The Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Keyboard is the crown jewel of the new budget-friendly 2019 Razer gaming line, and worth the entry price.
I’m hesitant to say there is an “entry level” market for mechanical keyboard. The industry and product is serious business–few people jump into mechanical keyboards as dedicated PC gamers, and they know exactly what they are looking for. Sure, there are $40 well-reviewed keyboards over on Amazon, but you are sacrificing both build quality and long-term assurance for a price tag. With this in mind, the Razer BlackWidow takes the cake for being a perfect storm to newcomers: cost-effective, reputable, and built to last.
Much like the recently reviewed Razer Kraken Headset and Basilisk Essential, the BlackWidow mechanical keyboard is a toned-down version of a more premium Razer product: the BlackWidow Elite. Coming in at $50 less, Razer had to do their best in figuring out where best to cut costs while not hindering either comfort or performance.
Just like the Basilisk Essential gaming mouse, these cuts were spot on. Without a doubt the Razer BlackWidow Elite is more feature-rich, sporting customizable mechanical switches (for extra resistance), USB and audio passthrough, digital keys, and a leatherette wrist rest. All of those are notably absent in the newly-launched BlackWidow.
However, if I were making my choices on which options are best removed for the value version, Razer hit everything spot on. Along with Razer Chroma and the lowest-resistance setting built in, the BlackWidow has customizable keys and on-board memory and cloud storage — a must for any competitive PC gamer.
Speaking a bit more to that latter point, the Razer BlackWidow will let you save as much as five profile configurations on the keyboard. You can not only have preset key configurations and profiles ready to go at a button’s press, but also can transport those configurations with the keyboard. If you are swapping computers on the fly, you don’t have to worry about having to reset everything from the ground up.
For people who already know a thing or two about mechanical keyboards, the Razer BlackWidow comes with many of the basic guarantees:
- 80 million keystroke lifespan
- Cable routing options
- N-key roll-over
- Built-in anti-ghosting
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- Instant Trigger Technology
In fact, N-key rollover — which is a guarantee that each key is being independently registered by the hardware — is an upgrade from the BlackWidow Elite. While most competitive gamers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Elite’s 10 key roll-over, that is an instant plus to tech heads and keyboard boasters.
Speaking strictly from a design perspective, the Razer BlackWidow seems to be the best-constructed product of the revamped value line. Though there are more than a few keyboards that are taking up space in the mid-$100 price range, the BlackWidow often feels tailor-made to gamers. This is without a doubt thanks to its sturdy construction, RGB backlighting (syncable with Razer Chroma), and weight associated.
At the end of the day, I’d really struggle to come up with any complaints against the Razer BlackWidow Elite. While it isn’t perfect, it is as close as it can get at such a low price point — even if some of that is due to the fact you are buying into the Razer brand. If they managed to incorporate a USB 3.0 port or two, I would argue there is no reason even to consider upgrading to the premium version of the product.
Razer has done a terrific job of adapting their premium hardware to a modern, budget-friendly audience. The Razer BlackWidow mechanical keyboard is the crown jewel of the new line, offering some best-in-class features with minimal performance setbacks. If you are picking up a mechanical keyboard in 2019, it should be the Razer BlackWidow.
This post contains affiliate links where DualShockers gets a small commission on sales. Any and all support helps keep DualShockers as a standalone, independent platform for less-mainstream opinions and news coverage.