Final Words

In terms of design, there is little to say about the BlackWidow Ultimate, as the keyboard has essentially been around for years already. Razer refined it over time, adding one little upgrade after the other, the latest being their own Green switches. It is a proven, well-made product, owned and tested by thousands worldwide. The only thing that some people are sure to complain about is the lack of a blue backlit version, as the 2014 version only comes with bright green backlighting. However, like it or not, this bright green color is Razer's trademark and they pay top dollar to match everything with it.

My personal experience tells me that the choice of keyboard switches is a subjective matter, strongly depending on the taste of the user; therefore, my evaluation of Razer's Green switches is qualitative and based on my subjective preferences. As I personally type several and long texts, I like tactile mechanical switches and I have been using a keyboard with Cherry's Blue switches for the past several years. I have been using the BlackWidow Ultimate for the past few days, including for writing this review and I cannot feel even a hint of a difference between Razer's Green switches and the Blue switches of my old keyboard. I do not find them any better or any worse; they feel exactly the same. I suppose that my fingers are not nearly sensitive enough to appreciate the 0.3mm travel difference while actually using the keyboard.

With its firm, tactile feel, the BlackWidow Ultimate feels ideal for daily use, unless if noise is a major concern, as each keystroke generates an appreciable clicking sound. If there are going to be other people in the immediate vicinity of this keyboard, we guarantee you that its noise will eventually become a problem. As far as gaming goes, based on my subjective opinion, I strongly agree with my predecessor; the use of the Green (or Blue) tactile switches is far from ideal for gaming. Aside from the noise, these switches require a high force at their actuation point that drops fast once the key has been actuated, making it hard to keep the key from bottoming out anyway. If gaming is your primary concern, I strongly recommend opting for the version with the softer Orange switches instead.

Performance is a qualitative factor when it comes to keyboards, almost exclusively depending on the keys used and the features that the user requires. Beyond that, few quantifiable figures can be used to measure the performance of a keyboard, with the key rollover being perhaps the only exception. The BlackWidow Ultimate supports 10 key rollover, which should be more than adequate for any given purpose, including gaming, unless of course if we are talking about a gamer so advanced that can simultaneously press more than one key with each finger. Many competitive products nowadays support N-key (infinite) rollover but we cannot really consider it an actual performance improvement.

The only real problem of the BlackWidow Ultimate is the hefty price tag. The BlackWidow Ultimate is currently retailing for $139.99 plus shipping in the US and €119.99 plus shipping in the EU. We could name a few dozens of keyboards with various mechanical switches that fall near or below this price point, so Razer is going to be facing massive competition. In terms of features, the BlackWidow Ultimate is fairly good. There are five programmable macro keys, it has multimedia functions and, above all else, it is fully programmable. The ability to reprogram every single key to your liking is far from common and it can actually be extremely useful, especially to gamers. In our opinion, this feature is by far the most important of this keyboard. On the other hand, the lack of dedicated multimedia keys is a major flaw considering the price range of the keyboard. Some MMORPG gamers might find the five macro keys to be too few but that is easily overshadowed by the ability to program every key on the keyboard to your liking; that includes assigning macros to any of them.

In summary, the BlackWidow Ultimate is a very good product that, in our opinion, has its marketing focused on the wrong direction. The improvement that the Green switches offer hardly is measurable, let alone significant. However, if you actually take a moment and look beyond Razer's marketing focus on the Green switches and their claims of adamant durability, the BlackWidow Ultimate is a very well made keyboard with very good features. If you are looking for a high performance mechanical keyboard in the $120-140 price range, then it is a product worthy of consideration.

Razer's Green Switches
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Sancus - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - link

    I don't recommend razer keyboards anymore since the one time I tried one, I got one that liked to randomly press "F11" while other things were being typed. If you google "Black widow random key presses" you'll see many reports of similar issues -- for me, the one thing that's absolutely inexcusable in a keyboard is for it to not pass your input to the PC properly... especially for keyboards this expensive.

    Of course, you can RMA ones that have these kinds of issues, but this is the only keyboard that I've ever heard of having this kind of issue before, and I'd never experience it with dozens of keyboards from any number of other brands until I bought a BlackWidow Ultimate.
  • Inteli - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - link

    Those random keypresses are likely a result of terrible soldering, which can be fixed easily, but still kinda crap.
  • Nenad - Thursday, April 3, 2014 - link

    Never had that problem on my Razer keyboard.
    Reason why I stopped buying their keyboards and switched to Logitech is that Razer does not offer "big" ENTER key.
    For example, Logitech US keyboards also have this small (one row) ENTER key , but their International (or at least UK/EU) keyboards have big (two row) ENTER key.
  • thelowbob - Sunday, April 6, 2014 - link

    Hi! That they have one row enter key in US and two row key in UK/EU is normal, it's because in the US it's the ANSI standard that's used, and EU it's ISO.
  • Nenad - Monday, April 7, 2014 - link

    Sadly, Razer keyboards only have US version.
  • n13L5 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    complaining about the one row enter key in the EU keyboards seems absurd to me, since the "international english" keyboards from Logitech have the much worse issue of a severely shrunken left shift key in order to cram other keys in, one of which is even a duplicate (the \ | key)
  • n13L5 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    first sentence was supposed to say "U.S. keyboards"
  • Nenad - Monday, April 14, 2014 - link

    Well, missing big ENTER on Razer keyboard is much bigger issue for me - YMMV.

    BTW, I agree that Logitech's short left SHIFT is also stupid move, but how that make complaining about Razer's ENTER key absurd?
  • Nuclearant - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    I have the Black Widow Ultimate and it has the "big" enter. Never had the random keypress issue either, I am however suprised that it still works after I poured a whole cup of coffee on it.
  • santiagoanders - Thursday, April 3, 2014 - link

    Wow. My BlackWidow keyboard also presses F11 at random. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes my terminal will go full screen (F11) for no reason.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now