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RageQuitters Reviews: Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Synapse 2.0 Software

 

For the majority of its peripherals launched in the past few years, Razer has shifted these to use a universal, cloud-based driver platform called Synapse 2.0.  The software acts as the control centre for Razer devices and provides cross-product integration features (such as Chroma lighting synchronisation), roaming profiles (allowing your settings to travel with you to different machines such as a tournament PC with the software installed) and automatic updates.

It is worth noting, however, that although the software loads and saves its profiles from the cloud, the keyboard does still remember the last-set configuration which stays in the keyboard’s on-board memory.  For example, during a reboot when the machine is outside of Windows or when using on the keyboard on another machine altogether without the software installed, the latest colour scheme is remembered and used until the keyboard is instructed (via the Synapse software) to change otherwise.

The Customise screen for the Blackwidow X allows you to save and load different profiles as well as customise / re-bind any key on the keyboard to a different function should you so desire

Profile and key function management

Profile and key function management

 

Keys can be re-bound to a variety of different functions if you so desire

Keys can be re-bound to a variety of different functions if you so desire

The Lighting tab is where the majority of users will spend their time allowing for a variety of pre-configured effects to be chosen, customised and applied to the keyboard.  For more granular control (i.e. different schemes / layers / lighting for different keys), the Chroma Configurator provides users with a virtually unlimited array of options to get the most out of the Chroma lighting.

The good stuff - the lighting section. This is a basic colour schemes and pattern - click the Chroma configurator to go crazy!

The good stuff – the lighting section. This is a basic colour schemes and pattern – click the Chroma configurator to go crazy!

 

You do have to remind yourself at times that this is 'just' a keyboard, however, it is easy to spend ages tweaking the lighting scheme to your desired perfection in this section

You do have to remind yourself at times that this is ‘just’ a keyboard, however, it is easy to spend ages tweaking the lighting scheme to your desired combination in this section

The Gaming Mode tab allows for disabling certain keys.  This is linked to the Fn+F10 key combination which can be activated at any time (whether in Windows or within game)

Gaming mode essentially disables the 'game over' fails such as the Windows key, alt-tab and alt-F4

Gaming mode essentially disables the ‘game over’ fails such as the Windows key, alt-tab and alt-F4

As per most programs of this type, sequences of keys can be combined together into Macros to provide a level of automation for the keyboard

The Macros section allows you to configure automation for the Blackwidow X Chroma

The Macros section allows you to configure automation for the Blackwidow X Chroma

The Chroma Apps section allows for a variety of 3rd-party profiles to be downloaded for the keyboard which configure the lighting appropriately for a particular game. For example, an FPS game may highlight the ‘WASD’ keys in one colour whilst highlighting the change weapon keys (e.g. 1-4) in another colour for contrast and clarity

The 'Chroma Apps' section allows for a variety of 3rd-party profiles to be downloaded for the keyboard which configure the lighting appropriately for a particular game. For example, an FPS game may highlight the 'WASD' keys in one colour whilst highlighting the change weapon keys (e.g. 1-4) in another colour for contrast and clarity.

The ‘Chroma Apps’ section is used for integration with 3rd-party vendors to provide profiles for specific games.  This features can be toggled on/off as desired

Finally the Stats tab provides tallies and ‘heatmaps’ regarding the usage of your keyboard and can monitor statistics such as number of keystrokes, estimated force applied, patterns of keys which have been used the most etc…

Finally the 'Stats' tab provides tallies and 'heatmaps' regarding the usage of your keyboard and can monitor statistics such as number of keystrokes, estimated force applied, patterns of which have been used the most etc...

The ‘Stats’ tab provides more numbers than you can shake a stick at!

3 comments

  1. Mgsstudios says:

    Nice review, very informative!

  2. Mark Senior says:

    A great in-depth review as always from TerminatorUK.
    If I didn’t already have the Corsair K95 keyboard, then this would definitely be on my shopping list.

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