Razer BlackWidow Ultimate

Manufacturer: Razer
Model: BlackWidow Ultimate
MSRP: $129.99
Check Lowest Price (Amazon)

With a name like the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, you would expect it to be some sort of deadly arachnid that will hunt and kill you. Well, this BlackWidow won’t kill you, but it does bring plenty of edge in its styling and performance.

Aimed at the gaming crowd, this keyboard is fully packed with features. Let’s get some of these features out of the way. The keys use Cherry MX Blue key-switches, have an advertised 50g actuation force, and are individually back-lit with 5 levels of illumination. Razer says that their keyboard can handle 1000Hz Ultrapolling via USB, and that it has 1ms response time.

Polling refers to the CPU checking to see if there is traffic coming from the USB port, more on this can be found in the guide “What is the Difference Between PS/2 and USB Keyboards?” This means that when you are rapidly pressing keys in a game, you can be assured that all of the key-presses will be registered by the computer within about a millisecond.

One of the big features for RPG players is the programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording. On top of that, there’s support for up to 10 custom profiles, with on-the-fly switching. So whether you need to set macro associations for different games or different users, the BlackWidow Ultimate has you covered. There’s a gaming mode function that disables the Windows key, which solves the annoyance of accidentally exiting you game when you for example meant to crouch in Counter-Strike.

There are of course multimedia controls, microphone jack, headphone jack, a 1-port USB pass-through. All these are wrapped in a durable braided cable. The keyboard weighs in around 3.3 lbs so it should not shift much when you get over-excited. One omission is the lack of a PS/2 connection, Razer says that “by using a USB connection the Razer BlackWidow is able to provide gamers advanced customization and performance features that are not available using a PS/2 connection, using Razer’s configuration software.” So be aware of this if you’re looking for full n-key rollover, or other peak performance low latency features. We’d love to see a PS/2 connection, but honestly, the trade-off of the PS/2 for the sheer volume of features is certainly fair in our eyes.

The BlackWidow Ultimate looks slick with its glossy appearance, the laser-etched keys look futuristic when illuminated, and the font used on the keys helps confirm that this machine is a product of some alien race light-years ahead of humans.

This keyboard has everything but the kitchen sink, everything a hardcore gamer would want. It’s flashy and performs like a beast, it will look fantastic next to any custom case-modded rig. For the non-gamer this computer might be a little too flashy, and those people might want to opt for a Das Keyboard Model S Professional, which keeps the modernity without all the flash.