Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013 Edition Review
Keyboard packaging is usually fairly mundane, requiring that it just protects the contents and perhaps highlights the odd feature. The Razer BlackWidow covers so these elements with aplomb, providing a very sturdy piece of packaging with a lot of emphasis on the major selling points of the keyboard. One very cool little feature is the inclusion of a cut-out, allowing you to test out the feel of the keys before purchase. It's the logical step on from the form-fitting plastic covers on mice that let you gauge their size, and we like it a lot.
As with all keyboards the controls very well designed and a little prodding will quickly discover all the features. However, if you prefer to go against the stereotype then a very well-written and clear instruction manual is provided. Connection is via USB, with additional cables for the USB pass-through, and headphone/microphone ports.
The BlackWidow itself is extremely sturdy. As you'd expect from a keyboard in this price bracket there is no flexing or creaking whatsover. The cable is lengthy and braided to a high standard. The BlackWidow has a natural ergonomic slope to the design, but should you desire it at even more of an angle then two feet raise it still higher. The USB and headset connections are round the side where they are easy to find in a darkened gaming hall.
As well as the keyboard lighting up green, which we'll see on the next page, the plate that gives the rigidity to the BlackWidow is also in the lurid shade of green that is Razer's calling card. Beneath the key we see the Cherry MX Blue switch, which is one of the lightest actuation switches in the Cherry range. What makes the blue model different to the usual black and red models we see is the very audible click upon key depression. So not only do you get the nice tactile feel of the mechanical key itself when you are typing, but you get aural confirmation too.
Above the F-Keys we have the usual media keys, modified with the FN key in its standard place, but the F9-F12 ones deserve mention. F9 is for on-the-fly macro recording. F10 puts the BlackWidow in gaming mode, which has a few options available in the software and at default disables the Windows key. F11 and F12 control the lighting from off through to retina burning brightness.