Thursday, January 28

Razer BlackWidow V3 keyboard review: convincing, but expensive

Introduction

Today we offer you the test of the Razer BlackWidow V3 gaming keyboard, a rather simple keyboard which is here equipped with tactile and audible mechanical switches.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The Razer BlackWidow V3 gaming keyboard is offered at a manufacturer price of 150 euros and seems to want to be simple. Its simplistic design and the few eccentricities it offers therefore make it suitable for players looking for a pragmatic device.

Here it is equipped with Razer Green tactile and audible mechanical switches that will appeal above all to typists and certainly much less to your office neighbors. Let’s discover this “new” model together in our full test.

Simplicity as the key word

We were almost murderers when it came to building the BlackWidow V3. Indeed, we initially believed that it was entirely made of plastic, which would be very damaging for a keyboard sold 160 euros when it was released. It turns out that the metal plate overhanging the plastic frame is so well integrated that it almost melts into it.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The metal plate blends perfectly with the frame // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

We thus benefit from a keyboard with a monobloc design, entirely black and therefore very discreet. It will find its place on all desks and is generally convincing on the purely visual aspect. Only the presence of the logo with luminous snakes at the base of the keyboard finally comes to betray the DNA gaming of the device.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The keyboard offers a very simple design // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

With a very classic 104-key organization, the Razer BlackWidow V3 also offers an action button associated with a click wheel at the top right. Logically, these appendages make it possible to control the multimedia contents being played on our machine. Discreet and accessible, they fulfill their role perfectly and are pleasant to use on a daily basis.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The dial is very practical to use // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

Going back to the keys themselves, Razer has equipped the BlackWidow V3 with double-injection ABS keys. A process that should allow better durability and characteristics that are still clearly visible even after several years of use. To the touch, the keys are slightly grainy and resist rather well to traces of grease.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The keys have a slightly grainy surface // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

The Razer Green switches present under the keys benefit from a unitary RGB lighting which lacks a little power, but this is not prohibitive. On the other hand, we regret that some of the characters on the upper keys are simply printed and thus do not benefit from the lighting integrated into the switches. Pity.

Under the keyboard, we find the non-slip pads which, combined with the weight of just over 1.2 kilograms, keep the keyboard very well in place. We also benefit from two retractable feet, each positionable at two different heights to adapt to user preferences. The BlackWidow V3 also has a clever gutter allowing the 1.8 m braided cable to be routed where desired and thus adapt the set to our office.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The cable routing system is very practical // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

Always on the side of ergonomics, the keyboard is provided with a wrist rest which is quickly returned in the box. Indeed, if the intention is laudable, the achievement is clearly less. For starters, this wrist rest is constructed entirely from plastic and therefore is not particularly comfortable. Worse, the latter is not magnetic and has no fixing system and will therefore have to be repositioned manually as soon as the keyboard is moved.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The wrist rest is not convincing // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

Despite this small hitch, Razer’s BlackWidow V3 remains a well-built keyboard that is convincing in terms of design and ergonomics. We appreciate here the simplicity of its design and the few good ideas implemented by the brand.

The Synapse driver and its features

Just like the Naga Pro that we tested a few weeks ago, the use of the Razer Synapse software is necessary for the keyboard to function properly. However, most of the important settings can be saved in the internal memory of the keyboard so that it can work without the driver. With the pilot, the settings can logically be associated with your games and applications.

Razer BlackWidow V3 - Synapse

First, the application offers complete customization of the keyboard keys. They can be configured individually and there is an ever-increasing choice of functionalities ranging from keyboard keys to macros. The dial is also customizable, but the options here are more limited. On the other hand, the action button cannot be personalized and will therefore only be used to manage the media being played.

Razer BlackWidow V3 - Synapse

As for the RGB lighting, there are only a few quick settings as well as some options to manage the intensity and automatic shutdown of the latter. To go further in the customization, it will be necessary to turn to the “Chroma Studio” module which allows in addition to synchronize the lighting effects between all compatible devices.

Note also that in addition to the wheel, the keyboard has a few shortcuts that allow you to change the intensity of the backlighting, disable the Windows key or even record macros on the fly.

A noisy, but effective keyboard

The BlackWidow V3 we received is equipped with Razer mechanical switches Green. These are touch switches and clicky which therefore emit a characteristic noise, in addition to the slight resistance felt before activation. The keyboard is therefore particularly noisy compared to the models we have already tested in the past.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The BlackWidow V3 is equipped with Razer Green switches // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

In terms of characteristics, the activation force required here is 50 grams with an activation point located at 1.9 mm for a total stroke of 4 mm. Compared to the classic Cherry MX Blue, we benefit here from more reactive and less “resistant” switches, because they do not require as much force to be activated.

These noisy switches are generally favored by typists because of the tactile and audible feedback of the activation, which thus makes it possible to gain in reactivity. In this use, the keyboard is quite effective, even if it will not necessarily suit everyone because of its very high noise. On the other hand, the keys would have gained from being a little more stable on the switches, which would have improved the feeling a little further.

Razer BlackWidow V3

The keyboard is efficient in writing and playing // Gamesdone: Edouard Patout for Frandroid

Although players generally turn to linear switches, this tactile version of the BlackWidow is also very comfortable in the game. The tactile feedback is always very appreciable to know precisely if the keystroke was recorded, and if you use a headset, the “click” isn’t really a problem anymore.

As is often the case with mechanical keyboards, the choice of switches will be made mainly according to individual tastes. Razer Green switches will therefore be suitable mainly for lovers of so-called “clicky” switches, but who are looking for a little more responsiveness than what the competition can offer.

Razer BlackWidow V3 price and availability

The Razer BlackWidow V3 keyboard is available for the suggested price of 149.99 euros.

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