Razer’s BlackWidow range of high-performance, super-sturdy gaming keyboards just keeps improving, and now they’ve gone wireless.
On the surface it doesn’t look very different, save for the really obvious in that it doesn’t have a wired connection – unless, of course, you either want to keep it wired via the supplied USB-C cable, or charge it.
Ah, so two connection possibilities yeah? Nuh-uh. When it comes to connecting wirelessly, you can go via either Bluetooth or wireless, the latter requiring a spare port for a USB dongle (stored under a fingernail-unfriendly panel on the bottom of the unit). We’re promised low latency, and we found wireless operation indistinguishable from wired.
All three connectivity options are easy to set up, and all offer a premium full-sized keyboard experience.
We use a wired Razer BlackWidow Elite as our everyday workhorse, and it’s good to see that our biggest gripe – the lack of illumination on secondary key functions such as punctuation – has been remedied with this updated release. The font used is also a mite chunkier, which may or may not bother you.
Speaking of the keys, the keycaps here are “doubleshot” ABS plastic, which in English means that there are essentially two layers to them, to afford them much greater survival skills against even the heaviest-handed guerrilla gamer – or typist. They still make that satisfying green switch clack, too. Those who are into the RGB lighting will appreciate the updated design of the key mechanisms, which now use transparent plastic housings underneath to make for brighter lighting. More on that later.
The multimedia controls at top right remain a highlight, with easy control over most any media player, and offering speedy volume control via the knob, with muting via a quick press. It even lights up red when muted, which remains a nice touch.
The underside of the keyboard also boasts feet that can be half flipped out, or fully for that extra bit of jaunty angle.
Razer’s super-comfy leatherette wrist wrest also makes a return, and it’s been remodelled slightly with ridges at both top and bottom. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the longstanding issue that we have daily with the rest, in that it has a habit of creeping up the front incline of the keyboard and jamming against the bottom row of keys. Why on Earth they couldn’t have popped a couple of prongs on it with matching holes in the keyboard to keep it in place is beyond us – but we’re in no way even pretending to be an industrial engineer, nor do we play one on television.
“They still make that satisfying green switch clack, too.”
That’s the nitty-gritty, but of course there’s also fun stuff to be had with the Blackwidow V3’s RGB lighting. Accessed via Razer’s Synapse software, there are apparently some 16.8 million colours at your disposal, and it can be used for practical purposes as much as it can to just look really cool (if not sometimes totally impractical). Pre-set maps can be programmed for everything from games to productivity tools, or you can likely find one with on the net with little effort. Up to four can be stored internally.
So, what’s gone missing? Well, there’s no USB passthrough to be found, and there are no handy channels on the bottom to direct the cable, should you wish to go old school wired. The USB socket is at the back left, and you can have the cable go in any direction – as long as it’s straight back from there. Still, and especially considering the wireless intent of this release, they’re small gripes.
Razer have taken their flagship keyboard and given it more versatility, while also addressing one of the two bugbears that we had with it – nice work! The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro wireless gaming keyboard really is a seriously nice bit of kit if you’re looking for some freedom from the shackles of cabling in your typing, or just a really rock solid, built-to-last typing implement.