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Razer updates its killer BlackWidow keyboard with dust and splash resistance

BlackWidow Ultimate
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Razer said on Tuesday, November 14 that it updated its BlackWidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard with resistance to water and dust. Slated to be available worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2017, the new model will join a long line of BlackWidow-branded mechanical keyboards released since 2010. Just in 2016 alone, Razer introduced five versions of its popular keyboard for gamers spanning from a BlackWidow Ultimate update to the BlackWidow X Chroma edition.

“We’ve never stopped making improvements to our gaming keyboards,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is now more durable than ever and our first mechanical keyboard to incorporate water- and dust-resistant features.”

The version slated to arrive this quarter is IP54 rated. The “5” means the keyboard is protected against dust, which in turn indicates that it’s not completely sealed. Simply put, harmful dust particles won’t collect within the device to a point that normal operation is disrupted. Meanwhile, the “4” means the keyboard’s enclosure is protected against splashing water from any direction, but there’s no saving this keyboard if it’s thrown into the toilet or a pool.

Razer didn’t mention any other revisions outside the keyboard’s new IP54 certification. The BlackWidow Ultimate is based on the company’s proprietary mechanical “green” switches designed for gaming, promising up to 80 million key presses versus the 50 million presses seen with competing switches. They’re also designed to provide a tactile “clicky” feedback so you know your key command reached its destination. Each switch consists of a high-quality spring requiring 50G of force to actuate.

For this IP54-rated model, each key is lit with a green LED that is customizable through the company’s Synapse desktop software. Here users can set visual effects for the green backlighting including Wave, Ripple, Reactive, Starlight, and others. If you’re looking for RGB illumination, the BlackWidow X Chroma is Razer’s latest RGB-based keyboard effort, and will likely be followed by an updated IP54-based model sometime in 2018.

In addition to the visual effects, owners can use Razer’s software to record macros on the fly. By hitting the FN and F9 buttons together, you can immediately type the keys you want to record, and then press the FN and F9 buttons together again to stop. After that, press the desired key where the macro will be saved and accessed later.

Here are the full specifications of the BlackWidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard:

Switches: Razer Green
Switch actuation force: 50g
Switch life: 80 million keystrokes
Backlighting: Green LED
Ports: 1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x USB pass-through
USB polling rate: 1,000Hz
Max simultaneous input support: 10 keys
Connection: USB braided fiber cable
Dimensions: 7.98 (L) x 6.02 (W) x 2.36 (H) inches
Weight: 0.77 pounds

You can purchase the updated BlackWidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard now through Razer for $110. It will be made available worldwide within the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Kevin Parrish
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