Personally, I loved the first version of the Razer BlackWidow, however this all-new second version is even better. In the past I have also thought the Mad Catz Strike 3 was a fantastic gaming keyboard and whilst I ended up buying the Razer, I often wished I had bought the MadCatz. This has all changed with version 2 of this much loved gaming keyboard. I bought it, love it and don't wish I had bought anything else.
Razer BlackWidow X Chroma V2
The Razer BlackWidow mechanical gaming keyboard was first launched in 2010, however in mid-2017 it's been updated with the latest technology and to improve a few areas that gamer hated with the first version.
Overall Razer have done a great job and the BlackWidow does add something extra to my gameplay. It's still not exactly cheap and even with the range of discounts across the market retails at over £100 and it's also still very loud to use.
That all said, the all new Razer Blackwidow V2 is our favorite gaming keyboard on the market right now due to it superior performance and the fact that it has been designed for gaming rather than being designed for typing and adapted to gaming like many other gaming keyboards on the market right now.
The new model comes with Razer’s all new mechanical switches which are available in three types — Green (Tactile and Clicky) which is very much like the Cherry MX Blue switches of the past, Orange (Tactile and Silent), which is very much like the quieter typing of Cherry MX Browns and all new for 2018 Yellow which are Linear and Silent.
This change has been made due to Razer wanting to design keys for gaming rather than general use and as a result the keys come with much shorter actuation (the distance the key travels before triggering a keystroke) and reset (the distance the key travels on the way back up before it can register a second keystroke).
In reality the distance is minute, however it will mean faster keystrokes that could mean the difference between winning and loosing. I did find however that the keyboard is loud, so loud that I could hear it while listening to team mate talking in the voice chat through my headset especially when using my favorite Greens.
Each individual key has a back-lighting effect which means that there is a verdant green glow behind every key which looks cool. The key-caps have an effective anti-smudge surface, but the matte finish on the body of the keyboard seems to show every fingerprint and smudge of grease, which can get unsightly, considering your hands will spend hours in direct contact with the keyboard.
During our test, the performance between a standard keyboard and the new Razer Blackwidow was huge and most importantly there was no effect during standard day-to-day use.
The macros are very easy to set up in Synapse and allow for up to 10 different “hot swap-able profiles” at any one time and can be change during game-play by using Fn and a number 1-0.
I also love the fact that you can disable the cap’s lock key, or change it to another key if you wish. The gaming mode can be linked to a specific program using Synapse or manually toggled by pressing Fn+F10.
I do find the extra width of the keyboard something that you will need to get used to over time. I have been playing games for years and know where the keys are, however the extra width meant that I occasionally misplace my hands to a couple of rows further right, however I soon got used to the keyboard and it was back to normal.
Another thing that annoys me is that the back-lighting does not cover the secondary key functions such as the volume up, down, mute, play/pause, music forward, and music back buttons.
Personally, the Razer is firmly the best gaming keyboard on the market today. I have been using mine for both day-to-day use and extended game-play for almost a year now and have not had any problems.
Razer suggest the keyboard has been designed for an 80 million keystroke life-span which even with daily game-play, takes this keyboard well into the five year lifespan before you start having problems.
On a plus side the gaming community seems to be happy with the keyboard and there are very few reports complaints.
Check it out in action here.
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