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Best Razer keyboards 2022: all the brand's top gaming decks

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 6/16/2022 Tabitha Baker
a close up of a computer: Razer keyboards: explore the top mechanical and membrane planks from one of the best © Provided by GamesRadar Razer keyboards: explore the top mechanical and membrane planks from one of the best

The best Razer keyboards can take pride of place in any setup, but they are perhpas best suited to those featuring other Chroma-devices. Whether you're running a full Sneki setup already, or looking to dive into the world of one of the biggest PC gaming brands out there, there's plenty to dig into in this catalog. Razer keyboards come in all shapes and sizes - from full-sized control panels to stripped back, minimalist decks. We're rounding up all our favorites right here, ranking planks across the full price range based on their value and performance.

Razer keyboards are regularly considered some of the best gaming keyboards, and there are plenty of reasons for that air of prestige. These decks cover a range of styles, designs, and mechanisms, with excellent response and a premium feel. Even cheaper membrane decks are well known for their durability and price to performance ratio, offering newcomers and budget setup builders a set of luxury feeling keys without breaking the bank. 

We've had our paws all over some of the best Razer keyboards in the business, and we've rounded up our top picks right here. Not only will you find the absolute best of the best here, though, we've brought out our favorites across the full price range. 

The best Razer gaming keyboards

The keys of the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog are designed to mimic the thumbsticks of a controller. Essentially, each key has a variable actuation point - so you can use different levels of pressure in order to produce a different response from the keyboard. That's a revelation in our books, allowing us to push harder on a key to run faster, or move with greater precision. 

In our testing, this nifty little feature offered up far smoother gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion and Elite: Dangerous alike. We were cruising around asteroids, and subtly adjusting our flight patterns with the help of that variable actuation rate. It was a real game-changer - once we set it up. There's a lot of fiddling required to make the switches perform to their full potential. For example, mapping thumbstick controls to WASD in certain games meant the title itself thought we using a full controller. That meant some commands were being automatically mapped to non-existent trigger buttons. Of course, this was fixed by diving back into the Synapse software, but it's worth noting that this is not a plug and play affair.

Nevertheless, his is a Razer keyboard designed for FPS, racing, and flight-sim fans, with the WASD keys never feeling so in tune with our own gameplay requirements. While we wouldn't chalk it up as a necessity, it's certainly difficult to switch back to a regular deck once you've got used to it. 

Aside from that key feature, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog still packs some considerable power under the hood. Razer's optical switches mean you're getting a super fast response, but there's still a mechanical click feel here as well. Add dedicated media keys and dial, USB passthrough, and a luxurious leatherette magnetic wrist rest, and you've got yourself a particularly premium deck with a twist. 

Read more: Razer Huntsman V2 Analog review

The Razer Cynosa V2 manages to feel great under your hands without breaking the bank - which isn't an easy find in the world of Razer keyboards. Not only is it one of the brand's best decks for value for money, but it's one of the cheapest models worth running on the whole market as well. While it holds an MSRP of $59.99 / £59.99, we actually see this model well under $50 / £50 regularly.

While these rubber dome switches are a little cheaper by nature, the Cynosa manages to implement them in a way that still feels tactile and responsive. Plus, you're keeping that quiet typing experience of a non-mechanical deck as well. It should be said, though, that in our testing we did come across a few squeaky keys. While no means a deal-breaker, and certainly not a constant sound, the odd ting noise could become irritating if they build up over time.

We were still flying across the board with excellent actuation speed and response, which is more than can be said for the majority of budget gaming keyboards. Not only that, but you're also getting dedicated media controls and a full set of RGB LEDs as well. 

The Razer Cynosa line is very similar to the brand's other budget range - the Ornata. The Cynosa won't take you past $50, but the Ornata, with its hybrid switches, media dial, and included wrist rest will run you closer to $80. While the Ornata may boast a few more specialized features, then, those looking for a true budget buy will be better suited to the value experience that the Cynosa V2 line offers.

Read more: Razer Cynosa V2 review

Blackwidow keyboards have been at the top of the mechanical tree for many years, and this latest Elite iteration seems likely to keep it there. With an arsenal of thoughtful features and a more streamlined design than we've seen in previous Blackwidow models, the Razer BlackWidow Elite seems to solve some of the line's early problems. While you are dropping dedicated macro keys, there's more than enough functionality in here to make up for it - including Razer Hypershift, an additional layer of programmability accessible via a modifier key. 

We found the BlackWidow Elite to be taller than other Razer decks, with a high profile design that did become cumbersome during longer testing sessions. However, the concave keycaps kept us in line.

Those keycaps are working hard as well. The clicky green switches in our testing unit were incredibly sensitive, which came in handy for twitch reflex manoeuvres. However, we did find ourselves making several mistakes with unwanted keypresses. That means we'd recommend taking a look at the orange switches if you're looking for extra precision.

We greatly valued the USB passthrough on here, as well as the addition of a 3.5mm audio jack. We're often testing the best gaming headsets while we plug away on Razer keyboards, so having somewhere easy to plug that cable in was a godsend.

The Razer BlackWidow Elite still isn't a budget buy by any means. It doesn't touch the lofty heights of the Huntsman V2, but still offers enough luxury to put it several large steps ahead of budget models like the Cynosa and Ornata. That makes it the best Razer keyboard for most people - strong value for money that doesn't load up on expensive features that might not see use from everyday players.

Read more: Razer BlackWidow Elite review

Don't let the size of the Razer Huntsman Mini fool you - it's every bit the equal of its full-size counterparts. That's because it also features the same excellent opto-mechanical switches for ultra-fast actuation and a satisfying 'click' with every key bump. It's a delight for typing as a result, but its main draw is its speed. You can respond every so slightly faster than your foes with this one, and that's crucial in competitive shooters like Apex Legends.

The smaller footprint means it's easy to transport as well, making this the ideal choice for tournament use or those who travel a lot. It's also a good pick if you want to use it on one of the best gaming laptops, as it doesn't take up a huge amount of space.

Read more: Razer Huntsman Mini review

Razer's Huntsman range of keyboards is rapidly becoming the company's premier lineup for competitive use. They are currently the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches to essentially eliminate actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered). That means the Razer Huntsman Elite keys register the moment they touch a laser beam. 

These opto-mechanical switches are the star of the show here, offering up some of the speediest, most responsive switches we've seen in a gaming keyboard. We found that the tactile feedback and sound was similar to that of the Cherry MX Blue, but with a 15g lighter actuation force, each press was far easier and stood the test of a longer play session much better as well. Not only that, but you'll find some solid stabilizers supporting those switches as well - we were particularly impressed with the stability of the overall experience here.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to having all that speed at your fingertips. The Razer Huntsman Elite does lack some of the more peripheral features that sit on other Razer keyboards. There's no USB or audio passthrough here, and you're not getting any dedicated macro keys. However, we were grateful for the stripped back approach here, with the features that are included (dedicated media keys and RGB) performing particularly well.

Read more: Razer Huntsman Elite review

The Ornata V2 is a brilliant answer to the question: should my Razer keyboard be mechanical or membrane? The answer is, actually, it can be both. 

Utilizing a 'mecha-membrane' approach to its design, the Razer Oranata V2 blends the two approaches and techs into a glorious combination: it has a mechanical 'click' with the feel of membrane switches. As a result, it is very easy to use and proved incredibly responsive in our testing, enhanced further by the low-profile keycaps. 

The Ornata V2 feels particularly tactile under the hand, which will benefit those who don't get on with the longer travel distances of linear mechanical switches. However, you're still getting a durable set of keys with a satisfying sound here - it really is the best of both worlds. Not only that, but because of that cheaper hybrid design this is also one of the more affordable Razer keyboards out there.

Of course, it's not as cheap as the Razer Cynosa V2, but you're still getting plenty of additional features like a media dial and wrist rest to make that extra investment worth it. That said, the budget build does mean you're picking up ABS keycaps - a smoother, less durable alternative to pricier PBT models. In our testing we did notice some oily shine appearing fairly quickly.

Read more: Razer Ornata V2 review

The Razer Turret is certainly an older model, but if you're looking for a keyboard setup on your console it's still a solid go-to. You can run this model on Xbox as well as PC, which will appeal particularly to anyone on the hunt for versatility - though unfortunately not if you're a PlayStation player. 

Razer rarely produces wireless gaming keyboards, but you'll find a solid cable-free connection here, on both Xbox and PC. We were particularly impressed with the battery life, running through several testing sessions without needing to juice up. 

Interrogated more closely, the Turret's two parts perform just as well as the full-blooded counterparts which provided their inspiration. To start with, the keyboard is just like the BlackWidow in its reliability, quality, and design (its retractable mouse pad is also a wonderful design touch). Meanwhile, the included mouse is on par with the Mamba model - one of the best Razer gaming mice you can get. 

Read more: Razer Turret review

What is the best Razer keyboard?

The best Razer keyboard in our testing is the Razer Huntsman Analog V2. While a premium package, this model packs a huge amount of additional features into its full-sized form factor, while also offering new analog switches. There's nothing quite like it on the market, so it's a must-have for gaming keyboard aficionados looking to invest. 

Are Razer keyboards worth it?

Razer keyboards are build for gaming from the ground up. That's why you'll usually find some of the fastest switches and heaviest RGB support from these planks. On top of a renowned build quality, the Chroma RGB system is compatible with a massive range of external services. 

If you're planning on buying a keyboard primarily for typing, we'd recommend looking elsewhere - or the best hot-swappable keyboards. The switches and stabilizers often found in Razer's keyboards are designed for speed over stability. While you'll find some solid feeling keys at the top of the price range, those who don't need the additional gaming features can get far superior typing feel for much less cash with other brands. 

Are Razer keyboards just for gaming?

While Razer does offer a massive range of excellent gaming keyboards, the brand also has a solid range for the office as well. The Razer Pro line comprises a keyboard and mouse that does away with some of the more speed-focused features and concentrates on a more subtle aesthetic. However, there are uses for Razer gaming keyboards in a productivity setting as well. 

We'd recommend making sure the keystrokes aren't too loud - some of the mechanical switches in these decks can be too distracting for use in a shared space. 

How we test gaming keyboards

We adopt each Razer keyboard as our own whenever a new model comes our way for review. That means we can make recommendations based on not only hands-on experience, but also the quality of life of a product. We use each Razer keyboard we review for work and play over a considerable amount of time, while also running a series of tests designed to stress a keyboard's performance through a range of genres. 

In particular, we're always making sure key features like the n-key rollover and scan rates are true to the brand's marketing, while also testing response times, debounce, switch speeds, ease of macro use, travel and more during our use. 

Because we use these devices every day, we're always keeping an eye on that form factor and durability as well - watching out for any flexible parts or switch wobble. However, once our initial review is finished we will continue to keep these Razer keyboards in our rotations so that we can determine long-term build quality and update our findings as well. 

For more information on how we make our recommendations, take a look at our full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy. You'll also find more details on how we test gaming keyboards specifically as well. 

Of course, we're also rounding up all the best cheap gaming keyboards currently on the market, as well as the best gaming mouse models and the best Razer laptops to boot. 


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