Razer BlackWidow 2013 Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Posted November 29, 2012 by Michael Chang in Reviews
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Razer BlackWidow, Revamped

Contrary to popular belief, mechanical keyboards have been around for an extremely long time, and as much as you loved that IBM Model M you had back in the day (yes, that’s mechanical!), they were more expensive to manufacture and thus more expensive to purchase in comparison to the “newer” (at the time) membrane keyboards on the market.

Since price is always an important factor when purchasing a new product, keyboard manufacturers, OEMs, and us (consumers) shifted towards membrane keyboards instead. Problem is, well membrane keyboards suck – they break often and the keys feel mushy. In applications such as gaming, where timing and keyboard reliability is critical, the demand for mechanical keyboards was obvious.

While I generally like to credit Das Keyboard for starting the big “resurgence” back to mechanical keyboards for general use, I also like to give credit to Razer and their BlackWidow line of keyboards for really driving awareness of mechanical keyboards in the gaming world. First unveiled all the way back in late 2010, the original Razer BlackWidow/BlackWidow Ultimate was probably the first mechanical keyboard oriented for gamers on the market and it quickly became one of the most popular as well.

Today we will be reviewing the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013 Edition. This is Razer’s first refresh of the BlackWidow Ultimate since its introduction in late 2010 and while most of the core features are identical (Cherry MX Blue keyswitches, dedicated macro keys, USB/audio passthroughs, game mode, etc.), there are a number of key improvements to the design.

  1. The glossy finish is now a matte finish.
  2. Razer is now offering 10KRO (key rollover) rather than 6KRO.
  3. The BlackWidow 2013 is designed from the ground up to work with Razer’s new cloud based Synapse 2.0 software.
  4. Razer is now going with green rather than blue backlighting, which better fits Razer’s company colors of green and black.

That said, it’s no longer 2010 and a whole slew of manufacturers have entered the mechanical keyboard market with their own offerings. Does the Razer still have the edge? Hit the jump to find out!

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Edition 2013 Specifications

  • Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force
  • individually backlit keys
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
  • Programable keys with on-the-fly cacro recording
  • Gaming mode option for deactivation of the windows key
  • 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
  • 5 additional macro keys
  • Gaming optimized key matrix for minimized ghosting
  • Multi-Media Controls
  • Braided fiber cable
  • Audio-Out / Mic-in Jacks
  • USB-Passthrough
  • Approximate Size: 475mm/18.70″(Width) x 171mm / 6.73:(height) x 30mm /1.18″ (Depth)
  • Approximate Weight 1500g / 3.31lbs

About the Author

Michael Chang

During the day Michael Chang is a Process Integration Engineer, where he researches and develops MEMS technologies for logic and memory testing. He has been a tech enthusiast for well over a decade and applies his analytic mind to both his reviews and work.

  • David

    This is such a nice mechanical keyboard

  • http://www.facebook.com/rip.ripster Rip Ripster

    Nice complete review! Loved the pics especially and complete testing.

    Congrats, your review has been featured at reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/147ajm/razer_blackwidow_2013_ultimate_mechanical_gaming/Reddit!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Chang/3330118 Michael Chang

      Thanks its good to know that people want to see the stabilizer on the space bar will take a mental note and do it for future reviews.

  • Sam

    Noting Razer propaganda and Marketing. Old Razer BW Sucked, new one isn’t much better.

    • Jordan

      I can understand this view on their headsets (much better options out there, gaming and otherwise) but they’re keyboards seem to have many a good review! I’ve never owned one but I’m tempted by this model.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yukisorcerer David Chang

    available on Amazon for $121.99.. is there any way to get it for any cheaper?

    • Jordan

      Could try Overclockers.co.uk though I’m not sure on their international delivery rates.

  • http://twitter.com/zerouse7en Duy Tran

    Review about Razer DeathAdder 2013, please :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.russo.980 David Russo

    I reccomend this keybaord , i was also sceptical apon razer when my deathadder broke. I went in to the local store and tried the black widow ultimate demo , i was amazed on how it felt , how fast i could type , flawles typing and how i fell in love , $160 dollars later , its next to my sexy white gaming pc ;]

  • Egemen

    Hello, thank you for review.

    I just bought this keyboard but I guess it is previous editon of Ultimate. Is there any difference beside the green light than blue one? I like it, but also having some trouble about this. Thanks to my local stores we get 1 year later most of computer parts with price doubled.

    • Andrew

      there is 6 key rollover on the old blue edition plus on the new green edition they have slightly changed the actuation difference but not that much of a different feel also there is a green backplate on the keyboard to increase the intensity and effect of the glow oh and it’s also a matte finish on the 2013 edition and a gloss on yours but there isn’t all that much difference :P

  • TDA

    Just bought and waiting for mine to arrive…but I’m already pissed off that they have removed the possibility to change the color of the leds (2012 version could).