Razer Blackwidow V4 Pro

A massive macro focus, but fundamentally, it works very well.

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Razer's keyboard range is becoming as confusing as the rules of American football, but if we ignore the TKL and 75% versions of each, the Blackwidow series is the flagship for pure mechanical keys, Huntsman for those who want optical in two flavours, and Ornata for two versions of membrane keys, and then there's the wireless-only Deathstalker.

We've got our mitts on the Blackwidow V4 Pro and our testing version was the yellow one, which is marketed as smooth and quiet. However, it still makes a distinct sound from the keys when you hit them, because you press them down easily. Personally, I'm more in favour of the green one, the tactile one, which is a bit noisier but has a clear physical feel. However, the green one has the advantage that the activation and reset point is the same, and it activates more easily than the others at 45G - so it feels faster, is lubricated with branded lubrication and has a focus lens for the light under the switch, and is muffled in terms of sound.

Razer Blackwidow V4 Pro

There has to be something new, and there certainly is this year to justify the price of up to £230. What's new is the focus on control and macro. Not only is there the solid scroll wheel that can be changed from volume control to whatever you want that day, and four media buttons, now there are three extra buttons on the side, a command dial in the top left corner and five macro keys.

It seems a little overwhelming, but the defaults actually make it easy to get used to, so the one key on the side is for the Windows snippet tool, and although you can press the command dial to switch functions, the first is a replacement for ALT+TAB, and so instead of holding down the ALT key and pressing TAB, you turn it. It works astoundingly better than using the keys, and if you're like me and use a function like this a lot, this is honestly brilliant. It took a little while, about three weeks to get used to for me.

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Just like with its mice, Razer has decided that the keyboard and even the palm rest should have "underglow" RGB lighting. It works fine, it's subdued and doesn't bother me. The light goes through the keys, which are moulded as expected, and even though the switches underneath are made to a specification of 100 million keystrokes, it shouldn't make a difference as the key wears extremely slowly physically. However, I would like to point out that it has been many years since I have physically worn out a keyboard.

Razer Blackwidow V4 Pro

The now neoclassical design with exposed stems on the switches has been retained, so that the whole thing is bathed in even more light, but it works. Both the scroll wheel and the macro knob have been grooved, and I find it hard to say anything bad about the design, other than that I'm not a fan of two USB cables, and while it's a good idea to have a USB port on keyboards, it shouldn't be on the back. It should be on the left, in my opinion.

Razer's Synapse software is easy to use - but since it's often bundled with Cortex, Axon and Central, it quickly becomes an insane amount of MB, a little over 2000 in fact - and that's too much.

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It's undoubtedly a premium keyboard with premium features, at a premium price and with premium build quality. But let's be honest, the basic functionality is no different than something less than half the price, and while Razer's keys are pretty good, there are other options, and often even better alternatives.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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