Razer BlackWidow (2010)

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Keyboard Specifications:
Dimensions in cm (Width x Depth x Height): 46.7 x 16.5 x (4 with feet extended, 3 not extended)
Weight: 1.38 kg

The Razer BlackWidow is one of the first “gaming” keyboards to be marketed by a major manufacturer – Razer in this case. Although, the switch choice – Cherry MX Blue is a weird choice considering Cherry offers both an MX Red and an MX Brown.


Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:

Build Quality: 8/10

It’s a lot better compared to most modern “gaming” keyboards today, so this thing is well built, I’ll give it that. Though, I dislike the top glossy plastic. The two main downsides are the hidden screws behind the rubber feet making the disassembly of the product harder than it should be and the rather thin braided cable which I feel could be yanked off the board if mishandled.


Razer BlackWidow Keycaps
Razer BlackWidow Pad Printed Keycaps

Features: 8/10

For a 10-year-old board and a first attempt by Razer, I’m surprised with how many features it has to offer.
There are some things I really don’t like. First of which are the keycap legends…they look sooooo weird! They’re probably the most bizarre keycap legends on a keyboard. Secondly, Razer opted for the cheaper (and much worse) ‘Costar style’ stabilizers for the larger keys instead of the traditional Cherry stabilizers making larger keys harder to remove as you can easily damage the stabilizers in the process. And lastly, the non-standard bottom row. This is now a staple in the “gaming” mechanical keyboard market, and I HATE it. I mean…why? What’s the point of it?

Anyway, here’s the feature list:

  • Cherry MX Blue switches
  • 5 dedicated macro keys
  • Brightness adjustable LED logo
  • Integrated media controls along the F keys
  • “Gaming lock” (Windows lock) via FN + F11
  • LED brightness adjuster via FN + F12
  • Computer to sleep via FN + Pause break
  • Razer Synapse software

I’d say the only features missing are backlighting and additional USB ports on the board. However, these features can be found in the Ultimate version of the keyboard for a little more money. Although, neither one has an option for a detachable wrist rest.

Razer BlackWidow Macro keys
Cherry MX Blue switches
Razer BlackWidow Macro keys
Cherry MX Blue switches

Daily Performance: 4/10

One of the biggest downsides to this board is its usability…and the fact that Razer Synapse sucks ass to use. Honestly, why do I need to sign up to be able to use macro the keys? Keyboards from the 90s did this without installing any software.

Here’s the list of its downsides:

  • Macros can only recorded and used if the software is running in the background
  • Lots of keys chatter, some worse than others
  • Ghosting is sometimes present when typing quickly

The key chatter alone is enough to be a dealbreaker. Now, add that with ghosting and you’ll be hitting backspace in no time. You better hope that backspace key isn’t the one that is chattering.

Reliability: 2/10

As it’s a 10-year-old board, it already has plenty of issues. There’s a good chance it would develop another issue in the next 10 years. Perhaps, all the keys could be chattering then! It would definitely be unusable at that stage, and it already is for me at this stage. Typical Razer.

Value: 5/10

For the original price of £66 according to techradar. it’s not worth it, at least with the issues it has now. Though, assuming it didn’t develop any issues, then sure, it was worth considering.
You can readily find these on the second-hand market for under £20. If it’s more than that, just buy one of those Chinese branded boards with an Outemu or Kailh Blue switch. Those go for around £20 – £30 brand new.

Final Score = 27/50 (54%)

 

Places to purchase this keyboard:

eBay

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