We Recommend The Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Mechanical Keyboard For
For Razer fans, the BlackWidow is the definition of a mechanical gaming keyboard. It has a catchy design and a long standing history however over the years, this keyboard has lost out a bit to the competition by not staying updated. Those who can splurge and have a professional gaming rig, no qualms about spending a load of cash will love the BlackWidow Chroma from Razer.
However, if you are the kind of person working with a tight budget and need a reliable gaming keyboard with some amount of RGB backlighting, there are better options in the market, unless MMO and online RPG is your thing (this has on-the-fly 5 macro buttons to the left of the keyboard).
- Razer Mechanical Switches - Designed specifically for gaming. 1000Hz ultrapolling
- Individually Backlit Keys - Powered by Razer Chroma with 16.8 million customizable color options
- Ergonomic Wrist Rest - Ensure long hours of comfortable gaming. Audio-out/mic-in jacks. Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Introduction
Since its introduction, the Razer BlackWidow mechanical gaming keyboard has enjoyed continued success with every iteration. Then somewhere down the line, Razer introduced its own mechanical switches that propelled the BlackWidow model to even greater heights as a keyboard that was designed from scratch with the only intention to game. The current V2 iteration of BlackWidow is available in multiple models with slight differences but for our purpose, we decided to go with the BlackWidow Chroma V2. This keyboard packs in razer mechanical switches, which are comparable to Cherry MX Blue though lighter and with 50g actuation force.
The keyboard boasts of 2 years warranty and 80 million keystrokes as the life span for each key. This BlackWidow model though unlike the famous ones in the past packs in a complete RGB backlighting that stretches across 16.8 million colors with customizable areas and patterns. Speaking of customization, there is a total of 5 quick macro keys ready for on-the-fly recording. Other noteworthy features of the Razer BlackWidow include 1000Hz ultra polling with 10 key anti-ghosting and the option of USB as well as 3.5mm dual jack pass-through.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 The Design
The Razer BlackWidow garners a huge fan following the world over thanks to its innovative design and sturdy construction. The switches themselves are designed to withstand the abuse of a professional gamer and are tested to survive at least 80 million keystrokes. This together with Razer in-house technology for the manufacturing of the keys allows for proper quality control. Yes, there have been complaints regarding the reliability of Razer keyboards but those are far and few in between. Besides, Razer has a 30-day return policy so if you feel anything wrong with your keyboard you can return it for a replacement.
The RGB full spectrum is what really caught our attention. Razer says that the entire color gamut and layout of the keyboard is customizable but the truth is that you are limited because of the included Razer Synapse software. While it offers profiles and color spread across the keyboard, you can’t really control the colors of every single key like you can with the Corsair CUE software. On the bright side, the Synapse software is way easier to understand and use. Besides, it offers coordinated colors allowing you to set colors for other Razer products. The latest version of the Synapse software can even tap into the game you are playing and automatically change colors based on alerts and status, provided the game supports it.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Specifications
First off, do not be fooled by the Razer mechanical switches. They may be advertised as Cherry MX Blue replacements but the truth is that these keys are nothing like Cherry MX keys. They do not have the same travel and are much lighter to the touch. Our advice is to test a Razer BlackWidow keyboard first before purchasing it, if you are a Cherry MX keyboard user. Having said that, though, these keys are a lot more comfortable gaming once you get used to them. In my personal opinion though the key’s feel and actuation are similar to the Cherry Brown keys.
Because this is a top end gaming mechanical keyboard, anti-ghosting with 10 keys roll-over covers the complete set of keys with a promised 60 million keystroke life span. Not that we can vouch for any of these specifications but from what we read, a Razer BlackWidow keyboard does tend to last long especially with the durable metal inner body and braided fiber cable. By the way, those extra macro keys on the left side are a nice touch especially for those into MMO and online RPGs. Customizing them takes a few seconds and you can even do it in-game and so quickly change the sequences as you see fit.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Performance and Feel
Razer’s BlackWidow is a popular gaming keyboard model and it shows in the sheer number of positive reviews this particular model has garnered online. From Amazon to Razer’s official website, there is no dearth of positivity for this keyboard. However, we want to point out a few areas where Razer really lets you down. After all, it is only fair that we present a non-biased opinion.
The keyboard quality check isn’t what you would expect from a company that charges such a high price for its wares. The reason we say this is because the test piece we purchased came to us with the comma key non-functional! Yup, we had to wait for the replacement and that took an extra 4 days. Having experienced this, we looked up other such quality issues and found that Razer has a lot of complaints about failed keys in the first month itself and sometimes even faulty circuit boards or software glitches. Basically, what this tells us is that while Razer products are designed for gaming, they do not undergo stringent quality checks. At this price, they better spend more time quality assessing their products.
Other than this one major gripe, we felt the Chroma V2 was a really fun piece of hardware to own. The Synapses software is intuitive and really easy learning. It is nothing like the Corsair CUE, with its complicated list of options pages, however, because it is so easy to operate, your options are limited. But there are sufficient lighting profiles and additional capabilities of the software to keep any ardent gamer happy. Three features that were much appreciated include the presence of a USB pass-through, braided fiber cables, and the full-size keys. This keyboard doesn’t only feature a USB pass-through but also offers dual 3.5mm audio pass-through for a microphone and headset. The braided cables are sturdy and bend without showing any signs of stress so you can game with this keyboard, travel the world and never worry about the cables snapping. Finally, the keyboard does not skimp on space. It is spread wide with all keys taking up sufficient space, including the NUMPAD keys and Macros.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Pros
- Full sized keys with a complete Numpad and 5 macro keys – ready to be programmed on-the-fly.
- Softer mechanical keys that have lesser travel and lower actuation force. This is great for those who game a lot but not so sure about those who code and type.
- The backlight on this keyboard is full gamut RGB meaning you can precisely configure the keyboard to give out any hue you want. Besides, the keys are lined with white bases rather than black and this reflects the lights, which produces a surreal effect.
- USB and audio pass-through is a great option for those who game at pro tournaments and carry along their own headsets and gaming mouse.
- Synapse software is easy to learn and has built-in profiles for the backlights. Moreover, it has many cooler features such as syncing with other Razer products for synchronized lighting plus compatibility with certain games to alert players of incoming messages, and other intimations in-game.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Cons
- Razer has below average quality check policies and this can result in a faulty piece the first time if you are really unlucky. Thankfully, Razer replaces any defunct piece immediately though you still have to wait for a few days.
- The Synapse does not provide minute control over the backlighting of the keyboard.
- Keys travel and feel isn’t similar to Cherry MX keys at all and this can be a bit of a bother for those who are used to the Cherry MX keys.
- Very pricey since the same set of features and performance can be found for less if you are willing to search a little and do not mind a lesser known brand.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Conclusion
Gamers need no introduction to Razer’s BlackWidow Chrome V2 because it is one of the most sought after gaming keyboard and naturally has several proponents advertising and vouching for it. The V2 according to us is a flashy looking keyboard with gaming at its heart, however, it should do a much better job with quality checks and features because today there are several other companies offering the same set of features at considerably lower prices. Back in 2010, Razer could get away by selling such a product because of the lack of proper competition but today with so many alternatives, the Chroma V2 according to us falls a little short.
Nevertheless, if you already have a set of Razer peripherals then go ahead and get the BlackWidow so you can pair all of them together using the Razer Synapse software. For those making their first foray into gaming keyboards, you might consider saving some money and going with a cheaper option.