The original Razer Cynosa gaming keyboard offered big ticket features at an entry-level price, and the V2 continues that tradition – while upping the ante.
The features included here really bely the cost, giving us everything from fully programmable RGB lighting to very handy new media control keys.
Coming in classic matt black, the Cynosa V2 looks smart and functional, which is what you want from a keyboard. Two stage height adjustable legs allow you to get just the right angle, while there are three-ways to go with cable management thanks to handy channels on the underside.
This functionality continues as you dig deeper into the Cynosa V2. Our go-to everyday keyboard is Razer’s Blackwidow Elite. It’s a majestic keyboard, however it has one huge annoyance for those of us who don’t touch type, and that’s the peculiar decision that somebody made to not feature lighting behind secondary functions on keys – do you know instinctively which number has the ’*’? You do? Smarty pants! Anyway, joy of joys the Cynosa V2 lights everything up.
That lighting is pretty special, too. There’s no cutting of corners here, with fully programmable RGB lighting that you can keep as simple – or as fancy – as you like, via Razer’s user-friendly Synapse 3 software. That’s a claimed 16.8 million colours – or “true RGB” – to play about with, right down to each individual key. While for work we go a simple yellow backlighting, when it comes to gaming we can call up our own lighting creations, or access many of the 150-plus included ones from the Chroma Workshop. All the top games – big ones like Apex Legends to Fortnite and Diablo III to The Sims 4 – feature, along with an impressive raft of indie and more niche titles.
If you’ve not had the pleasure before, once you use the newly-added multimedia controls that sit above the numeric keypad then there’ll be no going back. Seamlessly integrating with anything from Windows Media Player to iTunes to our favourite, MediaMonkey, you can play, pause, skip backwards or forwards and adjust volume directly without having to faff about with switching windows and mouse pointers.
So, we’ve established that the Cynosa V2 has a whole lot of features, especially for an entry-level gaming keyboard, but how well does it work? At this price we’re talking a membrane keyboard rather than the full mechanics of more upmarket options. Still, this gives certain advantages, from spill resistance through to more direct key travel – mechanical keycaps can have a tendency to wobble ever so slightly. Some may find that off-putting, others may never notice. You may not get the satisfying clack of a mechanical device, but when you’re in the heat of battle from our experience you can at least rely on the Cynosa V2 to perform its job as it should.
Whether you’re dipping your toes in the gaming keyboard world or you’re just after a very good, solid, affordable all-rounder, Razer’s feature-packed Cynosa V2 should definitely be high on your must-try list.
The Razer Cynosa V2 gaming keyboard is available now.