Tue. Mar 5th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% keyboard offers a satisfying click sound with its Orange Tactile Mechanical Switches, making it optimal for typing.
  • Customization options include hot-swappable keys and two-side RGB lighting, allowing users to fully personalize their experience.
  • The keyboard is designed with gamers in mind, featuring low latency, high polling rate, n-key rollover, and anti-ghosting for a seamless gaming experience.


The market is riddled with mechanical keyboards, each seemingly offering something different. After running a gauntlet of countless mechanical boards, the Razer BlackWidow V4 75% has proven to be a standout that maximizes comfort and customizability with a low profile and hot-swappable keys.

With its BlackWidow V4 75%, Razer proves it’s possible to decrease size while increasing potential. In fact, that this keyboard is smaller has no negative impact on the overall experience. Out of the box, the solid black aluminum chassis and RGB-friendly ABS keys don’t look all too different from other mechanical boards, but the magic of the BlackWidow V4 lies within. Razer’s proprietary Orange Tactile Mechanical Gen-3 switches provide the most satisfying sound profile of any keyboard I’ve used and there’s ample opportunity for customization within the aluminum alloy top case.

The biggest pitfall of the Razer BlackWidow V4 75% has nothing to do with the mechanics of the board or its smaller size. Instead, Razer opted for a strict warranty that severely limits the ability to customize a board that’s made for customization.

Razer BlackWidow V4 75

The BlackWidow V4 75% keyboard is a premium, smaller former mechanical keyboard equipped with Razer’s Orange Tactile Mechanical Switches. The fully customizable board features RGB underglow, a magnetic wrist rest, and the option for screw-in stabilizers.

Form factor
Mechanical

Switch options
Orange Tactile Switches

Backlight
2-side RGB Underglow

Keycaps
ABS

Hot-swappable
Yes (3 or 5-pin)

Connectivity
USB-C

Dimensions
12.64 x 6.12 x 1.52 in

Number of Keys
81

Brand
Razer

Num Pad
No

Pros

  • Soft, responsive Orange Tactile Mechanical Switches
  • Two-side RGB lighting is vibrant and customizable
  • Satisfying clicky and thocky sound
  • Stabilizers can be screwed in to printed board
Cons

  • Customizing can void two-year warranty
  • Macro shortcut wasn’t functioning properly

A Click to Surpass the Rest

BlackWidow V4 75% with four keycaps missing showing an underglow
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

The satisfying click of a keyboard is among the most important elements gamers consider. That’s why brands like Razer offer customization and swappable keys. While the default Gen-3 orange mechanical switches can be replaced with a Gen-3 Yellow Linear or Green Clicky switch, I don’t see the need to do so.

Razer’s orange switch is the perfect combination of clicky and thocky, the latter being the deeper sound emitted by a mechanical board. The Gen-3 orange switches weren’t available when I owned the BlackWidow V3, and it’s shocking how much of an improvement they are over that board’s green mechanical switches. Factor in the poron gaskets, plate foam, and tape-enhanced board, and you have the makings for a keyboard optimized for typing. As a writer, there’s not much more I could ask for.

There’s still plenty of click for those who appreciate the harsher sound, but it’s not as aggressive and you can actually taper it by going softer on the keys. Razer did make the keys hot-swappable, so opting for a louder click is as simple as popping off the ABS keycaps and using the included tool to remove the switch.

Customization is actually a fairly big part of the BlackWidow V4, though Razer seems to want you to stick to the factory default hardware.

Freely Customizable, to a Point

Removing an ABS keycap from the Razer BlackWidow V4 75%
Joe Robinson / How-To Geek

There are several surface-level ways to personalize the BlackWidow V4, from the hot-swappable keys to two-side underglow RGB lighting. However, Razer enhanced customization while also surprisingly limiting it.

I didn’t pop open the chassis, but Razer’s marketing touts lubricated plate-mounted stabilizers, which can be prone to rattling over time. There is an option to install stabilizers directly to the printed circuit board (PCB), but that comes with a very significant caveat. The reason I didn’t look inside the chassis to see the layers of plate foam, poron gaskets, and FR4 plate was to avoid accidentally voiding the two-year warranty.

Use of third-party components or one slip-up could void it completely, which sucks some of the joy and excitement out of customizing the board. I get it, Razer doesn’t want to fix the mess you may make. It just feels limiting after essentially being handed the keys to pop open the board and have some fun.

Ultimately, Made for Gaming

A user typing on the Razer BlackWidow V4 75%
Joe Robinson / How-To Geek

Overlooking the board’s biggest pitfall, Razer did deliver a keyboard that caters to gamers. Along with all of those multi-layered components you can’t see without voiding your warranty, the BlackWidow V4 75% offers very low single-key latency and a considerably high polling rate of 8,000 Hz. It’s excessive, and the difference between the standard 1,000 Hz and 8,000 Hz is not easy to see considering how smooth the latter already is.

More noticeable features that enhance the gaming experience are the keyboard’s seemingly limitless n-key rollover and anti-ghosting. I pushed both to the maximum number of keypresses my hands could manage, and the BlackWidow registered each one individually. While excessive, it’s good to know that every intended input will be picked up by the board to prevent in-game mishaps.

The included magnetic wrist rest is a fine touch and is one of the more comfortable and stable wrist rests I’ve worked with. It takes a bit of force to separate from the board, so it stays in place even when the action gets frantic.

Further Appealing to Gamer Customization

Razer’s penchant for customization continues with several FN shortcuts, including a switchable game mode and macro recorder. FN+F10 turns on the board’s “Game Mode,” which disables the Win key, Alt+F4, and Alt+Tab.

I understand the Win key, as it’s easy to hit when hovering by the left control, but you have to go out of your way for Alt+Tab and Alt+F4, and I can’t imagine assigning a control input to either. Using the Razer Synapse app for PC, you can adjust which inputs you want to disable and whether you want Gaming Mode on at all times or only while playing a game.

Screen displaying the Razer Synapse App
Joe Robinson / How-To Geek

The Synapse app features macro inputs, so you can assign virtually any command to a keystroke. FN+F9 does enable a macro recorder shortcut, but I was never able to get it to function properly. I could record an input, it would just never run. While it’s just as easy to launch the Synapse app, I would have liked to have gotten the macro recorder to work as a simplified alternative to using the software.

Along with assigning macros, the Synapse app gives you full control of the keyboard’s RGB lighting. If you have other Razer Chroma-enabled devices, you can extend the chosen lighting effect to those with the press of a button. Unfortunately, the keyboard is the only Razer Chroma accessory I have on hand, but its vibrant underglow makes up for the lack of other RGB devices.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 comes with slots for five onboard profiles, and the Synapse app makes it easy to assign and swap between them.

Should You Buy the Razer BlackWidow V4 75% Keyboard?

Normally, there would be a few stipulations as to whether or not a specific keyboard is worth buying. With Razer’s BlackWidow V4 75% keyboard, though, there are enough options to customize the experience, from hot swappable keys to screw-in stabilizers, that it’s tough not to recommend.

Don’t like how the keys sound? Just swap out the orange switches for green ones. Want to adjust the RGB lighting or need to set specific macros? If you can get the shortcuts to work, you can do it all right from the keyboard itself or use the Synapse app. Razer built a user-friendly keyboard that can be fully personalized for virtually any user. Just be mindful of that stringent warranty that’s easily voided if you’re not careful.

While the board is 75% the size of a standard keyboard, it’s not something I paid any mind to. The keys needed for the games I play are there. Obviously, if you need a number pad, this may not be the board for you. Even in that scenario, though, I’d probably still recommend the BlackWidow V4 75% and suggest buying a separate number pad. It’s such a solid, brilliant keyboard that if there’s a fix for any of its pitfalls, it’s worth opting for the solution over buying a different board.

Razer BlackWidow V4 75

The BlackWidow V4 75% keyboard is a premium, smaller former mechanical keyboard equipped with Razer’s Orange Tactile Mechanical Switches. The fully customizable board features RGB underglow, a magnetic wrist rest, and the option for screw-in stabilizers.



Source link

By John P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *