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Razer's updated BlackWidow Chroma keyboard gets yellow and a comfy wrist rest

Why it matters to you

This is a refresh of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma mechanical keyboard, providing a new switch option for FPS and MOBA gamers.

After launching the original BlackWidow mechanical keyboard in 2010, Razer now adds another version to its huge arsenal with the launch of the BlackWidow Chroma V2. It builds upon the previous Chroma-based model by adding a third key switch option and a magnetically attached wrist rest that can be easily removed when it’s not needed.

The first version of Razer’s BlackWidow Chroma keyboard is sold with the company’s in-house-developed Green or Orange mechanical switches. The Green version is what Razer calls its “best in class” for PC gaming performance, providing a distinctive click, a fast actuation, and a fast response. The Orange version is similar in performance, only it aims to be silent. Both are validated for esports and have a durability of up to 80 million keystrokes.

More: Razer could be planning to put flexible OLED displays in your keyboard and mouse

New to the switch series is the Razer Yellow model. It’s designed for FPS and MOBA gamers who are frantically pounding on keyboard keys thousands of times per session. It’s “linear and silent,” enabling keys to be pressed faster than those using the Green and Orange switches. It also promises a lifespan of up to 80 million keystrokes, 30 million more than the average mechanical keyboard switch offered in other non-Razer solutions.

“We’ve made improvements across the board and are still the only company designing keyboard switches made specifically for gaming,” Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This is the best mechanical keyboard we’ve ever produced.”

Like the first BlackWidow Chroma model, the new V2 unit features keys that are individually backlit and support 16.8 million colors. This lighting system is powered by the company’s proprietary Chroma platform that is customizable through Razer’s free Synapse software. There are lighting effects to spice up PC gaming too such as wave, spectrum cycling, reactive, and more. Templates can be made and uploaded for others to use through the Razer Chroma Workshop.

The new Chroma V2 model includes a USB passthrough port for connecting a gaming mouse or other peripherals directly to the keyboard. It also provides 3.5mm four-pole audio passthrough jacks so that headphone and microphone cables aren’t draped across the desktop space. The keyboard’s multi-cord cable is covered in braided fiber to prevent wear and tear, and accidental nicks that could cause connectivity issues.

Here are a few additional hardware tidbits:

  • 50g actuation force using Razer Green switches
  • 45g actuation force using Razer Orange or Yellow switches
  • 10 key rollover anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys
  • On-the-fly macro recording
  • Five dedicated macro keys (left)
  • 1,000Hz ultra polling
  • Size: 18.72 x 6.74 x 1.54 inches
  • Weight: 3.31 pounds

The new Chroma V2 unit marks Razer’s ninth BlackWidow mechanical keyboard currently sold on the company’s website. This PC arsenal includes two Tournament Edition models without lighting, two Ultimate models with green backlighting, two Tournament Edition Chroma models supporting 16.8 million colors, and two larger Chroma units. Each pair consists of an ‘X’ model that includes cable management for $10 less.

Here they all are:

As the table shows, the new BlackWidow Chroma V2 mechanical keyboard costs $170 despite whatever switch customers choose (Green, Orange, or Yellow). It’s available through Razer’s online shop now and will appear on store shelves across the globe later in January.