Razer has introduced the market's 'first' mechanical keyboard designed specifically for gaming. Like any mechanical keyboard (see our review of the Das Professional
), the BlackWidow
boasts superior tactile feedback, but its formula is a bit different. Razer claims that most competing products have stiff keys that tire fingers, making them a poor choice for gaming and that's why pros opt for membrane products.
The new creation solves that problem by reducing the vertical travel distance needed to register a keystroke. Keys are triggered at around the halfway mark. Additionally, the BlackWidow supposedly has one of the lightest actuation forces of any keyboard, so typing should be much faster than other mechanical keyboards -- all without sacrificing the clackity racket that'll drive your roommates crazy.
Other features include fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording, 10 customizable profiles, five dedicated macro/gaming buttons, and common multimedia controls. The BlackWidow is currently listed in Razer's online store for $80
with an estimated ship date of September 21. A $130 "Ultimate" model
adds a USB port, audio and mic jacks, and backlit keys with five levels of lighting.