Razer announces new slim BlackWidow X mechanical keyboards
In addition to gaming notebooks like the Razer Blade and the Razer Core external graphics enclosure, Razer makes a full line of high-quality gaming accessories for PC. Their mechanical keyboard range alone offers a wide variety of features and price points. That assortment will soon double thanks to the new Razer BlackWidow X line of keyboards.
The Razer BlackWidow X keyboards feature a stripped down look thanks to the removal of the standard top keyboard cover. Each BlackWidow X will cost $10 less than its standard BlackWidow equivalent, too. Read on for all the details and our hands-on photos of the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma!
From BlackWidow to BlackWidow X
According to Razer, the BlackWidow lineup is the best-selling mechanical keyboard series in the world. The new BlackWidow X line looks to exist in parallel to the original line by offering more affordable, slimmed down versions of Razer's most popular keyboards.
The key difference from the regular BlackWidow is the new BlackWidow X line will not feature the "top cover" found on most keyboards. Typical keyboards, including the BlackWidow series, have their keys recessed into the body of the keyboard. A top cover surrounds the keys and rests above the actual bottom of the keyboard.
Without the top cover, the keys of the BlackWidow X line naturally rise above the metal base of the keyboard with nothing else surrounding them. This creates a unique look that Razer describes as clean and militaristic.
To go with that different look, the BlackWidow X series sports a different font on their keys than regular BlackWidow keyboards. This new font matches that of the Razer Blade and Razer Blade Stealth notebooks, so it's not exactly a huge departure from the standard Razer aesthetic.
More exciting than key fonts is the BlackWidow X line's unique cable management feature. Each of these keyboards features a single thin braided USB cable so that they won't offer USB pass-through. But ridges line the bottom of the keyboard that allows users to route the USB cable in three different directions. If your setup works better with the cord coming out of the left, you can do that!
Since these are more affordable versions of deluxe keyboards, they lack another bell-and-whistle: macro keys. The minor benefit of losing the extra keys is it allows for smaller keyboard footprints. People who want all the features they can get might balk at the BlackWidow X line, but users who prefer simplicity will enjoy the minimalism.
All Razer BlackWidow X keyboards come with a two-year warranty.
Choice of micro switches
The Razer BlackWidow X line features Razer's proprietary mechanical gaming switches for each key. Razer tells us that these are the world's first keyboard switches designed specifically for gaming. The switches have optimized actuation and reset points, so the time between electrical contact being made and reset will be better for games than standard Cherry MX switches. They also have greater durability, reportedly standing up to 80 million keystrokes. Active gamers hit certain keys thousands of times per day, so the increased durability ensures the longest possible life for each key.
Cherry MX switches are quite popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, though, so Razer will offer Cherry MX Blue variants of certain BlackWidow X keyboards through the Razer Store. And the Cherry MX Blue BlackWidow X keyboards will cost ten dollars less than the regular BlackWidow X keyboards. That makes them some of the most affordable brand-name mechanical keyboards on the market.
BlackWidow X lineup and availability
Two BlackWidow X models are available now, with the others set to launch in April. The Chroma models feature programmable lighting for each key. And the two lowest priced models come in even-lower-priced Cherry MX Blue variants when purchased through Razer's website. The BlackWidow X lineup should be available at retailers like Amazon soon.
Razer BlackWidow X Chroma (pictured in this article's photographs)
- Price: U.S. $159.99 / EU €189.99
- Availability: http://http://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Fsend.onenetworkdirect.net%2Fz%2F555050%2FCD220848%2F%26subid1%3Dd_wp%26subid2%3Dd_wp%26lnkurl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F%26ourl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F&token=XLj4jAqD – Available Now; Worldwide – Available Now
Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition X Chroma
- Price: U.S. $129.99 / EU €149.99
- Availability: http://http://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Fsend.onenetworkdirect.net%2Fz%2F555050%2FCD220848%2F%26subid1%3Dd_wp%26subid2%3Dd_wp%26lnkurl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F%26ourl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F&token=XLj4jAqD – April 15, 2016; Worldwide – April 2016
Razer BlackWidow X Ultimate
- Price: U.S. $99.99 / EU €119.99
- Cherry MX Blue Switch: U.S. $89.99 / EU € 109.99
- Availability: http://http://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Fsend.onenetworkdirect.net%2Fz%2F555050%2FCD220848%2F%26subid1%3Dd_wp%26subid2%3Dd_wp%26lnkurl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F%26ourl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2F&token=XLj4jAqD – Available Now
Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition
- Price: U.S. $69.99 / EU €79.99
- Cherry MX Blue Switch: U.S. $59.99 / EU € 69.99
- Availability: http://www.razerzone.com/ – Coming soon
Stay tuned for our detailed review of the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma!
If you had to pick a Razer mechanical keyboard, would you rather get a BlackWidow X or the original BlackWidow version, PC gamers?
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Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!