We recently tried to destroy Corsair’s K68 spill-resistant mechanical gaming keyboard. With an Ingress Protection rating (IP) of 32, the Corsair K68 easily survived my callous punishments. While its durability was certainly impressive, the cleanup was abysmal. Because the switches rely on rubber flood walls for protection, I had to clean the keyboard while it sat perfectly still on my desk – amidst the crater of gunk and soda.
But as they say, there’s always a taller mountain. The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate has an IP rating of 54, the highest of all mechanical gaming keyboards. Being IP54 certified, the BlackWidow can resist splashing water from any direction and prevent dust from doing damage.
Whereas the Corsair K68 uses flood gates, the BlackWidow Ultimate has switches that are inherently water and dust resistant. This eliminates the worry that the keyboard needs to be stationary to be cleaned.
Will the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate survive the same rigorous trial as the Corsair K68? There’s only one (unfortunate) way to find out. Get ready for round two of keyboard destruction.
Since the Corsair K68 enjoyed my menu so much, I’m going to serve it again to the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate. Here’s a refresher on my courses.
Starting with the appetizer, the BlackWidow Ultimate will be thoroughly buried in Doritos, Cheetos, and broken cream donuts bits. The entrée will consist of classic nacho cheese and freshly-microwaved oatmeal. As for dessert, I’ve prepared some vintage cream soda.
Just like our run with the Corsair K68, the BlackWidow Ultimate will be plugged in throughout the duration of test. If it starts acting wacky, it’ll be considered defective and promptly asked to leave.
Doritos, Cheetos, and Cream donuts
The Razer BlackWidow had no problem standing up to the barrage of chip particles. The trace amount of raspberry cream didn’t bother it, either.
Nacho cheese and oatmeal
This is the heaviest test out of the three. The gooey nacho cheese and oatmeal blend may destroy our appetites, but it was a delicious snack to the BlackWidow. Even after having multiple helpings, the keyboard carried on working.
The BlackWidow Ultimate handles liquids differently than the Corsair K68. When faced with a downpour, it routes the excess liquid out of its base through the drain holes scattered around the edges of its chassis. The mugful of cream soda we poured onto it posed no threat and was promptly drained.
Did it survive?
Though the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate easily handled the torrent of crap, its durability was raised into question when I tried to clean it. After removing a handful of keycaps, several of its keys stopped working. A few minutes later, my open text editor was filled with random, uninitiated inputs. The backlights turned off shortly after, marking the complete destruction of the keyboard.
To confirm that this wasn’t a one-off case, I ran the test again using a second unit. Lo and behold, the same problem persisted; the keyboard remained fully functional with the keycaps on, but as soon as a few were pulled, gunk somehow found its way into the keyboard’s innards and wreaked havoc.
If this is a consistent characteristic across all units, then it means that the BlackWidow can’t be thoroughly cleaned while wet. You can run it under water with the keycaps on, but it goes without saying that the keycaps need to be removed in order to dislodge any pieces stuck on the switch casing and stabilizers. Having to wait for the fluids to dry first infinitely complicates the cleaning process.
In the end, the BlackWidow Ultimate’s durability is inconclusive. It does uphold its IP54 rating while fully intact, but without its keycaps, it crumbles fast. At the moment, I recommend gamers to remain cautious when feasting around the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate.