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Razer strips down its best mechanical keyboard with the BlackWidow X

Razer’s BlackWidow line of mechanical gaming keyboards are already packed with features like custom mechanical switches, per-key RGB lighting, and military grade metal inside to support it through the years. But these premium keyboards now have minimalist younger siblings in the form of the BlackWidow X collection.

These stripped-down versions of the BlackWidow line don’t cut the features where it counts, but chop down some design practices that, while aesthetically pleasing, aren’t entirely necessary.

The most striking change is the removal of the plastic piece that covers the top of the keyboard. This upper piece is usually wrapped in a matte black finish, and helps diffuse light from the keys while covering the bare metal inside. Instead, the BlackWidow X keyboards have no such coverage, opting for an exposed metal frame.

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But the BlackWidow X isn’t just one keyboard, it’s a whole series of them, five to be exact. Each version of the Razer BlackWidow now has an X variation with exposed metal frame and no macro keys. The X versions will all sell for $10 less than the original BlackWidow models, if you’d rather opt for the exposed look.

That means, at the top end, users will pay $160 for the full-sized BlackWidow X Chroma, or $130 for the BlackWidow X Chroma without a number pad. For those who don’t need fancy lighting, the BlackWidow X Ultimate will retail for $100, and the two non-blacklit versions will retail for $80 and $70 with and without a number pad, respectively.

All of the above mentioned keyboards are equipped with Razer’s own switches, which are rated for up to 80 million keystrokes, and are designed specifically for consistency and responsiveness in gaming. They’re excellent switches, but gamers who prefer something a little more classic will also be able to order from a limited selection of BlackWidow and BlackWidow X keyboards with Cherry MX Blue switches in them, at a price point lower than Razer’s first-party switches.

Perhaps best of all, there’s no wait for gamers who want to get their hands on these new keyboards, as Razer already has them up for sale on the Razer Zone store.