Thursday, August 19th 2010

Razer Announces its First Mechanical Keyboards: BlackWidow and BlackWidow Ultimate

Razer, the world's leading manufacturer of high-end precision gaming and lifestyle peripherals, today announced the Razer BlackWidow mechanical gaming keyboard engineered for gamers who demand superior tactile feedback and comfort while playing. Most mechanical keyboards in the market today are standard mechanical keyboards rebadged as gaming keyboards that feature stiff keys that cause key actuation fatigue. Such keyboards are inherently worse off for gamers as it actually decreases gameplay performance as opposed to enhancing it. As a result, most professional gamers eschew such marketing gimmicks for regular membrane keyboards.

For the past 3 years, Razer's design and engineering teams have been working on a mechanical keyboard - developed for gamers from the ground up, resulting in the Razer BlackWidow. The Razer BlackWidow features a uniquely tactile mechanical key architecture that provides each key on the keyboard with a crisp response and tactile feedback similar to a mouse click. Coupled with a unique key actuation point halfway through the full travel distance, the optimized mechanical key structure found in each of the Razer BlackWidow's keys provide for greater precision and accuracy versus other traditional mechanical keyboards.

The keys on the Razer BlackWidow also feature one of the lightest actuation forces for all keyboards. The key actuation force has been optimized by the Razer design team from readily available components but sorted with the rigorous quality standards that Razer is known for. As a result, this enhanced key force allows gamers to type and click much faster than other mechanical keyboards in the industry.

“The Razer BlackWidow is the world’s first mechanical keyboard that has been engineered from ground up for gaming,” said Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, president, Razer. “Imagine every single key on the keyboard with the precision of a mouse click – no more pressing of keys without knowing for certain if they have been actuated. Precision clicking coupled with an optimized lighter key actuation force, this changes the way gamers will play from now on. ”

The Razer BlackWidow is the only mechanical keyboard that features fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording as well as five additional gaming keys, further leaving other mechanical keyboards in the dust when it comes to gaming compatibility and performance.

The revolutionary Razer BlackWidow mechanical gaming keyboard will be available in September 2010. Also available in the same month is the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, a step up from the original edition with the added features of individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting, 3.5” audio and microphone out jacks as well as an additional USB port.

About the Razer BlackWidow
The Razer BlackWidow’s full mechanical key architecture provides a distinctive tactile feedback that simulates the experience and precision of performing a mouse click, giving gamers an entirely new feel with this keyboard. With its optimized actuation force of 50g and an actuation point halfway down the full travel distance of 4mm, the Razer BlackWidow’s keys deliver crisp response with exceptional actuation speed. An ultra robust construction, fully programmable keys, 5 additional macro keys, and on-the-fly macro recording round off this revolutionary gaming keyboard.

PRICE: US $79.99 / €79.99

AVAILABILITY: September 2010

Product Features:
  • Mechanical key architecture for faster actuation and extended lifespan
  • Fully programmable keys + 5 additional gaming keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 10 Customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling for a blistering fast 1ms response time
  • Gaming optimized key matrix
  • Easy access media keys
  • Gaming mode option
  • Approx. size in mm: 475(L) x 171(W) x 30(H)
About the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is a step up from the original edition with the added feature of individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting, so players will never miss a step in the dark while giving them the cutting edge to launch assaults and flank foes even in low light conditions. Its full mechanical key architecture with an actuation point halfway through the full travel distance of 4mm, combined with its distinct tactile feedback that simulates a mouse click, allows the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate to provide gamers a keyboard that responds like no other. The ultra robust construction, fully programmable keys, 5 additional macro keys, and on-the-fly macro recording round off this revolutionary gaming keyboard. The Ultimate keyboard also includes 3.5” audio and microphone out jacks as well as an additional USB port. Now, the fate of your game is all at your fingertips with the BlackWidow Ultimate.

PRICE: US $129.99 / €129.99

AVAILABILITY: September 2010

Product Features:
  • Mechanical key architecture for faster actuation and extended lifespan
  • Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting
  • Fully programmable keys + 5 additional gaming keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 10 Customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling for a blistering fast 1ms response time
  • Gaming optimized key matrix
  • Easy access media keys
  • Gaming mode option
  • Audio-out / mic-in jacks
  • USB pass-through
  • Approx. size in mm: 475(L) x 171(W) x 30(H)
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34 Comments on Razer Announces its First Mechanical Keyboards: BlackWidow and BlackWidow Ultimate

#1
guitarfreaknation
Is it me or dies it look kind of lame? And lack of separate buttons for volume control blows.
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#2
Kitkat
just u ... looks fine to me.. wot i expected from them i like the font style too
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#3
slyfox2151
looks pritty good.. but it does need media control IMO.
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#4
LAN_deRf_HA
1 ms? I can't even get above 72ms with this stop watch using my keyboard. http://www.csgnetwork.com/directstopwatchhmsms.html

Best I remember with an actual stop watch when I was a kid was 8-12 ms. Either I got way slower, or there's something wrong with the script, or I guess regular keyboards really are just that slow. Not sure which.
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#5
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Looks good.. hope they placed media keys as well ala lycosa though.. became dependent to it .. playing media player music while in starcraft. In anycase, once my 2 year old Lycosa dies out, ima get me one of these :D
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#6
BumbleBee
the media keys on the Razer Blackwidow are not dedicated you have to depress a function key + F1-F8. you won't find dedicated media keys, volume rollers or dials on a mechanical keyboard because space is a premium and the cost of mechanical key switches is high.
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#7
Kantastic
They ruined the looks with the green/red dots above the # pad, whatever those are.
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#8
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
What kind of switches do these use? The other day I saw a post thread on here about mechanical keyboards, so was just curious.
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#9
pantherx12
by: LAN_deRf_HA
1 ms? I can't even get above 72ms with this stop watch using my keyboard. http://www.csgnetwork.com/directstopwatchhmsms.html

Best I remember with an actual stop watch when I was a kid was 8-12 ms. Either I got way slower, or there's something wrong with the script, or I guess regular keyboards really are just that slow. Not sure which.
I get 120ms ( consistently) with my keyboard s510 by logitec, for HTPC use really though rather than gaming.
Posted on Reply
#10
BumbleBee
by: WarEagleAU
What kind of switches do these use? The other day I saw a post thread on here about mechanical keyboards, so was just curious.
there was confusion because Razer initially stated the actuation point was 1.5mm which would imply they were not Cherry MX switches however they quickly revised it to 2mm. on the Razer Blackwidow mini-site what Razer illustrates and describes fits the profile of Cherry MX Blue switches.

by: Kantastic
They ruined the looks with the green/red dots above the # pad, whatever those are.
I think they are status indicators for game mode and macro recording.

there was a video posted on tudou a couple days before the unveiling at Gamescom it appears to be someone video taping the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate.

in the tudou video below the red and green indicators don't seem to be turned on. also the keyboard looks a little better in person.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/ogOhm7oPgwA/
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#11
Meizuman
by: BumbleBee
the media keys on the Razer Blackwidow are not dedicated you have to depress a function key + F1-F8. you won't find dedicated media keys, volume rollers or dials on a mechanical keyboard because space is a premium and the cost of mechanical key switches is high.
They should make a hybrid with basic membrane switches for media and F keys. I think those are much more rarely used and would last fine.

Would love to see a mechanical/membrane hybrid keyboard with sidewinder x6 style (though removable numpad should attach much closer to other keys and have a lock). F & media/top function keys could be membrane, for the rest, mechanical keys.
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#12
burtram
so far, i like the price, it's cheaper than the steel series (and i could care less about media keys, as i run my audio to an amp, which i use to control the volume)
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#13
Wile E
Power User
Damn good price for mechanical keyboards. I am completely stunned. Doubly so because it's a Razer product, but it's actually not overpriced like everything else they make.

The Ultimate is officially on my wish list, although I'd happily take the regular model if the Mrs threatens to castrate me over a $130 keyboard. lol.
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#14
Mussels
Moderprator
the ultimates on my 'to get soon' list, but i'll wait for a review so i dont blow money on a flawed keyboard.
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#15
Kantastic
I'm going to hijack this thread. A few months ago the $40 ABS M1 Cherry Black keyboard was discontinued and liquidated at Newegg for $20. I wanted one but didn't have money at the time. After a while I looked around the web and spotted this GeekHack thread where a member states that, according to ABS, the keyboard has been discontinued but would come back under Rosewill (both of which are brands under Newegg) with Cherry Blue switches. I was excited since I was longing to get one and even at $50-$60 it would have been a reasonable price.

It's finally on Newegg and it's priced at $111.99 + $7.87 shipping. What a disappointment! I would rather dish out $10-$20 more dollars and buy the Razer Black Widow Ultimate with the same switches and backlighting. I was hoping to be able to pick up a (relatively) cheap mechanical keyboard, guess not. :P
Posted on Reply
#16
BumbleBee
by: Meizuman
They should make a hybrid with basic membrane switches for media and F keys. I think those are much more rarely used and would last fine.

Would love to see a mechanical/membrane hybrid keyboard with sidewinder x6 style (though removable numpad should attach much closer to other keys and have a lock). F & media/top function keys could be membrane, for the rest, mechanical keys.
that would be very expensive not to mention impractical. I think every component on the Deck Legend and Topre Realforce are rated for 20 years so what is the point in adding rubber domes and plastic rollers to them if they are going to fail long before every other component?

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Review on Youtube.
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#17
johnnyfiive
I'd be interested in this KB but my last Razer KB (lycosa) only lasted one year. The WASD keys wore out (literally gone, just blue light lol), the cord quality was poor (kinked REALLY easy), and it randomly lost power (had to unplug and then plug it back in for it to respond). I'm sure this mechanical one is much better, the price sure is nice considering its mechanical and retains the backlit keys. Still... for $79, there are plenty of awesome keyboards like the Logitech Illuminated which I absolutely love. (scissor keys ftw).

by: Kantastic
I'm going to hijack this thread. A few months ago the $40 ABS M1 Cherry Black keyboard was discontinued and liquidated at Newegg for $20. I wanted one but didn't have money at the time. After a while I looked around the web and spotted this GeekHack thread where a member states that, according to ABS, the keyboard has been discontinued but would come back under Rosewill (both of which are brands under Newegg) with Cherry Blue switches. I was excited since I was longing to get one and even at $50-$60 it would have been a reasonable price.

It's finally on Newegg and it's priced at $111.99 + $7.87 shipping. What a disappointment! I would rather dish out $10-$20 more dollars and buy the Razer Black Widow Ultimate with the same switches and backlighting. I was hoping to be able to pick up a (relatively) cheap mechanical keyboard, guess not. :P
Get a das mechanical keyboard kan! It's on promotion right now, amazing keyboard.
Posted on Reply
#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: guitarfreaknation
Is it me or dies it look kind of lame? And lack of separate buttons for volume control blows.
I wouldn't really mind the FN key with the media controls built into the function keys, but it really would annoy me to not have a right windows key...
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#19
DannibusX
I'm going to have to set aside some cash for one of these.
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#20
BumbleBee
by: newtekie1
I wouldn't really mind the FN key with the media controls built into the function keys, but it really would annoy me to not have a right windows key...
media keys on mechanical keyboards are usually like this.




they remove the L-Windows key and turn it into a Function key that has no scan code. the Function key communicates with the keyboard and not Windows so it can't be remapped. a lot of people complain about not having a L-Windows Key so it's nice Razer chose the R-Windows Key.
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: BumbleBee
media keys on mechanical keyboards are usually like this.

http://www.techpowerup.com/img/08-05-05/1561-1866.jpg
http://skattertech.com/media/2009/11/das-keyboard-model-s-professional.jpg

they remove the L-Windows key and turn it into a Function key that has no scan code. the Function key communicates with the keyboard and not Windows so it can't be remapped. a lot of people complain about not having a L-Windows Key so it's nice Razer chose the R-Windows Key.
I know that, but I think that the fn key should not take the place of either Windows key. It should be put in a place that doesn't replace any key.
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#22
BumbleBee
by: newtekie1
I know that, but I think that the fn key should not take the place of either Windows key. It should be put in a place that doesn't replace any key.
a dedicated function key is going to cost more. PCB, soldering, switch, keycap, etc.

$129 for the Razer Blackwidow isn't a lot of money for a mechanical keyboard.



this one here is called the uTron it cost $400-500 from Japan.
Posted on Reply
#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: BumbleBee
a dedicated function key is going to cost more. PCB, soldering, switch, keycap, etc.

$129 for the Razer Blackwidow isn't a lot of money for a mechanical keyboard.

http://gearcrave.frsucrave.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/utron-keyboard-2.jpg

this one here is called the uTron it cost $400-500 from Japan.
Ok, so if it adds $5 to the final cost and moved the keyboard up to $85/$135, I'd pay it to have both Windows keys and a Fn key.
Posted on Reply
#24
BumbleBee
there has been a couple mechanical keyboards with multimedia keys and they all have similar layouts I don't see it happening. sorry :(
Posted on Reply
#25
Wile E
Power User
by: BumbleBee
that would be very expensive not to mention impractical. I think every component on the Deck Legend and Topre Realforce are rated for 20 years so what is the point in adding rubber domes and plastic rollers to them if they are going to fail long before every other component?

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Review on Youtube.
DAMMIT! It's clicky.
Now I'm torn. I don't like clicky, but I like tactile. But it's a darn good price. It hits 2/3 criteria for me. Don't know what I should do now.
Posted on Reply
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