Razer BlackWidow Ultimate

It's a steep price to pay (though savvy users will be able to get it for AU$50 cheaper than the RRP), and the noise makes it unsuitable for communal areas, but for those who want one of the best keyboard responses around, the BlackWidow Ultimate should be very high on the list.


9.0
CNET Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


This is not a keyboard for the office.

Clacking loudly with every press, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is a battle tank of a mechanical keyboard, the type of which gamers love to love.

It's easy to see why, with response being light and quick, the tactile click of every keypress infinitely more satisfying than the dull thunk of rubber membrane keyboards that have taken over the world. It could potentially also be heavier than a black hole. Just make sure any typing is done in the privacy of your own room, lest someone think that you've resurrected a type writer.

Dressed in serious matte black for the keys, it spoils the effect by going for gloss black everywhere else, attracting fingerprints the moment it's taken out of the box.

There's a USB port, along with a headphone and microphone jack on the right-hand side. Each acts as a pass through, should you choose to connect their respective cables into your PC in addition to the requisite single USB connector.

This is one of the few desktop keyboards with the Fn key, giving the F keys dual functions from volume and media control to controlling the backlight (with three levels of brightness and an annoying "breathing" fade-in and -out effect) to a hibernation key to offering a "Gaming" mode that disables the Windows keys.

It wouldn't be a Razer input device without macros (if Razer figures out how to jam them in headphones, we're sure that it will), and the BlackWidow offers the ability to record them directly from the keyboard, or Razer's own software. You can play back the macro once, multiple times, play the macro as long as the key continues to be depressed or toggle continuous playback using a key as on/off.

The software itself is rather minimal for Razer, offering the ability to customise every key with another key, macro or the ability to launch a program. There are five empty macro keys on the left should you be after dedicated keys to attach custom functions to.

You can otherwise create, delete, import and export profiles (and access them quickly by holding down the function key while pressing the number keys), and you can even set a profile to launch along with an application if you so desire.

The rest is really just standard keyboard fare, from adjustable legs to the numpad, but the mechanical keys are what makes this thing magic. If you only care about the keys and don't care for the backlit keys or USB/headphone/microphone pass-throughs, then you can save some pennies by opting for the cheaper BlackWidow, rather than the Ultimate edition.

It's a steep price to pay (though savvy users will be able to get it for AU$50 cheaper than the RRP), and the noise makes it unsuitable for communal areas, but for those who want one of the best keyboard responses around, the BlackWidow Ultimate should be very high on the list.

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