The driver is installed via a standard Windows installer package and the firmware update runs from its own .exe instructing us not to use a USB hub before flashing. We are not required to unplug the keyboard at the end of the update process but the mouse does suggest this.
With the drivers installed we can launch the configuration software and on the first screen of the BlackWidow control panel we can configure the function for each of the keys on the board. This includes the macro keys, thumb buttons and main board. Profile selection is also available on this page. The second screen is Manage Profiles and unsurprisingly allows us to create, import, export and delete profiles up to a maximum of 20. By right-clicking a profile we can also tie it to an application so that the board switches to that mode when a particular game launches.
The Manage Macro screen should be familiar to most people who have used a Razer keyboard or mouse in recent times. This page allows us to perform all of the standard operations which include new, import, export, delete, delay etc. From our testing we found that Macros can be recorded on the fly through a function key and Razer allow hundreds of keystrokes in complexity which should meet the needs of every gamer with ease. Finally, as well as stating the firmware and driver version on the control panel, Razer also allow us to click the spanner icon in the top right to link through to the latest version on their website.
The main page of the software enables the user to configure button assignments. All seven buttons and the mouse-wheel can be configured to any function, key or macro using the drop down menus. Clicking the ‘manage macros’ tab enables the user to record or import macros which can be assigned to any of the buttons. The software also allows configuration of the Imperator’s performance. Each of the sensitivity stages is configurable and we have the option to edit X and Y-axis independently at 100DPI increments between 100 and 6400DPI. There are three different polling rates to choose from; 125, 500 and 1000Hz and, when enabled, cursor acceleration can be adjusted using a slider on the performance page. Finally we can adjust the lighting or save profiles to the on-board Razer Synapse Memory.