Razer BlackWidow V3 Review — Evolution not revolution

As long as I can remember hearing of mechanical gaming keyboards, one name remains at the top of my mind – Razer BlackWidow, The iconic keyboard has been around for a decade and firmly established Razer as a premium and quality peripherals maker, along with the DeathAdder mouse and Blade laptops. The Razer BlackWidow V3 is the third iteration of the classic and does little obvious to deviate from what has made this name a solid brand. 

The BlackWidow V3 boasts the highest quality build, Doubleshot ABS keycaps and Razer’s patented Green Switches that are wicked fast and plenty clicky. This my friends is a reliable, no frills(if that’s even possible with a Razer product) keyboard meant for serious gaming business. But times have changed and this new keyboard doesn’t feel very new especially compared to its sibling the Huntsman that uses even fancier optical switches. 

So who exactly is the AU$239.95 BlackWidow V3 for then; because at that price, there’s some serious competition such as the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO, Corsair K100 and HyperX Alloy Elite 2? The answer isn’t as clear cut as I wish. 

Razer BlackWidow V3 review 

One thing that is immediately obvious when you unbox the BlackWidow V3 is the solid construction and immaculate feel. The keyboard is built atop an Aluminium frame that has a matte finish which is excellent at repelling dirt, oils and fingerprints. The full height keys are made from Doubleshot ABS plastic that feels wonderful. 

They have a subtle textured coating that stops your fingers from slipping as you hack away. This construction also means the keys won’t fade over time or crack thanks to their durability. The keycaps sit on top of transparent switch housings that let a ton of that glorious Razer Chroma lighting through which you can switch up in a dizzying number of ways in the Chroma Studio app.

And speaking of switches, our sample uses the very clicky and very loud Razer Green switches that are sure to annoy anyone in close proximity if you type a lot. There’s also the option of the silent Yellow switches which I and my household would have much preferred. Don’t get me wrong, the Green switches feel amazing with a very quick and assured response. The 4mm of travel is great and so smooth with the switches actuating at just under half that distance – 1.9mm. Typing on them is fantastic but I was always held back from truly hammering away for guilt of the noise. 

But typing isn’t a concern when gaming and I found the BlackWidow to be top notch in its response. Combined with the fast switches is a 1000Hz polling rate and a solid USB connection that virtually eliminates any lag. I played CoD:Warzone and Apex Legends with no issues. You can reprogram all the BlackWidow’s keys using Razer Synapse software including macros plus you get a couple of presets for popular games straight out of the gate. 

A couple of other features really stand out, key among them being the gorgeous volume wheel. At almost an inch wide, it’s expertly textured and smooth in its roll that I had to keep myself from just scrolling it like a fidget spinner. Yes, it’s that nice. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the lack of media controls next to it. The BlackWidow has only one button for muting or pausing media. 

Verdict

The Razer BlackWidow V3 has a pedigree and legendary history to live up to and it honestly does. It’s one of the best feeling and responsive clicky keyboards I’ve used. But as I said, this isn’t 2010 anymore and large, bulky wired keyboards that cost over $200 are a hard recommendation. There is nothing truly outstanding about the BlackWidow V3. I’d go as far as saying that it’s too safe. 

And that’s fine if you just want a tank of a keyboard that won’t let you down anytime soon. But keyboards like the aforementioned Corsair K100 offer all these things with much more flair and extra features like Elgato stream deck capability and USB passthrough. And you even save a few dollars in the process. So yeah, the BlackWidow V3 is a solid keyboard that I’m not sure who it’s for.


Razer Australia provided the BlackWidow V3 to PowerUp for the purpose of this review.

Razer Blackwidow V3 Review
LIKE
Built like a tank
Excellent switches for gaming and typing
Brilliant Chroma lighting
DISLIKE
Green switches too noisy
No media keys or USB passthrough
Pricey
8.5
A safe, reliable keyboard that doesn't thrill

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Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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