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Review: Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Keyboard

by Paul Strauss
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Whether you play lots of games on your computer, or type a lot like I do, a keyboard with proper clicky keys makes a big difference in your typing speed and accuracy. Razer offers some of the best mechanical keyboards on the market, with a focus on gaming. The latest in the Razer keyboard lineup is the BlackWidow X Chroma.

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This PC and Mac- compatible keyboard offers durable Razer Green mechanical switches, which are designed to last up to 80 million keystrokes, and offer excellent tactile feedback. These switches provide a much more satisfying springiness and click than the Cherry MX switches on the Corsair K70 I’ve been using for the last year or so. For those concerned about gaming, there’s 10-key anti-ghosting tech to ensure accuracy.

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Each of the 102 keys has an individual RGB LED backlight, capable of displaying 16.8 million different colors. When used with the free companion Razer Synapse app, the keyboard can be set to any color of your choice, as well as set to one of several animations, like a ripple emanating from the key you press, to a rainbow color wave that spreads across the keyboard.

Windows users also get full individual key customization – which lets you build up layers for different parts of the keyboard – so if you want the WASD keys to be red for an FPS, and the rest of the keys to be blue, you can do that. You can also assign animations to portions of the keyboard. Sadly, the Mac software doesn’t offer this level of customization at this point.

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Overall build quality of the BlackWidow X Chroma is excellent – with a substantial metal case, and a braided USB cable to minimize tangles. Keep in mind that unlike its heftier brother, the BlackWidow Chroma, this model doesn’t offer a USB or audio passthrough, but it only takes up one USB port. There’s also built in cable management to direct the cable to front, left, or right.

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Gamers will also benefit from features like live macro recording, and the ability to save profiles for each of their games or individual apps where you’d like the keyboard lights to behave differently. Razer also offers an API for developers to access the keyboard’s lights and integrate them with their games. I don’t own any of the games on the list, so I didn’t get a chance to test this feature. But you can check out the list of compatible titles over on the Chroma Workshop website.

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If you’re looking for a great keyboard with excellent feedback that’s fast and responsive, the BlackWidow X Chroma should be high on your list. Its color changing features are nifty too – though best experienced on a Windows machine. You can purchase the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma now for $159.99(USD).

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