Go Back   Overclock3D Forums > [OC3D] General Forums > OC3D Member Reviews
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
  #1  
Old 20-01-11, 04:19 AM
Stryker64 Stryker64 is offline
OC3D Elite
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,166
Introduction:

The keyboard, probably the most over looked gaming peripheral. Most gamers when thinking of getting a new input device tend to go for the mouse, than the headset. I was like this, while I had mice that had over 5000dpi and $100+ headsets, I still used my old battered keyboard, until recently when the "D" key actually stopped working I got a new keyboard. Now new from Razer is the Blackwidow Ultimate, their new top of line mechanical keyboard designed to compete against the Steelseries 7G.

The Blackwidow Ultimate:

Like its baby brother the Blackwidow the Blackwidow Ultimate is a gaming grade mechanical keyboard. But also contains a key improvements include an inbuilt USB2.0 HUB, audio I/O and of course backlit keys. The Blackwidow has a high gloss finish, which gives it a sleek look, but it is a fingerprint magnet. The key switches used in the Blackwidow are MX Cherry Blues as opposed the the MX Cherry Blacks used in the Steelseries 7G. The difference? The Cherry Blues require a bit more force to move and have a distinct click that occurs when the keys are at around 50% compression. Unlike membrane keyboards, you only need 50% compression of the key to register.

Key Features:

Optimized Gaming Matrix: So you can faceroll on your keyboard and majority of the keys will register.

Backlit Keys: For midnight gaming

On the fly macro recording: Makes MMOs that much easier

Mechanical Keys: For increase tactile feedback with a lifespan 10 times longer than membrane keyboards.

Packaging:

The Razer Blackwidow comes in the usual Razer packaging, a plastic sleeve to prevent scratches. A large cardboard box, with pictures and technical specs of the keyboard. The all black colour scheme gives it a nice sleek look. Inside the box, we find the classical Razer green.





As you can see the keyboard is housed in a plastic box, to prevent anything from scratching the finish on the keys, while this is all firmly packaged with environmentally friendly cardboard.



After removing the keyboard; which is a lot heavier than I expect, There is a nice folder contain the accessories.



Which is filled with what you'll expect from a company like Razer. 2 stickers, Certificate of Authenticity, User Manual, Advance Users Manual and a Product Catalog. Note there is no drivers disk, so you'll have to go to the Razer website to download the latest; nothing wrong with that.



Closer Look

The keyboard doesn't use the standard keyboard font, instead Razer as opted for a blockier fonts, which can be viewed as more futurist I guess. There are also 5 settings for the backlit keys. Off, Low, Medium, High and Pulsating.









The keyboard is also slanted to improve comfort and also include two feet ti increase the angle.





Also note how the keys are at different heights, according to Razer is meant to be more ergonomic.

They keyboard caps lock, num lock etc. lights are underneath a the glossy black surface, so you don't know they are there until you active them.



The keyboard also comes with 1 USB2.0 Hub, which I much prefer over a two USB1.1 Hubs as well as audio I/O. These can be found on the right side of the keyboard. It should be noted that for some reason the USB2.0 port is flipped so it look me a while to plug in my mouse, since I didn't realize it was upside down.



Keyboard Layout

A lot of people complained about how the function key replaced the right windows key, while the left one still remained a windows key. This can be seen as a major flaw in the design. However Razer keyboards also include a "Gaming Mode" where you can disable the left windows key. But it's still there when you need. Trust me it's a lot easier to Windows + Tab and Windows + D, when it's on the left side of the keyboard.

This keyboard also has a full sized backspace, which for people with smaller hands, will find a lot easier to reach than a miniature sized one, like the one found on the Steelseries 7G.

This concludes the first part of my Blackwidow Ultimate review, I'll post an update, on what it's like when gaming, as well as attempt to bring some objectivity to the review of keyboards. Also sorry about the bad pictures, I can't find my camera so I had to use my phone, and it was low on batteries so I couldn't always get a perfect shot.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20-01-11, 09:36 AM
Stryker64 Stryker64 is offline
OC3D Elite
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,166
Results

[s]Speed and Accuracy[/s]

Well in my attempts to bring objectivity, through the use of a touch typing program I downloaded, I found the results were mixed, so I guess the keyboard doesn't make a massive improvement when it comes to speed and accuracy at least for me. My inconsistency was probably a bigger factor than the actual keyboards.

Gaming

When it comes to gaming, I've found the backlighting to be a nice help when all the lights are turned off, since I'm able to occasionally glance down to make sure my hands are in the right place.

Personally I don't see the point in the extra clicky keys, so this aspect of the keyboard I'm not too sure about, since my typing is based more on muscle memory than acoustics.

The macro keys are useful in allowing me to mind more spells in WoW, and I think Razer's choice of 5 dedicated macro buttons is a good number.

The optimized gaming matrix allows up to 6 key presses at the same time, which for a USB keyboard isn't bad.

Everyday Usage

Well for typing I actually find the clicking quite annoying, when I did my typing speed and accuracy test, with an open headset and while listening to music I can still hear the clicking quite distinctly, some people want this, but I don't, so I have to admit I don't really like the extra clicky MX Cherry Blues. I will also admit the macro keys did at first mess up my copy pasting, since I normally orientate my pinky with the bottom leftmost key as control, but this case it's a macro key, of course I'm able the bind control to that key, and chances are over time I'll get use to it.

The Feeling

I personally like the resistance and the force required to type on this keyboard, this is of course subject whether or not you like it, it's up to you.

Macro & Key binding

Razer provide a comprehensive control center that allows you to setup up mutiple profiles and being able to instantly switch between 10 of them. The keys are also fully remappable to your own personal preferences.







Conclusion

So what do I think about the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, it's a good keyboard, while the benefits can't be shown on paper, I definitly feel more comfortable using this keyboard as opposed to my old membrane one. Considering that I'm able to get LED Backlit, mechanical keyboard with on the fly macro recording at the same price as a Steelseries 6GV2, I would consider this a decent value for money mechanical keyboard.

The macro recording and key binding features are exceptional, and I found the Razer interface to be easy to use. and really helps in certain types of games, mainly MMOs

Other things I forgot to mention include a nice cool Razer logo that is lit by LEDs at the base of the keyboard. Also when it comes to layout all the function keys (F1, F2 etc.) are shifted to the right, since the function key that allows the use of the multimedia buttons is located right of the spacebar, it makes it easy to reach both the "FN" key and the multimedia buttons with one hand.

The keyboard certainly looks nice, with the high gloss finish on the topside, however it is a fingerprint magnet.

So in conclusion the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate is an excellent gaming keyboard, with a lot of good features, but it isn't perfect due to it's figerprint magnet finish and overly clicky keys. But compared to other mechanical gaming keyboards, it has a fairly competitive price, although it's still not cheap.

Pros:

Mechanical Keys

Backlit Keyboard

Keyboard Layout

Sleek looks

Macro Features and remappable

Mediocre:

Clicky keys, maybe just a bit too loud.

Bad:

High gloss surface although looks cool, is a fingerprint magnet
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 20-01-11, 10:44 AM
adicool96 adicool96 is offline
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India, Mumbai
Posts: 424
Send a message via MSN to adicool96
Dude nice review but you might wanna take some better pics a bit on the "very blurry" side .
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 20-01-11, 03:51 PM
Stryker64 Stryker64 is offline
OC3D Elite
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by adicool96 View Post

Dude nice review but you might wanna take some better pics a bit on the "very blurry" side .
Yeah, I really ought to get a digital camera, my last one died after I took it Scuba diving xD

But yes sorry that the pictures are crap, they don't do the keyboard justice, especially when you have the backlighting switched on.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 20-01-11, 10:12 PM
Filekutter Filekutter is offline
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 434
Very nice review Zeals, and tx. Tho I do want to buy a nicer KB one day, for now I find myself going thru them so fast I just buy the cheapies.
__________________
I call computer illiteracy... job security.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21-01-11, 12:41 AM
marick626 marick626 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Posts: 230
Whats the difference between a mechanical keyboard and a regular keyboard?
__________________
Main Gaming rig:

TBA

Folding/Backup rig:





Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21-01-11, 05:38 AM
Stryker64 Stryker64 is offline
OC3D Elite
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,166
A regular keyboard has a rubber dome or membrane under cheap key, which gives them that soft typing feeling, but they only last for 5 million keystrokes, and you have to bottom down out for the keystroke to register.

A mechanical keyboard has switches underneath each key instead of the rubber domes, these last longer (50 million keystrokes), have a lot firmer feeling while typing, and only need to be pushed 50% of the way down for it work.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21-01-11, 06:43 AM
marick626 marick626 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Posts: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

A regular keyboard has a rubber dome or membrane under cheap key, which gives them that soft typing feeling, but they only last for 5 million keystrokes, and you have to bottom down out for the keystroke to register.

A mechanical keyboard has switches underneath each key instead of the rubber domes, these last longer (50 million keystrokes), have a lot firmer feeling while typing, and only need to be pushed 50% of the way down for it work.
I needed a new keyboard, I believe I found it. People say Razer keyboards are rubbish. I have had my tarantula for 5 years and still going strong. Cheers.
__________________
Main Gaming rig:

TBA

Folding/Backup rig:





Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21-01-11, 07:02 AM
Stryker64 Stryker64 is offline
OC3D Elite
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdaviator View Post

I needed a new keyboard, I believe I found it. People say Razer keyboards are rubbish. I have had my tarantula for 5 years and still going strong. Cheers.
One thing before buying a Blackwidow I would advise you to go to a store and ask if you can try it out, since it does feel quite a bit different than typing on a normal keyboard, and you might not like it. Since the last thing you want to do is buy an expensive keyboard that's meant to last you decades, but you hate using it.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 22-01-11, 11:21 AM
Game Over's Avatar
Game Over Game Over is offline
OC3D Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: 193 miles south west of Area 51
Posts: 608
That was a nice Review man, That Key Board looks pretty sharp. I like just about everything about it that you described except the loud keys, that would be a Deal breaker for me.

I would like to get me a keyboard with the backlighting, but it would have to be very quiet. I would love me a completely Silent keyboard.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump






All times are GMT. The time now is 06:50 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.