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Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Gaming Keyboard (RZ03-01760100-R3U1)

Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

Has Razer got another gaming hit on their hands with the new BlackWidow X Chroma which features all Razer Green Mechanical switches, Chroma LED back lighting with 16.8 million colors, and is a slightly cut down model of the BlackWidow Chroma? The BlackWidow Chroma comes with USB and audio pass through as well as dedicated macro key capabilities, while the new BlackWidow X Chroma didn’t get the audio and USB pass through and no dedicated macro keys; those three features are the main differences between the BlackWidow Chroma and BlackWidow X Chroma.

Being a slightly stripped down model of the BlackWidow Chroma allows Razer to introduce the BlackWidow X Chroma at a slightly lower price point and appeal to a wider consumer base. We’ve used BlackWidow keyboards since their inception and never used the audio pass through (except in testing) but found the USB pass through handy, but used it rarely because front USB is prominent on most computer chassis. It’s really a matter of personal preference; save a few bucks and get the BlackWidow X Chroma or grab the BlackWidow Chroma.

The BlackWidow X we received has the Razer Green switch mechanical keys with an activation point of 50g, which is a bit high and the continual key pounding of gaming might produce some hand and finger fatigue. While on the key subject, the click response of the BlackWidow X is quite loud and probably won’t be received well in rooms with other people around or while trying to watch TV. We recorded clicking sounds as high as 60dBA setting at a desktop with the sound recorder at ear level (18 inches). Gaming can get loud but using headphones in a communal space in a home with the BlackWidow X clicking away your spouse might usher you to another room. The activation point of the BlackWidow X is 1.9mm compared to a Cherry switch which is 2.2mm, but in actual use we couldn’t really tell any difference in activation distance or time. The larger keys on a keyboard usually need a stabilizer mechanism and in this case Costar stabilizers are installed under the larger keys which we found to be extremely stable, but again a little loud.

Gaming sometimes requires a repeated hitting of the same key over and over and the tactile bump point of the Razer Green might be a problem, as the bump point is an extra resistance point and repeated activation of a key may be slowed down. Tactile bump is more fitting for editing and typing than say gaming, but we didn’t experience much issue with it in the hours-long gaming sessions we were forced to test with. You know we hate those hours-long gaming sessions *wink, wink*.

One feature we really like is the 10-key anti-ghosting on the BlackWidow X, and up to 15 keys may be pressed simultaneously without causing a problem. People often ask why do I care about anti-ghosting and the answer is speed. With that kind of NKRO, you can type as fast as humanly possible and not worry about missed keystrokes. You can also hit key sequences when gaming and have no lost keystrokes.

Razer_Blackwidow_X_Chroma_2

 

Features & Specifications

Razer has 3 variants of the BlackWidow Chroma, so for your convenience we will list all three keyboards specifications with the understanding that we are only reviewing the BlackWidow X Chroma and not the other two variants. That way you can compare features and see which style fits your needs.

Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

  • $159.99
  • Razer Mechanical Switches with 50 g actuation force
  • 80 million keystroke life span
  • Chroma customizable back lighting with 16.8 million color options
  • Individually backlit keys
  • Military-grade metal top construction
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 10-key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode option
  • Cable management routing
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • Braided fiber cable

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition X Chroma

  • $129.99
  • Razer Mechanical Switches with 50 g actuation force
  • 80 million keystroke life span
  • Chroma customizable backlighting with 16.8 million color options
  • Individually backlit keys
  • Compact layout
  • Military-grade metal top construction
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 10-key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode option
  • Cable management routing
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • Braided fiber cable

Razer BlackWidow X Ultimate

  • Razer Mechanical Switches with 50 g actuation force
  • 80 million keystroke life span
  • Individually backlit keys with dynamic lighting effects
  • Military-grade metal top construction
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 10-key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode option
  • Cable management routing
  • 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
  • Braided fiber cable

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3 comments

  1. Exposed plate mounted switches like this Razor uses is a more sensible design than keyboards with the switches mounted directly to the PCB with a plastic shroud to protect and hide the switches. Dust and debris are easily removed from the plate mount design (no place for debris to get stuck) while the plastic shroud/cover variety tends to let dust and muck accumulate under the plastic and in the corners. Makes it harder to clean without taking off all the caps and blasting it with air. The plate also protects the PCB, though a lot of newer keyboards with plastic shrouds are using a plate between the PCB and the switches to improve backlighting.
    Other than all that it comes down to esthetic preferences; I like the minimal design thing. In fact I thing Razer’s as well as Corsair’s plates are still too big. And what is this military spec metal? That is silly when referring to a keyboard. It is a piece of aluminum.

    • I agree–I think the open design of the Black Widow X Chroma actually allows it to be cleaned much easier than one with a plastic cowling. Dust might get through but it can also easily be cleaned out by blowing–something that would be hard with a more enclosed keyboard. There wouldn’t then be a need to take out the key caps much while cleaning, unlike that of a more regular keyboard. So really I think this is good for those who would like a keyboard that is easy to maintain and clean, contrary to what the article states.

  2. Other than the part about maintenance and cleaning, overall this is a good, comprehensive article about the Razer Black Widow X Chroma. I have been thinking of getting this or the regular Chroma keyboard, but with its open feature I would think this would actually be much better since it can easily be maintained.

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