Peripherals

Razer Blackwidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

A Closer Look & Performance

The photo above is of the Blackwidow V2.

While this is clearly still a Razer branded keyboard, there are some noticeable style improvements over the Blackwidow V2. Razer used to have a border around the keys, as well as the F-keys. This has been ditched in favour of a floating cap design rather than a heavily recessed one.,

The overall frame of the V3 is much more refined too, trimming down the amount of material above the F-keys.

There’s also less of a frame below the space bar, meaning the wrist rest can sit closer to the keyboard, and also be longer, which will greatly improve ergonomics.

Of course, speaking of the wrist rest, let’s get that in place because not only does it look awesome, but I wouldn’t dream of using this keyboard without it.

It has a nice textured design to it and a subtle but rather tasteful Razer logo in the middle. Actually, beyond that, there’s no Razer branding on show anywhere else now.

Up in the top right, you’ll find their new multimedia wheel. This is perfect for controlling the volume levels, and it has a lovely tactile feel to it that compliments the mechanical switches nicely. However, there’s a media key here, and it’s all programmable so that you can play, pause, and skip music as you see fit.

The caps are PBT Double Shot, so it’s unlikely they font will ever fade on these!

As you can see inside, the translucent font is actually plastic which passes through the black outer casing. Even the side walls are a little thicker here, and they mount on the box switch design, so they’ll even wobble less than normal Cherry mounted caps.

As for the switches themselves, they look fantastic. They tick all the right boxes for a modern premium switch too, with a clear housing that’ll allow RGB lighting to pour out of them. There’s a box design around the top to balance the caps, and of course, they’re fully mechanical.

The keyboard has a nice shape to it, with a little angle but nothing too aggressive.

Of course, with the kickstands on the bottom, you can easily increase the angle with the first set of feet, but even then, I don’t think it’s too aggressive.

However, you can deploy the secondary set if you need a little more angle.

As you can see, there are rubber grips all over the bottom, and the keyboard is fairly heavy too, so combined, it grips the desk well and can withstand your sore loser rage typing without sliding around.

There’s even some added grips on the wrist rest, so that sucker is going nowhere!

The keyboard is hard wired, which is a bit of a shame, as a fully detachable USB-C cable should be pretty much standard on all high-end keyboards, at least in my opinion. However, I do like that the cable mount is recessed, preventing it from taking any wear and tear.

Setting up the keyboard is pretty easy, just plug in the USB cable and you’re good to go. The bonus being that if you’re on Windows 10, it’ll auto prompt you to download the Razer software, and the setup process doesn’t take too long, and once done, you can tinker with all the advanced settings of the keyboard; I suggest you do this at least once, then save profiles to the keyboard.

You may want your shades on when you have it powered up because this thing would have Disco Stu breaking out the disco finger. At maximum brightness, it feels like an optical weapon. Not that there’s much wrong with that, if you like your RGB set to kill, this is it.

Of course, you can dial it back and set it to stun too, it’s really up to you.

The colours look good enough to eat. They’re juicy enough to throw under a Need for Speed Underground 2 ride; that was the best game they did, let’s be honest.

Of course, there are loads of profiles here, and you can store custom ones on the keyboard or just lay back and enjoy the built-in ones. Personally, I think the built-in ones are more than enough. However, if you’re not into raving rainbows, that’s fine. I prefer just to set it to purple, and I’ll leave it alone until the end of time. But that’s the joys of RGB, you can do what you want.

As for the switches, well, they’re nothing new, Razer has been making these for a while, and they’re still every bit as brilliant as before. They’re rated for 80m clicks, and that really is a lifetime. However, what is important is how they feel, and they’re easily my favourite switch when it comes to that tactile click. It’s very fast and snappy and makes me think of an old short-throw electric typewriter I used to play on as a kid… They don’t feel like Cherry Blue though; they feel lighter and snappier.

They’re a bit loud though, I love it, but even as I type this, I can feel my partner getting ready to breathe a sigh of relief when I stop typing. I love the sound, and the sound is tied to how they feel, and I love that too. However, if you live in a house with paper-thin walls, you may want to lay off typing your memoir late at night.

For gaming, though, wow, it’s like the mechanical switches are in my fingers. Everything feels right and tight, the caps are stable, and the precision is bang on. The addition of the wrist rest also means I can click those little buggers for hours without my wrists setting on fire. Easily one of the best gaming keyboards I’ve ever used. But still, I promised my girlfriend I’ll switch back to my silent keys later, after a few more games, though, at least.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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