Razer Blackwidow Elite
In the world of keyboards, the wrist rest is akin to an oasis – rarely seen and once approached usually turns out to be nothing more than an extended tray not built for comfort at all. But when it comes to the higher-end of the pricing spectrum, where mechanical build quality, keystroke performance and overall durability are key – a wrist rest is usually an afterthought. And this is all a roundabout way of saying with the Blackwidow Elite, Razer has created what is the most comfortable mechanical keyboard we’ve ever had the pleasure to use. Thanks mainly to the wonderful wrist rest that can magnetically snap onto the bottom of the Blackwidow Elite – for that extra dose of comfort. More than an afterthought the soft leather finish and cushion feature the same build quality and attention to detail found throughout the rest of the Blackwidow Elite.
Look and Feel
With the Elite part of the name, it’s no secret that the Blackwidow Elite stands as one of Razer’s premium mechanical keyboards. Sturdy, sleek, weighty, and with an overall look that can go from subtle to elaborate in a matter of seconds – thanks to the fully customisable per-key chroma lighting and floating key design. With a form factor that errs on the side of ‘just the keys’, Razer has also somehow managed to squeeze in full audio controls from an exceptional volume wheel to play/pause, previous and next buttons. For some, dedicated audio controls are a must when looking at a high-end keyboard – which usually isn’t the case for us. But, their placement and overall button quality on the Blackwidow Elite has meant that we’ve been using them regularly. Plus, the wheel itself can be configured to perform any number of tasks.
As a Razer product, the Elite also means the latest iteration of the Razer Mechanical Switch which according to the release notes have been improved with increased dust and liquid protection. Plus, their highly touted 80 million keystroke lifespan. In terms of feedback and feel, the Razer Mechanical Switches perform as expected and offer an overall great feel that even after a few weeks of solid use – have shown no sign of degradation. Apart from the finish itself, which does tend to attract noticeable amounts of finger grease. A disgusting thought sure, but one worth mentioning.
Switch Type: Razer Mechanical Switches
LED Color: Razer Chroma
Cable: Wired (USB with passthrough)
10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
With it’s metal top, the Blackwidow Elite is one of Razer’s heaviest mechanical keyboards – and is meant to be placed once and rarely moved. A design choice that we’ve always found adds an additional level of tactile response to mechanical keyboards. In a welcome move Razer also offers up three different versions of the Razer Mechanical Switch, with green being the most audible, and yellow and orange offering different versions of the silent approach. So, the choice is there for those that want a smoother typing experience versus the most robust gaming option where each keystroke should register.
Although the Blackwidow Elite doesn’t feature any obvious additional buttons to setup macros or switch between profiles - all that functionality is there and fully customisable thanks to the intuitive, if a little memory heavy, Razer Synapse software. A brilliant touch is the ability to record and store macros on the fly that extends to the use of the volume wheel – which has its own button and can be programmed to do just about anything, including scrolling through weapons. Without any glaring faults though, outside of the fact that because it features pass-through for both audio and USB the cable itself is chunky and the complete opposite of wireless, the icing on the cake so to speak is with the Blackwidow Elite’s comfortable wrist rest. Which brings the whole package together as one of the most impressive mechanical keyboards currently available.