Recently, I have been rocking a Razer Black Widow Ultimate. I used it for a little over two months. During that time, I had a nice little love-hate relationship with it. First off, the keys themselves are amazing. They are Cherry keys, of course, and were the of the MX Blue variety. To be honest, it was one of the best typing experiences I have had in many, many years. Making it extremely hard to go back to my W520 - and often I wouldn't, I would just use the Black Widow. So what was there to hate? A bunch of very little things. First, the glossed over plastic, as it always looked tacky.You couldn't keep it clean. Then there was the keycaps, sure the letters were lit up, but who cares about them?! Those I know where to find. It was the other stuff I needed lit, the volume controls for example, and they were not lit. But then of all things, they feet fell off! That was at 1 month in. And I tried (unsuccessfully) to get Razer to replace them (as the keyboard has a terrible wobble without them), and all I got was
Still, If we have the keyboard feet to spare, we will send you the parts you require, but we cannot promise anything at this juncture. Rest assured, we will look for it, and if possible, do something to get you a set of keyboard feet and a working Blackwidow Ultimate soonest possible.
We appreciate your patience in this matter.Thanks for contacting Razer Support, and have a nice day.
Well... that sounded an awful lot like "we don't have them, don't really care, now go away... and if some happen to show up, we will send them to you."
I could still live with this, and have for some time. Now, one thing you guys should understand up front, I am a very mobile person, always going somewhere, and taking my gear with me. The heavy duty cables that Razer uses are PERFECT for people who set up their gaming station and LEAVE IT ALONE. They are thick, with a braided cloth cover, and seem very well made. They also appear to be SOLID CORE. Meaning that after 2 1/2 months of taking this thing back and forth to work, the cable itself broke.
So basically, what we have as a case study for the Razer, in a nutshell: Great feedback, classic "clicky" feel and sound, very well made for stationary use. Not meant for any portable usage.
SO: What to replace it with?
I would like to note, that every Razer mechanical I touched, had a VERY similar cable. They had a varying thickness, but the same basic design.
I would also like to bring up Steel Series. I could NOT find a single mechanical keyboard in the local stores (Fry's or Best Buy). It is hard to decide on something if you can't find it to touch it!
Logitech has plenty of gaming boards, but like Steel Series, none available to touch. And what are they thinking with a $250 membrane keyboard!? WOW....
So I got the chance to play with the Corsair K60 and K90. Both are wonderful looking boards, with the same basic flaw of the Razer, it is a stationary board. I would even go so far as to say it is a requirement for them. Those cables are MASSIVE coming out of the back. For those looking for a stationary board though, do take your time and check those out. They are more impressive than I could ever describe. Should they ever be redesigned for someone like me, I would not hesitate to buy one.
That brings me to the winner. The current champion board that has my vote (or money anyhow!). The Cooler Master Trigger. First, a word of caution - there is a similar board sold called the Quick Fire Pro. Avoid it. It has about 20 keys backlit, and the rest are impossible to see when the lights are low. Now then, they are using Cherry MX black keys on the version I have. This means, that while the keys are fully mechanical, they have no click to them. They have a slight touch bump, but no click noise. These keyboards also use a USB Mini-A connection on the keyboard side, making cable replacement a snap. Best of all, ALL key functions are lit. This means, the media buttons, lighting, volume, everything. The rubber feet are wide, and solid, they don't have the flimsy feel others have to them. And best of all - NO GLOSS.
For anyone looking, the Trigger is available with different switch types, I would certainly suggest USING the keyboards at the store if you can before buying, as they do feel quite different when using them.
But in the end, the post here was to bring awareness to CMStorm keyboards, as I didn't even know they existed until today, and this is something worth passing around.