Although primarily known for producing hardware for gamers, Razer’s line of keyboards is surprisingly a good fit for office-oriented tasks. Don’t worry if some of their keyboards are a little too flashy for a stuffy office cubicle: Razer produces their own switches so you could switch up your office keyboard with something sleek and professional-looking, then switch it out to something edgy and cool when the bosses aren’t watching. It’s a clever way to stay productive when working from home, or so we like to tell our editors.
Out of all the keyboards Razer produces, however, we found the best 3 Razer keyboards that are perfect for both gaming and office work. Ideally, you don’t do both at the same time, but we’re not your manager.
Top 3 Best Razer Keyboards For Gaming and Work
Razer BlackWidow Elite Keyboard
One of the best Razer keyboards you can get for gaming, the Razer BlackWidow Elite is a wired, full-sized keyboard that looks and feels durable thanks to its mixed alloy and plastic chassis. If the design hasn’t tipped you off yet, this Razer keyboard was intended for gaming: sleek, yet bold, lines, a plushy leatherette wrist rest, two incline positions, and various RGB settings. However, thanks to the amazing amount of customization you can do with this keyboard, it’s also an extremely ergonomic tool for work-related activities (the leatherette wrist rest is a great boon for anyone typing up reports for hours on end).
The customization options are quite varied, thanks to the Razer Synapse 3, the Razer keyboard’s proprietary customization software. The Razer Synapse 3 allows you to control the kind of lights to display, latency options, and pretty much every other aspect of keyboard customization possible. But the keyboard itself has a ton of practical bells and whistles and of itself: a USB passthrough, a volume control knob, an audio jack, and dedicated media keys. It also comes with your choice of Orange, Green, and Yellow switches so you can soup up your Razer keyboard once you clock out from work.
Here are some downsides, though: it doesn’t have any dedicated macro keys which, while irrelevant for office work, isn’t the best if you want a laptop for both gaming and work. The Razer Synapse 3 is also only compatible with Windows, so macOS users won’t have access to the same customization options. But then again, who games on a mac anyway?
Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition, Chroma V2
On the opposite end of the BlackWidow Elite, which is one of the best Razer keyboards for gaming, the BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 is probably one of the best Razer keyboards for office work. Obviously, it being a Razer keyboard, the Chroma V2 still bears strong gaming aesthetics, with its RGB lighting and tactile keys, but it also has toned-down lines and a sleek, black background. It’s wired, like the Elite, but it’s also TenKeyLess, meaning it’s 10% smaller than a regular-sized keyboard.
The Chroma V2 has dedicated media hotkeys so you can control your music as you work, and while it only has one incline setting, it does feature a detachable wrist rest that is absolutely essential when you’re balancing spreadsheets all night.
Again, the keys can be switched up with the linear Razer Yellow, Clicky Razer Green, and Tactile Razer Orange, so you can customize its look so it can match your Alienware Area 51 Threadripperv, which you swore to your bosses is essential for your work as a copywriter. So far, key switching is seamless, and easy, and everything snaps on and off without feeling flimsy. It also runs on the Razer Synapse 3, so all customization options are available to you.
However, again, it’s not fully compatible with macOS or Linux, so you won’t really have all the customization options for gaming. It also doesn’t have a NumPad, so if your work involves a lot of numbers, this might be a huge disadvantage.
Razer BlackWidow Keyboard
The vanilla version of the other two Razer keyboards on this list is the Razer BlackWidow, and it’s the best of both worlds with one, extra feature that we love: it’s under $100, making it essential for the best gaming PC for under $1,500. But even as an entry-level, wired-only option, the vanilla Razer BlackWidow has incredible gaming performance, with extremely low latency and multiple customization options. Like its more expensive and more complex siblings, the vanilla BlackWidow has switchable keys and two incline settings.
And…that’s it, it doesn’t really have any other features other than the ones listed above. The vanilla Razer BlackWidow doesn’t have wrist rests, and while it does have incline settings, they all still ride pretty high, making it a little uncomfortable after a few hours of gaming or working. Again, it runs on the Razer Synapse 3, so macOS and Linux users are left with a very vanilla keyboard. All things considered, however, a gaming and work keyboard for under $100 is still a steal.
Pros And Cons Of Razer Keyboards
Most Razer keyboards, outside of a few extra features and what-have-you’s, all share the same pros and cons across the board:
Pros of a Razer Keyboard
- Highly Customizable: Every Razer keyboard is programmable, so every key and macro can be set independently using the Synapse 3 software. RGB lighting can also be customized down to which key lights up in what color.
- Premium Builds: Most Razer keyboards use a combination of hard plastics covered with a metallic plate, making their keyboards feel like you can use it to knock someone’s teeth out (don’t do this). Also, the wrist rests (at least, for the Elite and the Chroma V2) are such a welcome addition.
- Further Customization Using Switches: Razer keyboard switches can be, well, switched out with proprietary Razer keys just to give your setup a little extra oomph. There are also optical switches and hybrid switches if you really want to go wild.
Of course, Razer keyboards aren’t perfect:
Cons of a Razer Keyboard
- Customization Software is Only Compatible with Windows: Razer keyboards use the native Razer software called Razer Synapse 3 to control the customizable aspects of your keyboard. However, it’s not compatible with macOS and Linux. It doesn’t have onboard memory either, so you can’t configure it on Windows and then switch to Mac. However, if you’re not an Apple fanboy, this isn’t much of a con.
- Most Razer Keyboards are Wired: We’re in the second decade of the new millennium, why is Razer still making wired keyboards?!
Razer Keyboard Prices
You can find these keyboards on the Razer website, but you can get them a bit cheaper on Amazon. The prices we list here, however, are bound to change because it’s Amazon and prices go up and down depending on quality and availability.
Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2
Razer BlackWidow Elite
How To Choose The Best Gaming Keyboards
Investing in a gaming keyboard involves considering several key factors. Some of the most prominent factors are outlined below:
Size Of The Keyboard: As keyboard size is paramount for gamers, you must take into account your hand size when choosing one. A smaller model may be more ergonomic and comfortable to use, yet if you’ve got bigger hands it would benefit you to go with a larger option so that all keys are easily within reach.
Compatibility: You should also check whether the keyboard is compatible with the gaming PC or not. Additionally, check if the device comes with a USB or PS/2 port for connection purposes. Else, you would end up wasting money. Make sure the keyboard is capable of connecting to your PC, and that it supports the latest gaming software.
Mechanical Switches: Gaming keyboards with mechanical switches provide an edge in terms of speed and accuracy, giving gamers a competitive advantage. There are different mechanical switches; each type features specialized housings, springs, and stems custom-made for each switch; these switches produce a loud-click sound that gamers love. In addition, the tactile feedback allows users to experience an instant connection with the electronics when activated.
Anti-Ghosting: One of the biggest advantages of a gaming keyboard is the ability to hit multiple keys simultaneously without any delays or ghosting. This can be especially important when playing fast-paced games that require quick reactions and precise inputs. Look for keyboards with anti-ghosting technology to ensure your keystrokes for a better gaming experience.
Backlighting: Most gaming keyboards have customizable backlighting, which is great for playing in the dark or adding flair to your gaming setup. Some keyboards have additional keys with colored backlighting, which can be programmed for specific game tasks.
Macro Keys: Many gaming keyboards offer dedicated macro keys that allow you to program multiple key presses with one button. This is great for streamlining complex commands and hotkeys into a single, easy-to-access key.
Size & Portability: If you plan on taking your gaming keyboard to other places, choose one that’s small and lightweight for easy portability. Plenty of great full-size keyboards are available in the digital marketplace; pick the best one that matches your preferences.
Price: The price of gaming keyboards ranges from entry-level to high-end. If you’re on a tight budget, look for one with the basic features you need without being overly expensive. Plenty of great mid-range keyboards are also available that offer excellent value for money.
Warranty: Most keyboards from top brands come with a manufacturer’s warranty, say 1 year or 2 years, which saves your investment in case of any defects or malfunctions. On the whole, look for one with an extended warranty and check the terms and conditions before buying.
Different Types Of Gaming Keyboards
Here, in this section, we will discuss the different gaming keyboards available in the online market. These include mechanical, membrane, hybrid, and wired and wireless gaming keyboards. Each type has distinct advantages and disadvantages that you must consider before purchasing a keyboard for your gaming needs. You will also learn the key features to look out for when choosing the perfect keyboard for your gaming setup. So read on to know more!
Mechanical keyboards feature specialized switches custom-made for each key. Each key on the keyboard is equipped with a spring-loaded mechanical switch that sends an electric signal to your PC when pressed. The tension in the springs then pushes each of the keys back into their normal resting position once released.
Furthermore, these switches are rated for different levels of actuation force and include tactile feedback, which can make the experience more satisfying. They also offer a greater lifespan than other keyboard types and produce a loud, clicky sound.
Things We Like
- Longer Lifespan
- Improved Typing Experience
- No Wear Out
Membrane keyboards use rubber dome switches to register keystrokes, which are quieter than mechanical keyboards. Furthermore, this type of keyboard is usually cheaper and lighter in weight, making it more portable. The downside is that membrane keyboards tend to have a lower lifespan; the rubber domes wear out easily over time.
Things We Like
- Low Price Point
- Lightweight and Portable
Rubber Dome Keyboards
Rubber dome keyboards share many of the same features as membrane keyboards but provide a softer feel and greater tactile feedback due to the rubber domes beneath each key. These features make them ideal for both typing-heavy tasks and gaming, ensuring you have an effortless experience while operating this device.
Things We Like
- High responsiveness
- Affordable price
Wired Gaming Keyboards
Wired gaming keyboards are the most common type for pro gamers that connect to your computer via a USB cable. They offer better input accuracy and consistency than wireless ones, as there is no lag or interference from other wireless devices in the area. Plus, they don’t require batteries or charging cables, making them more reliable.
Things We Like
- Do not need batteries
- Offers great functionality
- Plug-and-play type gaming keyboard
Wireless gaming keyboards offer gamers more freedom and portability. They connect to your computer via Bluetooth or other wireless technologies, making it easier to play from different locations without being tethered to a desk. However, they come with some drawbacks, such as input lag and interference from other wireless devices in the area.
Things We Like
- Simple and easy to use
- Highly reliable
- It comes in different designs and color combinations