Razer BlackWidow X Chroma (Keyboard Review)

Razer’s new mechanical switches are designed to “actuate at an optimal distance”, to provide the best speed and responsiveness for fast-paced gaming. In plain English, this means that Razer’s keys have a 1.9mm actuation point, which is between 0.1mm and 0.3mm less than conventional Cherry MX keys. In practical terms it means buttons don’t need to be pressed down as far to register a click.
The Razer’s keys also have a 0.4mm reset point, so buttons don’t have to bounce back as far to be ready for another input. That, again, is a little lower than Cherry’s hardware.

Razer has developed these switches to enable keys to be hit with more speed than conventional Cherry keys, but it’s worth bearing in mind that SteelSeries has gone further: the M800’s keys have an actuation point of only 1.5mm. While this will make the buttons feel shallower than the Razer’s keys, some users may prefer that lighter typing mechanism.
The Razer’s heavier touch is borne out by its 50g operating force. That falls between the most common Cherry switches, but it’s 5g more than is required to register a key press on the SteelSeries unit.

The BlackWidow X Chroma is packed with its own hardware, and it’s been built to handle plenty of action. Razer says this unit has an 80 million keystroke lifespan – 20 million more than the M800 although in real terms you’re likely to spill your Mountain Dew on it before the keys wear out.

There are several small differences between the two units, then, and they help to emphasise the different objectives of the BlackWidow X Chroma and the SteelSeries Apex M800 keyboards.


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