With many models and types of keyboards to choose from, it can be difficult to choose a keyboard that suits your preferences. Between those intense gaming sessions or those long office workdays, this is a guide to help answer that age-old question, “Which keyboard is best for me?”. This is the second iteration of this thread.
This thread will be separated into 5 sections:
2. Membrane / Mecha-Membrane Keyboards
3. Mechanical Keyboards
4. Optical Keyboards
You may view all sections, or you can just choose to read the specific one(s) which you are interested in.
Section 1: Introduction to Razer’s Lineup:
At the time of writing this guide, Razer sells four different types of keyboards: Membrane, Mecha-Membrane, Mechanical and Optical. They are all each very different, and all have different price points.
Razer also offers three different sizes of keyboards: Full size, and tenkeyless (TKL), and 60%. I will mention the latter two more when we get to the “Mechanical” and “Optical” keyboard sections.
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Membrane keyboards have one large pressure pad, which when compressed in a certain area, will register a specific keystroke. They feel soft and mushy, and do not put out much of a sound, making them the quietest of the keyboards in this guide.
Membrane keyboards are also the most budget-friendly keyboard from Razer. The Cynosa V2 is $59.99 USD, and it is only available in a full size layout. You can learn more about it here.
To Finalize: Membrane keyboards are the best choice if you are on a smaller budget, and want a softer-feeling, quiet keyboard.
The Mecha-Membrane keyboard uses the same pressure pad design as the membrane, however in Razer’s case, adds a small metal clip inside the keyswitch, which gives it a tactile bump and sound, instead of the membrane’s softer, mushy feel and quiet sound.
The Mecha-Membrane keyboard is the next budget friendly out of Razer’s lineup, with the only model, The Ornata V2 at $99.99 USD. You can read more about the Ornata V2 here.
To Finalize: Mecha-Membrane keyboards are the best choice if you have a slightly larger budget, and want a slightly tactical feel and sound, however don’t want to jump to a full mechanical or optical keyboard.
The mechanical keyboard uses mechanical switches, which consist of a housing, spring and stem. Upon pressing the switch, the stem moves downwards, which compresses the spring until the switch is actuated and registered, which then springs back up when unpressed, completing the keystroke.
Razer offers three different mechanical switches in their line of keyboards, each with different properties:
Razer Green Switch - Features a tactile bump and louder click sound with an actuation force of 50 grams, an actuation point of 1.9mm, and total possible travel distance of 4.0mm. These switches are optimized to offer the best-in-class gaming and typing performance.
Razer Orange Switch - Features a tactile bump, without an audible click like the Green switch, making it quieter and an actuation force of 45 grams, an actuation point of 1.9mm, with a total possible travel distance of 4.0mm. These switches offer the same performance and optimization for gaming and typing as the Green switch, while offering a quieter sound and smaller actuation force.
Razer Yellow Switch - Razer’s linear switch has no tactile bump or sound, and is the fastest and quietest switch, with an actuation force of 45 grams, an actuation point of 1.2mm, with a possible travel distance of 3.5mm. These are optimized for rapid fire keypresses.
You can learn more about the different mechanical switches Razer offers here. All Razer mechanical switches offer a 80-million keystroke lifespan.
Razer’s Mechanical keyboards are geared more toward enthusiasts than Membrane and Mecha-Membrane, but Razer does offer entry-level options. The top of the line mechanical keyboard is the Blackwidow Pro V3, which retails for $229.99 USD, and is offered with both the green and yellow switch, along with a plush wrist rest and wireless connectivity. You may also get the wired, more budget friendly Blackwidow V3 for $139.99 USD, which also comes with either green in yellow switches, with both fullsize and tenkeyless (TKL) options. If you want a small, portable wireless alternative, the Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, priced at $179.99 USD, with either Yellow or Green switches is best for you.
There are also two work-oriented Blackwidow models, which are the tenkeyless, orange switched Blackwidow Lite for $89.99 USD, and the fullsized wireless, orange switched Razer Pro Type for $139.99 USD.
You can view all mechanical models here.
To Finalize: The Mechanical line is the go-to choice for many people. There are many different options depending on the switch that suits you best. It is all based on personal preference; between a clicky and tactile keyboard, a silent and tactile keyboard, or a silent and linear keyboard. Razer’s mechanical keyboards are in a different tier so if they are out of your budget, I would recommend the Ornata V2 (Mecha-Membrane).
The optical keyboard uses optical switches, which consist of a housing, light beam, stem and spring. As you press on the switch, the spring compresses, moving the stem down, blocking a light beam, which then actuates and registers the keystroke. The spring moves back up when the key is unpressed, allowing the ray of light to shine again.
Razer offers three optical switches, each with different properties:
Razer Purple Switch - Features a light and clicky feel, similar to our Razer Green mechanical switches But with a faster response time actuating at 45 grams and a travel distance of 1.5mm.
Razer Red Switch - Features a light and fast feel, similar to our Linear Razer Yellow Mechanical Switches with an even faster response time actuating at 40 grams and 1.0mm travel distance.
Razer Crimson-Optical Switch - Software customizable actuation point, from 1.5mm to 3.6mm, allowing for a controller joystick like experience. You can also program two functions at two separate actuation points on each individual key.
You can read more about Razer’s Red and Purple optical switches here, and more information about the crimson-analog switch can be found here. They offer a 100-million keystroke lifespan.
Razer’s optical keyboards are the highest tier of their keyboard lineup. Their premier model, the fullsize Huntsman V2 Analog, is priced at $249.99 USD, and comes with the crimson-optical switch. You can also get the fullsize Huntsman Elite in both red and purple switches for $199.99 USD.
There is also a Huntsman TE (tenkeyless) with red switches for $129.99 USD, and finally, there is a Huntsman Mini, in a 60% form factor, available in both red and purple switches for $119.99 USD. You can view the full huntsman line here.
To Finalize: The optical switches are the most reliable, fastest, and most customizable keyboards Razer has released to date, however, if you don’t want a really fast keyboard, I would advise against the red switch. The Huntsman family of keyboards come at a premium and if it is out of your budget, the Mechanical line is also a good fit.
Well, that is a rundown of all that Razer has to offer in terms of keyboards, as of writing this thread. Razer also sells PBT keycap upgrade caps which you can view here, which fit both Razer mechanical and optical switches (along with many other switch types from other companies), and wrist rests for those keyboards that do not come with them, which you can view here.
I hope this thread helps you choose your next keyboard, and remember, if you have any other questions, please comment below!
Updated February 17th, 2021: Added updated keyboards, along with newer crimson-analog optical switch.
Updated June, 14th, 2021: Added new Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed.
I know this will help the new users in choosing their next keyboard! Woot! Woot!
Very good presentation of Razer keyboards as well as their respective switch.
I love your layout with the colors of the switches. ^_^
My favorite keyboard at the moment is Razer Huntsman V2 Analog.
I hope there will be a Quartz version soon.
Until that day, there is Razer PBT Keycap Upgrade Set - Quartz. ^ _ ^
I also really like Razer blackwidow V3 Quartz.
I still have 7 year old RAZER BW Stealth Orange Switch
Great for typing/working and games.
If RAZER releases Hyperspeed (Wireless) Huntsman version, that I want to go for
A k/b savant.
I'll give this thread a very thorough read.
It's always great to learn new things that are interesting. With the added bonus of being able to flex my k/b knowledge that I got from this phenomenal thread
It may be because I've never tried the BW3, but I love my BW2 Elite.
Actually, it's been posted a while back, but updated a few days ago :smile_:
I have BW Ultimate BF4 that's also about 7 years old (got it a little over 6 years ago for cheap).