Razer BlackWidow Elite Review: The Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Orange Mechanical Switches, Tactile & Silent, Chroma RGB Lighting, Magnetic Wrist Rest, Dedicated Media Keys & Dial, USB Passthrough

Introduction

One of the companies that have focused its efforts almost exclusively on the gaming market has been Razer, to its credit are some of the best peripherals and products for gamers on the market and they have undoubtedly built a very good reputation and brand image.

The keyboard we have here today is the Razer Blackwidow Elite, a new version of its well-known Blackwidow with the latest in gamer-oriented customization and configurable RGB lighting in virtually every possible way. In addition, it releases a review of its own Razer mechanical switches, in this specific case the Razer Green, with improvements in the switch structure to provide it with more resistance and protection against external elements.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

Image Source: amazon.com

 

Razer Blackwidow Elite Technical Specifications

  • 1000 Hz polling rate
  • Military-grade metal body
  • Razer Green mechanical switches
  • 80 million keystrokes lifespan
  • Razer Chroma customizable lighting (16.8 million color RGB)
  • Padded and magnetic wrist rest
  • Hybrid memory (internal + cloud)
  • Support for Razer Synapse 3
  • Razer Hypershift macros
  • Dual USB 2.0 with HUB
  • Audio input and output

Design

Razer has chosen to use the metal on the top of this keyboard to give the Razer Blackwidow Elite more resistance. This metal is combined with plastic sides and bottom cover also finished in black that disguises the change of material.

The keys are also black with translucent screen printing to reveal the RGB lighting of the switches and, in general, everything is quite sober in the base design, without frills or any flashy element except in specific points.

Those specific points are the Razer logo on the front that also has lighting (although it is hidden if we place the wrist rest) and also the multimedia controls area formed by three buttons to move the song back, forward, pause/play, and the wheel. of the volume, in all cases, we also have independent RGB lighting.

The keyboard has a standard QWERTY layout, it also has a numeric keypad on the right side, despite this it is a somewhat compact keyboard since all the keys have been integrated into the same rectangle without using additional keys in other areas, something that is done on other keyboards and that ends up taking up more space.

It also has a numeric keypad on the right side, despite this it is a somewhat compact keyboard since all the keys have been integrated into the same rectangle without using additional keys in other areas, something that is done on other keyboards and that ends up taking up more space.

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In fact, despite the fact that this model has exceptional support for macros, it does not have any specific key to activate them since, as we will see later, it allows any key to function as a macro.

For the ergonomics of the keyboard, we have two tabs to be able to place it at three different heights: without flange, with middle flange, or with the highest flange.

The palm rest is extremely comfortable, with a soft and padded finish and a very simple positioning system using magnets that make it unnecessary to hook it with tabs or any other complicated system, we simply have to place it in front and it automatically takes its position.

Next-Gen Razer Green Switches

Razer has given its switches a twist, including these Razer Green that we have on this particular model.

Specifically, the company has reinforced the mechanism’s hooking structure by providing it with two double external walls that surround the typical cross where the keys hook, in this way, extra resistance is achieved against blows or too strong pulsations (we have all hit the keyboard ever playing games) and also improve resistance to the ingress of liquids or dirt. Also, this new review is much more durable with a lifespan of 80 million clicks.

Beyond these changes, the Razer Green switches are of the tactile type, that is, they are mechanical switches with the tactile response and the characteristic “click” that is heard when activating. This means that we will have a tactile “response” at the moment in which the key reaches an exact point of the route where the press is activated.

It would be a mechanism similar to the Cherry MX Blue, but with modified parameters to orient them more to the gaming public. Specifically, the Razer Green have an actuation point on lathes at 1.8 mm with an actuation force of about 55 cm, this means that they offer a somewhat smaller distance than the Blue with a greater force.

In this way, these switches are better suited to a gaming environment but without giving up a very good writing performance. Traditionally people prefer keyboards with tactile feedback for typing and linear keyboards with more actuation force but less distance, and this Razer Green combines tactile feedback with greater actuation forces.

At the time of writing the experience has been very good, you hardly need an adaptation period if you come from more “pure gaming” keyboards such as an MX Red for example, with the Razer Green erroneous keystrokes are avoided and the tactile response gives much more security at the hour of writing.

When it comes time to play, having a shorter route, the tactile response is not an impediment so that the keystrokes will be fast at the right moment, so overall we have a very good balance between gaming keyboard and keyboard suitable for writing or more conventional uses, certainly a good job from Razer in that regard.

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The Razer Green are not silent, in fact, we will hear both the “click” of the activation and the pulsation when touching the end of the journey. For those looking for something quieter, the company will also launch this keyboard with its Orange switches similar to these but without the click.

RGB lighting and customization

The Razer BlackWidow Elite features a separate RGB lighting system for each key and keyboard element. Each of its LEDs can be configured independently or in conjunction with the rest through the powerful Synapse software and, specifically, through its Razer Chroma module.

We will have a quick effects mode from which we can configure predefined effects such as static mode, Wave, Ripple, Reactive, Breathing, Spectrum rotation, etc.

In addition to these modes and custom colors, we can define from the software (or also from the keyboard with the FN keys and their combinations) the brightness of the LEDs. Another option of the software is to turn off the lighting when the screen turns off or the pc is idle for as long as we want.

If we go to the advanced mode of Razer Chroma we can already configure all the keyboard lighting to the maximum, from predefined effects to own effects created from other effects, either for the entire keyboard or for specific keys, being able to define the pauses between effects speed, start, and end, participating keys, etc. The software is really complete and we can customize everything in a complex or simple way, to suit everyone.

If we talk about Macros, we cannot fail to mention the Razer HyperShift technology, which is nothing more than the possibility of customizing and associating macros or sets of macros with conventional keys.

From the Macro section of the Razer software, you can customize commands, macros, keystrokes, mouse or generate and configure loops to get advantages in any type of game without depending on software running.

It is possible to assign any function to any key, assign various functions, macros or keystrokes to conventional keys and store all our customizations in the 5 profiles integrated into its memory with additional synchronization in the cloud, in this way we will always have a backup of the keyboard configurations, locally, within the razer Blackwidow Elite itself, and on Razer’s servers.

The customization is such that the three multimedia buttons and even the volume wheel can be customized, for example, to scroll or select weapons in a game, undoubtedly a smart way to take advantage of the keyboard elements without taking up extra space on macro buttons or additional wheels.

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Analysis and Conclusion

The user experience has been more than satisfactory, the new generation Razer Green switches to achieve the perfect balance between a gaming keyboard and a keyboard for typing, making this Razer BlackWidow Elite an ideal option for those who dedicate their PC to games but not put aside assignments that require long writing sessions. In fact, this same analysis has been written directly from the keyboard and the experience has been very positive.

Another point in favor is the padded wrist rest pad, it is really comfortable and it is a pleasure to type with this keyboard, its system of magnets makes placing it or removing it a task that does not take us any time or complication, although you have to catch it a bit the “trick” not to place it too mounted on top of the keyboard and not to interfere with the first row of keys. It also has details such as the integrated audio port or the USB hub.

On the design, it is usually something more subjective that depends on each user, but what cannot be denied is that the quality of construction and finishes of this Razer BlackWidow Elite lives up to the name that Razer has created within the sector with high-quality finishes and nothing out of tune.

Even with this design that dispenses with macro keys or additional keys, Razer has achieved a tremendously customizable keyboard with all the keys with its own macro function. A clear example of this is the fact of being able to customize even the volume wheel to taste. The same is said of the Chroma lighting system with a configuration system suitable both for those who simply want something simple and for those who want to spend hours leaving the keyboard completely to their liking.

Although there is no perfect keyboard, Razer has managed to get quite close with the Razer Blackwidow Elite, a model that offers practically everything we can ask for a gaming keyboard with many customizations but without forgetting that keyboards are also for typing, all with a relatively compact design with top quality finishes and materials.

The advantages of the Razer BlackWidow Elite

  • Excellent build quality and finishes
  • RGB lighting with many configuration options
  • Very customizable macros
  • All keys, even the volume wheel, is customizable with macros and functions
  • Good combination between gaming and writing on its Razer Green switches
  • Reinforced switches
  • The wrist rest is very comfortable and easy to put on and take off
  • Audio in / out and USB
  • Quite compact for its class

Disadvantages of the Razer BlackWidow Elite

  • High price
  • No tool to remove keys or accessories or extra keys

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