Release Date: 01/24/2017
Razer has been the spokesperson for PC gaming hardware for years now and there seems to be a divide on their products. Some live and die by Razer and some can’t stand them. I personally have mixed feelings. I’ve only ever used their wireless mice and I had bad experiences with both. The Razer Mamba cut out constantly and the material it was made out of slowly fell apart. The Ouroboros was a better-designed mouse, but the laser and software were just plain awful. I then acquired a Razer Firefly mousepad to only have it die on me in a month. I also owned the Razer Kabuto and Vespula mousepad only to have both of them slowly disintegrate over the course of a few months. I eventually gave in and bought a Man O’ War headset to be pleasantly surprised about the quality and durability of the product. So, it was time to buy another keyboard and I realized I have never bought a Razer keyboard before. What could go wrong?
I felt a little lost choosing a Razer keyboard as there are so many of them. There are the smaller Tournament Editions of the standard keyboards, membrane keyboards, and keyboards with their own version of Cherry keys. I saw mobile keyboards, Chroma keyboards, and licensed keyboards. I started off by knowing I wanted a Chroma keyboard that supported the latest Synapse 3 as I hate Synapse 2 as it is. I had a choice between the Blackwidow X and Chroma V2. The Chroma V2 just seemed like a better keyboard all-around had a wrist rest, and felt better ergonomically.
Once I plugged the keyboard up I noticed it had 3 plugs. One for USB passthrough and then a 3.5mm jack. I didn’t bother with the jack as I have a headset and a speaker and never used standard headphones, but the passthrough was nice. What I do like about Razer products is that you don’t have to go download drivers and firmware updates. Once you plug in your device Synapse will recognize it and download everything for you. This is one thing Razer has above most other hardware companies.
Once I plugged it in and started fiddling with Synapse 3 I was surprised how much customization the Chroma lights have. You can literally change every key individually which is amazing and is something I have never seen before. Razer really has a leg up in the lighting department over all other keyboards. The standard effects were really nice with Fire being my favorite. Sadly, Synapse 3 is still in beta as of this review, and Chroma profiles cannot be imported. So, for now, you have to make your own. The Chroma V2 doesn’t have insane customization button-wise like other keyboards, but I bought this as I have learned my lesson, and gimmicks on keyboards are mostly useless and just drive up the price. There are 5 macro keys on the side, media controls, and on-the-fly macro recording feature, and a gaming mode that disables the Windows key.
These features are all fine and all I will ever really use. I prefer lighting on keyboards over other features and this keyboard has all that. Now as for actually using it, the keys are a little different than what I’m used to. While they are clicky they don’t require as much force as Cherry keys and the clearance is higher than standard membrane keys. They are clicky but feel a little soft which is weird at first. The wrist rest feels nice and soft and is magnetic so you can just remove it from the keyboard whenever you want. I am going to question the material of the pad as it feels soft but seems like cheap vinyl that will crack and fade over time.
Overall, the Blackwidow Chroma V2 is a fantastic keyboard and the best one I have owned. It may not have as many gimmicks or features as other keyboards, but its quality and overall usefulness are at the top. From the amazing Chroma lighting to the magnetic wrist rest and great feeling keys, as well as the USB and 3.5mm passthrough, the Chroma V2 has a few tricks, and I doubt anyone would be disappointed.