Is the new Blackwidow X Chroma worth the dimmer lighting? Can we fix it?

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by KeyTechTips, Apr 4, 2016.

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  1. KeyTalk

    KeyTalk New Member

    There are some really good things about the Blackwidow X Chroma. For one if you want you can choose Cherry MX Blue, which is good for Cherry purists that think that Razer gaming switches are "knockoffs" . Also they now include an ultra durable metal frame, and a very appealing sleek look. This metal frame also means that we can't have the original white backplate for amplified brightness. Not to mention the excluded USB passthrough (Which I believe hardcore players shouldn't use in the first place since it delays response time based off of keystrokes), and the beloved macro keys. But is there a way to fix this new dim lighting? I think that Razer could take some tips from the Romer-G switches. I think that maybe they could position it on the keycap printing itself. This would eliminate the option to get custom keycaps, but it would be even brighter and more vibrant than Romer-G, and would look awesome with the Blade style printing. Then you could put a small white backplate on every keycap, and we can have our beautiful chroma lighting at its prime. Lets be honest people probably would choose having top of the line lighting than have custom keycaps. What are your thoughts on this?
  2. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    Hey first off, welcome to Insider!

    Ugh, I'm in the same boat. The smaller frame and metal construction are huge pluses for me. I actually prefer the omission of the USB/Audio ports and macro keys because it's cleaner and I never use them anyway (USB hub, Orbweaver). However, the lighting is the only thing keeping me from purchasing the BW's pretty much the only criticism I have. Well...that and the fact that it doesn't match my Orbweaver as nice.

    It's not only the back plate that makes the lighting on the original BW look good, the top cover also plays a huge part. A Razer technician has actually said that the whole point of the top cover is to redirect the light. The cover essentially focuses the light and confines it within a border, giving the BW nice clean backlighting. Without that border, the light bleeds out everywhere.

    The special thing about switches like Logitech's Romer-G or SteelSeries QS1 is not the keycap printing, but rather the centered LED that actually resides inside the switch itself. The centered LED allows the entire face of the keycap to be lit evenly, including the shift and function symbols (which, imo, is even better than RGB Cherry switch design). This is completely different from the older Cherry-esque (Razer) switches, which have the LEDs mounted next to the switch. Razer would basically need to 'switch switches' but I don't know how willing they are to do that since they already have their own Kalihs.

    But yeah sadly, even if they added centered LEDs and a white backplate, I don't think it would fix the problem of the messy lightbleed. It might help, because having the LED inside the keycap decreases the amount of light that shines onto the backplate, but then you still have the light that bounces off the inside of the keycap back down. Maybe if they used keycaps with black undersides to absorb the light and keep it from bouncing back onto the backplate?

    Here's a pic showing the difference of 'backplate light' between the BW Chroma and the G910:

    P.S. The reason the BW X backlighting looks dimmer is not only because it's missing the white backplate, but also because the font has changed. The BW Chroma uses Razer's old font, but with the Blade Stealth and BW X they are starting to use a new skinnier font (like what you see on Insider) so there is less area for the light to shine through.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  3. David-El

    David-El Member

    I have a more minimalist and compact preference, which is why I have been looking at the Tournament Edition or TKL style keyboards, and because of that I wasn't fond of the bulkiness of the Logitech keyboards and struck it from my list almost immediately, but I must admit that the picture you posted does make the Logitech look good, if only for the clean backlighting.
  4. gaykob7

    gaykob7 Well-Known Member

    I'm not fully convinced of buying a Bw x yet, but I'm playing with the idea of getting a TE edition and change some of the keycaps into custom keycaps, for example some metal WASD or some tranparent keys...
  5. KeyTalk

    KeyTalk New Member

    Yeah I think if they put the LED in the keycap and than isolate it with a miniature backplate from the rest of the switch, than they could achieve superior lighting.
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Active Member

    I was initially going to get this but seeing as Razer again managed to ruin a good design by having a fixed accent for the status indicators (green) just threw me off the product as a whole.
    Raijin likes this.
  7. I guess the lighting was a sacrifice for the metal frame~ how does the BWX fare in dim lighting? or in fair lighting with its backlight raised up to the max level?
  8. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    Hahaha...your OCD is worse than mine. Why did you have to tell us that? Now I don't want it anymore. Needs to be Chroma or at least a neutral color like white.

    I have the same complaint about Razer THS logo on the Blades.

    Why can't they just make the entire BW Chroma chassis aluminum :smiling_imp:?

    The lighting is okay, bright enough to see in both light/dark of course. The criticism is about it not being as good as the original BW Chroma, which had spectacularly bright LED backlighting. BW Chroma and Corsair's K70 RGB were two of the first RGB backlit gaming keyboards on the market and one of the reasons people chose the Chroma was because its backlight owned everything else. Ironically enough, the BW X is similar to Corsair's K70 build because the keys sit on top of an exposed metal frame and the lighting is less vivid.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  9. Reaver

    Reaver Active Member

    Tell me about it. I've avoided a lot of purchases due to questionable decisions made by companies with their products.

    Sometimes I really wonder what leads to Razer making these decisions. They had an all white status lights before (at least on the DeathStalker Chroma) so why change it now? I understand that they'd want their colors to up front and center, but they could keep that at their products that aren't Chroma enabled. Also, you could check the product page of both the BlackWidow X Chroma and the X Ultimate. The X Chroma shows that it's white while the X Ultimate shows that it's green. Really big oversight if that's the case.

    Since you mentioned that Blades, the Stealth has fixed green USB ports. There's the Kraken 7.1 with the fixed green Razer logo at the headband. And you also have the Nabu Watch Forged Edition which would've been better if it had white lights.

    At the very least it seems like the Tournament Edition has white sans the Game Mode indicator. Though I have doubts with the Tournament Edition as of now. The product page depicts it as having a removable cable, but the table comparison with the regular BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma states it's non-removable.
  10. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    LOL you just listed all the problems I've ever had with Razer's design decisions. I am happy that I am not the only person who thinks like this. The green Razer text logo on the Kraken headbands is the reason why I have never bought one. I can let the USB ports on the Stealth slide to match the green THS logo, but I would rather have the logo be white unlit + black USB ports. Nabu Watch display drives me insane because of the brightness difference between the two displays (one is powered by replaceable coin batteries and the other by an internal chargeable battery):


    How did you find out that the indicators are green-only? I would like to see.

    Omg...I did not notice this. My BW TE Chroma has a removable cable that I cannot live without, it's so handy sometimes. It's strange because it advertises
    Looking at the photos of the BW X TE doesn't look removable. Wow...thanks for pointing that out.

    Do you know where I can find the dimensions for the BW X TE Chroma? I want to see how much smaller it is.

    Talking to you makes me want to buy less and less Razer products :laughing:
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  11. Reaver

    Reaver Active Member

    And that is something I missed. Didn't noticed that on unboxing and reviews.

    You mean for the X Chroma? Unboxing videos and reviews from other sites. I tried to reach out with Razer and so far I've received two replies (two tickets). One says it's green, and one says that they've tested it and it's white. Pretty contradicting with the unboxed and reviewed units of the X Chroma. The X Tournament Edition Chroma has white indicators but both of them are depicted as having white on their respective pages. At the very least one of them got it right.


    If for some reason the green indicators on the X Chroma are factory defects then I'll need to go with the X Tournament Edition Chroma. Though I'm waiting for a clarification in regard with the cable first. I'd still buy a couple of their products, though those that weren't a victim of their questionable design decisions.
    Raijin likes this.
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