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Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition

The BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition remains an expensive item to add to your gaming collection — but it also remains an excellent keyboard, and one that's now a bit quieter. Just make sure you buy it from the US.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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2 min read

Editor's note: portions of this review are based on the original BlackWidow Ultimate review.

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9.5

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition

The Good

Excellent responsiveness with reduced noise. USB and headphone/mic pass-throughs give ease of access to ports. Flexible macro and customisation system.

The Bad

Unconscionable local price mark-up. Blue backlight may be difficult to see for some.

The Bottom Line

The BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition remains an expensive item to add to your gaming collection — but it also remains an excellent keyboard, and one that's now a bit quieter. Just make sure you buy it from the US.

Razer's BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard impressed us rather a lot. It did have one weakness, though; a mechanical keyboard that was incredibly loud to type on.

The Stealth Edition attempts to address this with quieter key switches. Razer says "silent", but clearly it measures to a different level of silent than we do — this thing is still louder than your average keyboard. It does dull the sound compared to the original, removing the sharp "click" noise that may have annoyed bystanders.

It is, otherwise, the same excellent keyboard, with backlit keys capable of three levels of brightness (and a breathing effect), an extra USB port, headphone and microphone ports and a "gaming mode" that disables the Windows keys.

It wouldn't be a Razer input device without macros, and the BlackWidow offers the ability to record them directly from the keyboard, or Razer's own software. You can play back the macro once, multiple times, as long as the key continues to be depressed or toggle continuous playback using a key as on/off.

The software itself is rather minimal for Razer, offering the ability to customise every key with another key, macro or the ability to launch a program. There are five empty macro keys on the left, should you be after dedicated keys to attach custom functions to.

You can otherwise create, delete, import and export profiles (and access them quickly by holding down the function key while pressing down the number keys), and you can even set a profile to launch along with an application, if you so desire.

The rest is really just standard keyboard fare, from adjustable legs to the numpad, but the mechanical keys are what make this thing magic. What's not magic is the ridiculous RRP — AU$209 ex GST locally, whereas Americans get it for US$139.99 pre-tax. Given that we can't find anywhere that sells the Stealth Edition online locally, and the unjustifiable mark-up, buying the keyboard from the US seems like the smartest way to go.

The BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition remains an expensive item to add to your gaming collection — but also remains an excellent keyboard, and one that's now a bit quieter.

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