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I Used a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Gaming Keyboard and Here’s What I Thought of It

A close up of a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercrury keyboard with pink keycaps and a blurred foreground.

I Used a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Gaming Keyboard and Here’s What I Thought of It

While it’s been succeeded by more modern versions of the Razer keyboard family, the BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition was one the first white models released. It pioneered the Razer Mercury series, which has now grown to include more models, mice, and other peripherals manufactured in stunning silver-white housing. However, the keyboard wasn’t my favorite keyboard I’ve ever owned. Here’s why.

What Does Razer Promise with the BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition?

When looking at the specifications, it’s important to remember this is an older Razer keyboard. Since then, Razer’s technology has evolved and grown. Thus, you may see some specifications that are lower than the current models of Razer keyboards.

  • Switch: Green Clicky Switch (50g actuation force, 80 million clicks) or Yellow Linear Switch (45g actuation force, 80 million clicks)
  • Addressable RGB Lighting: Fully customizable per-key RGB lighting with over 16.8 million colors that can sync with gameplay and program usage
  • Full Macro Support: All keys can be reprogrammed to any key or key combination
  • Metal top plate: A durable top plate reduces warp and resists damage
  • Usable with Razer Synapse: Razer’s proprietary peripheral customization software, Razer Synapse, allows you to seamlessly customize and program your peripherals to work as you want them to

I couldn’t find any specification record detailing what kind of metal the top plate uses or what kind of plastic the keycaps use. I don’t have enough experience with metalworking to make that kind of judgment myself, but my best guess on the keycaps is ABS plastic. The original keycaps have that glossy ABS feel and finish.

What Is the Construction of My Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury?

When I bought my Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition, I specifically bought one with Razer’s Green Switches because I like clicky switches for gaming. I’ve also swapped out the original white keycaps with Razer’s double-shot PBT keycaps in pink.

The Best Parts of the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury

This is what Razer Green Switches sound like.

I have many good things to say about the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition. I’ve had it for over five years, and the keyboard has carried me through many troubled times. It’s seen my love for all sorts of games, from League of Legends to Call of Duty to Genshin Impact. Regardless of what I didn’t like about the keyboard, it holds great sentimental value to me. Let’s examine the best parts of the keyboard after using it for five years.

Frame Quality

The frame on this keyboard is impressive. It has withstood three moves — two that were hastily thrown together in under 24 hours (so no expensive packing measures that would have protected it from harm), 

When they say this frame is durable, they mean it. I mash my keys like they owe me money, and this thing hasn’t chipped, warped, or anything. For reference, I annihilated three cheap membrane keyboards in three weeks before I finally made the switch to mechanical construction. It wasn’t just the membrane that would go bad, either. I would physically break the cheap plastic frames from hitting them too hard while trying to get my combo off in League.

I already knew that Razer keyboard frames were reasonably good quality when I purchased the keyboard. It replaced an original Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition with a plastic frame that survived my rapid and violent keystrokes. However, when I saw they’d switched to metal frames, I was a little nervous, thinking that the metal would be cheap to reduce manufacturing costs, and I would warp it by hitting the keys too hard.

It exceeded my expectations on frame quality. It’s five years old, has been thrown in multiple cheap packing boxes, and slammed with enough force to break plastic, and you could still put a level on it, I bet.

Addressable RGB Lighting

Not only are the ARGB lights on this keyboard stunning, but five years later, they’re also still just as bright as the day I got them. I’ve used many ARGB layouts, including individual game maps and layered lighting effects. However, at the moment, I’ve got a simple rainbow wave going on.

The keycaps aren’t pudding-type (“Phantom” keycaps in Razer terminology). However, Razer does sell Phantom keycaps in multiple colors separate from the keyboards. So you can swap them out for a Phantom set and make those ARGBs pop even more.

Razer Synapse Compatibility

Maybe I’m basic as heck, but I love Razer Synapse, and anything compatible with Razer Synapse will be my priority. Razer Synapse is sleek, easy to use, and carries a lot of functionality that would traditionally be split up into multiple other applications.

Razer products tend to be pricey, but it can definitely be worth the extra cost to be able to use the keyboard with Razer Synapse. This application lets you manage everything about your peripherals, from lighting to macros to additional functions. 

Its GUI is extraordinarily intuitive, and nothing is hidden. You won’t have any trouble finding what you’re looking for, and the online documentation for the application is extensive, allowing you to find even the most minor details.

The Worst Parts of the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury

razer blackwidow x chroma mercury
It’s a pretty big keyboard, even among full-sized keyboards. Small-desk-havers, beware.

There are also plenty of things I didn’t like about the BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition, many of which are spurring my decision to choose a different manufacturer when I swap this keyboard out. Let’s examine those factors in depth.

Price

The truth is, this is a super expensive keyboard. The keyboard is discontinued, but places with remaining stock continue selling it for $150, even though it’s not worth that much anymore. I would honestly question if it was ever worth that much.

Yes, the build quality is top-of-the-line, but the truth is there are many keyboards with a similar build quality for a fraction of the price. If you’re looking for the most cost-efficient keyboard, pass on this.

Switch Selection

When this keyboard was released, you could only purchase it with Razer Green or Razer Yellow switches. There were no options for non-proprietary switches, and even Razer Orange switches were unavailable for this build.

The limited switch selection will be a problem for any serious keyboard enthusiast. We have our favorite switches, and very rarely do we want to deviate from them. I like to try new switches whenever I can, but I love my Cherry MX Reds and Blues. 

Additionally, the switches are soldered to the motherboard. That means you can’t swap them out even if you want to unless you have a properly-sized soldering iron handy.

You’d also have to take the keyboard apart entirely, which doesn’t seem like a simple task as it’s not designed to be deconstructed; there are no screws in the housing or anything to aid deconstruction. You’d have to rip the thing apart at its seams.

Soldered switches have ups and downsides. The upside is that they’re more stable. You’re less likely to experience key wobble. However, the downside is that if the keys start to fail, most people are stuck buying a new keyboard. It is possible to desolder the switches and solder new ones to the board, but that’s not something that everyone is able — or even willing — to do.

Switch Actuation Force

The biggest thing I noticed between the Cherry MX Blues and the Razer Greens is that the Razer Greens are a lighter switch. However, I find that the Razer Greens feel heavier than the Cherry MX Blues. I have no issues using Cherry MX Blues with six-inch fake nails on. I can still use my Razer Greens with nails on, but it’s more complicated and noticeably less accurate.

According to Razer’s Key Switch Comparison Chart, the Green switch has an actuation force of 50g, compared to Cherry MX Blue’s 60g, making them the lighter switch (which is why I chose them in the first place). However, I find that the Green switch feels heavy in a way that Cherry switches typically don’t.

Take my input here with a grain of salt, though, because many people find Razer Green switches to feel light and smooth compared to Cherry MX ones. So, it’s really just a personal preference. You won’t know the answer to this one until you try them.

Switch Durability

Razer Greens are rated for 60 million keystrokes before they start to degrade. However, I found that the switches on my keyboard degraded much faster. My cats are known for walking on my keyboard occasionally, which impacts the overall switch’s durability. However, many of my keys are experiencing ghosting now, which has not happened with other keyboards, even other Razer keyboards.

Additionally, the number of ghosting keys doesn’t match the keys my cat usually walks on. So, unless my cats are having a party on top of my keyboard while I’m asleep, there’s no reason that all of the ghosting keys should be damaged like this. My cat typically steps on the left side of my keyboard, not the right side, but the Numpad, which is on the right side, is ghosting, for instance.

Was the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Worth It?

Honestly, no, not at all. It’s a $150 keyboard that barely lines up with keyboards I’ve bought for less than that. Having used it for five years, I can say that most of the money spent on this keyboard goes to the Razer logo on the frame. 

If you spend $150 on a keyboard, you can get way better keyboards for that price or even less than that price. However, this point is moot since very few retailers have remaining stock of this keyboard anyway. If you can get it for less than the MSRP, it’s a very reliable keyboard. It’s just not worth the $150 MSRP.

If you want to get your money’s worth, this keyboard feels like it’s worth $80–$90, maybe $100 if you’re feeling generous. To me, the Razer Green switches don’t feel like that much of an upgrade to the standard Cherry MX or Kailh BOX switches. I probably wouldn’t spend the extra money on them if I could go back and do it over.

The construction also doesn’t feel like that much of an upgrade over my Ducky keyboard, even though the Ducky one is made of plastic. So, I’m not sure I would say that the additional money spent on the metal frame was well worth it.

Are Razer’s Double-Shot PBT Keycaps Worth It?

razer blackwidow x chroma mercury
Razer’s Double-Shot PBT Keycaps are an excellent deal for 209+ keycaps.

In perspective, they’re actually a pretty good deal. They go for $29.99 MSRP. However, I got them on Amazon for $26.99. Most PBT keycap sets go for $35+ for a complete set of 104 keys, and Razer’s PBT keycaps have enough keys for both US QWERTY (104 keys) and UK QWERTY (105 keys) layouts. So for $29.99? That’s a steal.

They’re also reasonably good build quality. I’ve got a few keys that appear to have scratches, likely from my cat stepping on them. Realistically, the keycaps are probably one of Razer’s most cost-efficient items. They’re much more affordable than other PBT keycap sets, and you get two complete keyboard layouts in every box. They’re also compatible with any cross-stemmed switches. So, you can use them with other keyboards as well.

These keycaps also have shine-through legends. So, if you don’t know how to touch type, you can always check your keyboard visually, whether your desk light is on or off. Personally, I prefer shine-through legends for aesthetic appeal. I just think they’re super cool-looking. 

Why I’m Replacing My Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury

The first reason I mentioned above is that the keyboard is broken. Since the switches are soldered to the PCB, which is not easily accessible, my best course is to replace the whole keyboard. This one’s had a good run, but I’m sick of my W key ghosting while playing games.

I’m probably not going to replace it with a hot-swappable keyboard, though. While having a hot-swappable keyboard is excellent for testing switches, I find that soldered keyboards hold up better in regular use. However, maybe next time I get a hot-swappable keyboard, it will finally prove me wrong.

The other reason I’m replacing the keyboard is because the Razer Green switches are a little heavy for me now. I have some problems with my hands, and while 50g is a pretty light switch, they feel really heavy to me; I find my fingers hurt a lot when I game for too long.

If the switches were removable, I might try replacing the springs to get a lighter tap, but they’re not removable. So, that’s that.

Where to Buy a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury

These keyboards are relatively rare to find nowadays. They’ve been discontinued for a while. So, most common retailers don’t have any stock left. However, you can still see them on eBay if you’re okay with getting one that’s gently used. 

White keyboards aren’t really that rare. Even Razer has a whole line of newer white peripheral models. So, it’s best not to get too attached to this model. You’ll have a hard time finding a sealed box for this one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition?

The MSRP for this keyboard was $150. However, it has since been discontinued, and the seller decides the remaining stock prices.

What switches does the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition use?

Razer Green or Razer Yellow switches were the two options for this keyboard.

Is the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition hot-swappable?

No, the switches are soldered to the PCB.

What Razer keyboards have Mercury models?

The Huntsman Mini, BlackWidow Lite, Pro Type Ultra, DeathStalker, and DeathStalker TKL have Mercury White models.

Can you get the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury Edition with Razer Orange switches?

No. This keyboard was only made with Razer Green and Yellow switches.

Can you get Razer keyboards with other switches?

Razer only manufactures keyboards with Razer switches. However, some newer Razer keyboards are hot-swappable, allowing you to swap in 3 or 5-pin switches.

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