Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Review: Killer Bite

The Razer BlackWidow X Chroma has a vicious bite, but it also has a pretty side. Our review.


Razer announced a new lineup of mechanical keyboards this Spring, one of which was the BlackWidow X Chroma. This keyboard certainly turned some heads when it was first announced as it doesn’t have a plastic piece that typically covers the top of the keyboard, instead allowing its metal frame to be exposed, thus showing off its RGB lighting and first-party switches. Even though the BlackWidow X Chroma has a minimalist approach to its design, it certainly doesn’t skimp on the features as you’ll be able to enjoy a number of features, such as customized lighting, macro support, stats and heatmap analysis, and more.

Form Meets Function

I’m a fan of simplistic designs, and it doesn’t get any simpler than the BlackWidow X Chroma. It’s literally a large sheet of military-grade metal with keys attached to it. The front and back of the keyboard are rounded out so your hands and wrists aren’t touching sharp edges, although judging by the sides, Razer did a good job keeping even its sharpest areas very smooth. The front of the keyboard has a Razer logo that lights up along with the rest of the keyboard. There’s also a cable manager underneath the keyboard, allowing me to navigate its cable to the front or sides of the peripheral.

The BlackWidow X Chroma features a number of color options you’d expect from modern RGB keyboards. You can give the keyboard a number of lighting effects, like Breathing, Reactive, Wave, and even Static, which keeps things very simple by having a single color displayed across all keys. My favorite is the Ripple effect, which has a single color ripple its way across the entire keyboard based on what key is pressed. It’s a really cool effect that I looks impressive in person.

For those who need more specific color options, the Razer Synapse software allows you to customize nearly every aspect of the BlackWidow X Chroma. I can set the what patterns, their duration, the width of keys that are activated, and a lot more to help meet my specific needs. Of course, it also sports color options for specific game types, such as FPS, RTS, and even MOBAs. With 16.8 million colors to choose from, there’s no way you won’t be able to find just the right color option for this keyboard.

Switch Hitter

The BlackWidow X Chroma I was provided for my review had Razer’s proprietary key switches installed. The switches were designed from the ground up specifically for gaming, and even only require 50g of force in order to actuate. Razer promises up to 80 million keystrokes can be achieved on this keyboard, which requires way more math than I’m comfortable doing to find out just how long it would last for the average person.

While Razer’s proprietary key switches are made for durability and response, I personally find them to be a bit too clicky for my taste. With only 50g of force required to actuate, the key switch is similar to Cherry MX Blue switches in how they perform and how loud they can sound. I personally like my keyboard to sound a lot less clicky and have a slight sponginess to them, similar to the Cherry MX Brown switches. Even though they’re a bit too loud for my taste, I found each key is very responsive and offers a nice click with very little effort. This will certainly help keep my fingers from getting too fatigued when I’m writing, and even on the off chance that I’m actually playing a game instead of writing about them.

Beauty’s in the Eye of the Beholder

The Razer BlackWidow X Chroma strikes a very nice balance between form and function. It stands out in an industry that’s saturated with RGB keyboards as being one of most visually impressive peripherals. I just wish the switches were a little less clicky as I don't need my neighbors hearing me typing the night away.

I hope Razer continues to deliver keyboards in the same vein, especially for those of us who enjoy a more minimalistic approach to their desktop peripherals. Now if only I could get a minamilistic mouse that's the size of a quarter with two chiclets attached to it.

This review is based on a review unit provided by the manufacturer. The Razer BlackWidow X Chroma is currently available in retail stores for $159.99.

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