Razer has just unveiled a new lineup of mechanical keyboards, the BlackWidow X. Just like how the “X” in the Nabu X signify a more affordable model, the same applies to these BlackWidow X keyboards: they are basically more affordable – and arguably better designed – alternatives to the BlackWidow series.
The BlackWidow X features a more “stripped-down” design over the BlackWidow keyboards. As a result, they look a lot like Corsair’s mechanical keyboards with its barebone-like design; they also lack other extra features such as a USB passthrough and macro keys. Other than that, this keyboard lineup marks Razer’s reintroduction of Cherry MX Blue switches to its range of keyboards, including the BlackWidow Ultimate 2016.
There are three variants of the BlackWidow X: the non-backlit Tournament Edition, the Ultimate with green backlight, and of course, the Chroma with RGB lighting. Not surprisingly, the most affordable is the Tournament Edition, while the Chroma variant is understandably the most costly.
Interestingly, the Chroma variant of the BlackWidow X do not come with Cherry MX Blue switches; only the more affordable Ultimate and Tournament Edition models will have them. While this may seem odd, Razer told Tom’s Hardware that the reason for this is simply because the company’s “requirements for ‘Chroma’ are too high; the white of Cherry’s LEDs aren’t as ‘true’ nor as bright as Razer’s.”
On top of that, BlackWidow X keyboards equipped with Cherry MX Blue switches are actually more affordable than those with Razer’s own switches. BlackWidow X keyboards equipped with Razer’s switches also come with a 2-year warranty over the Cherry model’s 1-year warranty.
Along with the announcement of these new BlackWidow X keyboards, Razer also revealed that it has improved its switches; it is now rated at 80-million keystrokes instead of 60-million. This improvement is possible because Razer has several of its own production lines now, which it has done “significant R&D on factory equipment.” It’s worth noting that Cherry MX switches are rated at 50-million keystrokes, although some will argue that these are merely numbers at the end of the day.
The introduction of the Razer BlackWidow X mechanical keyboards is an interesting move; it gives more choices to mechanical keyboard fans, and at the same time, Razer took the opportunity to position its own switches as the more premium offerings. Regardless, consumers are the ones who will benefit the most from these.
As for availability, the BlackWidow X Ultimate with Cherry MX Blue switches can now be purchased in Malaysia for RM429; the BlackWidow Ultimate 2016 also comes with Cherry Blues now for RM479. The BlackWidow X Chroma and the Chroma Tournament Edition (both equipped with Razer switches), on the other hand, retail at RM849 and RM679 respectively. Both the Ultimate and Chroma keyboards are now in stock, while the Chroma Tournament Edition will ship on the 15th of April.
Oddly enough, the non-backlit model, the BlackWidow X Tournament Edition, is not listed on Razer’s online store yet. Hopefully, it will be available for purchase soon, seeing how the Cherry MX Blue model only retails at US$60, which comes up to about RM240; this makes it one of the most affordable Cherry MX keyboards in the market. More information on the new BlackWidow X keyboards can be found here.