Razer Cynosa Chroma
In the age of mechanical keyboards, it’s easy to forget that maybe someone might be looking for a more affordable gaming keyboard. Or, a non-mechanical alternative. One that doesn’t sacrifice features or build quality just to shave off a few dollars off the RRP. Razer’s new Cynosa Chroma certainly fits the bill, and even though it’s a non-mechanical membrane keyboard - it’s perhaps one of the most comfortable and premium-feel affordable entries we’ve ever seen.
Yeah, add in the new Razer Synapse software - which is step in the big step in the right direction for the hardware maker -and the Cynosa Chroma far exceeds its price point in terms of value. Plus, it’s just an all-round solid keyboard.
Look and Feel
First off, there’s nothing specifically wrong with membrane keyboards. In fact, there are many people out there (gamers included) that aren’t huge fans of the stiffness that comes from switching over to a mechanical design. As a membrane keyboard perhaps the best thing about the Cynosa Chroma is that the keys themselves are not only durable but also soft to the touch. They feel awesome. And the response hits a sweet spot between touch-type speed and mechanical firmness too. This is in part due to the Cynosa Chroma still being every bit the gaming keyboard, so there is still an element of feedback.
As a budget entry from Razer what you get is exceptional form and build, great feel, and per-key RGB lighting. A feature that even though is usually found in more expensive keyboards, is a smart move for Razer because the new Synapse Software that works across the entire Chroma range not only supports several new lighting modes but can automatically switch looks based on what game you’re playing.
And we know this because during testing it was a pleasant surprise to see the keyboard light up blue when we chose Pharah in Overwatch, and then a grey silver colour when we picked Reinhardt. Also, seeing the Q key flash when our ultimate was ready was very cool. Which goes to show you that software can make a huge impact on one’s overall perception of a piece of hardware.
- Switch Type: Membrane
- LED Color: Per-Key RGB
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Cable: Wired, USB
In addition to being fairly light, the Cynosa Chroma is also spill-resistant and features anti-ghosting. In fact, a lot of the features on the keyboard are what you’d expect to find on more expensive boards. Like on the fly macro-recording and pressing the function key to automatically switch the lighting model to only showcase additional controls relating to volume and brightness.
Which brings us to the only downside that we found in our time with the Cynosa Chroma, and that comes down to certain key squeaking at random times for no reasons that could see other than a potential faulty review unit or a result of the lower cost of entry.
In the end it’s hard to fault the Razer Cynosa Chroma, it offers exceptional value for money and proves that yes great non-mechanical gaming keyboards still exist. With its per key RGB lighting its able to transcend its price point thanks to the new Razer Synapse software and being able to setup profiles and macros, or even just let it do its own thing when you fire up a game that’s supported. More than a simple cosmetic addition, when you couple this with the solid and light build, and soft to the touch keys and the Cynosa Chroma is an affordable gaming keyboard that we recommend.