Many things need to be taken into account when building your own computer from scratch or when upgrading it. Many people are content to just buy a desktop from a computer store and have it ready to go for web surfing and email checking, but there are people who take pride in having built their own computers and although mine is now getting old, I am proud to be a part of that group. Even for those who get them straight out of a box, many customizations are available to make using the computer more fun or efficient. This is where getting an awesome keyboard can come in.
I was first introduced to mechanical keyboards when I went over to the house of one of my friends and watched him play Battlefield 3 on the PC and heard the clickity-clack of his keyboard. I was really confused as to why it made so much noise and he told me that he had a mechanical keyboard (though there are plenty of quiet ones too). I asked if I could try it and he let me, and from that point I fell in love with the feel of the non-traditional keyboard. After minimal research, I looked to get one for myself and settled on the Razer Black Widow Ultimate mechanical keyboard (with blue backlit keys). Unfortunately I was broke and in high school at the time, so I couldn't get it immediately, but I was able to find it on a great sale for $80.
I have had the keyboard for about five years now and have been very happy with it almost the whole time. It had a great feel, ease of comfort, a good angle to keep your wrists from hurting even after many hours of use (I would play League of Legends for 8 hours and not have a problem), and amazing backlit keys that were both beautiful and functional for whenever I needed to see where my fingers were. My typing speed increased both from enjoying using the keyboard (making me practice more often) and from not having to depress the keys as far with increased response time from the keyboard.
I have, however, had two major problems with it. The first was an annoyance though not a deal-breaker. In the past year or so of use, it developed a problem that occurred after my computer was not used but left on for a few hours (usually causing my computer to enter sleep mode). After I entered my password in the lock screen to log onto my account, my computer would act as though the "enter" key was being held until I unplugged the keyboard from the USB port in the back. This didn't happen every time but was fairly common. It was a very quick fix but annoying to have to unplug my keyboard and wait a moment before using it. The second problem was much more severe, in that it killed my keyboard. I was receiving update notices from Razer, saying that there was a firmware update for my keyboard. I ignored it for quite some time but a few days ago (on April 26th) I decided to update it. After the update I was unable to use my keyboard but was warned that this would happen until I restarted my computer. I restarted it but my keyboard was still unresponsive. I checked the USB ports and they still worked, but my keyboard was not being recognized by my computer. I used a different keyboard to search for the problem and found a solution that was supposed to work by uninstalling the new firmware and installing a previous version, but it did not work for me. My keyboard is sadly still dead.
After this semester ends I will try to revive it as I have had a great experience with it and have loved the way that it feels, exempting the two problems above. However I am prepared for the worst and have already looked into alternatives. It's amazing how quickly I started looking as soon as I was forced to return to a standard keyboard. I have decided that I will probably get the Logitech G710+ mechanical gaming keyboard if I can't revive my Razer Black Widow Ultimate, as it seems to fit my criterea and I have several other Logitech products with which I am happy.
Overall if you asked in the first several years that I owned the Black Widow Ultimate, I would have given it a perfect 10/10. I liked everything about it and didn’t find any problems. However with the addition of my two recent problems with it, I would lower that to an 8/10. Though they were major problems they didn't occur until about 5 years into the life of a well used keyboard and according to the internet have been fixed before. If I end up getting the Logitech keyboard I will share my thoughts on that as well.
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard
Amazon Price: $129.99 $126.62 Buy Now
(price as of May 3, 2015)