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.
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.
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.
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.
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.