Can we fall in love with a material object? Yes! if it's called the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2
Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 is the TKL (Ten Key Less) version of the flagship keyboard of the Razer range, the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, which, in its first incarnation, we reviewed in this article a few years ago. With the Tournament Edition Chroma V2, Razer once again expresses its interest in the world of eSports, which, unlike many other producers, does not manifest itself only with the hustle and bustle of some famous player, but is concretely implemented with the sponsorship of important events and with the creation of products specifically intended for the competitive world. The new Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2, as you will read later, it therefore contains the best of Razer technology and above all the new ones Razer Switch Yellow .
The Taiwanese company has always paid a lot of attention to details and especially to packaging, but with this Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 has definitely surpassed itself. The keyboard comes in a package with the classic colors of the company, black and green, in turn protected by a transparent film also branded Razer, which protects the aesthetics from accidental bumps and scratches. On the front stands a large image of the product which highlights the RGB “Chroma” functions and a sticker, on the right side, which indicates the type of switch present on the board, in our case the Yellow version.
On the back of the package there are the classic technical information and a box that indicates the differences between the different types of switches available for this keyboard: Yellow, Green, Orange.
It is when you open the box, however, that you really feel the care and attention with which this keyboard was built.
The keyboard is locked between two very thick foam supports that prevent movement and is covered by a transparent plastic cover. Inside a thin smoky gray film, there are the removable MiniUSB sleeveless cable, with a length of about 2m, and above all a wonderful leatherette wrist rest with magnetic coupling and memory foam padding, on which the classic snake is "engraved" three heads of the Razer logo. Under the cover, in a special pocket obtained in the upper part of the package, the traditional "welcome" material in the Razer world. The box thanks to the clever keyboard lock system, can also be reused to carry the keyboard during your outdoor sessions.
The keyboard, thanks to the elimination of the keypad on the right side and the macro keys on the left, appears decidedly compact, with dimensions of 36,5cm in length and 15cm in depth, to which must be added another 9 cm for the wrist rest. Nonetheless, the spacing, as well as the size of the keys, is the standard of all other Razer products. The keyboard has a pronounced angle even without the use of the two solid feet on the bottom, with a height in the back of 3cm (4,5cm using the feet) and 2cm in the front to form a very comfortable angle of inclination.
Also very interesting is the structure of the keys. The first two rows starting from the bottom - to be clear those of the CTRL and SHIFT keys - are parallel to the work surface while the others follow the angle of the keyboard. Razer has thus created a very slight concave curvature that improves typing comfort and the position of the hand on the keyboard. The keys are also slightly recessed and this favors the uniformity of the RGB LED lighting. Finally, on the bottom, four rubber supports prevent the keyboard from sliding on smoother surfaces.
The plastics with which the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 they are of a very high quality: rough for the main structure, opaque and slightly rubberized those instead of the frets. The supporting structure of the keyboard is also extremely rigid and well assembled and no creaking or bending of any kind is noticeable, even by applying considerable pressure in the traditionally weakest points, such as the space above the directional arrows. The keyboard has a considerable weight (grams ...) which prevents involuntary movements even during the most excited game phases and in general the impression is that of a keyboard that could resist even a hurricane, or the most destructive rage quit.
Ergonomics and functionality
Before proceeding with the analysis of the specific features of this Razer, let's summarize the technical specifications:
- Razer ™ mechanical keys with 50g actuating force
- Duration of 80 million characters
- Customizable Razer Chroma backlight with 16,8 million color options
- Compact layout
- Ergonomic wrist support
- Compatible with Razer Synapse
- 10-key rollover with anti-ghosting functionality
- Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- Game mode option
- Ultrapolling 1 000 Hz
- Instant Activation Technology
- Detachable braided fiber cable with cable tie
TKL keyboards, i.e. without the numeric keypad on the right side, are expressly dedicated to gamers. Not only are they easier to carry around during esports events or lan parties, but by freeing up space on the desk, they leave more space for the mouse on the desk. The particular ergonomics of the keyboard and the excellent spacing of the keys, however, make the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 a great keyboard also for simple text typing.
The keyboard, as we have already said, is equipped with switch razer yellow, latest creation from Razer's research and development department. As you can see in the screenshot below, the yellow switches are new generation mechanical switches that have features specifically designed for all games where timing and speed of execution are essential. They are in fact equipped with a point of implementation at just 1,2 mm and a total excursion of 3,5 mm, the lowest values among the mechanical switches produced by the company. It is also about linear and silent switches with a force of implementation of just 45g which blends the best of Cherry's traditional red and black switches found on the vast majority of gaming keyboards. The innovation must have been so liked by the players, that even Cherry had to run for cover by presenting a solution with the same characteristics as the Razer Yellow switches, the Cherry MX Speed.
Limited actuation and activation force to just 1,2 mm therefore make the keyboard Lightning fast not only for fast-paced games like FPS or MOBAs, but also an excellent keyboard for typing. Despite having a silent typing compared to a normal mechanical keyboard, the particular tactile and sound feedback helps to avoid typing errors.
However, if you are among those who prefer a more pronounced sound feedback, so to speak similar to that supplied with the Cherry MX blue switches, the advice is to choose Green or Orange switch. The ease of use is then enhanced by the presence of a memory foam padded wrist rest, one of the best we've ever tried in many years to try and try keyboards again. Inclination, softness of the padding material and magnetic hooking make it incredibly comfortable and once you try it you will hardly do without it.
If we still haven't managed to convince you, you should know that this Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 is one of the first keyboards in the company to be equipped with proprietary technology. Instant Trigger Technology (ITT) intended for the most demanding players or those applications, such as eSports where even thousandths of a second count.
Understanding how ITT works requires a brief introduction to the functioning of the keyboards we use every day. Each keyboard can be considered a real mini computer, with its CPU and its internal circuitry, the keymatrix. Each time you press a button, the switch is activated that allows the passage that closes the circuit allowing the passage of an electrical signal, which stops once the pressure is finished. While typing, it is possible to generate what in electronics are defined as "bounce" or multiple signals that do not correspond to the single pressure and reset of the key. The job of a keyboard processor is precisely to avoid bouncing, that is, to ensure that only one signal is sent to the computer when the key is pressed or released. The debouncing operated by the keyboard's CPU takes a certain time, albeit in the order of hundredths of a second, to filter out multiple signals, and it is precisely on this, albeit minimal delay, that Razer has intervened with its ITT.
As soon as it detects the actuation of the key, or the reset, ITT sends the signal to the system without waiting for the debouncing, making communication between the keyboard and the system practically immediate. As you can imagine, this is a technology that you will probably not even notice in daily use, but which can offer you some advantages in competitive applications where even a hundredth of a second can make a difference.
Like all Razer products, the additional features of the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2, can be managed through Razer Synapse software, an incredibly advanced unified configuration software that allows you to manage all Razer products. Specifically, the Synapse software allows you to assign a function to each key of the Blackwidow, configure the macro keys by recording a series of combinations, create customized profiles and then save everything on the cloud, so as not to lose anything, even in the in case you need to move or change your peripheral. With the Tournament edition, the Tournament functionality has also been added, which allows you to save your configurations on a file and use them even in the absence of an internet connection and connection to the cloud.
It is also possible via Synapse configure the backlight color scheme for groups of keys, key by key or even create your own that you can then share with other users. Needless to say, you will find some really incredible ones on the net, testifying to how incredibly active the Razer community is. The software also allows the management and synchronization of all the other Razer peripherals automatically detected once installed on the machine and with which it is possible to create additional customized patterns.
Another interesting feature of the Razer Synapse is the Chroma apps. Razer has developed a special SDK that software houses can use to create custom RGB lighting patterns. Thus it is possible that for a given game only the keys that can be used by the application, or those to be pressed on certain occasions in the game, are illuminated. Or, again, the lighting can be used to represent particular game states, a low health level or the origin of the opponent's attacks. A list of supported apps and games is available here on Chroma Workshops.
As you may have guessed Synapse is the main tool for managing Chroma RGB lighting. Unlike the products of other manufacturers that rely on third parties, as we said Razer uses proprietary switches and is therefore able to optimally manage the keyboard lighting. Here the LEDs are completely invisible being located directly below the keys and this design choice returns a uniform and high-impact overall vision.
Thanks to Synapse you will be able to choose different lighting patterns: static with a particular color in the entire RGB spectrum (16,8 million colors), Breathing, Reactive, Alternative Spectrum, Wave and Ripple.
The first simulates the breathing of a living being by means of a slow pulsating light, the third responds with a luminous feedback to the pressure of the keys. Alternate spectrum gradually and cyclically changes the color of the keyboard, Onda, on the other hand, as the word suggests, creates a particular continuous multicolored wave, while Ripple creates, with each typing, a spectacular "stone thrown into a pond" effect, with waves of colors that reverberate towards the other keys.
The only note that can be made to this keyboard probably concerns the RGB patterns. In some of the latest hardware revisions of Chroma products, new chromatic effects have been implemented, such as STARLIGHT which attempts to reproduce a starry sky with random sparkling lights and FIRE which simulates the effect of moving flames. We honestly cannot understand why Razer has chosen to keep some of its products out of the possibility of using these preset patterns, then leaving the possibility to recreate them manually.
Despite the TKL format that never got me excited, Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 it's probably one of the most comfortable keyboards I've ever tried. In about two months of use I particularly appreciated the speed of typing and above all the great convenience even for writing very long texts guaranteed by a decidedly effective palm rest, a feature not very common on gaming keyboards.
Although I am not a professional gamer, the limited implementation times and the great reactivity guaranteed by ITT technology, were also evident for me, especially in some FPS like Doom and Counter Strike. To this formula, already explosive in itself, is added a truly bewitching design that finds its maximum expression in a very advanced RGB system and above all in a manufacturing care that probably has no equal.
The Razer Blackwidow Chroma Tournament Edition V2 ultimately deserves our highest accolade even considering a price, 139 euros on Amazon, completely in line if not even lower than other competitors.