Making the Switch
Just like the internal parts in your PC, hardware peripherals also come in new revisions every year. Razer’s mechanical keyboard, the BlackWidow had a refresh last year improving some of the features but remained almost indentical to it’s predecessor. However this year, Razer pushed out a 2014 refresh edition with a new type of mechanical switches powering the keyboard created in-house, replacing the industry standard Cherry MX switches. Why? Because they can, that’s why.
So what’s wrong with Cherry MX Switches? Well nothing but the growing demand of the switch made it hard for manufacturers like Razer and other players get a hold of the parts they need to make their keyboards. I remembered for a period mechanical keyboards were on shortage and companies like Thermaltake had to result in shifting manufacturers. So Razer decided to make their own.
Dubbed the ‘World’s First Mechanical Switch Designed for Gaming’ by Razer’s marketing department. The Razer switch comes in two types – normal clicky ones and silent ones. However we got the standard Blackwidow Ultimate with the normal switches to review, sorry we like our mechanical keyboards loud and noticeable so people think we’re working.
Testing out the switch in basic typing, it didn’t really stand out from the usual Cherry MX Blue as they both feel quite similar. Razer has detailed the difference on their website saying the switch actuation is actually shorter than the standard (which is Cherry MX Blues) meaning it’ll respond fast in theory but can you really tell? Slightly, but I knew I was using a Razer switch. Give this to a current Cherry MX Blue user and they won’t find much of a difference unless you told them. Gaming wise, the keyboard itself responds well similar to previous Razer Blackwidows/or Cherry MX Keyboards, so if you’ve used a mechanical keyboard before – you’ll expect the same kind of performance here but slightly faster which could mean the difference in a 1v1 battle.
So with the switches feeling nearly indentical to Cherry MX Blues, what else do they offer? Well Razer’s switches have a longer rated 60 million keystrokes lifespan so expect the board to presumably last longer than the average 50 million keystrokes mechanicals. Apart from that, everything else is almost the same as the previous model. The board comes in a sexy matte black finish, the macro keys and the usual bundled Razer Synapse software.
Should you get one? Well if you have a current working mechanical keyboard like the Blackwidow 2013 then it’s probably not recommended. The slight switch improvement is not really worth re-investing in a new mechanical keyboard. However, if you’re stuck with one of those digusting membrane boards or ‘happen’ to lose your current mechanical keyboard, the new Razer Blackwidow 2014 is a good choice for gamers seeking something orientated for performance.
- Razer Switches feel slightly better than Cherry MX
- Matte Black and Green LED is a great combo
- Solid Build Construction
- Premium Price
- No Wrist Pad
RRP Price: $229
Street Price: $159