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Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Review | Ragequitters.co.uk

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 v2 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:

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Keyboard - Customise

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Keyboard – Customise

 

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Keyboard - Customise - Key Assignment

The Macro keys (for example) can be easily re-bound to a number of different keyboard or mouse functions, shortcuts etc…

The Lighting tab is where the majority of users will spend their time allowing for a variety of pre-configured effects to be chosen (such as Spectrum Cycling, Wave, Static, Breathing etc..  see the product page’s interactive demo here for further details), customised and applied to the keyboard:

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Keyboard - Lighting

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Keyboard – Lighting

For more granular control (i.e. different schemes / layers / lighting for different keys), clicking the Chroma Configurator link takes the user to another interface providing a virtually unlimited array of options to get the most out of the Chroma lighting:

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Chroma Configurator

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Chroma Configurator

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):

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Keyboard - Gaming Mode

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Keyboard – Gaming Mode

As is the case with similar applications of this type, sequences of keys can be combined together into Macros to provide a level of automation for the keyboard:

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Macros

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Macros

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

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Chroma Apps

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Chroma Apps

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…

Razer BlackWidow v2 - Synapse - Stats

Razer BlackWidow v2 – Synapse – Stats

 

With the basic functions of Razer Synapse covered, let’s move on to the performance of the keyboard…

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