It is well known how iconic model lineups are synonymous with brand recognition and adoption rates. This is why peripheral manufacturer Razer has adopted a similar mantra in its process, whereby it only releases new variants of iconic lines when it can honestly and truly be warranted. In this vein, the latest product to receive a much-needed facelift is none other than Razer’s flagship BlackWidow keyboard, starting with the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro.
Much like with mice, there are a myriad of keyboard options available to consumers. There are those focussing on utility above all else, others take up as little space on a desk as possible, there are devices giving users a multitude of connectivity options in lieu of more generalised features, and then there are keyboards catering to every want and need. The latter sums up the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro; which comes with customisable RGB backlighting, dedicated media controls, and even additional macro keys all packed into a weighty and premium design. As a flagship gaming device of this degree, cost will be at the forefront of the discussion. Thankfully, users looking at the right retailers will be happy to learn how the keyboard has a suggested price of only A$399 AUD or R4,000 ZAR – a decent price for everything on offer here.
As Razer’s first ever V4 product, as well as being the singular flagship product in their keyboard lineup, it stands to reason that the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro has a lot to live up to. With this in mind, it is a full-sized wired mechanical keyboard featuring four additional dedicated media keys and five dedicated macro keys on the front. The volume rocker can be found on the faceplate, along with a “Razer Command Dial”, which is a knob that can be programmed with up to 100 different modes; all of which delivers satisfying tactile feedback when turning. The keyboard features an additional three macro buttons on the left-hand side of the unit, and fully customisable RGB backlighting and under-glow around the sides. In the box, it comes with a luxurious padded wrist rest with an additional 20 zones of RGB underglow when attached to the keyboard smart connector. The front of the keyboard also houses the USB-C slot for the included braided USB-C to USB-A data cable and a USB 2.0
While the wrist rest is completely padded and clad in black leatherette, the keyboard consists mostly of a mix between hard and soft plastics. It does feature an aluminium alloy top plate, however, which gives it an extra shine and ensures it looks like the flagship keyboard it is meant to be. The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro measures in at 464 mm by 152 mm, and only stands as high as 25 mm at its thickest border, not including the keycaps. It must be noted how this is not for someone with limited desk space. A big reason for it taking so much space can be attributed to its dedicated row of macro keys, and the added wrist rest, which measures in at 82 mm.
Below the hood, users will find either Razer Green (clicky) or Razer Yellow (linear) switches, which actuate at 1.9 mm with 50g of force, or 1.2 mm with 45g of force, respectively. The Green switches also feature a tactile bump and an audible click when pressed while the Yellow switches are dampened even further with silicon sound dampeners. The unit received for review was the linear and silenced variant, and it truly is silent thanks to two additional layers of dampening foam.
Like all Razer products, users will have to utilise the manufacturer’s in-house software suite in order to take full advantage of the keyboard’s many features. Razer Synapse 3, has come a long way to improve on its many faults: it is lightweight and modular, and easily navigable. Users can make use of the software to activate function keys 13 through 24 (which are disabled by default), and program them (or literally every other button and key except for Win and Fn) to their heart’s content.
The new Razer Command Dial comes pre-programmed with four of Synapse 3’s programmed modes: keyboard brightness, windows zoom, switch application, and track jogging. Users can switch through the modes by clicking it in, or go back to a previous mode by holding shift and clicking again. The dial can then be turned to increase or decrease whatever it is the mode does. The other preset modes include track selector, vertical scrolling, horizontal scrolling, and switch browser tabs. Users can also create up to 100 modes, complete with their own RGB backlit colours, but this seems a bit ostentatious to say the least. Imagine clicking the button 100 times just to be able to launch a certain program, or to count 69 clicks before it boots up a favourite website. Having the option sure is nice, but most will rarely use more than the four default ones on offer.
Due to the very many functions and features of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro, it sadly only works through a wired connection. While a slight bummer, Razer has included a few additional features and technologies to take advantage of the wired connection. For one, lag will never be an issue as long as the keyboard is connected and the PC has no underlying issues, and with a monstrous polling rate of 8 000 Hz, users will be hard pressed to blame any action on input lag. The polling rate can be dialled down [to a much more reasonable] 1 000 Hz through Synapse 3, however.
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to delivering top-tier peripherals. In this case, the keyboard is much more than a mechanical input device; it is a feature-rich powerhouse designed to elevate the user experience. While the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro’s wired-only nature might be a drawback for some, it is compensated by impeccable responsiveness, low latency, and a substantial polling rate. Moreover, its premium design and luxurious padded wrist rest works well with its RGB backlighting and under-glow, an extensive array of dedicated media and macro keys, and even user choice in what kind of switches they would like, in order to deliver a truly customisable experience beholden to its flagship nature. What absolutely crowns it as one of the best options for current gamers, however, is the keyboard’s cost, which is mind-blowingly good for everything on offer (and especially when compared to competitors). Simply put, the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro solidifies its position as an exceptional flagship keyboard.
|Macro galore!||Wired only|
|Soft and luxurious wrist rest WITH underglow||Larger than standard full-size keyboards|
|Monster polling rate|
Device temporarily provided for review by Razer.
Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.