Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma Review
Published: 2nd November 2015 | Source: Razer | Price: £129.95 @ OCUK |
One of the things we're always harping on about here at OC3D is how difficult it is to photograph lighting with any accuracy. Things are always more saturated in real life, colours deeper and more radiant, than a camera - or at least our camera - can replicate. Even more so given the camera monitor thing. So we tell you that to the human eye the colours are better than the look, brighter than they appear, and generally to take any photographs of colours to be a worst case scenario. Throughout our time with the Blackwidow TE Chroma one thing shone through like a beacon. If you glance to the image above you'll see what we mean. The lighting on this is incredible. This is the just about the best photograph of a lit keyboard we've probably ever managed and yet it still doesn't remotely do justice to how rich the colours are. If your key demand is to be able to get that particular shade then you can stop reading and go and buy this already.
If you require more convincing then the Blackwidow TE Chroma ticks most of the boxes you could wish to find ticked. The major feature that both the packaging and Razer themselves will shout about are their own switches. Not content with grabbing a container of Cherry MX models they have produces their own. Available in silent Orange or clicky Green colours our model came with the Green variant and we have to say they are almost indistinguishable from the Cherry MX Blue. Perhaps it's unfair to compare a new item with the well-proven one, but equally it's impossible not to. Particularly when the specifications for the Razer switches is almost identical to the ones they are replicating. Given how much I type it's fair to say we have more time "on key" than most with Cherry switches and the Razer ones have that really tactile feel that is so vital to the mechanical keyboard experience. The Razer ones are perhaps a hair stiffer, but that is counteracted by a tiny reduction in the distance necessary for key actuation. There certainly are no gremlins nor issues to be found.
This solidity of the typing experience is undoubtedly aided by the keyboard being built like a freaking tank. It's way heavier than it looks and up there with the heftiest keyboards we've had pass through our offices. You could knock down brick walls with it without a scratch, and we're only slightly resorting to hyperbole there. The software is up to the usually excellent Synapse 2.0 standard with everything being where you'd expect and doing what it should too. You could be lost for days in the lighting customisation section, but not because it's difficult to use, merely because it has so much available to customise.
Negatives are singular and very much a matter of taste. Some of you may like the stubbier tenkeyless design, personally we like our numpads. The Blackwidow is available in a numpad version, but obviously we can only review what we're sent so for this particular variant we miss the extra keys.
It looks amazing, has all the features you could require, the colour reproduction is absolutely magnificent and the decision to build their own switches has been a triumph. A worthy winner of the OC3D Gold Award. Now if you'll excuse us we have a wall to knock down...