Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review - HardwareHeaven.comHardwareHeaven.com
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Thursday | December 8, 2016
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Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review

Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review

Since their introduction in 2010 the Blackwidow range of keyboards from Razer have been impressive products. Probably the worst thing that could be said about them was that there were too many with too few changes between models, though some would argue more choice is good, even if it is just some branding or a finish. A change in keys a while back and now a tweak to the body means it is well worth taking a look at the latest model though. Welcome to our Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review.

Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review – Packaging and Bundle

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The Blackwidow X Chroma arrives in a box which gives us a nice clear image of the product along with its lighting. There is a handy little cut out which allows us to activate a few of the buttons and see what they feel/sound like and inside the bundled items are some product documentation.

Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review – The Keyboard

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Razer go with a matt finish on the metal chassis used for the Blackwidow X Chroma. The mechanical switches used on this model are Razer Green type (Clicky) with actuation force of 50g and lifespan of 80million presses. Each is backlit, programmable and has 16.6million colours available. The board has 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting also.

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There are no extra buttons down the left side of the X Chroma however we can clearly see that the keys sit above the chassis, rather than inside it like older Blackwidow models. A number of the F buttons have secondary function for media use and we get a couple of extra keys for accessing them, entering quick macro recording, etc. Up at the top right of the board we find status LEDs which include one for gaming mode.

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On the base of the Blackwidow X Chroma we get an info sticker, five rubber feet and 2 legs to vary the angle of the board. The cable exits the middle of the keyboard however there are a couple of tracks to channel it to the left or right if needed. The cable is braided and ends in a single gold plated USB port.

Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review – Software

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As we would expect from a newly released Razer product we use their Synapse application to configure our board. It offers all of the key functionality we need, including the ability to create profiles and store/restore settings from the Cloud and if we have any other Razer devices connected they are also controlled here. We can also perform basic lighting tweaks if needed but things get more interesting in the Chroma Apps screen.

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Chroma Apps offer advanced lighting effects on the Blackwidow X Chroma and are app specific so for example we could install the Tomb Raider plugin and have our keys flash red when we take damage or install the music plugin and have the board react to tracks we are playing. More information on the games supported and user created profiles are available for download and preview over at the main Chroma Workshop site. Finally, Synapse also allows us to monitor our key presses and heat-maps for installed games.

Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review – Conclusion

We’ve always been fans of the Blackwidow build quality and that continues on the X Chroma. The metal frame feels great and the keyboard has a decent weight which ensures it stays steady on our desk. The matt finish is nicely applied and as far as the keys go, we’ve had nothing but good experience with Razers own keys. On other keyboard models they have lived through some tough gaming sessions and the odd spillage without issue.

The new design with raised keys is a success too, it looks great and allows the light from the LEDs to spread out across the keyboard surface and onto our desk. Something which looks great when using effects such as music visualisations.

As far as performance goes, no complaints. The keys are responsive and macro’s actioned quickly. We like the ability to program on the fly too and the Synapse software continues to impress. It is responsive, intuitive and we were pleased to see that applying advanced Chroma effects is super easy on this board, something which cannot be said about some competing products.

Summary: Well built, stylish and top notch performance.

Performance Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Razer Blackwidow X Chroma
Author Rating
4

About Author

Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. Dyre Straits

    This is just a FYI.
    I had a Razer BlackWidow a few months ago. I uninstalled it and found just a few days ago that the Synapse software was still hanging around. I got rid of that only after going through the Registry and deleting keys.
    Now, just this moment, I’m getting a Windows Update notice that it needs to install an update for the Razer BlackWidow.

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