; these are typically regarded as the best mechanical switches for typing as they produce a recognisable click when pressed. This click is quite loud and can be a factor of annoyance for some people, if audible feedback isn't your thing Razer offer a BlackWidow Stealth edition which is fitted with silent switches.
Upon first using the keyboard you will notice the keys do not need to be pushed the whole way down for the input to be recognised, this will speed up general typing and the amount of commands you can issue in-game once you are familiar with it. Another feature to note is the fact the keys require very little force to actuate, it takes a little getting used to but will improve your keyboard abilities in time.
The BlackWidow is equipped with a full range of blue LED's for each key (excluding the space bar) which provide optimal vision even in the darkest of bedrooms! The LED's give an even cover of blue glow which has 4 different brightness settings from OFF to BRIGHT, there is also a pulsate feature for added showing off capabilities.
Razer has recently rolled all of its more popular products onto the Synapse 2.0 platform. This handy bit of software will provide you with all of the updates and customisation options you could want for your BlackWidow and any other Razer devices you may own. The software when used in conjunction with the keyboard allows for the programming of macros (an input sequence set off by pressing one key) and has 5 extra "macro keys" running down the left hand side of the keyboard to accommodate this feature. It is also worth noting that any key on the keyboard can be individually reprogrammed to another key, a function or a macro. Some examples of how I have used this feature include having common keyboard shortcuts such as "Alt-Tab" and "Control-Alt-Delete" bound to my macro keys.
A feature worth mentioning is the Gaming Mode which disables the windows key so it cannot be pressed during a gaming session. I feel this has been a worthwhile feature for me as I am left handed, meaning it is all too easy for my thumb to hit the windows key and abruptly result in the death of my character as well as violent outbursts of profanity. Thankfully, this does not happen when using the BlackWidow. The keyboard also includes a function button (found to the right of "Alt Gr") which opens up a whole range of different media controls for on-the-fly selection of songs and volume adjustment.
The BlackWidow is an exceptional keyboard, its supreme build quality; reliability and durability are what set it apart from competitors for me. The functions and extras are well thought out and can be put to great use in the right hands. However, the noisy keys will put some people off and the price is only worth paying if you are a passionate gamer who will use the keyboard religiously for extended periods of time.
This keyboard is amazing. The feel of it is just great. You can type a lot faster on it. You can't explain it, it just makes you type faster. It is mechanical so it does make a noise every time you type a key but it's not really annoying. (Depending on who you are). I love the fact that you can adjust the lighting of the keys. Great for nighttime gaming. The macros are also very helpful in many games such as a mmo or any other game. The response time is faster then a normal keyboard also so you can react much faster. There is also a little thing that is really helpful. The gaming mode of the keyboard. This turns off the windows key so if by mistake you hit it you don't end up pulling the game down. This feature is a life saver for any gamer.