Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Review – A few steps forward, and just one back

Razer’s Blackwidow is so popular, it’s almost synonymous with PC gaming itself. The big, black and bulky mechanical keyboard first debuted in 2010, and has seen slight iterative changes in the five years it stood tall above most other competition. To its own detriment though, Razer’s apprehension to change allowed competition to thrive in that time though, with the likes of Corsair specifically making a name for themselves with their own K-series keyboards.

The Blackwidow X Chroma is Razer’s answer to that call, and it’s a keyboard that does a lot to convince you that it’s still the leader of the pack. If you have the pockets deep enough.

Where the old Blackwidow you know (and hopefully loved) might have been a massive piece of plastic on your desk, the Blackwidow X is a sleeker, more robust metal one. The plastic body has been entirely replaced with a sexier solid slab of metal, which gives the keyboard a premium feel like no other. The metal finish means no fingerprint oils will transfer to the keyboard surface like in the past, will also reducing the spacial footprint it takes on your desk. The Blackwidow X is slightly shorter in height and width, which definitely suit me on my already cramped desktop space.

The smaller footprint does mean that certain features are inevitably cut, with the biggest change from the past design being the exclusion of the dedicated Macro keys row. The six buttons no longer take up space on the left of the keyboard, with the Blackwidow X instead assigning them to classic function keys at the top. Along with dedicated Macro keys, the Blackwidow X also drops a USB pass-through port along the side (which was pretty handy in the past), as well as dedicated media keys. The exclusion of a volume rocker, specifically, seems like a glaring omission on a premium keyboard such as this.

The added cable routing system on the backside of the keyboard is a nice addition though. It’s the small things.

There is, however, no such disappointment when it comes down to the most important part of the Blackwidow X: its keys. Retaining the same Razer-produced green switches, these clicky keys afford you 80 million keystrokes per switch, and come again in a quieter orange variant if you choose (as well as classic MX Cherry Blue in some cases. The Razer greens in our sample are the same as the ones I used back in my previous Blackwidow review, and my love for them hasn’t diminished. They’re loud, but the mechanical keys offer an almost unparalleled sense of responsiveness.

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