Right out of the box, the BlackWidow Chroma is still a "gorgeous" keyboard according to IGN, who think it looks and feels like it "could really take a pounding for a long time yet still remain stylish-looking." Tom's Guide appreciates how it seems "a little less angular and more subdued" than the typical Razer product, and "would look equally at home in an office and in a gaming nook." Of course, that's only if you forgo the main selling point of the Chroma series -- the customizable backlighting. Gaming Shogun calls the lighting "a sight to behold" and PC World likes how "there’s not a ton of light leakage around the edges of the keys." However, despite the extensive illumination options you might want to restrain yourself from getting too extravagant, as Gaming Shogun found some patterns to be a distraction that made it hard to focus.
Lighting options aside, a gaming keyboard is only worth it if it can offer a good, responsive typing experience, and Razer's green mechanical switches deliver in spades. The keys have a "tactile, clicky response" that Gaming Shogun loved and Tom's Guide calls them "zippy and satisfying." GameSpot wasn't able to detect a real difference between Razer's keys and Cherry MX Blues, but bit-tech found the reset point on the Razer green switches "slightly sluggish and stickier." However, they also say the BlackWidow Chroma offers a "decent typing experience."
LIke other Razer keyboards the keys are still programmable, with the Synapse 2.0 software making it simple to assign colors and macros to keys. However, while GameSpot notes it's "easier to use" than the software accompanying the rival Corsair Vengeance K95, that's because it "has a slimmer set of options overall."
The BlackWidow Chroma is a fine successor to Razer's flagship line of keyboards, offering all the macro programming and excellent typing feel that gamers cherish, plus the ability to eschew Razer's typical green lighting scheme for something a little more to your liking.