Razer's Take on Tenkeyless - Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 with Razer Orange Switches Review

Back again with another Razer product review, check out this gallery of unboxing images below...

★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

  • Physical characteristics
    • Build quality
      • The keyboard feels very solid and the material choice (mostly hard plastics) is sufficient
    • Size
      • The design is very compact with not a lot of "wasted space" for the frame of the keyboard.
    • Wrist wrest 
      • By far THE BEST included wrist wrest I've seen. It is soft but still firm enough to supply plenty of comfortable wrist support
    • Lighting
      • The lighting is very vibrant, customizable and clear
    • Design
      • The design is very clean and definitely not anything I would consider to be "gamery" in my opinion.
      • The overall aesthetic is really muted and tastefully executed in my opinion
    • Switches
      • The Razer Orange switches are quite comparable to cherry mx browns in my opinion. This makes for a great typing experience as well as a great gaming experience.
  • Software
    • Razer synapse 3 is pretty straightforward and easy to understand
    • Strange that it auto-launches the installer when plugged in to a new computer, but not an issue in my opinion

  • Some keys and characters are not backlit
    • Very strange but the FN key is THE ONLY key on the keyboard that does not have translucent printing to allow lighting to come through the typeface
    • The secondary characters/functions on keys are also not backlit. Not a huge deal breaker but it would nice if they were
  • Price
    • Paid $120 (pre-tax) for it. A bit on the pricey side vs some other TKL options out there.

Other Thoughts
Part 1) The Debate
I spent a lot of time debating on whether or not buying this keyboard was worth it. Here's a brain dump on some of the items I was internally debating…

1) Razer's price and quality. I had heard numerous times that Razer products are "overpriced" or "low quality". I didn't fully believe the low quality aspect because I have a few friends who have used their products and continue to use them without issue. I have also seen a fair amount of reviews that praise their products on YouTube but part of me was still skeptical of the overall "value".

2) The razer brand switches. I had seen that some people experienced a lot of issues with Razer's initial run of switches. Particularly with the green switches. I was a bit concerned that the same issue might come forth with these Orange switches since they had only recently come out with them. The Razer switches are supposedly made by Kailh/Kaihua and people have mentioned that QC isn't the greatest with Kailh/Kaihua switches.

3) The price. This is the most I would ever pay for a mechanical keyboard if I decided to get it. I had a chance to get this for $20 off of MSRP because Razer was running a promo on their website, but even with that discount, it still would be the largest amount of money I've spent on a keyboard.

4) The ecosystem. I was debating on if I really needed to have the keyboard be in the same ecosystem as my mouse (a Razer Basilisk). It would definitely be more of a want because I've done without this in the past. However, it can be annoying to have multiple different programs installed for each and every peripheral you use and trying to dial in the colors and effects to be the same can be a bit annoying.

I take some time to add a bit more additional information for some of the items above.

1 & 4) A large portion of the online community seems to have a disdain/hatred towards Razer products in general. Most of that judgement seems to centers around the price of their products and the supposed "value" you get for that price. Yes, not every Razer product may be worth the price but something that I feel people forget is that when you buy a keyboard, especially for gaming like in this situation, the entire experience of using that keyboard is deeper than just the physical product. In this case, you are also gaining access to Razer's software suite, RGB lighting and integration with games. For some, that is considered a value add.

Sure you can always make the case that you can get a "better value" product from some other manufacturer or of course by going the DIY route but everyone has different tastes and values different things. For me the main purpose of the keyboard I use at home is gaming. I still want a pleasant typing experience too, but in this situation since the primary goal is gaming, I leaned more towards purchasing a product that has the potential of better integration with games.

So, after deliberating on these reasons for a while I decided to go forward with the purchase. I am happy that I decided to give this keyboard a shot.

Part 2) The Product
We will start from the beginning of the experience with the unboxing. Razer does a great job with packaging and making the unboxing experience feel pleasant. Their "Welcome to the Cult of Razer" message inside of the keyboard box is a bit odd to say the least but otherwise the keyboard was wonderfully packed and protected. Removing the keyboard I was instantly surprised by the weight of it and just how solidly built it felt. It's constructed of durable feeling plastics and the included USB cable is nicely braided. I don't mind that it's a USB Mini B style connector either. I like that they include a quality wrist rest as well. It is easily attached and removed via magnets and I will give more opinions on that later.

After I had finished unboxing and setting up the keyboard the next thing to check out was the typing experience. I think Razer did a good job with these Orange switches. They are very reminiscent of Cherry MX Brown switches to me. They have a great tactile feel to them and aren't fatiguing to type on. The sounds of the switches are fairly muted but not "silent" like razer claims but neither are they annoyingly noisy. The keycaps feel fine as well. They don't feel like they are going to easily break. Overall, I feel "at home" typing on this keyboard which is great for me. I prefer and am used to tactile switches (Blue and Brown style) and I'm happy to report that these are pleasing to use. I'm interested to see what the longevity is for this keyboard but so far, the build quality provides good confidence that this should last if taken care of.

Now onto some additional features of the keyboard. Razer has been known for some of the best RGB lighting in the market. The LEDs do a good job of providing a pleasing glow and cleanly illuminate the characters on the keys. The white backplate behind the keys really helps the colors pop as well. The lighting is bright, clean, vibrant and customizable.

With Razer Synapse installed, I also got to experience the Razer Chroma lighting integration with games (Apex Legends in particular). I think it is a cool feature. For Apex legends, the keyboard and mouse change colors based on what is being displayed on the screen. I know there are many other games that support Razer Chroma as well so I'm interested to see what other ways it is used and what cool effects are implemented.

Another feature I want to praise Razer on is the wrist rest. It is without a doubt, THE BEST included wrist wrest I've ever used. I've purchased several keyboards that came with a wrist rest and every one of them have included a basic slab of plastic that doesn't really provide any support. This wrist rest is in a league of its own compared to those. It is very comfortable to use, matches the aesthetic of the keyboard well and the magnetic attachment system holds it securely in place. Kudos Razer!

Part 3) The Conclusion
I'm glad I decided to give Razer and this keyboard a shot. As pc gamers and consumers in general, everything we decide to purchase and use are based on subjective decisions. That's something that a lot of people seem to forget. Instead of passing judgement for someone's purchase decision and writing something off as "garbage" as a whole, it is best to form your own opinions if you have the means to do so. That's precisely what I did and continue to do with any purchasing decision I make. This is no exception and I'm happy to report that this keyboard was worth it for me.

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