Overall and Final Verdict
I liked the original Blackwidow once I learned to overlook the fingerprints on the glossy finish. With their revisions, Razer has been able to improve on the original design. Of course, not every change the made was my cup of tea. I preferred the blue backlighting to the green that Razer now uses on all of their products. The green still looks good, but it would be nice to have another option or something a little more neutral. One thing is for sure though, you cannot call the backlighting dim. When the setting turned all the way up it literally hurt my eyes after a while.
Razer’s software was a pleasure to use once I got past the issues with it requiring a reboot when installing and it requiring you to register an account. Having the ability to change any keys function really options up the options for people who need more than the five macro keys provided. Speaking of those keys, I think the 5 provided is a great balance. You still get macro keys without making the keyboard wider than it needs to be. A wide keyboard might not be an issue for everyone, but if you have a smaller desk or if you take it to a LAN where you only have 3 feet of space you might be wishing you had considered the width. I took the Blackwidow to a LAN this weekend and its size worked out perfectly for me.
I still think there is a little room left for improvement as well though. The Blackwidow could use a real volume control over function keys. I’m also not a fan of the font Razer uses on the keys. There is also the wiggling I experienced with the new keyswitches when they are bottomed out. The new switches were otherwise great while typing and gaming so I can’t really hold it against them too much seeing as those are the two main things a gaming keyboard needs to do. If you don’t take advantage of the software key bindings or the bright back lighting you might be better off looking for a more enthusiast focused board. Overall I think the Blackwidow is still a good option for a gamer looking for great programmability or the ability to light up the face of the moon with a keyboard.