Razer's affordable BlackWidow X mechanical keyboard has optional Cherry switches

Switching up the budget end

If you've been browsing mechanical gaming keyboards but have stopped short of picking one up because of their higher cost compared to regular membrane models, Razer thinks you'll be interested in its latest products.

Called the BlackWidow X, the company's newest gaming keyboard is a stripped down version of its flagship BlackWidow keyboard that launched in 2010. It features military-grade metal top plate construction but lacks the protective top cover of Razer's more expensive model.

Razer is offering multiple versions of the BlackWidow X, starting with the compact BlackWidow X Tournament Edition at $69.99 (around £50, or AUS$93). Featuring a tenkeyless layout (it removes the number pad, in other words), it's suitable for taking to LAN parties and features cable management routing, 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting and fully programmable keys.

Priced at $129.99 (around £92, or AUS$172), the Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition Chroma is essentially the same keyboard but with added RBG backlighting that's customizable with up 16.8 million color options through Razer's Synapse software.

Next up, the Razer BlackWidow X Ultimate ($99 - around £70 or AUS$131) is a full-sized version of BlackWidow X that features a numberpad, but lacks Chroma backlighting. You guessed it: the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma is the same keyboard but adds Chroma backlighting for $159.99 (around £112 or AUS$212).

Razer is offering select versions of its BlackWidow and BlackWidow X keyboards with Cherry MX Blue keyswitches, rather than its regular Orange and Green variations. Where available, they'll cost $10 (around £7/AUS$13) less than if you opt for Razer's own switches.

All of the keyboards in Razer's new BlackWidow X line-up are out now, barring the BlackWidow Tournament Edition X Chroma that's set to land in April.