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Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 is sweet, sweet overkill

Razer's newest mechanical gaming keyboard is its biggest, meanest and most expensive yet.

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Luke Lancaster
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Luke Lancaster

Associate Editor / Australia

Luke Lancaster is an Associate Editor with CNET, based out of Australia. He spends his time with games (both board and video) and comics (both reading and writing).

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3 min read

The Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 is probably complete overkill for anyone who needs a keyboard, and that's probably exactly why you'll buy it. It's the most expensive one that the vaunted gaming hardware maker puts out, topping its range of bestselling gaming keyboards.

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7.8

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

The Good

The BlackWidow Chroma V2 has very easily programmable macro keys, a full suite of gaming keyboard functionality and Razer Synapse compatibility.

The Bad

You're really going to need to weigh those features against a hefty price tag.

The Bottom Line

The BlackWidow Chroma V2 is pretty much everything you want out of your gaming keyboard. But there are most cost effective options if you're not ensconced in the Razer ecosystem.

Mixing together Razer's now-ubiquitous lighting effects, options for different mechanical switches and a row of programmable macro keys, it's also enough to get Razer's dedicated fanbase salivating.

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Dave Cheng/CNET

Key specs

  • Razer mechanical switches
  • Magnetic wrist rest
  • 10-key rollover anti-ghosting
  • 80-million keystroke lifespan
  • Chroma customisable backlighting
  • Powered USB 3.0 port
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Five programmable macro keys
  • Game mode and media controls

The New BlackWidow is fully mechanical, and it's also one of the few Razer keyboards that offers a row of extra macro keys running down the left-hand side. These M keys are programmable on the fly, and the custom keys are a big selling point of the V2. They're a great way to have complex keystroke combinations in easy reach. In fact, they fit in very well with the plug-and-play Razer style. Yes, you can spend some time playing around with precisely how it all lights up and what your custom macros do, but it all feels very intuitive, especially if you're familiar with the software.

I also had it plugged in at my desk at work. Yes, I wanted to see how far I could take things. It turns out, using those macro keys to automatically launch web browsers, calculator and insert the £ character with one keystroke was the upper limit of my imagination. I'm sure you could do better, but I did find I was using those keys more than I thought I would, even day to day.

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Dave Cheng/CNET

Those extra programmable keys, the full numpad and media controls mean that the BlackWidow Chroma is huge. That's before you factor in the magnetic wrist pad (an admittedly fantastic addition). If you're not rigorous about your desk space, you might have issues finding room for it.

I'm not sold on Razer's very clacky Green mechanical switches. The travel on the keys was fine, and I didn't have any issue with the 50g actuation force, but they sure did make a fuss about it. The Green switches in the keyboard I tested were loud enough to be picked up by my mic while I played online. For general use, I'd really, really recommend Razer's Orange or Yellow "silent" switches but it's very nice to have the option.

If you're first setting up a gaming PC and you're after accessories, you're better off investing in a mouse. You'll see more difference with the added programmable buttons and dpi on a good gaming mouse. Razer make a pretty excellent one itself.

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You'll get a lot of keyboard with the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, but boy do you pay for it. It costs $170, £170 or AU$340. And yes, that pound symbol took me a fraction of a second to enter. If you are looking for a keyboard specifically, this is at the pricier end of the mechanical spectrum, going up against top-end Corsair and Logitech models.

It's rated to 80 million keystrokes, so it should stick around for quite a while. If you're deep in the Razer ecosystem, it's fully compatible with Synapse and a breeze to use. You're not likely to be taking this beast on the road, but if you do you'll be able to download your presets easily. There are three different switch styles so you can get the keystrokes feeling right. What I'm trying to say is if you're the kind of person who wants to spend that much on a keyboard, you can find ways to justify it. But my advice is to be very sure you want to.

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7.8

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8.5Performance 8
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