When I reviewed the vanilla BlackWidow Ultimate a couple of years back, I called it one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market – and that still holds true. Now we’ve got the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma, which features all the high-quality design and features of its predecessor, but now has the added benefit of extensively customisable backlighting. It’s also sporting a matte finish, which will appeal to anyone who disliked the glossy materials used in previous models of the BlackWidow.

Technical specifications

Keys: Razer Mechanical Switches, backlit

Anti-ghosting: up to ten simultaneous key presses

Inputs: 1 x USB, 3.5mm jacks for audio and mic

Macro keys: five

Price and supplier information
Supplier: Razer
Website: www.razerzone.com
RRP: R2,699


The keyboard itself remains a pleasure to use. Razer’s mechanical switches provide a nicely tactile typing experience, complete with satisfying clickety-clacks – although Razer also offers the BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma Stealth, which promises softer, less noisy keystrokes if you’re so inclined. Its design is rooted in quality, with only the best components and materials used to ensure that the keyboard will survive even the most violent of LAN-based apocalypses. Maybe. The important thing is that it’ll feel like you got what you paid so much money for with the BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma. A particularly useful addition is the included USB passthrough, as well as built-in 3.5mm jacks for audio and mic.

Its backlighting is managed via Razer’s Synapse software, which lets you flip between and customise a number of different lighting modes. One mode smoothly transitions between a range of random colours. Another causes a funky wave of RGB backlighting to roll across the keys in the direction of your choice. There’s a particularly fancy mode which reacts to your key presses, highlighting keys that you’ve recently pressed before fading to black again. The colour customisation is a nifty addition, but it’s obviously not the sort of thing that should make you want to upgrade to the Chroma right this instant. It’s more like an added extra if you’ve got cash to burn. Overall though, it remains an excellent, but very expensive keyboard, one that deserves a spot in our Dream Machine.

Speaking of the Dream Machine, you can check it out by venturing through this rabbit hole.

9 It’s every bit as lovely as the BlackWidow Ultimate has always been. Now with added colours!