The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition is a smaller keyboard made with tournament buffs and LAN party goers in mind, by reducing the size of the keyboard to make it more portable. However, this downsizing has not affected the quality of the product as much as you might think. It is still a full mechanical keyboard using Razer’s very own Mechanical Switches and it is also back-lit with numerous Chroma features that allow you to customise the keyboard effects to your liking.
As the BlackWidow is smaller, it makes for a rather light mechanical keyboard weighing only a couple of pounds. Being light doesn’t make for a cheap design, it doesn’t feel like plastic, instead having the robust build of a material like carbon fibre. Other noteworthy extras include a comfy carry case, a detachable 2 meter USB cable and a slot to store the USB for when it needs to be moved around. This makes the keyboard more portable than other keyboards from Razer’s back catalogue, perfect for the eSport player or LAN goer.
BlackWidow’s smaller size doesn’t mean that it is bare of the usual nifty features you’ll expect to find in a gaming keyboard. The F1-F12 buttons double as multimedia keys which allows you to affect some of your computer’s media functionalities. Anti-ghosting technology allows you to press up to 10 keys at once, rather than the standard 3 or 4 you may find in more budget keyboards, allowing for some incredibly complex commands without it confusing prompts on the device.
Razer’s latest products come with a choice of their two different switches for their mechanical keyboards, green and orange switches. The BlackWidow TE Chroma comes with the green switches that are designed to be ultra durable, with optimised reset and actuation point of 1.9mm and force of 50g. They give off the usual clicky, tactile feel you expect from a mechanical keyboard. The orange switches give similar performance gains but instead opt for silence and have a lower actuation force of 45g. One of the advantages of the Razer mechanical switches is that they aren’t as loud as other mechanical keyboards, if you don’t like the noise and they are stated to last for up to 60 million key strokes. Razer considers these switches to be the first designed from the ground up for gamers, and by putting the keyboard through its paces, I can wholeheartedly agree about the quality.
Playing games such as Fallout 4 and Dragon’s Dogma using the keyboard did feel comfortable and intuitive. The feedback of the keys were very precise and the Razer green switches meant I would hear a very satisfying click on every button press. As well as the general feel of the keyboard through gameplay, the keyboard’s functionality was also incredibly helpful, through the use of Razer’s easy macro-key setup, I was able to utilise keys for weapons and quick attacks that I would not have been able to otherwise. Take Dragon’s Dogma for example, to use certain special attacks requires holding down a couple of key combinations, by using Razer’s easy to use software, I was able to record that macro and apply it to one key on the board, saving me a lot of time and a lot of the clutter from Dragon’s Dogma’s keyboard controls.