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Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard Review - Mechanically superior? Just mechanical?

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Razer

Keybinding Info: 3-Key Jamming List

Again in a perfect world, a keyboard would register every keystroke and in the appropriate order pressed. To keep costs down companies try to find ways to make their keyboards fail in the least annoying ways for the effort put in. An ideal scenario would be NKRO which means that every key can be pressed down at once; unfortunately that is not possible over a USB connection.

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Don’t worry! The Razer BlackWidow can still report Caboose’s team-kills.

Furthermore, some keyboards do not isolate all keys which mean that some combinations of as little as three keys can look the same to the keyboard controller as four or five keys and create false keystrokes. This situation is known as ghosting: keys are being pressed that were never pressed. Keyboards include anti-ghosting logic which prevents these extra keypresses -- at the expense of also ignoring the legitimate one. Anti-ghosting technology does not solve problems; anti-ghosting trades off one problem for another less annoying one. A true NKRO keyboard, assuming the manufacturer is honest about its capability, is immune to both problems since there is no ambiguity even when every key is pressed simultaneously. Below is a picture of the Rosewill RK-9000 under a PS/2 connection. A textbook is pressing almost every key down on the main body of the keyboard with the exception of backslash, enter, and F12; the textbook was not large enough to reach and keep those keys pressed for a screenshot otherwise they would have registered as well.

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What an NKRO keyboard should look like with every key pressed except F12, \, and Enter.

While this list is not complete, it contains a very large set of 3-key jamming combinations that I have found. I took special care for both right-handed (WSAD) and left-handed (arrow key) gamers. There are bound to be key combinations that I have missed since there are 209,934 (109-choose-3) of them. I did, however, try a larger portion of those 210k combinations over the last week than I care to admit.

If you see a key combination listed below it will not work on the Razer BlackWidow. This is a hardware issue and unless Razer did something fishy and slightly insane it should not be fixed by firmware upgrades since it requires physically adding isolating diodes to the key matrix of the keyboard itself. Allow this to be a reference to yourself if you are creating a new key-binding system for your game.

Right-Handed

  • Tilde + Tab + 1
  • Tilde + Tab + 2
  • Tilde + Tab + 3
  • Tilde + Tab + 4
  • Tilde + Tab + 5
  • Tilde + Tab + 6
  • Tilde + Tab + Q
  • Tilde + Tab + R
  • Tilde + Tab + Y
  • Tilde + Tab + Z
  • Tilde + Capslock + 1
  • Tilde + Capslock + 2
  • Tilde + Capslock + 3
  • Tilde + Capslock + 4
  • Tilde + Capslock + 5
  • Tilde + Capslock + 6
  • Tilde + 1 + F1
  • Tilde + 1 + F4
  • Tilde + 2 + F4
  • Tilde + 2 + F6
  • Tilde + 3 + F4
  • Tilde + 4 + F2
  • Tilde + 4 + F4
  • Tilde + Tab + F7
  • LCtrl + 4 + z
  • LCtrl + 5 + 8
  • LCtrl + 6 + 9
  • LCtrl + 7 + Z
  • LCtrl + W + 8
  • LCtrl + 9 + [
  • LCtrl + 9 + ,
  • LCtrl + Q + I
  • LCtrl + Q + X
  • LCtrl + R + P
  • LCtrl + R + G (Can't reload while holding a grenade while crouching?)
  • LCtrl + R + K
  • LCtrl + R + V
  • LCtrl + Z + T
  • LCtrl + Y + O
  • LCtrl + Y + A
  • LCtrl + Y + L
  • LCtrl + Y + M
  • LCtrl + Z + C
  • LCtrl + LShift + Tab
  • LCtrl + Tab + F
  • LCtrl + Tab + U
  • LCtrl + Tab + Tilde
  • Space + 0 + /
  • Space + W + N
  • Space + ] + \
  • Space + ] + S
  • Space + ] + '
  • Space + \ + S
  • Space + D + /
  • Space + H + N
  • Space + L + M
  • Space + . + /
  • LAlt + Tilde + U
  • Lalt + 1 + I
  • LAlt + 7 + T
  • LAlt + 9 + [
  • Lalt + 0 + D
  • Lalt + Backspace + Enter
  • LAlt + Q + I
  • LAlt + R + P
  • LAlt + Y + O
  • LAlt + I + X
  • LAlt + A + O
  • Lalt + L + O
  • LAlt + O + M
  • LAlt + P + G
  • LAlt + P + V
  • Lalt + [ + ,
  • LAlt + D + .
  • LAlt + D + /
  • LShift + Tilde + U
  • LShift + 1 + I
  • LShift + 2 + O
  • LShift + 3 + P
  • LShift + 4 + 7
  • LShift + 6 + [
  • LShift + 7 + T
  • LShift + 7 + J
  • LShift + 7 + Z
  • LShift + 7 + C
  • LShift + 7 + RShift
  • LShift + = + '
  • LShift + Backspace + Enter
  • LShift + Backspace + RShift
  • LShift + Q + I
  • LShift + R + P
  • LShift + Y + O
  • LShift + F + U
  • LShift + U + RShift
  • LShift + X + I
  • LShift + I + RShift
  • LShift + A + O
  • LShift + O + L
  • LShift + M + O
  • LShift + O + RShift
  • LShift + P + G
  • LShift + P + K
  • LShift + P + V
  • LShift + P + RShift
  • LShift + [ + ,
  • LShift + [ + RShift
  • LShift + S + RShift
  • LShift + D + ,
  • LShift + D + .
  • LShift + D + RShift
  • LShift + N + RShift
  • LShift + M + RShift
  • LShift + / + RShift
  • Tab + 1 + Q
  • Tab + 2 + Y
  • Tab + 3 + R
  • Tab + 4 + Z
  • Tab + 5 + 8
  • Tab + 7 + U
  • Tab + 7 + Z
  • Tab + 8 + W
  • Tab + 8 + U
  • Tab + 8 + F
  • Tab + 8 + N
  • Tab + 9 + U
  • Tab + 9 + [
  • Tab + Capslock + 9
  • Tab + 9 + F
  • Tab + 9 + ,
  • Tab + 0 + F
  • Tab + = + U
  • Tab + Backspace + U
  • Tab + Q + U
  • Tab + Q + F
  • Tab + Q + X
  • Tab + Q + B
  • Tab + R + U
  • Tab + R + P
  • Tab + R + Capslock
  • Tab + R + F
  • Tab + R + G
  • Tab + R + K
  • Tab + R + V
  • Tab + T + Z
  • Tab + Y + U
  • Tab + Y + O
  • Tab + Y + Capslock
  • Tab + Y + A
  • Tab + Y + F
  • Tab + Y + L
  • Tab + Y + M
  • Tab + U + I
  • Tab + U + O
  • Tab + U + P
  • Tab + U + [
  • Tab + U + D
  • Tab + U + Z
  • Tab + Capslock + '
  • Tab + Capslock + Enter
  • Tab + Capslock + Z
  • Tab + Capslock + X
  • Tab + Capslock + C
  • Tab + Capslock + V
  • Tab + F + Z
  • Tab + Z + C
  • W + A + H
  • W + S + N
  • W + D + .
  • A + S + M
  • S + D + /
  • W + E + ;
  • W + R + K
  • A + R + Y
  • A + R + G
  • E + F + U
  • Q + Z + X
  • Q + Z + C
  • Q + A + B
  • Q + A + Y
  • W + V + K
  • W + Z + J

Left Handed

  • Up + Down + Num5
  • UP + Down + Num8
  • Up + Down + NumLock
  • Left + Right + Num5
  • Left + Right + Num8
  • Left + Right + NumLock
  • NumLock + Num7 + Num1
  • NumLock + Num7 + Num2
  • NumLock + Num9 + Num3
  • NumLock + Num3 + Num0
  • NumLock + Num3 + Num.
  • NumLock + Num/ + Num+
  • Ins + Home + PgUp
  • Del + End + PgDn
  • , + . + /
  • , + . + [
  • Space + RAlt + ]
  • Backslash + Ins + Home
  • Enter + End + PgDown
  • Enter + End + Ins
  • RCtrl + Left + Right
  • RCtrl + Up + Down
  • LCtrl + Ins + Home

Again this is not a complete list but contains as many combinations as possible that could potentially annoy a gamer.

September 9, 2011 | 04:39 AM - Posted by Bryan (not verified)

Razer has another run of widow keyboards using brown cherry switches, called the stealth edition. ( A quieter alternative to the regular line.)

September 9, 2011 | 01:45 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah that product line was announced while I was reviewing this one. Oh well.

September 10, 2011 | 02:54 AM - Posted by Bryan (not verified)

Razer is on a product spree at the moment.

The whole BF3 themed orange versions of Widow Ultimate, Imperator mouse, scarab mouse pad and Onza Tournament.

As well as the Razer Blade.

Any bets on a Razor OS soon?

September 9, 2011 | 11:43 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

I have this keyboard and love it. I find it nicer to use than the Razer Lycosas' I have. The back-lighting is also more evenly distributed.

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