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Razer BlackWidow Elite Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 03, 2020 at 08:59 am
Razer BlackWidow Elite Picture
Mixed usage
Connectivity Wired
Full-size (100%)

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a great keyboard. It's mainly designed for gaming thanks to its low pre-travel distance before actuation and overall design. It has a full RGB backlight and is very well-built. It comes in three different switch styles, so be sure to check out the variants and choose the one that's more appropriate for your needs. You can easily program macros and control music thanks to dedicated media keys, which are very useful.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed usage

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a very versatile keyboard for multiple uses. While it's designed for gaming thanks to its overall design and mechanical switches, it's a great option for the office or for programmers as well. You can choose between tactile or linear switches too, and can even get clicky switches too. Most people should find a variant of this keyboard that suits their preferences and needs.

  • Very well-built design.
  • Very comfortable wrist rest.
  • Excellent typing experience.
  • Slightly unstable wrist rest.
  • Customization only available on Windows.
9.3 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is an amazing gaming keyboard thanks to its short pre-travel distance and low actuation force. It's also very well-built and should last you years. Gamers will appreciate its customization options, whether it's controlling the RGB lighting or recording macros. It's also available in three different switches so you can choose your preferred typing experience.

1.0 Mobile/Tablet

The Razer BlackWidow Elite isn't designed for mobile devices.

8.0 Office

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a great keyboard for the office. It has two incline settings and comes with a very nice plushy wrist rest that's comfortable. It also provides a very nice typing experience and isn't too loud for an open-office environment. However, the variant with clicky switches might be too loud, although we haven't tested it.

8.2 Programming

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a great keyboard for programmers. Its typing quality is great and you can choose between three different variants of switches. It's comfortable to type on for long periods and the board feels very durable, which is great. It's a very versatile keyboard that can be used on multiple OS and programmers will appreciate the ability to program macros.

  • 8.1 Mixed usage
  • 9.3 Gaming
  • 1.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.0 Office
  • 8.2 Programming
  1. Update 10/8/2020: We've updated the weight of the keyboard to not include the wrist rest.
  2. Update 8/18/2020: The volume wheel has been added as an extra control, as per our methodology.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
1.7" (4.3 cm)
Width 17.5" (44.5 cm)
Depth 6.5" (16.5 cm)
Weight 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg)

Update 10/08/2020: We previously reported the weight as 1.4kg, which includes the weight of the wrist rest. Without it, the keyboard weighs 1.21kg.

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a rather large keyboard due to its full-size layout. It takes even more place if you use the included magnetic wrist rest. If you'd like a small, TenKeyLess keyboard, consider the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2.

Build Quality

Build quality is excellent. The overall design feels hefty and doesn't have too much flex. The ABS keycaps don't feel too cheap, but don't feel as high-end as the double shot PBT keycaps found on the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition. The keyboard comes with a nice and plushy magnetic wrist rest, which feels very comfortable.

Board Design
Incline Settings
Wrist Rest Detachable

The Razer BlackWidow Elite's ergonomics are rather good for a straight board. While this isn't designed to be an ergonomic keyboard, it still has two different incline settings on top of coming with a very comfortable leatherette wrist rest, which is great. However, it does move a bit when using it.

Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Individually Backlit Keys

The Razer BlackWidow Elite's backlighting is excellent. It features full RGB lighting that is bright enough for well-lit environments. There isn't much light bleed, but the lighting is still very nice in the dark as well and all keys are easy to read. However, while the media keys are lit up around, the legends aren't carved out, so you can't read those. If you want a keyboard with flashier lighting, check out the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO with its low-profile keycaps and transparent switch casings.

Length 6.6 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Not Detachable

This keyboard is wired-only. The cable ends in three different plugs. There's two USB plugs: one for the keyboard, and the other needs to be plugged in if you want to use the USB passthrough on the keyboard. The third connection is for a typical 3.5mm audio jack. The keyboard has an audio jack on its side, where you can plug in your headphones if your computer is too far.

Wireless Versatility
Proprietary Receiver
Multi-Device Pairing
Battery Type
No Batteries

This keyboard can't be used wirelessly. If you'd like a keyboard with outstanding wireless versatility, consider the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro.

Extra Features
Media Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
Extra Controls
USB Passthrough
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock

Update 08/18/2020: As per our methodology, the volume wheel is considered an extra control and is now properly indicated.

The Razer BlackWidow Elite has nice extra features. It has dedicated media keys in the top right corner for music control, and you have a nice knob to reduce, raise, or mute the volume. The keyboard also has a USB and 3.5mm ports. However, our unit's audio jack seems to have issues, as we can hear a lot of static feedback depending on how the cable is positioned. If you want a keyboard with dedicated macro keys, check out the Corsair K100 RGB.

In The Box

  • Razer BlackWidow Elite keyboard
  • Magnetic wrist rest
  • Stickers
  • Manuals

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Key Switches
Razer Orange
Actuation Force
43.1 gf
1.82 mm
Total Travel
3.94 mm

Just like the Razer BlackWidow Lite, the Elite has proprietary Razer Orange switches. These are designed to be fairly quiet but still provide nice tactile feedback. These can be compared to Cherry MX brown switches, with a bump before the actuation point. However, this keyboard doesn't come with O-rings, as the BlackWidow Lite does, to reduce the typing noise and total travel distance. Note that this keyboard is available in Razer Green and Yellow switches, which are tactile and clicky, and linear and silent, respectively. If you would like mechanical switches that also feel a bit smoother like membrane switches, check out the Razer Ornata Chroma with its mecha-membrane switches. You can also check out Razer's optical switches on the Razer Huntsman.

Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Razer BlackWidow Elite provides an excellent typing quality. The keys are very stable and the tactile feedback is great. It uses Costar stabilizers, but the space bar is a bit wobbly. The spacing of the keys is good, which helps to reduce typos.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise

The Razer BlackWidow Elite's typing noise is rather low. It's quiet enough for an office environment as it doesn't have clicky switches.

Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Software Razer Synapse 3
Account Required
Onboard Memory
Cloud Sync
Backlight Programming
Macro Programming
Software Windows Compatible
Software macOS Compatible

With Razer Synapse 3 and the Razer BlackWidow Elite, you have control over a lot of settings. You can create a lot of profiles and save them on the onboard memory, although the lighting settings don't seem to stay, but keybindings will. If you want a software that's compatible with macOS, see the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT.

Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

While the keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, the scroll lock and pause break buttons don't work on macOS. Also, the software isn't available on macOS and Linux, although all keys work as intended on Linux; you just won't be able to customize the keyboard on those platforms. If you want a keyboard that's fully compatible with macOS, check out the SteelSeries Apex Pro.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This keyboard is available in Razer Orange (Tactile, Silent), Razer Green (Tactile, Clicky) and Razer Yellow (Linear, Silent) switches. We tested the Orange switches, and we expect our review to be relevant for the other variants, other than the overall typing experience, which should be different with other switches.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is an excellent gaming keyboard that sets itself apart by its proprietary switches and the fact that it comes with a very comfortable and plushy wrist rest. It's very nice to type on for long periods and still performs very well with video games. This keyboard is a jack-of-all-trades that should satisfy most users. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best RGB keyboards, and the best mechanical gaming keyboards.

Razer Huntsman Elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are very similar in terms of build, comfort, and extra features. The biggest differences are that the BlackWidow Elite has a USB passthrough, and the Razer Orange switches provide a much better typing experience than the Linear Optical switches on our unit of the Huntsman Elite. That said, both keyboards offer multiple switch options.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are fairly similar when it comes to their overall design, but the switches are quite different. The Huntsman uses optical clicky switches while the BlackWidow Elite uses Razer's Orange tactile and silent switches. The BlackWidow also comes with a comfortable wrist rest and dedicated media keys.


The Razer BlackWidow Elite is better than the Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE for most uses. The Razer has a much better build quality and full RGB backlighting. The Razer Orange switches on our unit of the Razer provide a better typing experience; however, the Cherry MX Speed switches on the Corsair are more responsive and require less force to initiate a keypress. The Razer has a few switch options that you can choose from, but in the case of the Corsair, there's only one option.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a much better keyboard than the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition. The BlackWidow is a full-size keyboard that comes with a comfortable wrist rest for those long gaming sessions, and it's available with tactile, clicky, or linear switches, so you can get the one you prefer the most. On the other hand, the Huntsman is a smaller keyboard, which is good for FPS gaming, but it's only available with linear switches. Both keyboards have full RGB lightning and each key is macro programmable through the Synapse 3 software.

Razer BlackWidow

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is much better than the Razer BlackWidow. The Elite is available in three different switches, so you can get the ones you prefer, it has a wrist rest, it's better-built, it has a USB passthrough, and it has dedicated media keys.

Logitech G513

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better keyboard than the Logitech G513. The Razer has two incline settings, a volume control wheel, and all of its keys are macro programmable. It also has on-board memory, unlike the Logitech.

Razer Ornata Chroma

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better keyboard than the Razer Ornata Chroma. It's a full-size mechanical keyboard that is noticeably better built and offers a better overall typing quality. It features dedicated media keys and Razer Orange tactile switches. On the other side, if you don't like mechanical switches, the Ornata has mecha-membrane switches that feel like rubber domes, but they still have the clickiness of mechanical switches.

Corsair K95 PLATINUM

The Corsair K95 Platinum and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are two very similar keyboards, but the K95 has one of the lowest pre-travel distances we've measured so far. Its RGB lighting also bleeds a lot more throughout the board than the Razer's lighting. On the other hand, the Razer overall build quality seems a bit more durable and comes with a plushy wrist rest.

SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is better than the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It's available in a variety of mechanical switches, including linear, clicky, and tactile, providing a much better typing experience. The Apex 5 has hybrid switches, which provide good feedback but could get tiring to type on. The SteelSeries Engine software is available on macOS while the Razer Synapse 3 isn't.

Razer Ornata V2

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a much better keyboard than the Razer Ornata V2. It features optical switches from Razer, which have very low pre-travel, which is great for gaming. The BlackWidow Elite is also much better-built and feels a lot more durable than the plasticky Ornata V2. It's also better suited for an office thanks to the Razer Orange tactile switches, which aren't as noisy as the mecha-membrane switches on the Ornata V2.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a slightly better keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Elite. The Apex Pro has customizable pre-travel distance on each key, delivering a responsive gaming experience. It's also fully compatible on macOS, while the BlackWidow Elite isn't. However, the typing quality is better on the BlackWidow Elite, plus it has a cushion-like wrist rest and two incline settings.

Razer BlackWidow Lite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better gaming keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. It has better overall ergonomics, thanks to the nice wrist rest and it features full RGB lighting, while the Lite model only has a white LED backlight. The Elite also has dedicated media keys, but its cable isn't detachable like the Lite.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better gaming keyboard than the Logitech G910 Orion Spark. All of its keys are programmable rather than just a few dedicated macro keys. Also, it comes with a very plushy and comfortable wrist rest, and the board feels noticeably more durable. On the other hand, the pre-travel distance of the Logitech G910's keys is shorter and quicker to actuate.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a slightly better keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. The Elite has USB passthrough and brighter RGB backlighting. That said, the V3 Pro can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth or its proprietary receiver.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is better overall than the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2. It's a better-built keyboard with a comfortable wrist rest, and the Razer Orange switches we tested offer a better typing quality. On the other hand, Corsair's iCUE software is available on macOS, while Razer's Synapse 3 isn't.

HyperX Alloy Origins

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is slightly better than the HyperX Alloy Origins. It's available in a variety of switches, but the unit we tested had Razer Orange switches, which perform almost exactly like the HyperX Red linear switches, except with a slight tactile bump. Both keyboards have excellent build quality and full RGB backlighting, but the Razer comes with a wrist rest.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are two amazing gaming keyboards. The Apex 7 doesn't have a NumPad due to its TKL design, while the BlackWidow Elite is a full-size board. The pre-travel distance is shorter on the BlackWidow, but the keys of the Apex 7 feel lighter. Also, the RGB lighting of the SteelSeries bleeds a lot more than the Razer's.

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better gaming keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2. The Elite is a full-sized keyboard that feels sturdier and while it has two incline settings, it does tend to slide around more. The Elite also has onboard memory, but both keyboards offer similar typing experiences and outstanding RGB backlighting.


The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a marginally better gaming keyboard than the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. The BlackWidow Elite is slightly smaller, the keys require less pre-travel distance, and offer a better typing experience. On the other hand, the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT has six dedicated macro keys, and the software is compatible on macOS computers.

Razer Pro Type

The Razer Pro Type is marginally better than the Razer BlackWidow Elite overall; however, they're very different keyboards. The Pro Type is a wireless keyboard designed for productivity with multi-device pairing capabilities, while the Elite is a wired-only keyboard intended primarily for gaming. The Elite has more features, such as full RGB backlighting, dedicated media controls, onboard memory, and a wrist rest. Also, the Elite is more customizable because it's available with different types of switches. The Pro Type is only available with Razer Orange switches.

Ducky Shine 7

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is slightly better than the Ducky Shine 7. The Razer has more features, such as dedicated media controls and a USB passthrough, but the Ducky offers a better typing quality when comparing the Cherry MX Brown against the Razer Orange switches, though this depends on the type of switches you like. The Ducky has a better build quality, but Razer's Synapse 3 software offers more options.

Corsair K100 RGB

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are both exceptional gaming keyboards, but the Corsair has dedicated macro keys, a multi-function wheel, and it has a lower pre-travel distance. However, the Razer is available in more types of switches.

Das Keyboard X50Q

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is better than the Das Keyboard X50Q in most uses. Typing and build quality are both significantly better on the Razer, and the Synapse 3 software has many more options to choose from. Razer's included wrist rest is more comfortable, and it has a USB passthrough and a headphone jack for convenience. The X50Q has its 'applets' feature, but it's only accessible for Windows users.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better keyboard than the Das Keyboard Model S Professional. The Razer has full RGB backlighting and all keys are macro-programmable. That said, the Das Keyboard is compatible with Cherry MX Brown and Blue switches, while the Razer uses proprietary switches.

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