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Monday, June 16, 2014

Gadget Review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth keyboard

Review by Matt S. 

Razer makes good keyboards. I already said as much when I reviewed the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate a few weeks ago.

Razer, in fact, understands keyboards so well that it also understands that the maddeningly click noise that mechanical keyboards cause is the #1 cause of spousal homicide when the victim is a writer or some other person that spends a lot of time at home typing on a keyboard. *

(* May or may not be true)

Click click click clicky click click. As much as I love the ergonomics of mechanical keyboards, they do drive me nuts, and I do feel sorry for my better half who gets to listen to me using one for hours at a time. So Razer's gone and created a product for these people, and the BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth does a great job across the board.

The most obvious feature first - this keyboard is far, far quieter than most mechanical keyboards. Not as quiet as a non-mechanical keyboard such as what comes by default on a laptop, but quiet enough to mitigate the irritation from using one for typing for long periods of a time.

This sound dampening effect doesn't impact on the accuracy of the keys, with the Stealth as enjoyable and quick to type on as its predecessor. With that being said, the keys also feel somewhat stiff. This is the way mechanical keyboards work - the stiffer the keys the softer the noise, and the Stealth takes things as far as possible. The experience is still far better than a conventional keyboard, but those who like minimal resistance from their typing might need to simply tolerate the noise of a different keyboard.

Otherwise, the Stealth works much the same was as the other models in the series. It's lightweight and compact, and there's some software features that allow people to customise how bright the keys glow, and do forth.

Given that the Ultimate Stealth is the same price as the Ultimate - $229 AU RRP - it is perhaps a little feature light. There's a minimum of ports for peripherals, and while there's all the standard features you'd expect from a gaming keyboard - macros and the like, the only thing that really makes this keyboard stand out is the noise dampening features.

So perhaps as a gaming device, the Stealth is outclassed by some other keyboards on the market for both price and technology. But for people who want to use a mechanical keyboard for a wider range of purposes - and avoid driving everyone else in the house insane in the process - this is a very good choice indeed.

- Matt S. 
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld

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Gadget Review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth keyboard
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